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Grins and groans of publishing in Professional School Counseling.

A former editor of Professional School Counseling shares her insights into the publishing process and provides tips for authors for submitting manuscripts for publication consideration. A variety of resources including print materials and online resources are provided to assist new authors, published authors, and counselor educators who are encouraging new authors with the "grins and groans" of publishing in professional journals.

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As past editor of Professional School Counseling, I have learned much about the publication process and have had the opportunity to read hundreds of manuscripts submitted for publication consideration in a national journal. In reading the manuscripts, I have come to appreciate the daunting task for authors, particularly those who are not familiar with the publication process. Given that perspective, I share with you a brief overview of the journal, my thoughts about the "grins and groans" of writing for publication and surviving the publication process, and a variety of resources that may be helpful to authors.

THE JOURNAL: PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING

Professional School Counseling is the professional journal published by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The first volume of the journal was published in 1997 after the predecessor journals, The School Counselor and Elementary School Guidance Journal, merged. The School Counselor was in publication from the early 1950s and Elementary School Guidance Journal was in publication from the 1960s; a prior journal, Elementary Counselor, was in publication 1953-1954 (Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, 2004). Currently, each volume of Professional School Counseling consists of five issues (October, December, February, April, and June) with a circulation of over 15,000 to ASCA members. The Editorial Board is made up of counselor educators and practicing counseling professionals (i.e., school counselors, education consultants) with an editor; the editor and members of the board each serve a 3-year term. As terms of the board expire, a call for applications is announced in various professional communications (e.g., newsletters, e-malls, listservs). Applicants are asked to submit a curriculum vitae with a cover letter highlighting the strengths and experience that the applicant will bring to the Editorial Board. Editorial Board appointments are made each summer to serve a 3-year term.

GRINS AND GROANS OF PUBLISHING: A GUIDE FOR PUBLISHING IN PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS

Various articles have been written providing authors with recommendations (Davis & Sink, 2001; Sink, 2000), resources (Vinturella & Dorn, 1988), guidelines (Dorn, 1984), attitude (Smaby & Crews, 1998), and technique (Smaby, Crews, & Downing, 1999). The general themes from what has been written are to follow the guidelines for publication provided by the publisher, usually printed on the inside cover of the journal issue, and to adhere to the writing style guidelines, usually the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), currently the fifth edition (APA, 2001).

So, why publish in Professional School Counseling? The easy answer is to share your expertise, which by and large is an excellent reason to contribute to a professional journal. However, the answer to the question is multidimensional. By sharing your expertise, you help others in finding new and innovative ways to practice professional school counseling. By sharing your expertise, you have taken the time to review current themes in the literature and are staying up-to-date with the profession. By sharing your expertise, you are contributing to your identity development as a professional school counselor (Brott & Myers, 1999). By sharing your expertise, you are developing as a professional.

So, how do you increase your chances of being published in Professional School Counseling? The long and short of it is to submit a quality manuscript by following four simple rules. One, find a timely topic; know the literature that currently exists and that contributes to the base of knowledge in the journal. Two, be meticulous in the preparation of the manuscript. Three, strictly adhere to the writing style that is required for publication; buy a copy of the publication manual and become well versed in expression of ideas, editorial style, reference list, and manuscript preparation. Four, follow the guidelines provided by the publisher for submission of manuscripts.

Preparation of the Manuscript

The physical appearance can certainly enhance or detract from the manuscript (APA, 2001). A well-prepared manuscript should look professional and be mechanically sound. It is the author's responsibility to do the following:

* Select the correct paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches, heavy white bond paper, printed on one side).

* Use a typeface of 12-point Times Roman or 12-point Courier.

* Double-space all lines of the manuscript (one full-size line blank between each line of type on the page).

* Set uniform margins (at least 1 inch at the top, bottom, left, and right of every page).

* Order the manuscript pages (rifle page, abstract, text, references, tables, figures).

* Use headers and page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of each page.

* Indent the first line of every paragraph.

* Type in uppercase and lowercase letters.

* Properly use headings, spacing, punctuation, seriation, and quotations (APA, 2001).

The title page should include the running head and page number in the upper right-hand corner, a title that is centered in the upper haft of the page (double-space the title if it is two or more lines), and the names of authors, in the order of their contributions, starting one double-spaced line below the title with the institutional affiliation centered under the author's name. Because the title page is removed before the manuscript is forwarded to the reviewers (i.e., a blind-review process), authors should be careful not to identify themselves elsewhere in the manuscript. The authors' names should not appear in the running head. Cleverly identifying the manuscript author may actually extend the time of review since these manuscripts are returned to the editor without a review and then are reassigned to another reviewer once the information identifying the author has been removed.

The reference list is an important section of the manuscript. It should contain complete, accurate references for all citations that have been used in the manuscript. A glance at the reference fist should indicate that current literature has been reviewed to support the manuscript contents and should reflect the author's acknowledgement of the contributions that have been previously made related to the topic of the manuscript. An overabundance of references does not indicate the quality of the manuscript; finding the most salient pieces of literature is more important than the number of references in the list. Likewise, missing references can be a "red flag" to reviewers (and the editor) that the authors have not done their homework on the topic.

Writing Style

The simplest solution to the challenges of writing style is to find a reliable proofreader. Ask a knowledgeable colleague to read and provide feedback on your manuscript. Take the suggestions given for writing style as opportunities to improve the expression of ideas that, in turn, may increase your chances for publication. A few rules of thumb on writing style may be helpful.

Expressing ideas and editorial style. An orderly presentation of ideas is imperative so that readers can understand and follow what you are presenting. For smoothness of expression, pay attention to verb tense: past tense (e.g., "the student completed") or present perfect tense (e.g., "counselors have shown") when writing the literature review, the description of the procedure of past events, and the results; present tense to discuss the results, conclusions, and recommendations. Avoid jargon, wordiness, and redundancy; in other words, write succinctly. A pronoun should clearly refer to its antecedent and should agree in number and gender with the noun it replaces. When possible, use plural pronouns to avoid bias (e.g., their instead of his, they instead of she). Editorial style refers to the placement of punctuation. One of the most frequently missed commas is in a series of three or more, where a comma should be placed before the word and or or (e.g., "height, width, and length") according to APA style. Another frequently missed comma is between two independent clauses joined by a conjunction (e.g., "Students completed the pretest, and counselors collected the completed tests"). Spelling is not always correctly identified with the spell-check on the computer; it is important to carefully proof the manuscript for spelling.

Levels of headings. The levels of headings can provide the writer with a logical sequencing of ideas. In most cases, two levels of headings will be sufficient. The first heading should be centered and written in uppercase and lowercase letters; the second heading should be at the left margin, written in uppercase and lowercase letters, and italicized. If there is a need for a third level, the heading should be indented, italicized, first word capitalized with remaining words written in lowercase letters, and followed with a period.

Citations. Material that is paraphrased must be cited with the appropriate author(s) and publication year; the reference list provides the details of the source. In the case of direct quotes, the citation in the text must include the author(s), year, and page number of the source for the quotation. If the quote is fewer than 40 words, it should be incorporated into the text and enclosed with double quotation marks. A quotation of 40 or more words should be written in a freestanding block of typewritten lines: Omit the quotation marks, start the block quotation on a new line, indent the block_inch from the left margin, and double-space the entire quotation.

Use of numbers in text. The general rule for using numbers is to use figures to express numbers 10 and above and words to express numbers below 10 (APA, 2001). Decimals, percentages, ratios, and quartiles should be represented by figures (e.g., 0.01, 4%, 250:1, 2nd quartile). Numbers that represent time, dates, ages, and sums of money should be expressed in figures (e.g., 3:20 p.m.; June 30, 2004; 7-year-olds; $350). Numbers that begin a sentence, common fractions, and universally accepted usage should be expressed in words (e.g., Twenty-five percent, one third, Fourth of July).

Tables and figures. Tables are helpful in presenting data in a small space and in showing comparisons. The data are organized in columns and rows, and the data are given in numerical values. The table should supplement what is presented in the text. Refer the reader to the table and tell the reader what to look for. Discuss only the highlights of the table in the text. There is no need to write "the table below" or "insert table about here," because the placement of the table is determined by the typesetter. Each table should be numbered with Arabic numerals (e.g., Table 1) and have a title that is presented flush on the left margin and double-spaced. The columns should have headings that identify items below, and the material should be double-spaced.

Figures are any type of illustrations other than a table, such as a graph, chart, drawing, or picture. "The standards for good figures are simplicity, clarity, and continuity" (APA, 2001, p. 177). The figure should visually depict an overall pattern of results. Graphs (e.g., scatter plots, line graphs, bar graphs, pictorial graphs, pie graphs) show relations in a set of data; charts describe the relations between parts of a group or object or the sequence of operations in a process and are usually boxes connected with lines (e.g., organizational chart, flowchart, schematic); drawings emphasize an image or idea; and pictures should be of professional quality. Figures may be produced by a graphic arts professional or computer generated.

Number all figures consecutively with Arabic numerals (e.g., Figure 1) in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. In the text, refer to figures by their numbers but do not indicate "the figure below" or "the figure on page 3," because the exact position of the figure in relation to the text cannot be determined until the pages are typeset. The caption for the figure explains the figure and serves as the figure title; the caption should be a brief, descriptive phrase. Type the figure caption with the figure number on a separate sheet of paper; double-space the caption. "If you reproduced or adapted your figure from a copyrighted source, you must obtain written permission for print and electronic reuse from the copyright holder and give credit in the figure caption to the original author and copyright holder" (APA, 2001, p. 200).

Following Publisher Guidelines

The guidelines provided by the publisher will indicate possible themes or topics under consideration, writing style (e.g., APA, 5th edition), length of manuscript, abstract length, number of copies to submit, where to submit the manuscript, and contents of a cover letter. Guidelines for submission of manuscripts to Professional School Counseling can be found at the website for ASCA (http://www.schoolcounselor. org).

GRINS AND GROANS OF PUBLISHING: A GUIDE FOR SURVIVING THE PUBLISHING PROCESS

As mentioned earlier, one of the evaluation decisions for a manuscript may be to reject. Every author is of the mind that the manuscript submitted should be published; however, there are a number of reasons why an author will receive a letter of rejection. In many cases, suggestions are provided to assist the author: Submit to a different journal, review articles that have been published on the topic, focus the article, write professionally, follow the guidelines, or report significant research findings. If the topic is timely, there will be a publication outlet. Finding that outlet may be as easy as speaking to other school counseling professionals to obtain the names of professional journals, accessing Ulrich's Periodicals Directory at http://www.ulrichsweb.com for a listing of journals, asking a librarian for assistance, or browsing the stacks of the university library to identify journals that publish articles related to your topic. You also can look at the reference list of published articles and note the titles of journals where authors have published.

The best piece of advice for when you receive the letter of rejection is to be kind to yourself. Set the letter aside and engage yourself in an enjoyable activity. Once the initial disappointment (and maybe anger) has subsided, you may be in a better frame of mind to read the letter from the editor and digest the suggestions that have been made to you. Take to heart these suggestions and begin revising your manuscript for submission to another professional journal. Remember that many states have outstanding professional counseling journals; this may be the better venue for your manuscript.

RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS

There are a variety of resources available to assist authors with the publication process. An array of print publications and online resources are included to assist new authors, published authors, and counselor educators who are encouraging new authors with the "grins and groans" of publishing in professional journals. Best wishes in your writing and publishing!

Publication Manual

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Articles

Davis, K. M., & Sink, C. A. (2001). Navigating the publication process II: Further recommendations for prospective counselors. Professional School Counseling, 5, 56-61.

Dorn, F. J. (1984). Overcoming the rejection slip blues. School Counselor, 31, 477-479.

Magnuson, S., Davis, K. M., Christensen, T. M., Duys, D. K., Glass, J. S., Portman, T., et al. (2003). How entry-level assistant professors master the art and science of successful scholarship. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 42, 209-222.

McGowan, A. S. (1997). Successful research and writing for publication in the Journal of Humanistic Education and Development: Counsel from the editor. Journal of Humanistic Education and Development, 36, 3-12.

McGowan, A. S. (2002). Publishing in JCD: Some goals and objectives. Journal of Counseling & Development, 80, 259-260.

McGowan, A. S., & Scholl, M. B. (2004). Counsel from a former editor and the current editor: Successful research and writing for publication in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 43, 4-15.

Sink, C. A. (2000). Publication process: Recommendations for prospective contributors. Professional School Counseling, 3, iii-iv.

Smaby, M., & Crews, J. (1998). Publishing in scholarly journals: Part I--is it an attitude or technique? It's an attitude. Counselor Education and Supervision, 37, 218-223.

Smaby, M. H., Crews, J., & Downing, T. (1999). Publishing in scholarly journals: Part II--is it an attitude or technique? It's a technique. Counselor Education and Supervision, 38, 227-236.

Smaby, M. H., Maddux, D. C., Zirkle, D. S., & Henderson, J. J. (2001). Counselor education and supervision: On-line peer review editing, on-line submissions, and publishing articles on the World Wide Web. Counselor Education and Supervision, 40, 163-169.

Thompson, B. (1995). Publishing your research results: Some suggestions and counsel. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 342-345.

Vinturella, L. A., & Dorn, F. J. (1988). Readings on writing: An annotated bibliography for school counselors. School Counselor, 36, 146-152.

Online Resources

APA Documentation: http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ DocAPA.html

APA Online: http://www.apastyle.org/

APA Publication Manual: Tips on Usage: http://ocls.cmich.edu/ apastyle.htm

APA Style Crib Sheet: http://www.wooster.edu/psychology/apa-crib.html

APA Style Resources: http://www.psywww.com/resource/apacrib.htm

Citation Guide: http://www.library.arizona.edu/library/type1/ tips/data/cite_apa.html

References

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Brott, P. E., & Myers, J. E. (1999). Professional identity development: A grounded theory. Professional School Counseling, 2, 339-348.

Davis, K. M., & Sink, C. A. (2001). Navigating the publication process II: Further recommendations for prospective counselors. Professional School Counseling, 5, 56-61.

Dorn, F. J. (1984). Overcoming the rejection slip blues. School Counselor, 31, 477-479.

Sink, C. A. (2000). Publication process: Recommendations for prospective contributors. Professional School Counseling, 3, iii-iv.

Smaby, M. H., & Crews, J. (1998). Publishing in scholarly journals: Part I--is it an attitude or technique? It's an attitude. Counselor Education and Supervision, 37, 218-223.

Smaby, M. H., Crews, J., & Downing, T. (1999). Publishing in scholarly journals: Part II--is it an attitude or technique? It's a technique. Counselor Education and Supervision, 38, 227-236.

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. (2004). Professional School Counseling. Retrieved February 20, 2004, from http://www.ulrichsweb.com

Vinturella, L. A., & Dorn, F. J. (1988). Readings on writing: An annotated bibliography for school counselors. School Counselor, 36, 146-152.

Pamelia E. Brott, Ph.D., is an assistant professor, Counselor Education, Virginia Tech-Northern Virginia Center, Falls Church, VA. E-mail: pbrott@vt.edu
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Title Annotation:PERSPECTIVES FROM THE FIELD
Author:Brott, Pamelia E.
Publication:Professional School Counseling
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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