Guidelines for authors submitting articles to Prospects

Guidelines for authors submitting articles to Prospects
Prospects has been published for over 40 years. In that time, its various editors have gradually developed their own somewhat unique style sheet, based most recently on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For the past 10 years, our publisher has been Springer. Its general Instructions to Authors for any article submitted to a Springer journal are here:

Given this history, the style we have been following is a blend of APA and Springer preferences, as you will see if you pick up a copy of Prospects or look for one online at the same url.

Once your article is accepted, it will be copy-edited, so you needn’t worry about tiny formatting details. But you will help us to speed up the publication process if you adhere to the points you’ll find at that url. In addition to the url, here are a few specific points. Some of these are practices particular to Prospects that have developed over the years, and others are points that authors often miss—but paying attention to them will save time for all of us!

1. We discourage footnotes. Please work those extra points into the text, if possible, or consider excluding them. In the text, please cite your reference using parentheses, like this—(Smith 2010)—and then include it in the reference list.
2. Please be sure that every item you cite in the text is also in the reference list and that every item in the list is in the text.
3. Please check that every item in the reference list includes complete publishing information. For a journal that includes title of journal, number, issue, and pages; for a book, it’s publishing house and city. If you can provide a functioning url, that’s helpful—please check it again just before you send the article to us. No need to provide the date you checked it. A DOI is great.

4. Please be sure to provide a source for the data you use in tables or figures. Note that the caption for a table goes above it and one for a figure goes below it. If you make it clear in the text that you created the graphic based on your own data or calculations, you don’t need a source line.
5. Please mention every table/figure in the text.
6. Please keep your number of graphics reasonably modest. Few Prospects articles have more than 6, but we do make exceptions.
7. Please avoid footnotes in your tables. Explain details in the text or in a note under the table.

Word count
8. Prospects articles are generally around 7,000 words, including references.
9. The abstract should be about 150 words and your bio (at the end) should be about 100. The abstract should be an overview of what’s in the article, not an introduction to it.

Active voice, clarity on roles
10. As a journal that frequently publishes original research, we seek clarity on who conducted the research. If you interviewed people or ran statistical analyses, please say “I interviewed seven teachers” or “we conducted an ANOVA to determine…” If someone else did the interviews or you got a data set from elsewhere, just make that clear.
11. Like the APA manual, throughout the article we want to hear about people who are engaged in activities—passive is passé. Please write “the students took the exam”, not “the examination was administered to the students”.

Fussy details
12. In its style, Prospects is admittedly an international hybrid: produced from an office in Geneva, published by a Dutch company, but guided by an American manual. We use some European spellings (labour, organize, etc.) and quotation marks before the final punctuation, like this ”. Overall, though, our usage is North American.
13. If your reference list includes items in another language, please include a translation of the title in brackets. 

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to ask. And again, please don’t bother with fussy details. We look forward to seeing your article.