Frequently Asked Questions About Submitting to the Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF)

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  1. What types of manuscripts does the Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF) publish?

    JMF publishes original empirical research that makes substantial contributions to theoretical understandings of all aspects of families, including marriage and other forms of close relationships. Contributors to JMF come from diverse fields, including anthropology, demography, economics, history, psychology, and sociology, as well as interdisciplinary fields such as human development and family science. JMF publishes descriptive and explanatory empirical research using a variety of methods reflective of the full range of social sciences, including quantitative, qualitative, and multi-method designs. See a sample issue of JMF online.

    In recognition of the scientific importance of replication and to reduce publication bias, JMF encourages manuscripts that make substantial contributions to the literature via replication or the reporting of null findings. A brief report format is typically appropriate.

    JMF publishes three types of manuscripts:

    Standard full-length manuscripts: Full-length manuscripts are approximately 35 pages in length and typically contain a well-developed theoretical framework and literature review along with an original empirical component.

    Brief reports: JMF encourages brief reports or research notes for significant or timely contributions (e.g., replications, innovative designs) that do not require full-length manuscripts. The background presents a brief description of the theoretical framework and prepares the reader for the sample, measures, and analytic strategy. It includes a succinct review of only the literature directly relevant to these points. Readers should get to the method by page 5 or 6 (title page is p. 1, abstract is p. 2). The method and results sections do not differ from those of a full-length manuscript. The discussion section is replaced with a conclusion section (approx. 3 pp.) summarizing the major findings, limitations, and a brief statement of the study's contribution. The reference list should not exceed 4 pages, and the manuscript should not exceed 25 pages, including the title page, abstract, text, references, tables, figures, and any appendices. Appendices that are published only as online supplements are not included in the page count.

    Comments: Comments on articles published in JMF are evaluated in the same way as other manuscripts. If the comment is accepted for publication, the author(s) of the original article will be invited to reply. Comment and reply are published simultaneously.
  2. How does JMF’s review process work?

    All submissions begin in the Awaiting Admin Checklist queue, where they are initially reviewed by the editor. Manuscripts may be rejected without peer review at this stage if the topic or focus is not well-suited or relevant to JMF. Manuscripts rejected without review receive a decision quickly, typically within 2 weeks.

    Manuscripts that are not rejected without review are first reviewed by our editorial assistants to ensure that they comply with JMF’s Submission Guidelines. Manuscripts that do not comply may be returned to the authors so that they can modify their manuscript accordingly. Manuscripts that comply with the guidelines move to the Select Reviewers queue and then to the Invite Reviewers queue. After potential reviewers have been invited, manuscripts move to the Assign Reviewers queue but may return to the Invite Reviewers queue if reviewers decline and more invitations are needed. The manuscript moves to the Awaiting Reviewer Scores queue after the required number of reviewers have agreed but may return to the Assign Reviewers queue if one or more reviewers are late and unresponsive.

    The manuscript moves to the Awaiting Editorial Decision queue when all reviews are received. The editor or deputy editor uses the reviews along with her own judgment based on a close reading of the manuscript to make a final decision, typically within 3 months from the date of submission.

    You may log in to your JMF Manuscript Central account at any time to review your manuscript’s progress.
  3. What should I do if I disagree with an editorial decision?

    Editorial decisions are strongly informed by reviews but not completely determined by them. The decision not to invite further revisions does not mean that the editor agrees with every critique raised by the reviewers. Even in cases in which authors believe that they could address the comments raised by the reviewers, this may not be sufficient to warrant a “revise and resubmit” decision. Reviewers provide several additional assessments of the manuscript confidentially to the editor, including an evaluation of the manuscript’s strengths across multiple domains and the estimated likelihood that future revisions will result in eventual acceptance.

    If a paper was rejected solely on the basis of serious reviewer error, the editor will accept requests to reconsider the decision. Such requests must be made in writing to [email protected] within 30 days of receiving the decision and describe the nature of the serious reviewer error. Requests to reconsider a decision based on disagreement over novelty, interest, merit, or degree of scientific contribution are rarely accepted.

    It is rare that an editorial decision is based solely on a single reviewer comment or even on a single review. More often, decisions are based on a broader assessment of the overall potential of the manuscript to advance the field given the overall balance of its strengths and limitations. In an ideal publishing environment, we would accept all competent manuscripts, regardless of where their contributions lie on a continuum from incremental to substantial. However, given journal page limits and the fact that we receive over 700 manuscript submissions each year, we are forced to prioritize those papers that stand to make the most substantial advances in pushing the field forward.
  4. My article that was published in JMF received funding from a federal agency that requires that the article be deposited into PubMed and/or ERIC. How does the article get deposited?

    After publication, articles that have received funding from federal funding sources such as NIH will be automatically deposited into PubMed and ERIC by Wiley. To facilitate this process, authors must clearly state all details of all funding sources in the acknowledgments: (a) full official funding agency name with no acronyms, (b) complete grant numbers in parentheses and, (c) the recipient of the grant. For example: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to the first author), and a grant from the Alcohol & Education Research Council (HFY GR667789) awarded to the second author.

    The Author Services website from our publisher, Wiley, provides additional information about publishing research funded by federal agencies and other information about tracking your article:
  5. Does JMF publish book reviews?

    At present, JMF does not publish book reviews.

​​​​​​​Updated June 22, 2021

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