Skip to content Skip to navigation

Social Education Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Please read the guidelines below as you prepare your paper for Social Education, Middle Level Learning, or Social Studies and the Young Learner. Then submit your work online at After registering, you’ll receive an email with a temporary user ID and password. Follow the steps for uploading a manuscript, title page, figures, tables, or graphics.

Social Education, a peer-reviewed journal, 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.

Middle Level Learning, which is published online three times a year, has the very 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 Archive of Publications.

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,, and then submit your work at

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.

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.

Preparation of Manuscripts
Use the title of the paper as the name of the file. Avoid automatic endnotes, superscripts, active URLs, and other special 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, 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).

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.

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

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.

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. 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 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) 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: Harvard University Press, 1976), 111-113.
3. Thomas O. Erb, "What Team Organization Can Do for Teachers," in Connecting the Curriculum through Interdisciplinary Instruction, ed. John H. Lounsbury (Columbus, Ohio: National Middle School Association, 1992), 7-14.

Citations from journals and magazines:
4. Diana Hess, "Violence Prevention and Service Learning," Social Education 61, no. 5 (September 1997): 279-281.
5. Sean Holton, "Candidates Find End of Rainbows in S. Florida," The Sun Sentinel (July 3, 1996): 1.

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.
Hazard, John N. The Soviet System of Government, 5th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
Larson, Bruce E. "The Makah: Exploring Public Issues During a Structured Classroom Discussion," Social Studies and the Young Learner 10, no. 1 (September/October 1997): 10-13.

Uploading Your Manuscript
Please register at, and you will receive an email with a temporary user ID and password to upload a manuscript. Then follow the steps for uploading the manuscript, title page, figures, tables, or graphics.
Manuscripts will no longer be accepted by email or on paper.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email