Publication Guidelines

Notes to NACADA Journal Contributors and Subscribers

Establishing academic advising: 

As the longest standing single publication for academic advisors, the NACADA Journal exerts a profound impact on the field. Crafted to meet evolving advisor needs for knowledge, theory, and research over 30 years, the Journal features the only peer-reviewed venue for scholars of advising, making it the preeminent authority on advising in higher education.

The NACADA Journal solidly contributes to the academic community by  

  • building a collective knowledge base,
  • communicating information,
  • validating the quality of research, and
  • building a scholarly community. (Schaffner, 1994, ¶13)

Through a time-tested comprehensive review and editing process, the Journal offers a publication that encourages

academic advisors to develop a body of theory from which to educate future advisors.... This need for a coherent, nuanced theory is every bit as critical to the future of the profession as is the need for empirical research into the effectiveness of academic advising practice.(Shaffer, Zalewski, & Leveille, 2010, p. 73) 

NACADA Journal mission: The NACADA Journal, the biannual refereed flagship publications of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising advances scholarly discourse about the research, theory, and practice of academic advising in higher education. 

Readership: NACADA member receive print copies of the NACADA Journal as a benefit of membership. Each of the ~13,000 current NACADA members may also access the e-version PDF of the Journal by logging in to the NACADA website and following the "download journal articles" web page instructions in the Journal section. Non-members may search the Journal Index at and purchase individual articles.   

Articles considered for publication: 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) conducting scholarship in the area of academic advising come from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Authors should consider and discuss implications for academic advising practice, theory or research when preparing manuscript submissions.  Authors should follow the Writing Guidelines for NACADA Publications when preparing a manuscript. 

Submit manuscripts by logging on to the Peer Track site at

Review timeline: Manuscripts are typically reviewed and selections made within three to four months of manuscript submission.  

Journal peer review -- verifying credibility: The NACADA Journal benefits advisors, not just by communicating ideas that contribute to practice and build the reputation of the field, but by offering a reputable format for authorship. Specifically through the traditional double-blind peer review and subsequent developmental editing, contributors receive constructive input that corresponds with a publication designed to “advance scholarly discourse about the research, theory, and practice of academic advising in higher education” (NACADA, 2014, ¶3).

NACADA takes full advantage of the experts in the field through the peer review process because “the scholarly community believes that peer review 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.

Manuscript Review

After they accept a manuscript for review the editors select reviewers to consider the merits of the manuscript with a rubric that includes items on originality, applicability, and appropriate use and interpretation of data. The entire review process generally takes from one to four months. Questions about manuscript guidelines should be emailed to: Authors can check on the status of submitted manuscripts by logging on to the Peer Track site at

Acceptance rate: Approximately 30% 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 constructive comments to all who submit manuscripts for consideration. 

Journal Author agreement: Authors of a manuscripts accepted for publication must sign an author agreement prior to the manuscript moving into the copy edit phase.  

Journal editing and publishing -- showcasing scholarship: NACADA encourages all those interested in writing about academic advising to contribute to the expanding literature base of the field through the NACADA Journal. Furthermore, it strives to promote excellence in showcasing articles that distinguish the organization and the profession. Interested authors should gain familiarity with the specific guidelines for publishing in the Journal. To assist authors in effectively writing to the standards put forth by the reviewers, editors, and publishing style mandates, NACADA solicits input from experts as reviewers and content editors as well as specialists in developmental and copy editing. Each manuscript receives in-depth attention by those with decades of experience working with new and seasoned authors in the Journal publication process.

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.  

Additional publication opportunities in the NACADA Journal:

The editors will consider "To the Editor" letters that do not exceed 1200 words. Submit "To the Editor" letters using the same guidelines as above. The title (cover) page should include the authors' full name(s), degree(s), affiliation(s) and the corresponding author's contact information. Letters can have references but do not have an abstract.

Information regarding NACADA Journal book reviews may be found at


To discuss potential topics for publication, please contact Rich Robbins ( or Leigh Shaffer ( To inquire about manuscript submission guidelines, please contact Nancy Vesta (


NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2014). NACADA Journal.  Retrieved from 

Peer Review. (2011). Professional scholarly publishing. Retrieved from 

Schaffner, A. (1994). The future of scientific journals: Lessons from the past. Information Technology and Libraries, 13(4), 239-247. Retrieved from

Shaffer, L. S., Zalewski, J. M., & Leveille, J. (2010). The professionalization of academic advising: Where are we in 2010? NACADA Journal, 30(1), 66–77.

Smith, J. S. (2013). From the President: Keeping academic advising in the forefront of conversations in higher education. Academic Advising Today 36(1). Retrieved from

Additional information:

Manuscript Guidelines

General Author Instructions: Please review the author submission guidelines carefully. Some have changed and all more rigidly applied than in the past. Noncompliance will result in the return of the manuscript before review, creating significant delays in publication decisions. If in doubt about the Word options to use, keep it simple: no formatting, no alignments, no special layouts or effects. For those with unique circumstances, contact to address access concerns.


Style Authorities: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) (6th edition) and Webster’s Dictionary are the authorities used to generate and edit NACADA scholarly publications. Please study these publications, including chapters 3 and 4, before submission. An APA checklist can be accessed at; however, please note that while all Journal guidelines fall into APA standards, some are even more specific (e.g., use 12 pt. Times New Roman throughout the entire manuscript).


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.


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.

Peer Track: Authors upload their manuscripts into the Peer Track manuscript management system available from Prompts will lead the author through the following sections. Before submitting, please review carefully the items needed to fully process a manuscript.


Submission Requirements


Title Page: A separate title page allows for blind review, thus all identifying information is featured only on the title page. Ensure that no information identifying the authors, their institutions, or the institutions cited in the original research are presented in the abstract, text, tables, or figures.

  • Limit titles to 12 words.
  • List names and affiliations of each author.
  • Include full mailing addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail contact information of every author.
  • Clearly identify the corresponding, or lead, author. This person will be responsible for ushering the manuscript through the review and publication process. The lead author is responsible for keeping contact information updated and signing the copyright agreement.
  • Note all copyright constraints.
  • Provide information from appropriate oversight agencies on use of human participants as appropriate.

Abstract: The abstract should be included in the manuscript and also uploaded in the abstract window. Abstracts should review the purpose, results, and significance of the paper.

  • Do not exceed 120 words.
  • Do not cite references.
  • Do not use undefined acronyms or abbreviations.
  • Use numerals.

Key Words: Authors are highly encouraged to submit key words on both the manuscript and the key word upload window.  Key words help others find their research in a full Internet search.

  • Submit up to six unique, informative key words or short phrases (avoid overly general terms such as advising or student).
  • Avoid undefined abbreviations or acronyms.
  • Editors reserve the right to replace key words.


Upload a separate Word docx of doc file (the body of the manuscript should be no more than 6000 words) that includes the title, abstract, key words, manuscript, and references. No identifying information (authors or institutions where the research took place) should be included in this manuscript file.

Please consult APA and Webster’s extensively when preparing a manuscript.

  • Excluding the title page, references, biographies, and abstract, do not exceed 6,000 words.
  • Submit all manuscript files as docs or doc files.
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font in the entire file, including tables, figures, headings, captions, and table notes (page footnotes, generated properly in Word, will be smaller).
  • Double space the manuscript.
  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Place page number in the upper-right corner.
  • Do not use space bar or soft returns to align text; apply tabs, not the space bar, only to indent the first sentence of a paragraph.
  • Do not use section or page breaks in the running text.
  • Use footnotes sparingly and never to solely cite a reference.

Equations: The author is responsible for ensuring that equations are rendered properly. Use the Word equation function.


Tables: All tables and figures are professionally typeset based on a standardized style. Authors should not apply pre-set or custom styles, shading, or spacing to make the tables look a certain way.

  • Number all tables (Arabic) as they are to appear in the text and ensure that all tables are mentioned in the text.
  • Use Word table generator; do not apply styles, shading, or underlining.
  • Do not copy and paste a table from Excel.
  • Do not use the space bar, soft returns, tabs, or hard returns to space table data.
  • Use a distinct table row or column for data points; that is, do not separate data in one cell with hard returns or tabs.
  • Do not use preselected column and row heights; use fit-to-contents option.
  • Single space all rows; do not allow lead or following spaces in the paragraph option.
  • Use *, **, †, ††, in this order, not bold or italics, to indicate significance of data.
  • Use superscript a, b, c, and so forth sparingly for table notes.


  • Do not use figure if tables accurately relate the information. 
  • Number all figures (Arabic) as they are to appear in the text.
  • Generate all figures in Excel. Send the entire source file, including data sheets.
  • Do not use color in graphics; all NACADA publications are printed in black and white. To distinguish bars or lines, use patterns or very distinct shading.
  • The author is responsible for securing permission to use graphics or data from other sources.
  • If re-creating a graphic from another source, secure permission to adapt the figure.
  • High resolution, original graphics must be submitted (300-600 dpi) in Arial font attached.
  • Do not send a scan or photocopy of a graphic.

Appendices: Sometimes the NACADA Journal features appendices to help readers further study the issue presented. Submit appendices separately after attaching tables and figures in Peer Track. If more than one appendix is featured, use capital letters to refer to them in the running text: Appendix A, Appendix B, etc. Follow guidelines for tables or figures, as appropriate, when formatting appendices.

References: The author is responsible for ensuring that all references are cited completely in the text and in the list.

  • Do not use the endnote feature of Word to generate reference lists. Citations must not be linked to any other part of the manuscript.
  • Turn off or delete hyperlinks.
  • Do not use hard returns or tabs for each line of a citation in the reference list. The typesetter will format the references, so use a single hard return only at the end of each complete citation.
  • Inclusion of doi numbers for journal articles is strongly encouraged.
  • Ensure that URLs lead to the article cited, not a home page or a broken link. Doi numbers are rapidly replacing URLs as more stable means of citing online references.

Authors’ Notes: The first paragraph of the Authors’ Notes should offer acknowledgments. Authors’ Notes also feature a biographical paragraph of each contributor; the information authors offer varies, but typically contributors include degrees earned, positions held, research interests, and past publications.  Contact information is required for the lead author, but e-mail addresses of other contributors may be included. The Authors' Notes information can be entered on the title page or at the Peer Track prompt. Be sure none of this information appears in the body of the text.

Additional Peer Track requirements: At upload one author will be designated as the corresponding author.  This author will receive an e-mail noting that the manuscript has been sent to the editors. A unique identifier reference number will be sent by email to the corresponding author when the manuscript has been accepted for review by the editors. Save the reference number and use it in all correspondence regarding the submission.

Questions: Address questions regarding the submission process to