Is JCSP the Right Fit? Tips for the Successful Preparation of Manuscripts

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Justine J. Reel
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This year, the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology (JCSP) celebrates its 12th volume! In its 12 years, JCSP has grown substantially and covered many important areas of research. Thus, I am excited for this opportunity to move into the Editor-in-Chief role for JCSP.

JCSP has been under the dedicated hands of Donald Marks, PsyD, for the last 4 years; I am pleased to receive the EIC baton from him and keep JCSP on its upward trajectory. To assist with this exciting transition, new members have been added to the editorial board to enhance diversity and expand our capacity to publish increasingly varied topics in clinical sport psychology, an area of study that integrates therapeutic strategies and mental skills training for performance, health, and overall well-being.

The JCSP Focus

The mission of JCSP is to disseminate scholarly, peer-reviewed work that integrates therapeutic strategies and performance enhancement approaches to best serve athletes, exercisers, and other performers. JCSP provides practical recommendations to mental health providers and applied sport psychology practitioners, stimulates provocative discussions, promotes best practices and intervention strategies, and disseminates applied research findings.

Some examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, psychology of injury, eating disorders, exercise and mental health, and substance use disorders. JCSP highlights the clinical application of research findings in direct psychological service delivery spanning a range of clients and settings. The editorial board recognizes the importance of using both diverse methodologies and varied treatment approaches. Further, the journal is committed to showcasing broad perspectives around sport and exercise psychology. JCSP is international in scope and submissions from around the world and with diverse populations are encouraged.

Target Audience for JCSP

To determine whether a manuscript is a good fit for any journal prior to submission, it is important to consider the target audience. JCSP serves as a resource for clinicians and other professionals who work with athletes, exercisers, and performers. Articles published in JCSP also inform the work of sport and exercise psychology scholars. While the journal has a distinctly clinical focus, academics can be assured the quality of journal remains strong. To illustrate the rising prominence of the journal, JCSP recently received an impact factor and is now indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences Edition, and Current Contents®/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Publishing in JCSP

To increase the likelihood your manuscript will be accepted, your manuscript should be written with accessible language so it can be understood by practitioners in applied and clinical settings as well as individuals from a wide range of educational levels in the general public. Manuscript submissions should be free of scientific jargon, use of acronyms should be minimal, and papers should be as concise as possible. To align with the mission of JCSP, manuscript submissions should clearly demonstrate clinical relevance. Authors should follow the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and manuscripts should be void of typos and grammatical errors.

JCSP seeks several types of papers to fulfill its mission to promote therapeutic approaches for working with athletes, exercisers, and performers.

  1. 1.Original research papers follow traditional format and section headings to demonstrate background, literature reviewed, methods, results, and discussion. All methodologies are welcomed (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods). To ensure ethical research protocol is followed, prior institutional review board approval is expected. Authors are strongly encouraged to include a clinical implications section in a manuscript to provide practical information for clinicians or practitioners working in the field. Including abstract, tables, and references these papers should not exceed 30 double-spaced pages.
  2. 2.Practice papers are applied pieces that may, for example, detail best practice prevention, intervention, or treatment approaches to problems in sport, exercise, and performance contexts. Another option is a lessons learned paper that describes challenges and recommendations gleaned from implementing a program or intervention with athletes, exercisers, or performers. Papers may also use published research findings or theoretical frameworks to inform practice recommendations to clinicians, practitioners, and others in the field. These papers should be 20 pages or less, including the abstract, tables/figures, and references.
  3. 3.Commentaries are brief papers that describe trending topics in the field, argue for a particular viewpoint, or present therapeutic approaches or strategies to overcome challenges in research and practice. Although these may be viewed as opinion papers, authors should tie ideas to the literature and write in a professional tone to ensure the delivery of a compelling scholarly argument. These papers require abstracts and should not exceed 10 pages.
  4. 4.Case illustration and therapeutic approach papers articulate a specific and in-depth case to make a problem come to life for readers and illustrate clinical or applied challenges and intervention strategies. If based on a real case, identifying characteristics must be altered to protect the identity of the client(s). These papers include a case narrative, case interpretation, and a clinical implications section with a recommended therapeutic approach supported by research. These papers require abstracts and should not exceed 7 pages.

Get Involved With JCSP

We welcome your involvement and continue to seek reviewers from diverse areas of expertise. If you would like to serve as a guest reviewer and/or be considered for a future editorial board position, please contact the Editor-in-Chief. If you are a graduate student who would like to receive reviewer experience and mentoring, please contact us. Further, given that JCSP desires to cover “hot topics” and clinical trends in the area of sport and exercise psychology, we welcome your input and ideas for special issues. Currently, a special issue on eating disorders and body image in sport and exercise is under development with anticipated publication in late 2018. A #MeToo special issue is seeking manuscripts until May 1, 2018, with anticipated publication in 2019. Happy writing!

Justine J. Reel is with the College of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC.

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