Social Education Manuscript Submission Guidelines

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Author Guidelines

Social Education invites author submissions of the following kinds:

  • Substantive articles in anthropology, archaeology, civics, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and other related humanities and social sciences;
  • Viewpoints, analyses, and criticism of current issues related to social studies;
  • Ideas and techniques for strengthening social studies education at all levels: elementary, middle, high school, and university;
  • Significant research findings, interpretations, or theories in social studies education;
  • Articles that relate work in other academic disciplines (such as the natural sciences, mathematics, literature, and the arts) to the social studies.

Social Education also has the following departments that welcome original author manuscripts on specific aspects of the social studies: Book Reviews, Elementary Education, Instructional Technology, Lessons on the Law, and Research and Practice. Other columns (Democracy Education, Sources and Strategies, and Surfing the Net) are written by designated authors.

Middle Level Learning, which is published online 3 times a year, has the same submission procedures as Social Education. MLL focuses on social studies in the middle grades. All NCSS members can access the current issue of MLL as well as the complete collection of back issues at the online, members-only Publications Archive.

Social Studies and the Young Learner focuses on techniques and topics especially relevant to grades K through 6. Please click on the following link for instructions for that specific journal.

Evaluation and Editing NCSS journals rely on referees who volunteer their time and expertise. Although editors routinely seek evaluations by qualified reviewers, the editors have the final responsibility for deciding suitability for publication. The editors reserve the right to edit for style (including grammar, punctuation, syntax, and vocabulary), but changes in content are made with the corresponding author's consent.

Cover Letter Please enclose a letter of transmittal with your manuscript, stating that the article has not been submitted or published elsewhere. If there are several authors, please indicate the corresponding author in the cover letter.

Length of Manuscripts In general, manuscripts should be between 1,000 and 2,500 words in length, although the editors may consider longer manuscripts in some cases. Provide a word count.

Preparation of Manuscripts Please send your manuscript by e-mail as a text file, preferably in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format. Use the title of the paper as the name of the file. Avoid automatic endnotes, superscripts, active URLs, and other automated functions. Type these items directly into your manuscript. For example, a reference to note 5 may appear at the end of a sentence, like so.(5)

Title Page Include the title of the paper and the name, professional title and affiliation, complete mailing address, e-mail, fax, and telephone number(s) of each author. If there are several authors, please indicate who is the corresponding author on the title page. Except for the title, this information should not appear on any other page, so that reviewers may be kept "blind" as to the identity of the author(s). Since reviewers won't be receiving the title page, please make sure to also put the title on the first text page of the manuscript.

Photographs, Illustrations, and Figures Authors are encouraged to provide appropriate illustrations, graphics, photographs, lesson plan materials, figures, and samples of students' work with their articles. Figures should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals, discussed in the text, and accompanied by captions.

Please do not embed graphics into the text. Send them as separate files.

Image Quality If the manuscript is accepted for publication, then editors will ask for original photographs and/or high-resolution image files. At that time, save images and graphic material as TIFF files or as EPS with Preview. Avoid sending large image files (larger than 10mb) by e-mail. Send them via an Internet service such as

For print publications, images must be of high resolution, providing at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at an image size of 3 5 inches. Low-resolution images (images saved within a Word document, copied from a website, or placed in a PowerPoint show) are not publishable in a journal.

Tables Tables should be numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals and discussed in the text. A table should be intelligible by itself and have a concise title and column headings. Each table should appear at the end of the article.

Permissions Obtain permission in writing from publishers for text quoted at length or for materials (poems, maps, photographs, cartoons, etc.) that you would like to have included in an article. If photos of young students (or their names or work samples) are to be included, provide statements of parental permission.

Proofreading Have colleagues or other professionals proofread your manuscript before submission.

Notes Notes, which are numbered and follow the main text of an article, are used for citations, explanations, and acknowledgments. Place the notes, double-spaced, on separate pages that follow the text of an article, preceding other references or resource lists. Carefully check the correspondence between the numbers called out in the text and those in the notes section. Follow the style for notes and references as outlined below. Also, articles published in recent NCSS journals may serve as models. For situations not covered in these examples, follow The Chicago Manual of Style as closely as possible (not APA style). Use authors' full names.

Citations from books:

1. Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy (New York: Harper, 1957), 54.

2. Norman H. Nie, Sidney Verba, and John R. Petrocik, The Changing American Voter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976), 111-113.

3. Thomas O. Erb, "What Team Organization Can Do for Teachers," in Connecting the Curriculum through Interdisciplinary Instruction, John H. Lounsbury, ed., (Columbus, Ohio: National Middle School Association, 1992), 7-14.

Citations from journals and magazines:

4. Edward G. Carmines and James A. Stimson, "The Two Faces of Issue Voting," American Political Science Review 74 (1980): 78-91.

5. Diana Hess, "Violence Prevention and Service Learning," Social Education 61, no. 5 (September 1997): 279-281.

Citation from a newspaper:

6. Sean Holton, "Candidates Find End of Rainbows in S. Florida," The Sun Sentinel (July 3, 1996): 1.

Citation for a website:

7. National Council for the Social Studies, "National Standards for Social Studies Teachers" (Washington, DC: NCSS, 1997),

Several citations within one note:

8. Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy (New York: Harper, 1957), 54; Edward G. Carmines and James A. Stinson, "The Two Faces of Issue Voting," American Political Science Review 74 (1980): 78-91; Sean Holton, "Candidates Find End of Rainbow in S. Florida," The Sun Sentinel (July 3, 1996): 1.

Citations from the same source:

9. Hess, 280. [Refers the reader to a note not immediately above.]

10. Ibid., 281. [Refers the reader to the immediately preceding note.]


References, which follow the notes section, are works of interest not cited within the main text or notes. For example, the references section might be a list of children's literature, teaching resources, or background reading. List items alphabetically. Barr, Robert, James L. Barth, and S. Samuel Shermis. Defining the Social Studies. Bulletin No. 51. Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Social Studies, 1977. Hazard, John N. The Soviet System of Government, 5th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Where to Send Your Manuscript To submit a manuscript, please send it to: The Editors at

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