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SPR Author Guidelines

School Psychology Review (SPR) only accepts manuscripts submitted online using Rapid Review. If you are familiar with our submission requirements, please go directly to our Rapid Review site.

Conditions of Submission

It is expected that when a manuscript is submitted for review, the author (a) has not submitted the manuscript for concurrent review to another journal, (b) has not published the article or a substantial part of the findings elsewhere, (c) is responsible for the accuracy of all statements and findings, (d) has obtained approval to conduct data-based research from the institution's human subjects' committee, (e) agrees that the editor has the right to edit the manuscript as necessary for publication (such that content is not substantively changed), (f) assigns all rights for the publication of the manuscript to SPR (as outlined in our Copyright Assignment Form), (g) agrees to disclose any potential financial conflicts of interest, (h) is willing to format graphics in a manner that meets the specifications outlined by the journal, and (i) all authors agree on content and author order.

Editorial Priorities

Although methodological rigor is the top consideration for publication decision, there are editorial priorities that are also considered. SPR is has a unique dual responsibility to forward theory while also providing evidence for practice. Thus, manuscripts submitted to SPR should (a) explicitly discuss theoretical underpinnings of the study in the Introduction and the potential theoretical implications in the Discussion, (b) include clear implications for practitioners or public policy, (c) be consistent with a prevention science framework, and (d) be oriented within an ecological systems framework. For more information, please read the Burns (2011) editorial commentary on pages 132 to 139 in Volume 40 of SPR.

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. SPR does have procedures for officially appealing a publication decision; authors should contact the Editor for more information.

Types of Manuscripts

Most unsolicited manuscripts submitted to SPR will be considered for publication as general articles. These articles generally present original research or meta-analyses. SPR only very rarely publishes narrative reviews or research, conceptual papers, or surveys. In addition to general articles, SPR publishes three special sections: "Research Into Practice," "Children, Research, and Public Policy," and "Research Briefs." Authors may request that their manuscript be reviewed for possible publication in one of these special sections. The procedures followed for submission and selection of unsolicited manuscripts, including the masked peer-review process, will be used for manuscripts submitted for the special sections.

Research Into Practice

Articles published in the "Research Into Practice" section are intended to present a well-developed or developing area of research, with emphasis on its application and evaluation in practice. Specifically, its goal is to illustrate how relevant conceptual and empirical principles have been implemented and evaluated in practice. Manuscripts should present theoretically sound and empirically documented principles, and illustrate how these have been synthesized into practical procedures with data evaluating their efficacy. A detailed description of procedures should be included to facilitate implementation in practice. Although several research methods may be appropriate, studies employing single subject and quasi-experimental methodologies are often well suited for this section. Additionally, priorities will be given to manuscripts that demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to issues and challenges associated with conducting research in applied settings, and illustrate links between research and practice. Implications for practice and future applied research should also be included.

Sections of manuscripts submitted to the Research Into Practice section should include:

  • Introduction - presenting brief but relevant background information, including a rationale for the program or intervention described;
  • Methods - describing specific details about the methods employed;
  • Results - depicting the major findings (i.e., data and analyses) relevant to the applied research questions; and
  • Discussion - articulating how the research findings contribute to the applied knowledge base in relation to the program or intervention employed.

Children, Research, and Public Policy

Manuscripts submitted for the "Children, Research, and Public Policy" section should address public health issues related to children's education (e.g., drop out prevention, school discipline, violence prevention, literacy development, home–school partnerships, IDEA provisions, health promotion, health disparities). Emphasis is placed on manuscripts describing conceptual developments and empirical findings with significant implications for policy development at a national, state, local, and school level. Of further interest are manuscripts describing specific strategies to promote systems-level change at multiple levels. Manuscripts published in Children, Research, and Public Policy should link research to children's services and public policy, and be useful to the activities of school psychologists and other related professionals. Manuscripts in this special section may be either scholarly reviews of research or a report of an empirical study. However, all manuscripts must contain a comprehensive discussion of implications for service delivery, program development, and policy development.

Research Briefs

SPR will consider and publish "Research Briefs" to promote the dissemination of novel and important research information in a format that does not require extensive journal space. Studies published as Research Briefs have a very focused and explicit purpose, and applied relevance. Examples of manuscripts that may be submitted as Research Briefs include preliminary or pilot studies in important areas of inquiry, replication studies, follow-up studies, and extensions of research demonstrating application in novel settings, populations, or settings. Authors submitting extension, replication, or follow-up studies are encouraged to cite relevant research from which authors can obtain more detailed information about the study's background and methods. When submitting a manuscript for consideration as a Research Brief, the author must agree not to publish more a more comprehensive version of the study in another journal or source.

Research Briefs should be substantially shorter than General Articles and articles in other sections of SPR. Whereas the recommended length of General Articles is 30 pages, Research Briefs should be no longer than 15 pages, inclusive of tables, figures, and references. Sections of Research Briefs should include the following:

  • Introduction - provides a brief context for the current investigation, states its focus and purpose in a clear and cogent way, and identifies one or two main research questions;
  • Methods - summarizes participants, instruments, independent or intervention variables, and procedures in a succinct but clear and replicable way;
  • Results - presents key results in relation to the research purpose and main question (in tables and figures, whenever appropriate);
  • Discussion - identifies key findings and notes important implications in relation to the existing knowledge base, field-based application, interpretive cautions (briefly noting and describing limitations), and possibly future directions; and
  • References - includes a very limited number of seminal articles that are essential for readers to understand the nature, purpose, or methods of the research.

Submission and Publication Guidelines

All manuscripts must conform to the style and requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). The Manual can be obtained from the American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. Authors should use APA publication guidelines to eliminate bias in writing.

SPR employs an electronic submission, review, and production process. Authors should submit manuscripts at: https://www.rapidreview.com/NASP/author.html. Generally, manuscripts submitted for review should not exceed 35 pages, including references, tables, and figures. Do not include authors' names and institutional affiliations on the title page. A cover letter is required. Cut and paste the cover letter into the cover letter field. All manuscript text must be double spaced and accompanied by a 100–150 word abstract.

For initial submissions, the text must be submitted in MS-Word or RTF format, and graphics must be submitted in TIFF, EPS, JPEG, PowerPoint, or PDF 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. Quotes of 500 words or reproductions of figures and tables must be accompanied by a letter of permission from the original author and publisher. Questions about the manuscript submission process should be directed to the Editorial Assistant, Kristy Warmbold.

Publication decisions are typically rendered 8 weeks from the date of receipt. Questions about the review process should be directed to the Editor, Matthew Burns. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication may be requested to provide additional information that can be posted on the NASP website.

Guidelines for Special Series Proposals

SPR typically publishes two special series per year. Individuals interested in submitting a special series proposal are encouraged to contact the Editor, Matthew Burns.

Right to Privacy

All authors who submit unsolicited manuscripts to SPR 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. Each issue contains a list of manuscripts that have received a final acceptance of publication by the Editor.