American Sociological Association

Notice to Contributors

Notice to Contributors

(Revised January 2011)

1. Ethics: Submission of a manuscript to another professional journal while it is under review by SPQ is regarded by the ASA as unethical. Significant findings or contributions that have already appeared (or will appear) elsewhere must be clearly identified. All persons who publish in ASA journals are required to abide by ASA guidelines and ethics codes regarding plagiarism and other ethical issues.

2. Submitting Your Manuscript:

a.      SPQ uses an online submission process for all peer review. Authors can submit and upload their manuscript at If an author experiences any difficulty in the online submission process, please contact the editorial office for advice at Further directions regarding the online submission procedure for Manuscript Central (Scholar One/SageTrack) is below.

b.      The manuscript submission must contain a separate file in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format for the title page and acknowledgments. The remainder of the manuscript should be in one file of the above listed formats containing: title, abstract, running text, references, acknowledgments, and all tables, figures, and appendices.

c.       The manuscript file should be blind of all author-identifying information. Please do not include a header in this main document. If you need to reference your own work, please use the third-person narrative voice - i.e., in Smith's work (2004), NOT in my work (Smith 2004).

d.       A $25 manuscript processing fee is required for submission to any journal of the American Sociological Association. First submission of all papers must be accompanied by this fee. No processing fee is required for revised and resubmitted manuscripts, or for manuscripts submitted by student members of ASA. All authors will have an opportunity to submit this payment through Manuscript Central (Scholar One/SageTrack). To waive payment, please select the category of manuscript type as ASA Student Member Submission.

3. Manuscript Central (Scholar One/SageTrack Procedures):

a.      If you have not used Manuscript Central for another ASA journal, you will need to create a user account to submit your manuscript to SageTrack. Once your user account has been created, you will be able to track your manuscript at all steps of the submission process. If you review for SPQ, you will also use Manuscript Central to complete the review process. You will not need to create another account. If you choose to submit another new or revised manuscript to SPQ, you will be able to maintain the same user account.

b.      When you first submit, the system will ask you the type of article you are submitting. All authors should choose Original Substantive Article. If you are a student member of ASA, please select Original Substantive Article – Graduate Student so that you will not be required to submit payment information.

c.       Each manuscript submission must contain separate files for the title page and the main manuscript. You also have the opportunity to upload a cover letter with your submission, though it is not required.

d.      As you complete the submission process, you have the opportunity to save and quit out before completing the submission. You will be able to resume the file submission by logging in again with your user account. Once you have completed the submission, the editorial office will begin the review process for your article.

e.       If the manuscript submitted is not sufficiently blinded, the editorial office will temporarily reject the manuscript and send it back to you for proper reformatting. Once the correctly blinded version is received, the review process will resume.

f.        Once the review process has begun, an author can log into their user account at any time to see how the manuscript is proceeding in the process. Any questions regarding the use of Manuscript Central or the submission process can be answered by Gianna Mosser, Managing Editor of SPQ,              

Preparation of Manuscripts

Manuscript pages should be easy for reviewer and editors to read and allow space for marginal notes. All pages must be typed or printed (12-point type is preferred), double-spaced (including notes and references) on either 8-1/2 by 11 inch or A4 white paper. Margins must be at least 1-1/4 inches on all four sides (i.e., line length must not exceed six inches). If you cannot print italic or bold type, indicate italic characters by underlining them.

SPQ publishes articles of various lengths. Manuscripts for articles are generally 25 to 45 pages long (including all parts).  Your manuscript may have up to eight separate sections, including: (1) title page, (2) abstract, (3) text, (4) notes, (5) references, (6) tables, (7) figures, illustrations, or photographs, and (8) appendices. Organizing the parts in that order is recommended. Sound or video files can be hosted on the journal's website for a reasonable period of time.

1. The title page should include the full title of the article, the author(s)'s name(s) (listed vertically if more than one), and institutional affiliation(s), a running head, and the approximate word count for the manuscript (including notes and references). Use an asterisk (*) to add a title footnote that gives the address of the author to whom communications about the article can be sent. In the same footnote, list acknowledgments, credits, and/or grant numbers.

2. Print the abstract (no more than 150 words) on a separate page headed by the title. Omit author(s)'s names on this page. Please include a few keywords to describe the article after the abstract.

3. Begin the text of your manuscript on a new page headed by the title. SPQ uses anonymous peer reviewers to evaluate manuscripts, so please make an effort to keep the text of your manuscript anonymous. For example, if you cite your own work, write "Smith (1992) concluded . . ," not "I concluded (Smith 1992) . . . "     

a. Citations in the text give the last name of the author(s) and year of publication. Include page numbers whenever you quote directly from a work or refer to specific passages. Cite only those works needed to provide evidence for your assertions and to guide readers to important sources on your topic. In the following examples of text citations, ellipses (. . .) indicate manuscript text:         

* If an author's name is in the text, follow it with the year in parentheses: . . . Duncan (1959). If an author's name is not in the text, enclose the last name and year in parentheses: . . . (Gouldner 1963).        

* Pages cited follow the year of publication after a colon: . . . (Ramirez and Weiss 1979:239–40).         

* Give both last names for joint authors: . . . (Martin and Bailey 1988).         

* For works with three authors, list all three last names in the first citation in the text: . . . Carr, Smith, and Jones 1962). For all subsequent citations use "et al.": . . . (Carr et al. 1962).        

* For works with four or more authors, use "et al." throughout.         

* For institutional authorship, supply minimal identification from the complete citation: . . . (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1963:117).         

* List a series of citations in alphabetical order or date order separated by semicolons: . . . (Burgess 1968; Marwell et al. 1971).         

* Use "forthcoming" to cite sources scheduled for publication. For dissertations and unpublished papers, cite the date. If no date, use "n.d." in place of the date: . . . Smith (forthcoming) and Oropesa (n.d.).         

* For machine-readable data files, cite authorship and date: . . . (Institute for Survey Research 1976).       

b. Number notes in the text consecutively throughout your article using superscript Arabic numerals. If you refer to a note again later in the text, use a parenthetical note: . . . (see note 3).       

c. Equations in the text should be typed or printed. Use consecutive Arabic numerals in parentheses at the right margin to identify important equations. Align all expressions and clearly mark compound subscripts and superscripts. Clarify all unusual characters or symbols with notes circled in the margin.

4. Notes (footnotes or endnotes) should be typed or printed, double-spaced in a separate "ENDNOTES" section. Begin each note with the superscript numeral to which it is keyed in the text (e.g., "1 After 1981, there were . . . "). Notes can (a) explain or amplify text, (b) cite materials of limited availability, or (c) append information presented in a table or figure.  Avoid long notes.

5. References are presented in a separate section headed "REFERENCES." All references cited in the text must be listed in the reference section, and vice versa. Publication information for each must be complete and correct.

List the references in alphabetical order by authors' last names; include first names and middle initials for all authors when available. List two or more entries by the same author(s) in order of the year of publication. If the cited material is not yet published but has been accepted for publication, use "forthcoming" in place of the date and give the journal name or publishing house. For dissertations and unpublished papers, cite the date and place the paper was presented and/or where it is available. If no date is available, use "n.d." in place of the date.

If two or more cited works are by the same author(s) within the same year, list them in alphabetical order by title and distinguish them by adding the letters a, b, c, etc., to the year (or to "forthcoming"). For works with more than one author, only the name of the first author is inverted (e.g., "Jones, Arthur B., Colin D. Smith, and James Petersen"). List all authors; using "et al." in the reference list is not acceptable.

The first letter of each word in the title of an article should be capitalized and the title enclosed in quotations. Titles of books and journals should be italicized or underlined. Publisher's names should be stated in as brief a form as is fully intelligible. For example, John A. Wiley and Sons should be "Wiley."

A few examples follow. Refer to the ASA Style Guide (3rd ed., 2007) for additional examples:

* Books:  Bernard, Claude. [1865] 1957. An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine. Translated by H. D. Greene. New York: Dover.
            Mason, Karen O. 1974. Women's Labor Force Participation and Fertility. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Institutes of Health.
            U. S. Bureau of the Census. 1960. Characteristics of Population. Vol. 1. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

* Periodicals:  Goodman, Leo A. 1947a. "The Analysis of Systems of Qualitative Variables When Some of the Variables Are Observable. Part I–A Modified Latent Structure Approach." American Journal of Sociology 79:1179–1259.
            ———. 1947b. "Exploratory Latent Structure Analysis Using Both Identifiable andUnidentifiable Models." Biometrika 61:215–31.
            Szelényi, Szonja and Jacqueline Olvera. Forthcoming. "The Declining Significance of Class: Does Gender Complicate the Story?" Theory and Society.

* Collections:   Clausen, John A. 1972. "The Life Course of Individuals." Pp. 457–514 in Aging and Society, vol. 3, A Sociology of Age Stratification, edited by M. W. Riley, M. Johnson, and A. Foner. New York: Russell Sage.
            Sampson, Robert J. 1992. "Family Management and Child Development: Insights from Social Disorganization Theory." Pp. 63–93 in Advances in Criminology Theory, vol. 3, Facts, Frameworks, and Forecasts, edited by J. McCord. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

* Dissertations:     Charles, Maria. 1990. "Occupational Sex Segregation: A Log-Linear Analysis of Patterns in 25 Industrial Countries." PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

* Machine-readable files: 
            American Institute of Public Opinion. 1976. Gallup Public Opinion Poll #965 [MRDF]. Princeton, NJ: American Institute of Public Opinion [producer]. New Haven, CT: Roper Public Opinion Research Center, Yale University [distributor].

6. Number tables consecutively. Type or print each on a separate page. Insert a note in the text to indicate table placement (e.g.,"Table 2 About Here").
* Each table must include a descriptive title and headings for all columns and rows.

* General notes to a table should be listed directly under the table as "Note: . . ."; specific notes should be lettered consecutively within each table with superscript lowercase letters. Use asterisks *, **, and/or *** to indicate significance at the p
7. Number figures, illustrations, or photographs consecutively. Include a title or caption for each. Insert a note in the text to indicate placement (e.g., "Figure 1 About Here").

* If your manuscript is accepted for publication, all artwork must be submitted in camera-ready form: Figures and illustrations must be executed by computer or by a graphic artist in black ink on white paper with clear lines; lettering on figures and illustrations must be typeset or done in pen and ink; photographs must be black-and-white on glossy paper.

* IMPORTANT: All figures, illustrations, and photographs (including all type) must be legible when reduced or enlarged to fit one or two column widths, 2-9/16 and 5-5/16 inches wide, respectively. Authors are responsible for securing permission to reproduce all copyrighted figures, illustrations, and photographs before they are published by SPQ.

8. Appendices should be lettered, rather than numbered, to distinguish them from numbered tables and figures in the text. Each appendix should include a descriptive title (e.g., "Appendix A. Variables Names and Definitions").

NOTE: Additional details on preparing and submitting manuscripts to SPQ are published in the ASA Style Guide (4th ed., 2010) available from the American Sociological Association.     


1.    Papers should be immediately acknowledged upon arrival and reviewers should be selected within a week.
2.    Editors should provide outcomes for submissions within three months.
3.    Authors have a right to be informed about the status of their article after three months. Should the process take three months or longer authors should receive monthly updates. Editors should respond promptly to author inquiries.
4.    Editors should review incoming manuscripts within a week to insure that any paper has a reasonable potential of success before sending the manuscript out for review and should inform authors if the manuscript is not deemed appropriate for the journal.
5.    Editors should insure that reviewers provide detailed comments and be respectful to authors. Except under unusual circumstances reviews should be competed within a month.
6.    Outcome letters should be clear, civil, and candid. Editors should read every manuscript on which they deliver a decision and this should be evident in the outcome letter.
7.    Under revise-and-resubmit, authors should expect a reasonable likelihood of success if they follow the editor’s and reviewers’ comments.
8.    Editors should clarify their expectations and their plans for subsequent reviews when offering options for revisions. If new reviewers will evaluate the manuscript, authors should be aware of this.
9.    Editors should clarify changes necessary for manuscripts conditionally accepted, and should work with authors to achieve that end.
10.    Authors should expect that editors regularly inform them of the progress of their accepted manuscript as it moves through the publication process.
11.    Authors have a right to thorough and proactive copy editing.
12.     During editorial transitions, the incoming editor should respect the commitments of the outgoing editor.

Addition 1. Members of the editorial board serve as one conduit for complaints and suggestions to the editor. Editorial board members should intermediaries to which complaints can be directed if desired by authors. Authors’ complaints can also be shared directly with the editor with the assurance that any complaint will not affect the outcome of a manuscript review.

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