Tips for Authors
We have developed some general recommendations for authors submitting manuscripts to JAFSCD. These are based on our reading of many reviews of submitted manuscripts. We would like to help you to avoid some of the pitfalls and increase the changes for your manuscript being accepted, so please study these carefully as you prepare your manuscript.
- Keep the title reasonably short, to the point, and simple.
- List the authors in descending order of contribution to the work reported in the manuscript.
- The abstract should include one or two contextual sentences, a statement of the purpose of the research, a brief sentence describing the methods, and a couple of sentences summarizing the results and recommendations. Keep the abstract to under 250 words. Make sure that it explains your paper’s contribution to the literature.
- The actual structure of the manuscript needs to be appropriate for the type of submission (see the Types of submissions page). However, most submissions should include contextual background (including references to key relevant literature), detailed description of the methods, and recommendations for further research and practice.
- Write in an “accessible scholarship” style, in which you avoid the passive voice and unnecessary use of jargon. Avoid editorializing and keep the narrative matter-of-fact. Reviewers tend to frown on manuscripts which are promotional.
- Our readers are generally quite savvy on food systems issues. Make your introductory, background, and contextual information clear to intelligent laypersons, but avoid making it too elementary.
- Cite the latest literature on the subject and emphasize your manuscript’s contribution to that literature. Reviewers look for fresh perspectives, innovative research studies, and novel recommendations. They generally want to see more than problem identification.
- If your analysis includes statistics, consider having a statistician review your methods and results, especially if you have limited expertise with the statistics used. If the sample size is small, be sure to do power calculations. Also, be clear about whether the sample is representative and to what population the results are generalizable.
- Your results should presented in a way that readers can readily connect to the description of the data that were collected. Avoid sweeping generalizations that are not supported by your data.
- Reflective essays that are honest about issues, problems, and mistakes made are the ones that reviewers most trust and appreciate.
- JAFSCD is published in English. If you are not a native speaker, please have your manuscript edited for good English before submission. Neither the reviewers nor the Journal staff can be expected to make sense of a manuscript or do technical editing if the English is very nonstandard.
- Format your references and in-text citations using the American Psychological Association (APA) style. See the submission checklist and quick overview of APA-style citations on our website.