General Guidelines for Manuscripts

The NACADA Journal editors select quality submissions (no more than 6000 words) for peer review from manuscripts that address a wide variety of interest areas. Although membership in NACADA is encouraged, authors need not be members to publish in the NACADA Journal. Prospective authors (e.g., faculty members, graduate students, administrators, and advising practitioners) represent a diversity of disciplines and fields of study. Important considerations for all manuscripts include discussions regarding the implications for academic advising practice, theory, or research when preparing manuscript submissions.  

  • Types of Manuscripts. Most manuscripts submitted are based upon IRB approved research that utilizes qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research methodology OR are discussions of theory.
  • Length. Manuscripts should not exceed 6,000 words (excluding the title page, abstract, and references).
  • Style Authorities. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 7th Edition and Webster’s Dictionary are the authorities used to generate and edit NACADA scholarly publications. 
  • Ethics and Copyright. Manuscripts submitted to the NACADA Journal should not be currently under review by another journal or been made available in print (e.g., working paper series) or on the Internet. In addition:
    • Through the submission process, authors are required to review and agree to the terms of the NACADA Journal Author Agreement
    • Authors must secure permission from appropriate institutional review boards for use of human participants in research
    • Authors are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions for previously published material, including graphics and data. Author contributions found to use plagiarized or self-plagiarized material will not be accepted for publication.
    • While all accepted manuscripts will go through reference check, copyedit, and proofreading prior to publication, authors acknowledge that they understand the importance of and assume the responsibility for proper citation and representation of referenced material and data within their manuscript.
    • Authors assign all copyright to the article for the full term of the copyright and all renewals and extensions to the NACADA Review and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY NC SA 4.0) License which allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Manuscript Review Process

Desk and editor review: NACADA is committed to the timely review of manuscripts. However, NACADA is also committed to a developmental process that provides authors with constructive suggestions and encouragement when a submission has the potential to contribute to academic advising literature. This review process reflects NACADA's commitment to the development of scholar practitioners.

Upon receipt of a manuscript, a member of the editorial team completes an initial "desk review" of the manuscript and determines its disposition which either is a) 'desk reject' without further consideration, b) move to "editor review" for potential further consideration, or c) assign to three peer reviewers, i.e., blind review. Every effort is made to complete the initial "desk review' within four (4) weeks of receipt of the manuscript. Authors of manuscripts in category 'a' receive notice of the disposition within a month. Authors of manuscripts falling into categories 'b' or 'c' typically are notified of the next steps within three to four months of the manuscript's submission.

Journal peer review: NACADA embraces and values peer review in the consideration of manuscripts for the Journal and, as with others in the scholarly community, believes that it "greatly contributes to the quality and accuracy of scholarly communication” (Peer Review, 2011, ¶2). NACADA editors select scholar-practitioners who mirror the diversity within the association to review manuscript drafts. As proof of their commitment to advancing the field and scholars, reviewers volunteer their time and talents to improve the literature base through the NACADA Journal.

After determining that a manuscript is ready for review the editors select reviewers to consider the merits of the manuscript, based on elements of originality, applicability, and appropriate use and interpretation of data. The entire review process generally takes from one to four months. Authors can check on the status of submitted manuscripts by logging on to the Peer Track site at

Revise and resubmit: The most common decision after initial submission is 'revise and resubmit'. The average manuscript goes through three revisions prior to acceptance. When submitting a revised manuscript four documents must be uploaded into the system:

  1. Revised manuscript
  2. Author 'response to reviewers' document. This Word document should address each comment noted by reviewers, the manuscript page number where it appeared, and how the author(s) addressed the noted issue. The only identifying information on this document should be the manuscript title and number (the assigned number begins with the year the initial manuscript was submitted example 19-...). A template for structuring the author's response to reviewers may be found here.  
  3. Title page (see 'Submitting a manuscript' above) Note: during revision upload authors have the option to check to "use the initial Title page".
  4. Author notes (see 'Submitting a manuscript' above). During revision upload authors have the option to check to "use the initial Author notes". 

Important: Authors must check that all documents uploaded properly.  Authors must 'approve the documents' before a PDF can built and sent to the editors. Approval of the re-submission can only be done by the author; failure to approve the revised manuscript and supporting documents delays the review process.  

Acceptance rate: Approximately 33% of the manuscripts submitted each year are accepted for publication. All manuscripts, whether ultimately accepted or not, receive the full attention of the manuscript reviewers and editors, who provide formative feedback to all who submit manuscripts for consideration.

Journal Author agreement: At upload authors are asked to assign copyright to NACADA (see 'Agree to transfer copyright' above). In cases where this step was inadvertently skipped authors must sign an author agreement prior to the manuscript moving into the copy edit phase.

Copyediting. Authorship does not end upon manuscript acceptance; rather writers enter the teamwork phase with respective editors as the creation of a NACADA publication evolves. A writer can expect to revise the manuscript after reviewers and Journal editors refine the focus of the work. The author then will address specific queries and incorporate directives through the developmental and copy editing stages. In these latter stages, which typically require extensive reworking of specific sentences and passages, the manuscript receives final preparation as a vetted, clearly articulated, and stylistically consistent NACADA Journal article.

Submitting a Manuscript

Peer Track Manuscript Management System. Authors upload their manuscripts into the Peer Track manuscript management system available from Prompts will guide authors through the submission process. Please review carefully the items required for a submission to be complete:

  • Manuscript text (including abstract).  Upload a separate Word document (docx or doc file) 
    • The body of the manuscript should be no more than 6000 words excluding the title, abstract, keywords and references. 
    • No identifying information (authors or institutions where the research took place) should be included in this manuscript file. Additional information (click here).
    • Abstract. The abstract should be included in the manuscript and also uploaded in the abstract window. Abstracts must be 120 words or less. Additional information (click here).Equations, tables, figures, and appendices are not included in the manuscript's word count. 
    • Equations, Tables, Figures (where applicable). Equations, tables and figures should not be included within the body/text of the manuscript. In-text "callouts" should be included within the body of the manuscript (for example: "Figure 1 shows ..." or "Data in Table 2 provide evidence..."). Equations, tables and figures should be submitted in separate and individual Word documents and will be placed by publisher after in-text "callout." Specific guidelines for the formatting of equation, tables, and figures can be found here
    • Appendices (where applicable). Follow the appropriate guidelines for submitting appendices. These can be found here.
    • ReferencesThe reference list does not count towards the manuscript's word count. Double check that all references listed in the text are in the reference list and that all references listed are noted in the text. Click here for additional information.
      • While all accepted manuscripts will go through reference check, copyedit, and proofreading prior to publication, authors acknowledge that they understand the importance of and assume the responsibility for proper citation and representation of referenced material and data within their manuscript.
  • Title Page. A separate title page allows for blind review, thus all identifying information is featured only on the title page. Additional information (click here.)
  • Authors’ Notes. 
    • The first paragraph of the Authors’ Notes should offer any acknowledgments.
    • The second paragraph must include biographical information about all contributing authors. Each author bio should be ~100 words. Additional information (click here).
  • Keywords and classifications 
    • Keywords listed with the manuscript must be uploaded separately into the review platform
    • In the classifications area choose areas of interest and specialization (e.g., first-generation students, career advising) 
  • Questionnaire. Here authors are asked to indicate
    • any conflict of interest
    • whether the manuscript is under consideration by any other publication venue
    • if IRB approval was granted for the research study 
    • Agree to transfer copyright to NACADA should the manuscript be accepted for publication. Additional information (click here).
  • Corresponding Author and Reference Number. At upload one author will be designated as the corresponding author and a unique identifier reference number will be assigned to the manuscript.  Additional information (click here).
  • Additional comments that editors will find helpful in reviewing the submission 
  • The manuscript's full-title (up to 30 words) and a short title (8 words)

Technical Assistance. For technical assistance in submitting a manuscript to the NACADA Journal call Peer Track Support directly at (800) 627-0326 Ext. 178 or (785) 865-9178 Monday-Fridays 8 AM – 4:30 PM Central time. Authors may also email PeerTrack Support  at

Journal Manuscripts

Manuscripts submitted to the NACADA Journal generally fall into two categories:

Letters to the Editor (occasional)
Letters to the Editor are an opportunity for members to submit a brief report of a study or to offer opinions on topics published in the Journal or related to academic advising in general.

Articles address the research, theory, or practice of academic advising. Some articles use standard quantitative or qualitative (social science) research approaches such as descriptive, quasi-experimental, historical, critical, or ethnographical. Theory-based articles tend to address, through deep analysis, descriptions of theoretical frameworks, constructs, paradigms, analogies, critical analyses, or stories. Practitioner-oriented articles discuss specific institutional practices or issues that can be generalized to academic advising at other institutions. Practice-based articles should relate to a body of research literature and demonstrate a theory in action. Articles solely based upon literature reviews are not typically accepted for the NACADA Journal (the co-editors would be happy to work with authors on other venue options). All articles include keywords.

To discuss potential topics for publication, please contact one of the NACADA Journal Co-Editors: Karen (Kari) Mottarella ( or Lisa Rubin (