For the Record: Preparing Manuscripts

by Gary Natriello December 23, 2014

A guide to preparing manuscripts for review and for final publication.

At Teachers College Record, we try to make the process of submitting materials as smooth as possible.  We do this by following a number of widely recognized conventions in academic publishing and by providing authors with clear directions for manuscript preparation.  We also divide the directions for manuscript preparation into those necessary to submit something for initial review and those necessary to prepare a manuscript for publication.


Authors preparing manuscripts for submission for review need only follow the conventions of APA style (American Psychological Association, 2010) or Chicago Style (University of Chicago Press Staff, 2010).  We accept manuscripts in either APA or Chicago style because we know that authors in disciplines in education and educational research often use one or the other. We recommend that authors submit all materials for a submission (abstract, body, tables, charts, references) together in a single file to minimize the chance of anything getting lost. We accept files in word or pdf format. We use these common protocols so that authors may easily move on to submit their manuscripts to other publications if we decide that we will not be publishing them in TCR.


Once a paper has been accepted for publication in the Teachers College Record we ask authors to prepare their manuscripts to meet the special requirements of our online and print production processes.  Directions for preparing manuscripts for publication are included in the message inviting submission of a final manuscript for publication.  The directions for final manuscript preparation include the following.

First, authors should make any editorial changes to the original manuscript based on feedback from editors and reviewers.  Following the directions of editors will ensure that there is no additional delay in getting a paper published.

Second, the final file submitted for publication must be in Microsoft Word 97-2004 format with a .doc extension.  Current versions of Word allow you save your file in this format that works well with both our online and print production processes.

Third, do not use the automatic footnote/endnote feature.  Numbered endnotes should be listed at the end of the manuscript with corresponding numbers inserted at the appropriate locations throughout the manuscript.  Failure to observe this convention will result in a manuscript being returned with a delay in publication.

Fourth, tables should be in Word format so that they can be imported into the composition process.  Tables cannot be accepted in any other format.

Fifth, graphs and images created in a program like Photoshop should be submitted in Grey-scale .tif format with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 100%. Please examine all graphs and images to make certain they are not blurry before submitting them.

Sixth, each manuscript should be accompanied by a cover page with the following information for each author:

* Name as it should appear on the published manuscript

* E-mail address (only if you want readers to be able to contact you)

* Phone (for editorial office use only)

* Mailing address (for editorial office use only)

* Short biographical statement, including current position, research interests, and one or two recent publications

* One- or two-sentence description of the article for the contents page of the print journal and for online publication

Seventh, each manuscript for a featured article should include a structured abstract. TCR has adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Research in Education of the National Research Council to require structured abstracts for published manuscripts. Structured abstracts make it easier for researchers to locate the most appropriate materials to support their work. Please prepare a structured abstract of about 200 to 400 words by completing each of the required sections listed below and as many of the optional sections as pertain to the particular type of manuscript.

Please use these headings in the abstract.

Background/Context (required):  Description of prior research on the subject and/or its intellectual context and/or policy context.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study (required): Description of what the research focused on and/or why.

Setting (optional): Specific description of where the research took place.

Population/Participants/Subjects (optional):  Description of the participants in the study: who (or what), how many, and other key features.

Intervention/Program/Practice (optional): Specific description of the intervention, including what it was, how it was administered, and its duration.

Research Design (required): Description of the kind of research design (e.g., qualitative case study, quasi-experiment, secondary analysis, analytic essay, historical analysis, randomized controlled field trial).

Data Collection and Analysis (optional): Description of plan for collecting and analyzing data, including description of data.

Findings/Results (optional): Descriptions of main findings with specific details.

Conclusions/Recommendations (required): Description of conclusions and recommendations of author(s), based on findings and overall study.

Structured abstracts are not necessary for commentaries, research notes, or book reviews.  In those cases a simple abstract of 100 words or less should be included.

Eighth, if you are preparing a feature article, you will need to prepare an executive summary.  These summaries, running about 750 to 1500 words, should inform readers of the major issues raised in the manuscript. The executive summaries may contain subheads, but they should not contain references. The executive summaries will appear online and will serve to create additional interest in the manuscript. Please INSERT the executive summary into your original manuscript, after the structured abstract and before the main text.  Executive summaries are not required for commentaries, research notes, or book reviews.

Once a manuscript is in final form please upload it into the submission system using the invitation that was sent when the article was accepted.  This will ensure that the manuscript paper reaches our production team and enters the production process.


American Psychological Association. (2010).  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

University of Chicago Press Staff. (2010). The Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 23, 2014 ID Number: 17800, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 7:25:20 PM

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