For the Record: Proposing a TCR Yearbook
The Teachers College Record publishes annual yearbooks that address major issues in education and educational research. These guidelines are offered for developing yearbook proposals.
The editors of the Teachers College Record invite proposals for volumes in the annual yearbook series. Each yearbook deals with a current educational issue of interest to a broad audience in the field of education and the general public.
Yearbook proposals should include:
- A tentative title for the volume and a brief statement about what the proposed yearbook will aim to accomplish.
- A statement about why it would be important to publish this yearbook on this topic at this time. In view of the literature that may be already available on this topic, why is there a need for the proposed volume? What contribution will the volume make? We do not wish to duplicate what is already available and readily accessible.
- A statement about the significance of the topic for the yearbook audience. The audience for the yearbooks consists of professors and administrators in schools and departments of education, teachers and administrators in elementary and secondary schools, and local and national policy makers. The yearbooks are intended to have a wide appeal; consequently, they are not aimed only at specialists in the field with which a volume deals. Instead, we ask that contributors to the yearbook think of the audience as thoughtful readers who are concerned with education in general, and who will profit from what knowledgeable writers and researchers have to say about the subject. With this in mind, some explanation of how the proposed volume will be valuable to this diverse audience would be helpful.
- A preliminary table of contents with a brief statement of what is to be treated in each of the projected chapters. The table of contents will also suggest how the book is to be organized. At this stage, the table of contents is indeed preliminary and is subject to change as work proceeds on the volume.
- Names of individuals who are strong candidates to author various chapters. In suggesting possible contributors, the person preparing the proposal will keep in mind not only each contributors knowledge of the subject about which he or she will be asked to write, but also his or her skill in writing. It is important to have yearbooks that are authoritative, well written, and free of professional jargon.
- Indications that various points of view will be recognized and that controversial issues will receive a balanced treatment. In addition, the volume should not be composed of chapters written primarily by representatives of one or two educational institutions or research centers. Yearbooks are not intended to showcase narrow research interests but to offer a broad treatment of educational issues.
- A schedule for the development of the volume including the date by which completed manuscripts will be delivered to the editorial office for copy editing and production.
- A copy of the proposed volume editors CV or a link to the online version.
An important element of the mission of the yearbooks is to provide a foundational perspective, examining educational issues in their philosophical, sociological, historical and other foundational contexts. The choice of topics and authors should reflect this foundational perspective.
Editors and authors alike are encouraged to be aware of previous yearbooks with related themes and to reference these earlier works if such references would enhance the treatment of the current topic.
Editors may choose to recruit external reviewers for chapters in their volumes. We ask that these nominees be scholars and leading educators with substantive expertise in the subject of the yearbook. In addition, the editorial office will conduct internal reviews and arrange for further external reviewing by selected experts, and will ensure that such feedback reaches editors in a timely manner.
In general, the yearbooks are planned to be no more than 300 pages of published text, excluding front and back matter. That amounts to about 120,000 words. There are 12 to 14 chapters in most of the yearbooks. The editor of the yearbook is responsible for deciding how the available space will be allocated and for seeing that space limitations are observed.
When a proposal is accepted, an editor for the volume is appointed (usually the individual who submitted the proposal). At the time the proposal is accepted, the year of publication is designated. This date of publication, if acceptable to the editor, provides the editor with a timeframe for completing final drafts of manuscripts. Final drafts, ready for copyediting, are due at the editorial office at a time agreed to by the editor.
There is not a rigid, prescribed format for yearbook proposals. Instead, what is important is that proposal writers address the points raised here and include any other information they regard as relevant in considering the proposal. Proposal writers may use whatever format seems most effective for communicating what the proposed volume will include and the purpose(s) it is intended to serve.
All proposals for yearbooks should be submitted using the regular Teachers College Record submission system.