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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Submitting author has reviewed in detail the Author Guidelines.
  • Submission is in APA format.
  • Submission has a specific research-to-practice focus.
  • Submission reflects a direct focus on preparing preservice special education teachers and/or administrators.
  • Submission is feature-length (18-22 pages including tables, figures, and references).
  • Submission references current research.
  • Submission manuscript is masked (i.e. "blinded").
  • Submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Submission file is in Microsoft Word file format.

Author Guidelines

APA Style 
Hallmarks of APA style are objectivity, precision, and clarity. For JOSEP, these principles are applied when authors: 

1. Use formal, academic language. Although JOSEis a practitioner-friendly journal, the tone of the manuscript should reflect formal, academic language. To make the content accessible to a large audience, authors should avoid relying on jargon to communicate information. Technical terms, if used, need to be clearly defined with examples provided. Similarly, the excessive use of long, complex sentences inhibits readability. Short, direct sentences facilitate readability and complement the presentation of longer, more complex content. Further, explanation, the use of examples and non-examples, tables and figures, employment of a fictional vignette to serve as an exemplar, etc. facilitate reader understanding of the material.  
2. Present data-based information, not emotionally charged position statements. JOSEP does not publish persuasive essays or thought pieces. Although it can be assumed that authors feel strongly about the topic of their manuscripts, readers are more likely to “hear” the message if it is presented in neutral terms with appropriate data to support the claim or recommendation. 
3. Consider perspective. First,it is myth that first-person perspective is prohibited under APA guidelines. For JOSEP, first person point of view (I, we) can be used effectively (e.g., “We recommend a three-step process for…”). However, use of the editorial or royal “we” is not permitted (e.g., “We, as a field, need to do a better job of…”; APA, 2010). Second-person perspective (you, your) can be effective for helping readers connect the content to their own settings and experiences, but more frequently than not, the repeated use of “you” throughout a manuscript creates an authoritarian tone to the manuscript, which can be off-putting for readers. Third-person perspective tends to be the “Goldilocks” point of view for manuscripts for JOSEP. 
4. Maintain a consistent voice. If multiple authors contribute to a manuscript, have an independent, third-party reader review the manuscript to ensure a consistent voice and tone are presented across sections. Similarly, the excessive use of direct quotes can impede readability, create an uneven voice, and demonstrate authors’ inability to translate the content into a cohesive narrative. As such, direct quotes should be used sparingly.
5. Employ “economy of expression”(see p. 67, APA, 2010). Reduce wordiness, redundancy, excessive use of metaphors, and overuse of passive voice to create precise, clear communication.
6. Avoid bias in language. In particular, when writing about individuals with exceptionalities, use people first language. People first language refers to both the placement of the person prior to the disability (e.g., “student with a learning disability” rather than “LD student”) and avoidance of sensational or demeaning language (e.g., “suffers from ADHD,” “is wheelchair-bound”). Avoid the use of gendered pronouns (he, she, his, hers, he/she, etc.) by making the sentence plural or dropping the pronoun (e.g., “a teacher can call on students” rather than “a teacher can call on her students”).

APA Format 
Within the publication manual, explicit guidelines for formatting a manuscript are provided. Manuscripts that vary dramatically in presentation from APA will not be sent out for review. To avoid common errors in formatting, authors should: 

1. Adhere to basic, APA formatting conventions. Double space all content within the manuscript (e.g., title page, abstract page, body, quotes, fictional vignettes, references) and use one-inch margins. The preferred font for APA publications is Times New Roman. 
2. Create a concise title. Titles should contain no more than 12 words and include key terminology.  
3. Develop a brief, focused abstract. Manuscripts for JOSEP offer a research-based solution to a problem of practice; the abstract should reflect this focus.  
4. Use formatting tools within Microsoft Word or other document processing software. Manuscripts produced without the use of appropriate formatting tools often lose their formatting when translated into the portable document format (PDF) and can make the document difficult for reviewers to follow or create an unprofessional look to the document that can be off-putting to reviewers. For example, when formatting a manuscript, use page breaks rather than hard returns, hanging-indent paragraph formatting for references, and alignment tools for centered titles rather than the Tab key. 

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