Review Procedures and Copyright

Q. What procedures are authors to follow when submitting their papers to JSCE review?
A. First, authors must notify the co-editors that they will submit their papers to review by December 1st. Second, authors must submit four hard copies and one electronic copy of their papers to the JSCE before the start of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Q. Why does the JSCE need four hard copies and an electronic copy?
A. Two hard copies are for referees, two copies for the co-editors and the electronic copy is for the archives. The SCE has neither facility at the meeting site nor funds to duplicate copies. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Q. What is the absolute due date for submitting hard copies?
A. The hard and electronic copies must be delivered to the SCE Registration desk at the Annual Meeting by 8:00 AM Friday morning, before the opening session of the meeting. (The SCE registration desk will be open Wednesday, 1:00 to 8:00 PM, Thursday, from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM and Friday morning around 7:00 AM).

If you would prefer to turn your paper in before the annual meeting, Linda Schreiber is willing to bring hard copies of it to the meeting. However, the required copies (4 hard copies, 1 electronic copy) must be sent to:  Linda Schreiber, Associate Executive Director, Society of Christian Ethics, PO Box 5126, St. Cloud MN  56302-5126. They must be postmarked no later than December 15.

Q. How are papers reviewed for JSCE publication?
A. Papers are peer reviewed by no fewer than four referees, who use the criteria for publication in the JSCE cited above in their evaluation of the paper. Two of these referees attend the session in which the paper is presented as well as read the paper.

Q. What are the criteria for paper selection?
A. Scholarly excellence and the contribution the paper makes to the field (additionally, papers including research involving human subjects must meet the requirement of IRB guidelines noted above). The JSCE also hopes to represent the full scope of the SCEs interests and to provide a forum for the work of new scholars and the articulation of emerging issues and perspectives. See the “Publication Criteria” section above for more information.

Q. What is the ideal length of a paper?
A. The ideal length of a paper, including all references, is between 5,000 and 6,250 words (approximately 20-25 double-spaced typed pages). Papers of greater length may be subject to extensive editing. The JSCE can support a total number of 110,000 words per issue; this total includes the publication of 10-11 essays, book reviews, and information about contributors.

Q. Are all papers and panels of the SCE annual meeting included in the JSCE?
A. No, fewer than half of the papers presented at the annual meeting are published in the JSCE.

Q. Which papers must be reviewed for publication?
A. All papers, whether presented in concurrent sessions, as part of a panel or plenary session, or in an Interest Group session, must follow the same peer review procedures.

Q. Are the President’s Address, plenary presentations, and papers from pre-meeting sessions automatically included in the JSCE?
A. No, only peer reviewed material is published. Even the presidential address is refereed and may need to be revised in response to editorial suggestions.

Q. Who makes the decisions regarding publication?
A. Final editorial decisions are made by the co-editors in consultation with the JSCE Editorial Board and in light of evaluations provided by referees. 

Q. How quickly are authors notified on publication decisions?
A. Usually, authors receive the editorial decision about publication around the end of March.

Q. If an essay is not accepted for publication, will authors have the benefit of the referees’ comments?
A. Yes! A summary or copy of the referees’ comments and any additional suggestions the editors can muster are provided to all of the authors who submit their manuscripts, barring mail losses or other unforeseen circumstances. Usually, there are benefits in submitting your paper even if it is not accepted for publication in the JSCE.

Q. Do authors whose essays are selected for publication have an opportunity to revise their work?
A. Yes! The JSCE’s selection process requires refereeing reports on each essay from at least one board member and two other referees. The editors will provide you with a copy or summary of these anonymous reports, plus whatever advice the editors are able to offer. If your essay is selected for publication, the final revised manuscript will be due May 1 unless otherwise directed. Most authors utilize this opportunity to rework at least portions of their essays in light of the discussion at the JSCE meeting and the comments of the referees.

Q. If an essay is accepted for publication is the author obliged to publish with the JSCE?
A. No author is obliged to publish with the JSCE. Once notice of acceptance has been sent, the author must confirm acceptance and begin the work of revision, if appropriate and as needed. The essay must be returned to the JSCE Editor by May 1, unless otherwise directed, for manuscript production.

Q. If an essay is accepted for publication, does the JSCE supply off-prints, tear sheets, or extra copies of the essay to the authors?
A. No, however, authors receive their member copy of the JSCE and are welcome to order additional copies of the JSCE from Georgetown University Press at a 40% discount.

Q. Who holds the copyright to essays published in the JSCE and may essays be reprinted elsewhere?
A. The SCE holds the copyright to the essay. Reprints are permitted to the author after one year of the essay’s publication in the JSCE at no cost if the essay will be reprinted in a text by the same author; this reprint must include the original publication information. Reprint of an essay in a collection is permitted for a $100 fee and must include the original publication information. Half of this fee is forwarded to the author. Other policies may apply to reprint permission for other modes of publication. Contact the SCE for more information or requests to reprint an essay.