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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The manuscript is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are prepared according to the Author Guidelines.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

For current Calls for Manuscripts please see the Announcements page.

All submissions to the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success should be made using the online submission form. Submissions to JPSS must comply with ALL items on the following checklist. Non-compliant submissions will be returned to authors for revision before any further consideration.

Note: If the primary submission is not in manuscript format (i.e. a textual document), but is in another form of media (video, audio, etc.), please consult with the editors for appropriate submissions guidelines.

Please ensure that you consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Failure to do so may delay the processing of your submission.

Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

Format and Length

Microsoft Word is the preferred format for submission of text documents. Paper copies are not accepted. An informative abstract of 250 words or less is required [for all submissions except reviews]. Please refer to the individual section policies below for appropriate submission length.

Note: If the primary submission is not in manuscript format (i.e. a textual document), but is in another form of media (video, audio, etc.), please consult with the editors for appropriate submissions guidelines.


All manuscripts must be submitted in standard format (adequate margins, single column, font size no smaller than size 12). All copy, including references and captions, must be typed double-spaced. The first page of the manuscript [text] must bear the title of the paper. Author names or other individually identifiable information should not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

Citation Style

In general, the style should follow the author/date parenthetical citation format described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., 2019).

Before submitting an article, authors should familiarize themselves with the journal style and format their article accordingly. Non-adherence to the journal style, including the points described below and in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., 2019), may lead to delays in review and publication.

Authors may wish to consult the Purdue Online Writing Lab APA Formatting and Style Guide, which is freely available online.

If you are using citation management software (Zotero, EndNote, etc), please remove all field codes before submitting the article.


Footnotes and endnotes should not be used for citation purposes (see Citation Style above). Use notes only for supplemental comments or narrative asides.

Please use your word processing program's footnote feature. If your paper contains fifteen (15) or more footnotes, they should be formatted as Endnotes in a separate section immediately preceding the References.


Submissions should be organized according to the guidelines in the section policies below.

Data Files

The JPSS data policy does not require underlying data to accompany articles at this time. However, authors unable to share their data must provide written explanation of this circumstance in their cover letter at the time of submission. Authors who do wish to share their data as a supplement to their articles may either deposit their data in an external repository or as a supplementary file upon publication. In both cases, the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. If deposited in an external repository, said repository must have a sustainability model. A citation to this external data source must be submitted to JPSS.
  2. Clear licensing and re-use statements must be provided for the data. Open licenses that permit unrestricted access (e.g. CC0, CC-BY) are encouraged, but not required.
  3. The deposited data should include a version that is in an open, non-proprietary format.
  4. The deposited data should have been labelled in such a way that a 3rd party can make sense of it (e.g. sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file).
  5. The deposited data must be actionable – i.e. if a specific script or software is needed to interpret it, this should also be archived and accessible.
  6. Studies involving human subjects should adhere to local ethical standards at the host institution. Participant data should be sufficiently anonymized and appropriate consent forms should be signed.


Figures, Illustrations and Media

Figures, tables, and illustrations should be included/embedded in the manuscript file to facilitate the peer review process. However, upon acceptance, authors will be required to submit all figures, tables, and illustrations as separate files to aid in the production of the final article.

The requirements in this section apply to the separate files provided for production; figures and illustrations embedded in the manuscript for review purposes may be of lower quality. Figures, tables, and images should be submitted in a form suitable for reproduction online and in print. Images, figures and other pictorial content should be submitted separately. Color images and figures should be at least 300 dpi; black-and-white line images should be 1200 dpi.

As appropriate, authors are encouraged to submit supplementary audio-visual materials (videos, screencasts, etc.) to illustrate the techniques or practices discussed in their articles. Videos will be posted alongside published articles. Note: If subjects other than the author(s) are pictured in the video, signed releases from the video participants will be required before videos are posted to the journal website.

  • Figures and Tables
    All figures (charts/graphs) should be submitted as Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx) files. Multiple charts/graphs may be submitted as separate Excel files, or may be submitted as separate worksheets in one Excel workbook file. All tables should be submitted as a separate Word (.doc or .docx) file (multiple tables may be included in the same Word file). Figures and tables should be clearly labeled, with appropriate captions listed directly under each figure or table. There should be clear markers within the manuscript to identify the placement of each figure/table.

  • Illustrations/Photographs
    Images (either for inclusion in the manuscript or supplementary files) should be submitted as separate, high quality, uncompressed image files (no lower than 300 dpi) in either .EPS, .GIF, .TIFF, .PNG, or .JPG format . Image file names should be as precise as possible, and a corresponding marker should be placed within the manuscript to identify placement of each image. Image captions, as appropriate, should be included in square brackets in the manuscript immediately following the marker.

  • Multimedia (Audio or Video)
    Multimedia files (either as primary submissions or supplementary files) should be submitted as separate high quality files. Audio files should be in either .WAV, .AIF/.AIFF or .MP3 format. Video files should be in either .AVI, .MP4 or .MOV format. If a multimedia file is not explicitly referenced in the manuscript, its proposed use should be mentioned in the author's cover letter. If authors wish to submit multimedia files in alternative formats, please consult the editors prior to submission.

  • Other Supplementary Files
    Data files, code, executable programs and other file types may also be submitted as supplementary files. If you would like to submit a file type not addressed here, please contact the editors.

  • Bibliography
    The accuracy and completeness of the references are the responsibility of the author. Failure to submit accurate and properly formatted references may delay review and publication. References to unpublished material may be included. If such material may be of help in the evaluation of the paper, copies should be made available to the editor.


All correspondence should be addressed to the editors.



  • Editorials and Commentary
  • Featured Articles
    • Peer reviewed, evidence-based research articles
  • Essays and Commentary (reviews, opinions, etc.)
  • Policy and Practices
    • Policy guides and exemplars from the field


Section Policies

The journal welcomes original research and practitioner experience papers, as well as submissions in alternative formats (e.g. video).

Editorials and Commentary

Includes editors’ reflections on a topic or introduction to the current issue. Commentary from readers is also welcome. A variety of perspectives are encouraged for submission, including pieces from educators, researchers, students, practitioners and collaborators.

Submissions should be at least 500 words.


Research Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Original findings resulting from quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research should be submitted for this section. Articles which do not employ an explicitly defined research methodology should be submitted as either “Essays and Commentary” or “Policy and Practices”.

All research articles must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The structure of the abstract should mirror the required sections outlined below (excluding the literature review section).

All research articles must include, immediately below the abstract on the same page, a section entitled "Implications for Practice." Within this section, authors should provide 3-5 items (arranged in a numerical list) that describe in plain language the implications of the study's findings for student success practice. Authors should focus on why the manuscript should be of concern/interest to readers and how its conclusions will impact practice.

Research articles should include the following primary sections (subordinate sections will vary by paper):

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and Implications
  • Conclusion

Guidance for manuscript style should be derived from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., 2019).

Submissions should be between 5,000-8,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.


Policy and Practice Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Case studies and descriptions or evaluations of library-led programs or services should be submitted for this section. Articles should emphasize the promotion of best practices and useful approaches to challenges in the field. Submissions to this section should contribute to a practical understanding of the continued integration of student success topics into higher education practice. Discussion of policy development is also welcome.

All practice articles must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The structure of the abstract should mirror the required sections outlined below (excluding the literature review section).

Practice articles will typically include the following primary sections (subordinate sections will vary by paper):

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Description of Program/Service (potential subsections could include: Lessons Learned, Assessment/Evaluation, etc.)
  • Next Steps

Guidance for manuscript style should be derived from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., 2019).

Submissions should be between 3,000-6,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.


Essays and Commentary (Peer-reviewed)

This section provides a forum for description and critical evaluation of the quality, effectiveness, and value of recent scholarship, opinion pieces, and topical essays. We welcome reviews of new books on student success in higher education and related topics. We also accept reviews of products (platforms, tools, websites, software, etc.) that are either new or of growing significance within the student success community. 

Elements of a Review

Review authors are encouraged to include the following components in their review, as relevant:

  • Citation: Please include the title, author/editor, year of publication, publisher, pages, format, unique identifier (ISBN/DOI/URL), and price of the work you’re reviewing at the beginning of your review. When citing a website, please include the pertinent URL, and the date that the items was accessed. 
  • Audience: Who would find this book or tool useful or not useful? 
  • Authority: What background or expertise do the author(s),creator(s), or editor(s) bring to the topic?
  • Content: What are the goals of the book or tool and how well does it meet them? 
  • Quality: Does the book or tool meet basic professional standards? For example, if it’s a website, is it accessible? If it’s a book, do the authors cite their sources? Do you have constructive recommendations for future scholarship on the subject matter or improvements to the tool?
  • Organization: How is the book or tool organized? Is it easy for users to navigate?
  • Importance or context: How does the book or tool contribute to current conversations and needs related to student success? This might include a comparison with similar books or tools. How is this work funded? Is it open source/open access? Is there a user community to support the item?
  • Biography: Include a brief biography of yourself at the end of the review, including your name, institutional/professional affiliation, and a brief description of your expertise in this area.

Reviews should be 500 to 1,000 words.

Reviews Submission Process

The reviews editors may solicit authors and items for review. If you would like to be considered as a reviews author, please do the following:

  • Create an account on the JPSS website, if you are not already registered.
  • If you have a work you’d like to review, please submit a short proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and your CV to the reviews editors at [insert email address]. Include a statement on any conflicts of interest or connections you have to the authors, editors, or creators of the book or product in your proposal. The reviews editors may decline a proposal if they feel that the connection between the proposed reviewer and the item suggested for review is too close. If you don’t have a specific work in mind, you can also contact the reviews editors for suggestions of relevant books and products to review.

Once you and the reviews editors have agreed upon the book or product to be reviewed, you will be provided with further information about the submission process and given 6 weeks to draft the review. Within six weeks of submitting your draft, you will be notified if it is accepted, accepted with revisions, or rejected. You will have 4 weeks to make any suggested revisions. 

We cannot guarantee publication of a review based on an initial proposal or draft. Final acceptance is contingent upon the quality of the final manuscript.

Publishers are invited to send suggestions for books and products to be reviewed to the review editors.

Reviews should be 500 to 1,000 words.

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