Author Guidelines

The mission of the fully open access Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology is to promote deep reflection on community change and system transformation in which counselors, psychologists, and other human service professionals play a role. The journal aims to highlight ‘engaged scholarship’ and the very important social change work done by professionals and activists that would not normally find its way into publication in the form of empirical research or theoretical essays. The journal attempts to break down the divide between theory and practice in one of the most critical areas of our work: social transformation toward social justice and peace. This journal features action oriented articles, meaning manuscripts that discuss actual work (e.g., advocacy, activism, research, policy formulation and implementation, training, legislation) that has been conducted by the submitting author(s) and not proposed work or simple conceptualizations of issues. Potential authors are urged to pay special attention to the additional following guidelines for submissions.

Manuscripts submitted should be relevant to a wide audience of readers including counselors, psychologists and related human service professionals as well as students and educators. Policy makers, community organizers, and activists should also find the content to be informative and relevant to their work.

The journal features four unique sections:
1. Activism and Advocacy
2. Education and Training
3. Policy and Theory
4. Program Development and Evaluation

The following are examples of the types of submissions that are encouraged:

  • Articulation of theory about social action with examples of actual work conducted by the submitting authors: for example, the nature of power, group dynamics, organizational process, consciousness raising, resistance, ideology, strategy
  • Examples of collaborative efforts to address a particular social issue, accompanied by ample examination of the process of the work, obstacles encountered, and lessons learned
  • Research using methodologies that bring the voices of communities and individuals most affected by particular social problems to the forefront
  • Research documenting the nature and complexity of a particular social problem as revealed by attempts to address it
  • Outcome research highlighting community interventions that have been successful in addressing social issues, or case studies of unsuccessful projects – both types paying attention to the factors contributing to success or ‘failure’
  • Interviews of notable practitioners, community organizers, activists, psychologists, counselors and educators
  • Dialogues between scientists/practitioners, policy makers and community members
  • Reviews of books related to any of the above topics

Manuscripts should be solidly grounded in theory, practice and/or research. Examples of manuscripts that would not be appropriate for this journal include: individual therapy methods or clinical problems that are addressed solely through individual-level interventions, problem-focused discussion without clear discussion of social action implications, descriptions of what should be done in the absence of any reflection on or evaluation of action that has been taken, and research that does not substantively include reflection on the process and role of the researcher.  Manuscripts whose sole intent is to present an opinion or partisan political perspective are not appropriate for this journal.

Manuscripts must be:
1. No longer than 15-20 pages not including the title page with no identifying information, abstract (maximum of 200 words), references, tables, and figures. In some instances, assuming a highly compelling rationale provided by the corresponding author, longer manuscripts will be considered.
2. Formatted as an MS Word document.
3. Formatted according to the 6th Edition of the APA Publication Manual.
4. Formatted to include, if available for a reference, a digital object identifier (DOI). The DOI should be placed at the end of each reference, with no period at the end of it. An example follows:
Author, F.R. (year). Title of article. Journal Title, X, xxx-xxx. doi:xxxxxx

Along with the manuscript, submissions must include:
1. Five keywords for indexing purposes.
2. A separate title page with the names of the authors, their institutional affiliations, and email addresses.

Articles submitted to the journal are subjected to a masked (double-blind peer) review. There are no fees associated with submitting an article or if an article is published.

We are open to innovative manuscript formats, including multimedia.

Ethical Responsibilities
• Authors are required to adhere to the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2010) and/or the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2014) in performing all aspects of their investigation and manuscript preparation. Specifically, the ethics of research and publication are mentioned in APA Standard 8 (Research and Publication) and ACA Section G.
• It is critical that all ethical issues with respect to the treatment of research participants be carefully examined and actions pursued in line with the APA and/or the ACA Ethical Code(s).
• It is required that each individual who contributed to the project is acknowledged in the Author Notes, in line with APA and/or ACA policy, or is listed as an author.
• Authors are required to report on data and findings that are both accurate and honest.
• Submission of a previously published manuscript for review by JSACP and submission of the same document to multiple journals simultaneously is prohibited and unethical.
• Piecemeal or fragmented manuscripts that constitute a single project are discouraged unless it is clear to the scholarly community that there is a substantial benefit by publishing results separately. When reporting from a large data set with previously written reports, the current manuscript must include references to each written report and be transparent the degree of sample overlap across the projects. In all instances where there are multiple reports from the data set included in a present submission, the author(s) must inform the editor along with explicitly state the nature of multiple reports with their submission.
• Author(s) submitting manuscripts are protected by common law against the unauthorized use of their unpublished work.
• JSACP reviewers are required to destroy a manuscript after their review is completed, and are prohibited from referring to the unpublished submitted document in any fashion.
• Authors are required to state that they followed all APA and/or ACA ethical guidelines when conducting a project and submitting their manuscript.