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Submission Guidelines for JSEP

Review articles and single-study experimental/methodological reports should not exceed 28 double-spaced pages (including references, tables, figures, etc.). Multistudy reports are encouraged, and may exceed the 28-page guideline, but they must be parsimoniously presented. Research notes are limited to 12 pages all inclusive. Research reports should be condensed as much as possible. Submissions will be judged on their topical relevance, methodological adequacy, clarity of reporting, and potential scientific impact. For studies involving human subjects, the Methods section must include a statement regarding informed consent and institutional approval of the protocol. Authors are expected to have their raw data and descriptive statistics available throughout the review process and may be asked to provide elaboration.

Style. In preparing manuscripts for publication in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (JSEP), authors must closely follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010). Writing should be concise and direct. Avoid unnecessary jargon and abbreviations, and use an acronym or abbreviation only if the spelled-out version of a term is cumbersome. The full wording should precede the first use of an abbreviation. Avoid abbreviations in the title. Formats of numbers and measurement units and other style matters, including capitalization and punctuation, must follow the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Submission. Authors should submit their typescripts electronically in Microsoft Word via the JSEP–ScholarOne Manuscripts (formerly, Manuscript Central) site, an online submission system. ScholarOne Manuscripts will manage the electronic transfer of JSEP manuscripts throughout the article review process, providing step-by-step instructions:


Note that figures can be uploaded individually in their original file formats to preserve high resolution. The ScholarOne system converts and combines figures into PDF for the peer reviewers. Difficulties can be resolved by choosing “Get Help Now” in the upper-right corner of the screen. At least two reviewers are solicited for each manuscript. Manuscripts are evaluated via masked review. There are no page charges assessed of authors. Manuscripts should not be submitted to another journal at the same time. Authors of manuscripts that are accepted for publication must transfer copyright to Human Kinetics Inc.

Cover Letters. At ScholarOne Manuscripts, authors must upload a separate cover letter that lists (1) the title of the manuscript, (2) the date of submission, and (3) the full names of all the authors and their institutional or corporate affiliations. In addition to this essential information, a cover letter should composed as described on pp. 230–231 of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed., 2010), and should include clear statements pertaining to potential fragmented publication, authorship, and other ethical considerations.

Manuscript. The manuscript must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. The manuscript should contain no clues as to author identity, such as acknowledgments, institutional information, and mention of a specific city. Thus, information that might identify the author(s) should be omitted or highlighted in black. The first page of the manuscript should include only the title of the manuscript and date of submission. All articles must include an abstract of 100−150 words and three to six keywords chosen from terms not used in the title.

The correct order of the elements within a standard JSEP manuscript entering review must be as follows. This differs from some example APA-styled manuscripts.

  1. title, date of submission
  2. abstract
  3. keywords
  4. introduction
  5. methods
  6. results
  7. discussion
  8. end notes
  9. acknowledgments
  10. reference list
  11. figure captions
  12. tables

Figures. Each figure must be numbered, and each should be called out in the text in consecutive numerical order. All lettering and numbering that appears in the artwork should be proportionally large enough to be easily read. Each figure must be clearly identifiable by its filename. The artwork should be professional in appearance and have clean, crisp lines that are thick and dark enough to withstand size reduction and digital compression. Figures should not use color, and the print version of JSEP appears only with grayscale artwork. However, if color is essential to the meaning, color figures can appear in the electronic version of the journal. In bar charts and graphs, shades of gray do not always reproduce well and should only carefully be used; instead, stripe patterns, stippling, or solids (i.e., black or white) are good choices for differentiation. All artwork, including photographic images, can and should be submitted in TIFF, EPS, or highest-quality JPEG format at a high resolution of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) and sized to be legible when fit within the JSEP single-page dimensions: approximately 16 cm (6 in.) × 21 cm (8 in.).

Tables. When tabular material is necessary, it should not duplicate the text. Tables must be formatted using Microsoft Word’s table-building functions, with cells, rows, and columns. Thus, do not use the Space and Tab keys. Tables should be single-spaced and should include their brief titles above them. Explanatory notes are to be presented in footnotes, below the table. The size and complexity of a table should be determined with consideration for its legibility when fitted to the size of single or multiple printed pages: approximately 16 cm (6 in.) × 21 cm (8 in.) for a single page.

Common Issues. The following items are trivial but rise in significance owing to their high frequency in writing. Although they are part of APA style, which is requested by many publishers worldwide, these items are not always seen in accepted manuscripts. Please do adopt these simple practices.

  1. Always use commas and semi-colons in series to separate the items. The comma is the mandatory first-order separator, and the semi-colon is reserved as the second-order separator, as in, “Sport, exercise, and physical activity; randomized, double-blind, and controlled trials; or enthusiasm, organization, and commitment are examples. . . .” Always include the comma or the semi-colon, as appropriate, before the conjunction word (and, or, but).
  2. The semi-colon is used only to separate, and never to introduce, in scientific English.
  3. The colon is used to introduce.
  4. Capitalize only the very few kinds of words so specified in the APA style manual, such as persons’ names. If in doubt, use lowercase.
  5. Always use the SI units (with a few exceptions, e.g., when other units are ubiquitous). Quantity and unit should be separated by a space; when used adjectivally, separate with a hyphen.
  6. Use acronyms sparingly. Spell out a term at each instance if you use it only two to three times. Differentiate between abbreviations (usually lowercase letters, usually with periods) and acronyms (all capital letters). Always use the spelled-out form to begin a sentence. Once you introduce an acronym, keep using it and do not revert to use of the spelled-out term.
  7. Always in text, parentheses always surround the brackets: ([ . . . ]).
  8. In math, always use the multiplication sign (×) or centered dot (), but never the asterisk (except in computer languages). In regular text, type a space on both sides of all operators, or allow the math software (preferably MathType) to apply its standard spacings. Separate the operations thus: { . . . [ . . . ( . . . ) . . .] . . . }
  9. Leave no spaces before, between, and after any subscript or superscript.
  10. Please do not use the Tab key for any purpose other than to indent the first line of a paragraph.

Final Preacceptance Revisions. Last but not least: The author names and dates of citations in the text must match those in the reference list prior to assumed acceptance.

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