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SBG Manuscript Guidelines

Authors are responsible for ensuring that their manuscript meets SBG publication guidelines. We identify and describe the guidelines specific to SBG submissions in Section I (Items A-E) below. Authors should review and follow guidelines specific to manuscripts in the category for which their submission is intended--e.g., Article, Point of View Essay, Film Review, Book Review, or blog post.

Unless otherwise directed in Section II (Items F-P), authors will follow the American Sociological Association (ASA) style guidelines in preparing their manuscript. We encourage student authors to review Quick_Tips_for_ASA_Style.pdf-Adobe Reader or Purdue’s OWL, which has a section on ASA manuscript guidelines.

    Section I. Guidelines Specific to SBG Submission Type (Items A-E)

  1. Articles of an Empirical, Analytical, or Theoretical Nature
  2. Articles on Clinical Practice
  3. Point of View Essays
  4. Book and/or Film Reviews
  5. Blog Posts Section
  6. Section II. General Manuscript Guidelines (Items F-P)

  7. Font, Spacing, and Margins
  8. Length
  9. Title Page
  10. Body of Paper
  11. Citations in the Body of the Paper
  12. Citing Internet Sources
  13. Footnotes versus Endnotes
  14. Tables and Figures/Graphs
  15. Copyrighted Material
  16. References
  17. Appendix/Appendices

I. Guidelines Specific to SBG Submission Type (Items A-E)

A. Articles of Empirical, Analytical, or Theoretical Nature

Author(s) is (are) encouraged to divide their manuscript into labeled sections. Broad section headings generally include the following:

Introduction,
Literature Review,
Hypothesis/ses or Thesis,
Research Methods,
Analysis of Results,
Conclusion,
Discussion and/or Implications

Submissions intended for publication as articles require the author(s) to submit an Abstract of between 200 - 350 words at the same time they submit their manuscript.

The Abstract must appear on a separate page after the title page, along with three or four Key Words/Phrases identifying the content of the submission. The Abstract should include the objective, method, results, conclusions, and practical implications of the submission. Authors should use complete sentences and spell out any acronyms the first time mentioned in the Abstract and in the Body the paper.

B. Articles on Clinical Practice: Section Divisions

For submissions on clinical practice, authors are encouraged to divide the body of the paper into three parts which include the following:

  1. A brief review of relevant clinical theory and research;
  2. Description and analysis of the clinical case material reported in the paper; and
  3. Discussion of the clinical case material against the background of existing theories and/or modifications needed/recommended to enhance the clinical case material.

C. Point of View Essays

The Point of View (POV) section of SBG consists of essays from individuals (including non-sociologists) who have direct experience with the topic they are discussing. The goal of a POV essay is to offer a forum for the publication and discussion of controversial topics and issues relevant to sociology, and to include the work of individuals who have a range of perspectives and experiences. Responses to (or comments about) the content of a POV essay may be sent for publication consideration in the blog. See Item 5 below.

1. If you are interested in submitting a POV essay please contact the Editor-in-Chief and provide a brief description of your essay topic, structure, and approach. If you have already been in contact with the Editor-in-Chief about the content of the essay you plan to submit, then submit the essay itself.

2. Length guidelines: Generally, POV essays are 2,000 words or less. The Editor-in-Chief will consider longer essays (up to 5,000 words) after receipt from the potential submitter of a detailed outline of the essay's principal objective and contents along with a justification of the need for greater length.

3. Author's Bio: Along with sending his/her/their submission to the Editor-in-Chief, each author should send a brief 4-6 sentence Author Bio containing information that the author would like SBG readers to know about her or him.

An invitation to submit a POV essay is not a guarantee of its publication in SBG. Members of the Editorial Board of SBG will vet topics and content. Submitted POV essays that fit publication guidelines will be peer reviewed prior to a publication decision.

Upon acceptance for publication in SBG, the Editor-in-Chief will send the author the pre-publication draft of her or his essay for the author to review.

Opinions presented in a POV the Blog section reflect authors' views and/or experiences alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board of SBG, or of Providence College. The readership of SBG is encouraged to evaluate POV essays on the merit of the essay’s thesis (if present), contents, and information provided in the Author Bio section at the end of each essay.

D. Book and/or Film Reviews:

The principal objective of book and film reviews in SBG is to include reflections on current work which will reach a diverse readership. Similar to essays submitted to the Point of View section, other objectives of the Book and Film Review Section are to generate open substantive discussion of topics and issues related to each volume’s theme, and to include the work of individuals who have a range of perspectives and experiences. In response to book or film reviews already published in SBG, those who think they have something important to add or a different way of looking at the book or film are encouraged to submit, directly to the Editor-in-Chief, their ideas/work as a tastefully-written response to the original review.

Book and/or film reviews related to the theme being explored in a given volume of SBG may be submitted by sociologists and non-sociologists who have read the book, or viewed the film, and who have experience with the content covered in either. Reviews should include a description of the book or film as well as the submitter's reflection on, or evaluation of, its content and its relevance to the journal's theme. If submitters are sociologists, then writing from a sociological perspective and using relevant sociological concepts is strongly encouraged.

If you are interested in submitting a book or film review, please contact the Editor-in-Chief in advance and provide a brief outline of the structure and approach you propose.

Length guideline: 2,000 words or less.

An invitation to submit a Book or Film Review essay is not a guarantee of its publication in SBG. Submitters should expect that reviews which are accepted for publication may be edited for wording, content or style before they appear in SBG. In the case of accepted reviews, the Editor-in-Chief will send the reviewer a final draft of the review before it appears on the SBG website. At that time, she will ask the author to send a brief 4-6 sentence statement about his or her relevant background to include in the Author Bio.

SBG readers are encouraged to view book and film reviews on the merit of their contents and the information the author(s) provide(s) in her/his/their Author Bio(s).

E. Blog Section

The blog is a continuation of the Etcetera section that appeared in Volumes 2 and 3 of Sociology between the Gaps. The opportunity for a reader to submit a blog post on an article or other submission published in SBG is new to volume four.

Readers who have opposing viewpoints regarding the content, or thesis, of an article or Point of View essay are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief in advance at jruggier@providence.edu. In her or his email correspondence with the Editor-in-Chief, the author of a blog post should identify the title and SBG volume where published of the essay or article about which they are posting and include a brief, but detailed, summary of what she or he plans to write.

Authors who submit blogs for publication in SBG should write them in tasteful language and focus on a specific article or essay, not on the author(s) who wrote the article or essay.

The Editorial Board will evaluate and publish accepted blog posts on an on-going basis.

II. General Manuscript Preparation Guidelines (Items F-P)

F. Font, Spacing, and Margins:

Manuscripts must be double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 typeface, with 1 inch margins all around.

G. Length:

Manuscripts submitted to SBG should ordinarily be 25 or fewer pages. With the pre-approval of the Editor-In-Chief, occasionally longer papers may be reviewed for publication consideration.

H. Title Page:

The title page should contain the following information:

  1. The complete title of the submission;
  2. The full name(s) of each author;
  3. Each author’s affiliation and contact information;
  4. A brief biographical sketch of no more than 4-6 sentences for each author.

  5. Including information in the following areas (e.g., 5 and/or 6) is at the author's discretion (optional):

  6. Acknowledgements: Names of individuals whom the author wishes to thank for their assistance in preparing the submission; and/or
  7. Disclosures: Acknowledgements regarding research funding, if any.

To facilitate blind peer review, the Editor-In-Chief will separate the Title Page from the manuscript before the submission is sent out for review.

I. Body of Paper:

Authors will include a clear statement of purpose in the Introduction; a brief review of the important literature for empirical and theoretical submissions; a description of method and scope of observations for empirical submissions; statement of hypothesis, if present; an analysis of all results; brief discussion of the significance of the findings with comments connecting this paper with the previous, relevant literature; and a section on implications and suggestions for future research, if relevant.

J. Citations in the Body of a Manuscript:

1. As stated in the second paragraph on page 1, unless otherwise directed, authors should follow ASA citation guidelines in citing sources in the body of their manuscript/submission.

Citations in the body of the paper should identify the last name of the author(s) and year of publication. Authors should avoid using websites as citations in the body of the manuscript. They should also cite the primary source (e.g. original author(s) of the work to which they are referring in their submission). Page numbers must be included for all direct quotes and for paraphrased passages. Prospective authors should cite only those works needed to provide supporting evidence for assertions made in the text and to refer to important sources on the topic.

Citations in the body of a manuscript:1

  1. When author’s last name appears in the body of the paper, her/his name should be followed with the year of publication in parentheses. Example: ... Ruggiero (2014).
  2. When an author is not identified by name in the body of a submission, her/his name and the year of publication should both be listed in parentheses. Example: ... (Ruggiero 2014).
  3. Page(s) for a direct quote should follow the year of publication after a colon. Example: ... (Ruggiero 2014:49).
  4. When citing two or more authors, use the following style conventions:

    For joint authors, provide the last names of both authors.
    Example: ... (Wildman and Waldfogel 2014).

    For three authors, list all three last names in the first citation in the text.
    Example: ... (Berger, Paxon, and Waldfogel 2014). For all subsequent citations use “et al" for authors after the first named.
    Example: ... (Berger et al. 2014).

    For works with four or more authors, use “et al.” throughout after the last name of the lead author.
  5. For institutional authorship. Supply minimal identification from the complete citation.
    Example ... (Cohousing Association of the U. S. 2016).
  6. List a series of citations in alphabetical order by first author's last name separated by semicolons. Example: ... (Maxwell et al. 2011; Steers 2009; Wayne 1998).
  7. Use “forthcoming” to cite a source scheduled for publication. Example... Smith (forthcoming).
  8. For dissertations and unpublished papers, cite the author and date. If no date is listed, authors should use “n.d.” in place of the date. Example... Pearson (n.d.).
  9. If an author uses abbreviated (e.g. cf) in a paper, the author(s) is responsible for defining each term in a footnote when the term first appears in the manuscript.


1. Ellipses (...) indicate manuscript text.

2. List groups of citations within the body of the submission in alphabetical order by the first (lead) author’s last name. To facilitate a blind peer review, authors should not include any text citation that identifies her/him/them as the author of the reference. Instead, when citing one's own work, authors should list their last name(s) followed by the year of publication

Example ... Use Jeffries (2016) concluded... rather than I concluded (Jeffries 2016)....

Prior to submitting a paper, authors should be sure that the citations in the body of his/her paper match the citations listed in the References section exactly. For example, if the author cites 10 works in the body of the paper, he/she must include the complete citation for each of the 10 works in the list of References.

K. Citing Internet Sources:

Citation of internet sources can be confusing. Citation protocol is changing due to the variety of formats and web-based resources that have become available in recent years. SBG encourages authors to use and cite mainly published sources when possible. SBG also recognizes the need for limited use of internet sources in some submissions. Please follow these guidelines when dealing with broken links and direct quotes from non-paginated sources.

Regarding authors' use of direct quotes from non-paginated internet sources: please use direct quotes from both printed and internet sources sparingly. However, in cases where authors quote from non-paginated internet sources, the in-text citation of author and publication date is acceptable.

As with all sources, printed or internet, included in a submission sent to SBG for review, authors are solely responsible for the accuracy of the sources and/or links they cite.

L. Footnotes vs. Endnotes:

Authors are encouraged to use Footnotes rather than Endnotes for brief explanations or elaborations. They may use a Footnote to explain or amplify a sentence or comment included in the body/text of the manuscript.

Example: In an empirical paper, authors may use a Footnote to provide important details about sample selection.

Footnotes should not exceed 100 words. Type Footnotes double-spaced in Times New Roman font 10. Begin each Footnote with the superscript numeral that matches it in the text (e.g., 1, 2, etc.).

Authors also have the option to include an Appendix, or Appendices, to provide more detailed information than is possible in a Footnote. See item P below.

M. Tables and Figures/Graphs:

Tables present lists of numbers and percentages, rates, or text in columns. Figures are visual presentations of results. A figure may be a graph, diagram, photo, drawing, schematic, map, etc. Graphs are the most common type of figures. Tables and Figures should be computer generated and contain legends. It is the author's responsibility to insure the accuracy of the contents of all tables and figures. Consistency of the style or format the author uses in tables or graphs which appear in the same submission is important.

The title of a table or figure must be clear, simple, and identify its contents, including key variables. Each column in a table or figure must have a title or label.

Number each table and/or figure consecutively beginning with the number 1 (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.).

Authors must briefly describe the patterns of the data in each table and figure in the body of the manuscript. They must also cite/identify tables or figures by number at the end of the description (e.g., See Table 1; See Figure1).

Authors will submit each table or figure on a separate page, or as individual attachments, along with the manuscript.

N. Copyrighted Material:

Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from copyright owners to reprint any previously published material included in their article. Each author must sign a written agreement stating that s/he has obtained the copyright transfer for each copyrighted image.

O. References:

When the author of a submission cites other people's work in the body of a submission, she/he/they must list each citation in a section titled References2. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of each reference they cite. List works cited in alphabetical order by authors’ last names. Use of first and middle initial for each author is acceptable. Including first names and middle initials for each author, when available, is preferred.

Examples of Book Format Citations:

1. Single Author: Wuthnow, R. 1998. Loose Connections: Joining Together in America’s Fragmented Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

2. Two Authors: McCamant, K. & Durrett, C. 1994. Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. Berkeley, CA.: Ten Speed Press.

3. Several Authors: Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W. M., Swidler, A. & Tipton, S. M. 1985. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press.

Entries by the Same Author: List two or more entries by the same author(s) in order of the year of publication beginning with the earliest year.

Example of a Single-Author Journal Article Citation:

Goldberg, R. 1997. “Adopting Romanian Children: Making Choices, Taking Risks.” Marriage and Family Review. 25, 1/2: 79-98.

Goldberg, R. 2001. “The Social Construction of Adoptive Families: A Follow-up Study of Adopting Romanian Children.” International Review of Sociology. 11, 1: 89-101.

When the same author publishes more than one article in the same year, use lower case alphabetics (a, b, c) after the year of publication.

Journal Article Example:

Fisher, Alan P. 2003a. (Spring). “ A Critique of the Portrayal of Adoption in College Texts and Readers on Families, 1998-2001.” Family Relations. 52:154-160.

Fisher, Alan P. 2003b. “Still ‘Not Quite as Good as Having Your Own’? Toward a Sociology of Adoption.” Annual Review of Sociology. 29: 335-61.

If material an author cites in a manuscript submitted to SBG has been accepted for publication, but has not yet been published, the term “Forthcoming” should be used in place of the date. Authors must also identify the journal name or publishing house.

For dissertations and unpublished papers, cite the date and place the author presented the manuscript and/or where it is available. If no date is available, use “n.d.” in place of the date. If two or more cited works are by the same author(s) within the same year, list them in alphabetical order by title and distinguish them by adding the letters a, b, c, etc., to the year (or to “Forthcoming”).

For works with more than one author, please invert the last name of the first author only (e.g., “Godfrey, Andrew A., Karen S. Smith, and Joseph Patterson”). List all authors. Note that using “et al.” in the References section is not acceptable.

Upon acceptance of a submission for publication in SBG, authors are responsible for carefully proofreading the pre-publication draft of their submission and making sure that she/he/they correct any errors in it before the submission is published/posted on the SBG website.



2. In SBG Volumes 1-3, we used the term "Literature Cited" as the title of the "References" section.

P. Appendix/Appendices:

We encourage authors to keep the body of the paper focused on important content. In cases where there is important supplemental material the author wishes to include, this material may be included in an APPENDIX or Appendices.