Feature Manuscripts: The Journal of College Student Development The Journal of College Student Development is interested in feature manuscripts concerning student development, professional development, professional issues, administrative concerns, and creative programs to improve student services. Authors may focus on recent original research, replication of research, reviews of research, graduate education in student affairs, or essays on theoretical, organizational, and professional issues. Both quantitative and qualitative research manuscripts are considered. Manuscripts should address one of the following:

  • Support for the extension of knowledge in the area of developmental theory;

  • Support for increasing sophistication in the assessment of developmental change and the factors contributing thereto;

  • Support for practitioner efforts to apply theoretical developmental constructs to programs in the field; or

  • Support for increasing our knowledge of organizational behaviors so that effective tactics and strategies might be applied to the implementation of developmentally focused programs on the campus.

In keeping with the international scope of ACPA- College Student Educators International, the Journal of College Student Development welcomes manuscripts that report scholarship on international issues related to college students, student development, and student affairs and services in postsecondary or tertiary education. Such manuscripts might describe research occurring outside the United States, such as studies of student development or emerging issues in student services administration in one or more countries, or they might address international issues connected to US institutions, such as international students in the US or US students participating in international experiences at home or abroad. We particularly invite submissions that are scholarly in nature (i.e., having a theoretical base and sound empirical methods), but will also consider submissions that describe best practices in student development outside the US, provided that these submissions contribute new knowledge to the literature. Country-specific and comparative (i.e., comparing an issue in two or more nations) topics are welcome.

The Associate Editor for International Research and Scholarship is available to consult with authors who are considering submitting a manuscript that is international in scope. Authors who are not familiar with the peer review system of manuscript evaluation are encouraged to contact Tricia Seifert, Associate Editor, at any time for clarification and advice on manuscript preparation and submission. She may be contacted via e-mail (

Research in Brief: Articles submitted for the Research in Brief section should report meaningful research that does not require a full-length manuscript. Articles should present research about instruments/instrument development, methods, campus interventions, or analytical tools which may be helpful to researchers or consumers of research in conducting and understanding student services, student development, and the student affairs profession. Research focused on specific campus interventions and research which examines the student affairs profession with regards to training, administration, etc. are also typically considered for the Research in Brief section. Rigorous studies that are focused on a single campus and/or narrowly focused studies may also be considered for the Research in Brief section. The criteria for review are similar to those used in the review of feature articles.

On the Campus: Articles submitted for the On the Campus section should describe new practices, programs, and techniques. Practices reviewed should be related to theory and research. Authors should be able to provide additional background or supplemental information at the request of interested readers.

Style Guidelines

Manuscripts must be clear, concise, and interesting with a well-organized development of ideas. The most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association should be followed for reference style and general guidelines. When preparing a manuscript for publication, the author(s) must carefully follow these instructions:

  • Ensure that the manuscript is appropriately blinded. Because manuscripts are processed through a masked review system, they should contain no clues to the author's identity or institutional affiliation outside of the title page. Please double-check your manuscript for:
    • Self citations that are "in press";

    • Self referential citations that reveal author identity

    • Institution name (often in the Methods section)

    • references to institution specific documents

    • Any indicator of either author(s) or institution(s) in the title of the manuscript file, eg., "YourName_Manuscript.doc."

Where appropriate, institutional identification may be re-inserted in accepted manuscripts during the copyediting process.

  • Use titles that are short and descriptive. In a separate document, place the title, the names of the authors, their professional titles, and their institutional affiliations (see the author information at the bottom of the title pages of published JCSD articles for examples). For the contact author, include a mailing address and E-mail address (for publication), and a phone number for contact by the editor.

  • Avoid use of the term "subject." Use more specific references such as "student," "client," or "participant."

  • Include an abstract on the second page beneath the title and before the first paragraph of the article. The abstract or capsule statement should clearly describe the main intent or outcome of the manuscript in 75-100 words.

  • Use a common font, such as Courier or Times Roman, and set all text (including references, quotations, tables, and figures) in 12-point type, double-spaced. Set the title in upper and lower case. Set the first level subheading in ALL CAPS, not italicized; set the second-level subheading in title case (capitalize significant words and all words with 4 or more letters), not italicized; set the third-level subheading in title case, underlined (or italicized), and run-in with the paragraph. Indent paragraphs with the Tab key, not by setting a defined indention for the paragraph in the word processor. Allow generous margins (at least one inch) around each page.

  • Lengthy quotations (a total of 300 or more words from one source) require written permission from the copyright holder for reproduction. Adaptation of tables and figures also requires such approval. The author is responsible for securing such permission. A copy of the publisher's written permission must be provided to theJCSD editor immediately upon acceptance of the article for publication.

  • Only citations included in the manuscript should be listed in the references. Check all references before submission to ensure that all sources cited in the text appear in the references and vice versa. All reference entries should be accurate and complete, using the reference style in the most recent edition of the APA Publication Manual.

  • Include only essential data in tables and combine tables whenever possible. Indicate in the narrative of the manuscript, on a separate line and in square brackets, where to place the table or figure. Final placement is at the discretion of the layout editor.

  • Each figure should be generated as a high resolution (300 dpi), black and white (no color, avoid grayscale) graphic image suitable for publication and saved as a separate image file in a standard format, such as (in this order of preference): Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), Tagged Image File (TIF), or bitmap (BMP) file. All text in a figure should be set with a sans serif font (Arial, Helvetica, Swiss). Include the figure number, title, and any additional text in the manuscript document, but not in the image; and name the file accordingly to associate it with the caption text. Submit each figure as an individual file with its caption to include with the submitted manuscript.

  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references, quoted passages, tables, and figures. Authors should make sure these are complete and correct.

  • Submission of a manuscript indicates the author's agreement to furnish information beyond the actual manuscript. The editor may request such information in order to assist with the review process.

  • Upon the acceptance of a manuscript, authors are responsible for making the changes recommended by the copy editor and for proofreading their manuscripts prior to submitting the final correct copy as a computer file.

Additional Resources

Authors are encouraged to read past articles in the JCSD to better understand what types of submissions get accepted. Authors may find value in referring to our reviewer rubric (PDF Download).

Submission Instructions

Never submit manuscripts under consideration by another publication. The corresponding author must affirm non-duplication of submission prior to review of their manuscripts.

Featured manuscripts should not exceed 30 pages of 1 inch margin, double-spaced, typewritten text INCLUDING references, tables, and figures. On the Campus manuscripts should not exceed 5 pages INCLUDING references, tables, and figures. Research in Briefmanuscripts should not exceed 7-9 pages INCLUDING references, tables, and figures. To accomodate extensive literature reviews, multiple analyses, or data from qualitative interviews, Feature articles may sometimes be extended to 33 pages and Research in Brief articles may be extended to 10 pages.  Occasional exceptions to the page limits will be considered.

All manuscripts submitted to the JCSD must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc) format. This includes the paper and any tables and/or figures.

All manuscript submissions and reviews are handled through our web-based Editorial Manager™ (EM) system. JCSD's EM web page may be accessed at the following address: Authors submit manuscripts and track progress through all stages of the review process.

The Editorial Manager™ system includes step by step instructions throughout the submission process. Here are some suggestions that will assist you in the process:

  • Please ensure that you have saved all of the elements of your submission as separate files. These may include:

    • a blinded version of your manuscript. (required)

    • a separate cover sheet with information for the author(s). (required)

    • a cover letter.

    • figures, tables, or graphs.

  • If you do not have Adobe Reader, please download it now so that you may review your manuscript at the end of the submission process (free download

  • The manuscript submission is not complete until you have reviewed and approved the PDF files created at the end of the process.

If you are having any difficulty accessing or utilizing the JCSD Editorial Manager system, please do not hesitate to contact our office:

Gwen Archibald, Publication Coordinator,

Enter JCSD's On-Line Editorial Office: