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Author Guidelines

School Psychology Forum is only accepting manuscript submissions online using Rapid Review. If you are familiar with our submission requirements please go directly to our Rapid Review site.

Editorial Priorities

The purpose of SPF is to apply rigorous research to improve and advance the knowledge base and practice of professional school psychology. Although methodological rigor and scholarship are the top considerations for our publication, there are editorial priorities that are also considered. Simple description literature reviews, commentaries, or basic evaluation of programs are unlikely to be considered for publication. The key criteria are that articles published in SPF must advance thinking and practice.

Selection of Manuscripts

The selection of manuscripts is based upon the importance of the topic addressed, relevance to the readership, ability to make a unique contribution to the literature in psychology and education, level of methodological rigor, implications for research and practice, and clarity of presentation. Although all manuscripts, both unsolicited and solicited, undergo masked peer review and the comments of reviewers are considered in reaching a publication decision, the determination made by the Editor or Associate Editors is final. SPF has procedures for appealing a publication decision; authors should contact the Editor for more information.

Publication decisions are typically rendered 6 weeks from the date of receipt. Questions about the review process should be directed to the Editor. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication may be requested to provide additional information that can be posted on the NASP website.

All authors who submit unsolicited manuscripts to SPF are protected by the general legal principles related to right to privacy. The status of an author's manuscript, including the fact that it has been submitted and the final publication decision, can be released to the authors only.

Theme Issues

School Psychology Forum now has a call for papers for several upcoming theme issues. There are openings for papers in all theme issues. School Psychology Forum will continue to have space for and strongly encourage general submissions. If you have ideas or a full proposal for a theme issue, then please contact our editor at SchoolPsychForum@naspweb.org.

Submission and Publication Guidelines

All manuscripts must conform to the style and requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010, 6th ed.). The Manual can be obtained from the American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Authors should use APA publication guidelines to reduce bias in writing. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, accompanied by an abstract of less than 150 words. Quotes of 500 words or reproductions of figures and tables must be accompanied by a letter of permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher and sometimes the original author). Questions about the manuscript submission process should be directed to the Editorial Assistant at SchoolPsychForum@naspweb.org.

The Rapid Review submission system converts all submitted documents to a pdf format. Rapid review can convert many word processing formats to pdf. Figures will be uploaded on to Rapid Review as a separate file. The preference is for high resolution formats such as jpeg or TIFF format. Subsequent submissions must meet Cadmus Digital Art Guidelines, as determined by Rapid Inspector, a program available to authors as they proceed through the submission process. PowerPoint (ppt) and pdf formats are acceptable for the initial submission, but the high resolution formats are required for final publication.

General Article Guidelines

In keeping with the purpose of SPF, emphasizing useful and high quality information to school-based practitioners, the articles should meet the following:

  1. Each manuscript should be less than 25 double-spaced pages, inclusive of references, figures, and tables. Longer articles may be accepted as space permits. Brief reviews of evidence-based practices and practice commentary articles should be less than 15 pages (no more than 3,750 words).

  2. SPF requires two features of each manuscript that differ from most scholarly journals.

    First, there must be a heading and section that explicitly describes how the current manuscript can be applied to the practice of school psychology. This can include practice guidelines, cautions for school-based practice, suggestions for policy development, improvement on current best practices, and other approaches to advancing the field of school psychology practice.

    Second, there must be information included regarding where readers can find additional resources on the topic. Where applicable and feasible authors will provide resources for readers related to the article that would enhance practice. These could include tips (beyond the reference list) for parents or teachers, guidelines for administrators, worksheets, websites, books, etc.

  3. Each article will be subjected to blind peer review by at least two reviewers. The reviewers will consist of members of the SPF Editorial Advisory Board, which is comprised of both university-based scholars and practicing school psychologists. In some cases, ad hoc reviewers may be solicited who have particular expertise in a given area.

  4. With each article submitted, the author(s) should include a short description of current affiliation and credentials (e.g., Oscar Smith, PhD, NCSP, is a school psychologist with the ABC School District in Inner City, PA. He specializes in working with children with emotional and behavioral difficulties). This will appear as the endnote following the published article. Additionally, contact information for the lead author should be provided including preferred mailing address, telephone, and email address.

Send questions about the manuscript submission process, proposals for special issues, commentaries, and questions to Steven Shaw.

Special Opportunities

As an online journal, SPF presents a variety of opportunities for innovative formats and presentation of materials.

  • Interview. Authors will be interviewed on aspects of their research. The interviews are usually conducted over the phone and are low-key affairs. Recordings of the interviews are posted on the SPF website as audio files. The interview presents authors with the opportunity to elaborate on the specific paper and other aspects of their research. Interviews are currently available for review in previous issues of SPF.

  • Summary. All papers will be summarized and read for a podcast by a member of the editorial staff. The summary will be posted on the SPF website as an audio file. This will allow consumers to listen to summaries of papers before downloading written articles. Summaries will premiere in the Fall of 2012.

  • Supplemental Materials. There also exists the option of having supplementary materials attached to articles. The materials could consist of photographs, video, raw data, PowerPoint presentations, computer software, and other information can be posted to illustrate information for consumers. Contact the editor for more information on posting specific supplemental materials.

  • Related Links. Links to NASP materials related to the article will be posted for the benefit of readers.

  • NASP Communities. SPF, as an online resource, also provides opportunities for authors of articles and readers. All articles have an area for commentary on the NASP Communities. Commentaries will be invited and published for each article. Unsolicited commentary and questions concerning articles are welcome and will be considered for publication. Authors of the primary articles provide responses to questions or comments raised by readers, practitioners, and scholars.

  • Continuing Professional Development. Some articles on SPF are selected for a webinar that will be made available to NASP members. If selected, then authors may select to support professional school psychology

Conditions of Submission

Manuscripts submitted for review and possible inclusion in SPF:

  • may not have been submitted for concurrent review to another journal

  • NASP ethical guidelines and procedures have been followed in the data collection, preparation, and presentation of information

  • may not have been published in total or the findings published in substantial part elsewhere

  • must be accompanied by written reprint permissions for any previously published figures, tables, or material of 500 words or more

  • assume author responsibility for the accuracy of all statements and findings

  • assigns all rights for the publication of the manuscript to the School Psychology Forum. Complete the copyright reassignment form upon submission. The copyright reassignment form should be signed by all authors and uploaded through the Rapid Review system. Should the article not be published in SPF, then the copyright reassignment is rendered moot and void.

If accepted for publication, then the author agrees that the editor has the right to edit the manuscript as necessary for publication (such that content is not substantively changed), and assigns all rights for the publication of the manuscript to SPF and the National Association of School Psychologists.

School Psychology Forum employs an electronic submission, review, and production process. Authors should submit manuscripts by logging in at: https://www.rapidreview.com/NASP/author.html.