As of this writing it has been a year since I assumed the position of editor-in-chief of Social Work. It has been a tremendously exciting activity. I want to sincerely thank the many authors who have submitted the product of their work to be considered for publication; the various authors of guest editorials that have addressed controversial topics; the NASW Press staff who manage the day-to-day operations of this very laborious, and sometimes thankless, activity; the members of the Editorial Board who have been tremendously supportive of the journal and my work; and the many reviewers without whose volunteering of a tremendous amount of time to reviewing manuscripts, we would not have a peer-reviewed journal of this caliber.
As I reflect on this year's activities, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my observations on the manuscript submission process. My intention is that these "tips," if you will, may serve to expedite and strengthen the whole manuscript submission and revision process. I also want to share some initiatives the board of Social Work has taken to further improve the review process.
It will be to no one's surprise that the tips I list should facilitate the review of manuscripts; they are simple reminders and definitely not necessarily new ideas to authors. However, given my experience this past year, I believe it may be worthwhile to spend some time highlighting some of these to minimize delays.
I have found the following to be the most common errors authors make:
* not double spacing the text
* not providing five copies of the manuscript
* not including abstracts and key words
* not formatting tables properly (that is, using tabs instead of grids)
* not checking the accuracy of totals and percentages in tables and text.
Not adhering to these guidelines can delay the review of a manuscript.
Also, authors should keep in mind when submitting manuscripts to include an updated literature review that reflects current knowledge--say that of the past three years--and as many details as possible of the study's methodology to better inform readers of the nature of the study. Some authors may want to have a colleague read and critique the manuscript before submitting it for review. It is essential for authors to address all of the reviewers' comments included in the decision letter. A revised manuscript should be accompanied by a list of the changes, if any, in the text and where the changes occur. An author...