Submission Guidelines

Download a PDF File of the Submission Guidelines

All submissions should be sent to Marcy Dubroff, Managing Editor, at

Types of Articles Published in the Journal

The Journal solicits submissions for publication as articles in the following categories. Please note that word counts are given only as a guideline.

REVIEWS (5,000 – 6,000 words)

Review articles will address a complex issue that has both scientific and civic dimensions, written at a level that is accessible to an interested but non-expert reader.

RESEARCH ARTICLES (3,000 – 4,000 words)

Research articles will be substantive works of educational research and assessment in science and civic engagement. Various research methods, including qualitative studies, are acceptable for consideration by the Journal as long as the work is rigorous and contributes something of value to the field of
science education and civic engagement.


These articles will provide case studies where science education directly affects public policy (or vice-versa) at a global, national, state, or local level. Potential topics include the role of science education in developing democracies; teaching evolution in U.S. public schools; or AIDS education and national policy in African nations.

PROJECT REPORTS (1,500 words)

These articles will be shorter and more preliminary reports about interesting science education and civic engagement projects (innovative courses, learning communities, etc.). Several of these reports could be published in each issue. The focus of a project report is on the progress or outcomes of an academic innovation that addresses science and civic engagement.

POINTS OF VIEW (1,500 words)

This type of article will provide a forum for thought-provoking ideas, experiences, and perspectives.


These articles will consist of practical strategies for effective science teaching, learning, and assessment in the context of civic engagement – e.g., case studies, service-learning, active learning techniques for large classes, etc.). The focus of a teaching and learning report is on a specific strategy as opposed to an entire project.

BOOKS AND MEDIA (1,000 words)

This section of the journal will include reviews of books, media, exhibits, and special programs. Wherever possible, reviewers will be encouraged to situate the work in a broader context. For example, a review of the PBS video series on Evolution could be combined with a discussion of how to teach this topic effectively in the undergraduate classroom.

NOTE TO AUTHORS: Submission of an article, report, or review (including by invitation) does not guarantee its acceptance by SECEIJ. Submissions that do meet the journal’s criteria, and are accepted by the editors for consideration, will undergo a blind review process. Unsolicited submissions by authors who have published in SECEIJ within the prior 18 months will be returned or held for a future issue.

SECEIJ Manuscript Style and Formatting Guidelines

The Editorial Board of the Journal has established the following guidelines for authors to use in preparing manuscripts for submission:

Required elements

The following should be submitted as separate files.

Manuscript in Microsoft Word (.doc), any version, or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

Text should be in a single column.

Authorial information: title; short title of less than six words or 50 characters; and list of authors their affiliations, and contact info.

Abstract of less than 150 words.

A two- or three-sentence biographical description for each author (see Winter 2009 issue of SECEIJ for examples). This should include contact information for the corresponding author.

Head shot photos of authors (at least 1 x 1.5” @ 300 dpi), see below for file formats.

A cover letter, describing in detail, any submissions or previous reports that might be regarded as redundant or duplicative publication, and include copies of such work. Note any financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest (for example: reporting the results of research on a proprietary project, such as a textbook or other teaching media, that the author or a colleague contributed to.) Include a statement of any financial, technical or other support you received in doing the research or other work reported in this manuscript. Include a statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors.

Article Formatting

Formatting for Research Articles: Use the standard IMRAD structure (Introduction, Methods, Research, and Discussion) for manuscripts reporting experimental or observational studies.

Formatting for Other Articles: While the editors extend greater flexibility in the case of articles that do not report research, it is still important that authors prepare their manuscripts in a careful way, so that sections proceed in an orderly and logical sequence.

Text Formatting

Prepare your submission using standard U.S. English.

Make sure that there are no comments, annotations, or hidden text in the final version of the manuscript.

Make sure that all “tracked changes” or other revision marks have been accepted as final (i.e., there should be no revision marks, hidden or otherwise, in the final manuscript).

Please use standard Microsoft heading styles for text (Normal) level-one, -two, and -three headings, as well as numbered and bulleted lists. RTF documents should use bold (level 1), bold italic (level 2), and italic (level 3).

Do not use tabs, returns, or spaces to “fix” page, paragraph, or line breaks or to align text.

Do not insert an additional hard return to create extra space between paragraphs. Where you wish a space break in the article to indicate a change of subject, type three asterisks on a line by itself.

Underlined text should be changed to italic, whether you are using it for emphasis or for titles.

Quoted material of approximately 50 words or more should be set off as an indented quotation.

In-paragraph lists should be in the following format: Please use (1) numbers set off in parentheses and (2) do not use alphabetic characters (e.g., a, b, c). Lists of full sentences should always be formatted as numbered lists.

Special Treatment of Words and Punctuation

Please follow guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition). Some general examples are listed below.

Use the serial comma (aka Oxford comma): e.g., I would like to thank my parents, Mother Theresa, and the Pope.

In a list with internal commas, please separate each element with semicolons: We took measurements during the growing season, April–June; the harvest season, July–August; and the winter, December–February.

Spell out numbers one through ninety-nine unless they are units of measurement (e.g., 44 km/s)

Please use standard international system of units (m, kg, s, A, K, mol, cd).

Within text, use word “percent.” In tables and figures, use %.

Use a hyphen (-) to join unit modifiers or to clarify usage. For example: a well-presented analysis.

Use an en dash (–) between words indicating a duration, such as hourly time, months or years and for a minus sign. No space on either side.

Use an em dash (—)to indicate an abrupt change in thought, or where a period is too strong and a comma is too weak. No space on either side.

The abbreviations i.e., e.g., and et al. should be in roman (not italic)

Use only one space after periods, colons, exclamation points, question marks, quotations marks, any punctuations that separates two sentences.

In quotations, terminal commas and periods are always placed inside the quotation marks.

In quotations, terminal colons and semicolons go outside the quotation marks.


MathType ( is the recommended method for creating equations.

If you are using Word 2007 and your manuscript contains equations, you must follow these instructions to make sure that your equations will be editable: enable “Compatibility Mode” before you begin. To do this: open a new document; save as Word 97-2003 Document (*.doc). Several features of Word 2007 will now be inactive, including the built-in equation editing tool. You can now insert equations in one of two ways: Go to Insert > Object > Microsoft Equation 3.0 and create the equation.

If you have already composed your article in Word 2007 and used its built-in equation editing tool, your equations will become images when the file is saved down to Word 97-2003. You will need to edit your document and insert the equations using one of the two ways specified above.

Figures, charts, and photos

Figures should be called out in the manuscript but submitted as separate files, in resolution-independent, vector-based files (.eps, the preferred format) or in high-resolution (300 dpi at 3 x 5 inches, minimum) pixel-based files (.tif).

Figures that contain no shading (text and rules only) should be saved as one-bit black & white .tif files at 600 dpi.

Include in the separate figure files the number, title, caption (if any), and source (if any) for each figure.

Please size your figures to either the one- or two-column size of the Journal:  3.5 inches or 7.5 inches.

For each table, illustration, photograph, or figure, please place a bracketed, sequentially numbered, bold “callout” in the manuscript that indicates placement: [Figure 1 about here.]

Data for charts should be submitted as an Excel (.xls) or a tab-delimited text file.

A figure that looks good on your screen may not be at optimal resolution for printing. Check your figures by sizing them to 100 percent size as they will appear in the Journal  and then print them on your printer. The screen version should look relatively similar to the printed copy and not be fuzzy, jagged, pixillated, or grainy at the intended print size.


Tables do not need to be submitted as separate files and may appear in the manuscript file.

Use your application’s table-creation tool for all tables. Do not use tabs and spaces.

Tables should be free of lines, boxes, arrows, or other devices unless they indicate the structure of the data.

Number tables using Arabic numerals and cite them in sequential order in the text.

Appendix tables are numbered as follows: A1, A2, A3, etc. If more then one appendix, number table to correspond to the appendix in which they occur (Appendix B would contain tables B1, B2, etc.).

Titles and headings should identify the table as briefly as possible, any qualifiers or descriptions should be placed in a note at the bottom of the table.

Headings should contain any necessary symbols (%, $, millions, and so on) or units (cm, kg, etc.) that apply to the data in the column below.

Headings may have several levels, with horizontal rules separating the levels:

All tables should have the following three horizontal lines: (1) under the title, (2) above the column headings, between the column headings and the body of the table; (3) at the bottom of the table.

In addition, tables may have the following horizontal lines, as needed: (1) to separate levels when there is more than one level of column heading; (2) to separate a column of numbers that is being added from its total (see example B); (3) to mark “cut-in” heads in the body of a table (see below).

Entries in a stub column (the left-most column in the table) should be as brief as possible and should be confined that one column.  Subentries in the stub column should be indented.

Cut-in heads are used when the contents of columns change—that is, when new labels are needed for data in columns.

Rules are used above and below cut-in heads. Note that these rules cover only the columns that change. They do not extend into the stub column.

A total rule is used when there is a total that is actually the sum of the numbers in a column, not for averages, means, or other numbers that summarize the data in a column. It extends only across columns with totals.

The abbreviations N/D (no data), N/R (no results) or N/A ( not applicable)  may be used in blank cells.

The body of the table should be free of symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (cm, kg, etc.). Symbols should appear in the column head when they apply to all values in the column, or in the stub column when they apply to all values in the row. Units can be placed at the end of the table title, if they apply to all of the data within the table.

Place any footnotes at the bottom of the table; indicated with lowercase letters or with the following symbols * † ‡ #, then  ** †† ‡‡ ##.

If you created a table using information from other source(s), please list the source in an unnumbered note (labeled source[s]). It should precede all other footnotes, including the “general” note, below.

The general explanatory note containing information about the table (definitions of abbreviations used, etc.) is not numbered. It is simply labeled “note” and appears at the bottom of the table before any other specific, numbered notes. The word “note” is singular, even when there are multiple pieces of information in the same note.

All notes end with a period, even if they are not complete sentences.

Table note callouts should be arranged in the body of the table from left to right, top to bottom, as if reading a text. Every callout in the table should have a corresponding footnote.

Footnotes indicating standard levels of significance in statistical tables usually use asterisks. These footnotes should follow all other footnotes at the bottom of the table.


SECEIJ accepts article from a variety of disciplines that use different documentation styles. For consistency, the Journal uses the author-date system common to education journals. Footnotes and endnotes should be converted to this style.

Do not use footnotes or endnotes for listing the works cited. Textual notes should be used only for extensions and useful excursions of information that, if included in the body of the text, might disrupt its continuity. Notes should be consecutively numbered throughout the manuscript with superscript Arabic numerals.

Best practice is to use the Microsoft Word footnote function. RTF files should number footnotes consecutively and place them at the end of the article as Notes.

Documentation should be placed in a reference list at the end of the text. All sources listed in the reference list must be cited at appropriate points in the text by: author’s last name, publication year, and pagination where appropriate, as indicated below.

Author’s name in text: Banks (1995).

Author’s name not in text: (Sandberg 2009).

Including pagination (for a quotation): (Jenkins 2002, 62).

With dual authorship, give both names; for three or more, use “et al.”

For institutional authorship, use acronyms where possible: (U.S. DOE 1993, 117) for U.S. Department of Education. The full citation, followed by the acronym should be used in the reference list.

When an author has more than one reference published in one year, distinguish them using lowercase letters (a, b) after the year: (2006a).

Enclose multiple references (in alphabetical order) within one pair of parentheses, separated by semicolons: (Chance and Evers 1976; Dawson 1973a; Tinker 1964).

Reference Formats

List all items alphabetically by author and, within author, by publication year under a the heading References.

There should be no spaces between initials of authors  (G.S. Campbell, not G. S. Campbell).

Titles Should Be Initial Capped Except for Words of Less Than Four Letters (but Verbs should be Capped (e.g., Are, To Calculate, and so on), prepositions, in/definite articles, the second word in compound adjectives (e.g., Evidence-based) unless part of a proper name

In a title of two words, both should be capitalized (e.g. The Air).

Journals and periodicals

Standard format: Lastname, W.M., R. Name, D.B. Author. YEAR. “Title Goes Here.” Journal Title Volume # (issue, if any): page–range.

Online journal: Suzán, G., E. Marcé, J.T. Giermakowski, and T.L. Yates. 2009. “Experimental Evidence for Reduced Rodent Diversity Causing Increased Hantavirus Prevalence.” PLoS ONE 4: e5461. (accessed December 14, 2009).

Using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI): Zobitz, J.M., et al. 2007. “Partitioning Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 in a High-Elevation Subalpine Forest: Comparison of a Bayesian/Isotope Approach to Environmental Regression Methods.” Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 112, G03013, doi:10.1029/2006JG000282.

Books and Chapters in Books

Single author: Cronon W. 1983. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology. New York: Hill & Wang.

Multiple authors: Campbell, G.S., E. Banks, and J.M. Norman. 1998. An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics. 2nd ed. New York: Springer.

Institutional or corporate author: ACIA, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. 2005. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Edited volume: Sandberg, R., and F. Jenkins, eds. 2009. Spherical Spin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chapter in edited volume: Bonney, R. 2008. “Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.” In Exemplary Science in Informal Education Settings: Standards-based Success Stories, R.E. Yager and J.H. Falk, eds., 213–229. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Chapter in proceedings: Wilderman, C.C., A. Barron, and L. Imgrund. 2004. “Top Down or Bottom Up? ALLARM’s Experience with Two Operational Models for Community Science.” In Proceedings of the 2004 National Monitoring Conference, EDS? Chattanooga, TN: National Water Quality Monitoring Council.

Unpublished manuscripts and presentations

Dissertation: Trent, James Williams. 1964. “The Development of Intellectual Disposition within Catholic Colleges.” PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.

Working Paper: Farber, Donna. 1998. “Content Analysis of Teaching Materials.” Working Paper 35, College of Education, University of Michigan.

Presentation: Franklin, Quentin. 1983. “Food: Its Effect on Student Performance.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association: Montreal, April 22. [include date if known]

Online publications

Citations must include the full URL and latest access date. The Title [in italic] is generally the title that appears at the top of your browser on the home page. The “Title” in quotation marks is either the link name clicked on from the home page or at the top of your browser when not on the URL home page. You may leave off /home and /index extensions from top-level pages (i.e., that end in .edu,.org, .net, and so on).

WCS, Wildlife Conservation Society. 2009. One World — One Health. (accessed December 14, 2009).

Mustonen, T., ed. 2005. “Stories of the Raven: Snowchange 2005 Conference Report.” (accessed December 14, 2009).

Georgia Ministry of Education and Science. 2009. Search results for “Bologna process,”
index.php?lang=eng (accessed December 13, 2009).

Procedures for Review and Publication

The Journal uses the following procedures for the review of manuscripts: All manuscripts are read and reviewed by at least one member of the Editorial Board, as assigned by one of the co-editors. If the manuscript is appropriate to the Journal’s mission, two people formally review it. These reviewers may be members of the Journal’s editorial board or be chosen from other qualified scholars selected by the editors.

The review process is “single blind” – that is, reviewers may know the identity of the author(s), but the author(s) are not told the identity of the reviewers.

Ordinarily, the Journal completes the review of a manuscript and provides comments to the authors within 90 days of receipt.

The Journal does not require authors to transfer all intellectual property and copyrights to the work to the Journal; we do, however, require that authors share those rights equally with the Journal.

The Journal does require that submissions to SECEIJ not be published elsewhere.