Types of Manuscripts

JAFSCD accepts a wide range of manuscript types:

Editorials (up to 500 words; not peer reviewed)

Editorials provide commentary by the publisher, members of the Editorial Committee (advisors and reviewers), and others related to the Journal's mission as well as the general interest to our readers. Unsolicited editorials will be considered for publication. Acceptance will reside with the publisher and managing editor.

Letters to the Publisher (up to 500 words; not peer reviewed)

Letters to the Editor simply address matters of general interest to the readership. Letters are reviewed by the publisher and managing editor and are subject to editing and possible abridgment. Letters to the Editor should not include original, unpublished data.

Research Articles (up to 8,500 words; peer reviewed)

Research articles present important new research results, including the entire contents of a research project. Quantitative studies include statistical analysis of survey or secondary data. Qualitative studies include case studies, focus groups, interviews, and the like. Research articles generally consiste of an abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, and references. Authors of research articles are required to adhere to our policy of accessible scholarship.

Case Studies (up to 5,000 words; peer reviewed)

A case study is a report of a single case (generally deemed interesting or unusual). These studies usually are generated by the author’s actual experience or objective observations. This is a popular form of manuscript among practitioners. It is critical that the case study be objective and not promotional. The case should feature a new program approach, best practice, or organizational structure. It should present sufficient references to previous studies of the issue the case is focused on to embed (provide context) for this new case study to build on.

Reflective Essays (up to 5,000 words; peer reviewed)

A reflective essay is a critical reflection on one’s work or the work of one’s organization related to a specific issue or strategy. It is similar to a case study but it is a more personal slant and subjectivity. This is material which might have a more popular journalistic style, but also has much deeper substance than a trade journal article. It could take the form of a case study, project post-mortem analysis (why a project failed), policy commentary, position paper on a best practice, or even proposal for a new strategy, technique, or approach.

Review Articles (up to 8,500 words; peer reviewed)

Review articles do not cover original research but rather accumulate the results of many different articles on a particular topic into a coherent narrative about the state of the art in the emerging field food systems and agricultural development. Review articles provide information about the topic and also provide journal references to the original research.

Research Briefs (up to 2,500 words; peer reviewed)

A research brief is generally an update of ongoing research of national or international significance. It is typically a follow-up to a research paper already submitted, but may also be a paper providing preliminary findings of a new study. Research briefs may be fast-tracked for immediate publication because they are considered very timely.

Policy Briefs (up to 2,500 words; peer reviewed)

A policy brief is a thorough analysis of a proposed, new, or existing government or organizational policy that focuses on the background of a policy issue, the details of the policy, and its real or predicted impacts on the issue. Like research briefs, policy briefs may be fast-tracked for immediate publication because they are considered very timely.

Conference Proceeding and/or Abstracts (up to 8,500 words; not peer reviewed)

Proceedings provide short summaries of in-progress or completed primary studies that are presented at conferences, but are not yet fully peer-reviewed for publication as complete articles. Conference proceeding and/or abstracts thus provide an early picture of current research that is likely to appear later in one or more of the primary article forms listed above. Because selection processes are highly variable, the quality of conference proceeding and/or abstracts vary widely.

Commentaries (up to 1,000 words; rebutted; not peer reviewed)

Commentaries are reactions or viewpoints based on papers of unusual interest published in the journal. They should describe the most important conclusions of the paper they are commenting on; place the paper into context with the current state of the art; highlight controversial issues; when relevant, denote strengths and weaknesses of the paper; and review questions that remain to be addressed. If a commentary is found acceptable, a copy will be sent to the author of the original article, if applicable; that author will have an opportunity to provide a rebuttal with new material that will be considered for publication along with the commentary.

Viewpoints (up to 1,500 words; rebutted; not peer reviewed)

Viewpoint articles are intended to present an insightful, thoroughly documented slant on a topic for which opinions in the literature are either controversial or undecided. The hope is that the readership will benefit from a new and unconventional viewpoint on a topic. In addition, brief commentary (250 words, 5 references) will be solicited from the readership. The hope here is to use the journal to promote communication among practitioners and researchers, and therefore further understanding. Hopefully, new ideas and improved designs for future research on these topics should follow. Some articles will be invited; we also welcome unsolicited manuscripts.

The viewpoint manuscript must be concise and bring novel insights into a specific problem. Refer only to already peer-reviewed, published findings. An abstract is required; the title of the manuscript should be as descriptive of the problem and or viewpoint being presented as possible. Authors should provide a list of 5-10 names and emails of individuals who may be interested in providing commentary on their viewpoint.

Book Reviews (750 to 1,000 words; not peer reviewed)

JAFSCD publishes reviews of books, reports, training materials, films, and other material related to food systems development work. These publications should relate specifically to one or more components of local or regional food systems (such as sustainable production, marketing and value-chains, or food consumption) and have a community development element. If you would like to suggest an item for review, or respond to a request for a reviewer in a JASCD Article Heads-up email, please complete our online Book Review Query form. We can usually have the publisher send a review copy directly to you.