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Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship


SCSU Journal of Student Scholarship

SCSU Journal of Student Scholarship

Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Journal of Student Scholarship

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to Journal of Student Scholarship.

Basic Formatting Requirements for Written Manuscript Submissions

  • Page size should be 8.5 by 11 inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1 inch (2.54 cm). Figures, images, and tables should not extend into the page margins.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Text should be single spaced.
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. The editors will insert journal content in these areas.
  • Standard article publication is in English language (submissions in other languages are allowed, but submissions with significant non-English content may be subject to significant delay to properly complete editorial review).
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file in MS Word format.
  • Do not include a separate Title Page.
  • Except for the last page of the article, no pages should include more than a quarter of the page as empty space.
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures. It is noted that vector image formats achieve higher resolution than bitmap-type formats. Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) figures are thus recommended, but are not required.
  • Before submission, copyedit your manuscript (thoroughly spell and grammar check). Manuscripts submitted with poor spelling and grammar may be summarily rejected for publication without further review.

Additional Requirements and Recommendations

Language & Grammar

  • For standard submissions in English, authors should use proper, standard English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the standard guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.
  • Authors of non-English works are expected to use an appropriate style guide to achieve high quality.
  • Authors of non-English works are encouraged to simultaneously submit both the original manuscript, and a translated version of their article in English. Both the original and English translation of the article will be reviewed, and if accepted, both versions of the article will be published simultaneously.
  • Journal of Student Scholarship lacks the resources to provide translation services. Authors who wish to submit an article in both a non-English language and English must translate their own work.
  • Supported publication options include: (1) English manuscript, (2) non-English language manuscript, or (3) simultaneous publication of non-English language manuscript and English language translation.

Article Length

  • Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as for print publications. As a loose guideline, regular submissions should be approximately 5-15 pages in length. However, any works that encompass scholarship, research, or creative activity will still be given full consideration for publication. In any case, authors are expected to exercise discretion and concision regarding article length.
  • Special issues of Journal of Student Scholarship may impose different and/or more specific page restrictions

Color Figures, Tables, and Text

  • Set the font color to black for all article text.
  • Color in the production of figures, maps, etc. is permitted with two caveats:
    1. Such figures should be entirely legible when printed on a black & white printer. For this reason, it is advised to avoid the use of color in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible. For example, synthesis of appropriate black-white contrast with variations in shape and texture within data plots is often preferable to use of color.
    2. Be mindful that not all readers perceive colors in the same way. Avoid presenting information in ways that rely upon low-contrast colors.
  • Please ensure that there are no color text or other editorial mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (e.g., for MS Word, use Accept all Changes in Track Changes)

Emphasized text

  • Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it.


  • Font requirements for specific article components:
    1. Article Title—bold 20 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    2. Authors—14 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    3. Affiliations—italic 14 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    4. Main Section Headings (Abstract, Introduction, etc.)—bold 12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font
    5. Sub-Headings—italic, 12 pt Times or the closest comparable font available.
    6. Abstract (optional)—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    7. Main Body—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    8. Footnotes (optional)—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available. Do not insert footnotes into the footer area of the document.
  • Always use Times or the closest comparable font available.
  • Do not use a text size smaller than 6 pt.


  • Footnotes are optional. If used, they should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. They must appear within the body section of the file, not in the Footer.
  • Footnotes should be in 10 pt. Times or closest comparable font available, single spaced.
  • Where a footnote appears, a footnote separator rule (line) should appear above the footnote.
  • Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation.
  • Excessively long footnotes are probably better handled in a separate Appendix (Main Section).
  • All footnotes should be left and right-justified (flush with margins) unless this use creates awkward spacing.


  • Main Section Headings (Abstract, Introduction, etc.) should be bold, 12 pt. Times or closest comparable font. An empty line precedes and follows all Main section headings. Heading names are at the authors’ discretion.
  • Sub-Headings should be italic, 12 pt. Times, and numbered with capital Roman Numerals (I., II., etc.). An empty line should precede (but not follow) all Sub-Headings. Sub-Heading names are at the authors’ discretion.

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

  • Indent all paragraphs 2 em spaces (  ) except those following a section heading.
  • Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from surrounding text by one space above and below.
  • Do not widow or orphan text (i.e., end a page with the first line of a paragraph, or begin a page with the last line of a paragraph).
  • Where possible, all text should be left- and right-justified (i.e., flush with the margins).


  • Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.
  • Short, simple mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math on their own line, preceded and followed by a blank line. Expressions with different levels (e.g., fractions), radicals (e.g., square root), or similar complex symbol expressions should be set as display math.
  • Equations should be centered, and numbered sequentially, in parentheses, to the right of the equation.
  • Avoid Symbols and notation in unusual fonts. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays and prints correctly. Always use the same exact symbol for the same quantity.

Titles of Books, Movies, etc.

  • Titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.

Tables and Figures

  • To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are first referenced in the text, and ideally, should not precede the point where they are first referenced.
  • A very large table or figure may be situated on a page by itself.
  • A text line should appear immediately before each table stating a caption including the table number and a concise description of the table contents in title case, such as Table 1: Statistical Results of Second Experiment
  • A text line should appear immediately following each figure stating a caption including the figure number and a concise description of the figure contents in title case, such as Figure 1: Experiment Setup
  • If figures and tables are used in-line, one empty line should precede and follow each figure and table. If figures and tables are inserted with text wrapping, a figure or table margin of 1/10” should be used around the figure or table - using MS Word, the caption can be inserted using a text box with an appropriate text wrapping option.
  • All data plots should include clear axis labels and units on all axes.
  • Avoid overly small font size in tables and figures (it is recommended to use a font size of at least 6 pt.). Do not submit tables or figures in a separate document or file.
  • All tables and figures must fit within the 1” document margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right).

References and Citations

  • It is the obligation of the authors to provide complete references with all necessary information.
  • The References section is always the penultimate Main Section of each submission. In most cases, it should be separated from the last line of body text by a line space, not by a page break.
  • References should have both left and right- justified margins, but do not right-justify if the spacing is awkward.
  • The guiding purpose of a reference is not only to document a scholarly citation, but also to enable future researchers to locate the original source in order to examine it for future scholarly work. So it is vital to supply enough information to enable other researchers to quickly and correctly locate the original source.
  • In some circumstances and in some fields, it may be acceptable to cite personal communication with a scholarly source. However, since this practice is not reliant on a source that is indefinitely documented, it is not advisable.
  • References to articles accepted for publication but not yet published should include the phrase In Press.
  • Articles submitted for publication but not yet accepted should not be used as references, as there is no guarantee that they will ever be published.

Citation Formatting

  • Each and every time significant information from another source is used, a citation to that source is necessary.
  • Citation formats vary widely in different fields; Journal of Student Scholarship will accept any standard citation format such as MLA, APA, Chicago, or equivalent as long as a consistent format is used. Such formats are generally of two types, as described below. Either type is allowed, but only one type of citation and reference formatting should be used within a single manuscript.
    1. MLA-Like Format:
      • For 1-2 authors: each citation includes authors’ last names and article’s date of publication.
      • For 3+ authors: citation notes author 1, author 2, et al., and date of publication.
      • If two citations appear identical for different works, use (a), (b), (c) … to distinguish them.
      • References in this format should be in an alphabetized list.
    2. APA or Chicago-Like Format:
      • Each citation is numbered in order of its first use.
      • Either bracketed [#] or superscript# numbered citations are allowed (use only one style).
      • References in this format should be in a numbered list. The order of the reference list should match the order of the citations.

Mandatory Reference Formatting for All References

  • Each reference should include the last names of all the authors, their first names or first initials, and, optionally, their middle initials; also the title of the work, publisher, and publication date.
  • For references with a digital presence, if possible include a digital object identifier (DOI) or an http:// link to a digital version, also specifically including your date of access of the digital information.

Suggested Reference Formatting for a few Common Types of References

  • Journal: Author name(s), Article Title, journal name, volume number, issue number, page numbers, year.
  • Book: Author name(s), title, edition if relevant, publisher: publisher city/address, chapter, pages, year.
  • Conference Paper: Author name(s), Article Title, conference name, date, and location, conference proceedings information (publisher, volume/issue, page numbers), publication year.