Submission Guidelines for Family Relations

Family Relations
Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations

Editor: Wendy Middlemiss, Ph.D., CFLE
Print ISSN: 0197-6664
Online ISSN: 1741-3729
Issues per Volume: Five times a year

Author Guidelines

Family Relations (FR) publishes articles that are original, innovative, interdisciplinary, or translational. Articles focus on diverse families and family issues. Audiences include Family Science researchers and practitioners, family policy specialists, educators in academic or community settings, as well as program evaluators. Appropriate articles include empirically-based applied research; critical syntheses or relevant substantive areas; and reports of systematic program evaluations, analyses and assessments of developed curricula for applied or academic programs. FR also accepts manuscripts related to professional development in Family Science, as well as manuscripts addressing philosophical underpinnings of the main activities in Family Science (e.g., educating Family Scientists, design and delivery of tools used in practice, and refinement and expansion of research methods). Shorter communication manuscripts facilitate diffusion of Family Science innovation and are vehicles for publishing novel or emerging ideas; ideas requiring further development (theoretically, methodologically, or both); and advances representing calculated scientific risks that have great potential to take the family discipline in fruitful, new directions.

Types of Manuscripts

  • Original Manuscripts present new Family Science discovery research, applied science, or translational science. Manuscripts can be 35 double-spaced manuscript pages inclusive of title page, abstract, text, references, and tables and figures, should be no longer than approximately 35 double-spaced manuscript pages. These full-length manuscripts have strong empirical or theoretical footing and designs representing strong rigor and strategic research design.
  • Emerging Ideas Brief Report. These brief reports focus on new ideas related to advancing Family Science – either the science of discovery or science of practice. The core characteristic of Emerging Ideas Brief Reports is their novelty to Family Science. Examples of Emerging Ideas Brief Reports include but are not limited to: pilot studies of new strategies for measuring family-related constructs; exploratory studies of novel Family Science concepts; use methods not typically employed in Family Science; and counter-intuitive findings from well-designed studies that challenge current thinking about families. Manuscripts can be up to 3,000 words, not inclusive of a title page, abstract, and references; a maximum of 20 references; and up to a combined total of four figures or tables. 
  • Translating Discovery Science Brief Report. This format documents meaningful first steps in moving results from discovery science into the science of practice. Topics relevant to Translational Discovery Science Brief Reports include but are not limited to: advances in instrument development to address a need in applied practice; reports of program evaluations that improve diffusion of Family Science innovation; and beta testing of promising new programs, materials, and methods (e.g., research designs, data uses, statistical techniques) that shed light on actionable strategies to support families. Manuscripts can be up to 3,000 words, not inclusive of title page, abstract, and references; a maximum of 20 references; and up to a combined total of four figures or tables. 
    • For Original Manuscripts, Emerging Ideas, and Translating Discovery Science,author(s) need to:
      • present a practice-based problem or achievement
      • clearly frame information as related to what was learned through application
      • summarize how the applied experience contributes to next steps or questions in Family Science
  • Lessons from the Field Brief Report. This format provides a tool for reporting either problems and barriers encountered, or achievements and successes experienced in the application of the discipline of Family Science. The primary goal is to share these experiences to advance Family Science. Lessons from the Field provides a format for sharing this wisdom for testing or generalization to other applications. Topics relevant for Lessons from the Field Brief Reports include but are not limited to: strategies and experiences in program development, implementation, or evaluation; applicability of applied approaches across family diversity; and examinations of policy as it impacts families. Manuscripts can be up to 3,000 words, not inclusive of title page, abstract, and references; a maximum of 20 references; and up to a combined total of four figures or tables. 
    • For the Lessons from the Field format, author(s) need to:
      • present a practice-based problem or achievement
      • clearly frame information as related to what was learned through application
      • summarize how the applied experience contributes to next steps or questions in Family Science

GENERAL: Manuscripts must be submitted online. For complete detailed instructions on uploading your manuscript, please visit the Family Relations online submission site and log on. If you need assistance select "get help". Once logged on select "author center," and then select "submit a new manuscript." If you do not have a user ID, click the "create an account" icon and follow the online instructions. Any major word processing software may be used, and both DOS-based and Macintosh operating systems are acceptable. Authors with no Internet connection should contact the Editorial Office. The author checklists must be completed during the submission process. Copyright assignment is a condition of publication, and papers will not be passed to the Publisher unless copyright has been assigned. A link to the appropriate copyright form can be found online during the submission process. However, authors should not submit a copyright form until their manuscript has been accepted for publication.

Complete instructions for preparing and submitting manuscripts online are provided at the submission site. There also is an online tutorial available at Scholar One Online Users Guide (PDF).

If you need further assistance, please email the editorial office.

In addition, it is vital that manuscripts submitted online are prepared for blind review. A processing fee ($25 for NCFR members, $35 for nonmembers) also will be collected at the time of submission.

Please note that all submissions are prescreened for suitability. Papers that fail to comply with manuscript preparation guidelines may occasionally be rejected without peer review at the discretion of the Editor, particularly in cases where the paper does not comply with APA style guidelines or clearly falls outside the scope of the journal.