Policies and Processes


Philosophy of VA Engage Journal

For more information, please see VA Engage Journal Aims and Scope page.

Who Can Submit?

Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full- or part-time at a two- or four-year college or university in Virginia in the academic year preceding the submission deadline may submit an original article to be considered for publication in VA Engage Journal provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to VA Engage Journal, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at VA Engage Journal. If you have concerns about the submission terms for VA Engage Journal, please contact the editors.

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Review and Revision Process

Each submission that falls within the scope of the journal will be submitted for review by two VA Engage Journal reviewers, drawn from a cohort of engaged staff and faculty at Virginia institutions of higher education and community organization staff members. Each submission is also reviewed by a VA Engage editorial board member. Once reviewed, a submission can receive one of three recommendations from reviewers: Accept pending minor revisions, Accept pending major revisions, or Reject. All authors will receive reviewer feedback.

If a submission is accepted pending revisions, a VA Engageeditor will be assigned to the submission and will be available to work with the contributing author(s) throughout the revision process. Navigating reviewer feedback can be difficult, especially when different reviewers respond differently or emphasize different kinds of revision. It is rarely as simple as responding to each piece of advice with discrete edits to the manuscript. Rather, revision is about taking all feedback into account and then deciding which feedback to respond to and what additional revisions to undergo in the interest of strengthening the piece and readying it for publication. The assigned VA Engage Journal editor, as well as an author’s own faculty mentors, are extremely valuable in this stage of the process.

Revision is a critical step in the publication process; no manuscript is published in the VA Engage Journal without undertaking significant revision. The revision process can be lengthy, but it will benefit authors by resulting in a stronger paper if authors dedicate the time and effort. Please be diligent in completing requested revisions by the deadline and contact an editor with any further questions you may have.

Journal decisions and reviewer feedback are shared with authors in September/October. Final manuscript versions for are due in early-to-mid January.

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Formatting Requirements

The VA Engage Journal has several general rules about the formatting of manuscripts upon initial submission. Since submissions are reviewed anonymously by reviewers manuscripts must be submitted without a title page and page numbers. These will be provided by the system. The journal follows the APA style manual, however submissions will be accepted using other citation styles. Manuscripts typically do not exceed 30 pages, not including references. There are also rules governing the formatting of the final submission. Authors are encouraged to consult these guidelines. See Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for details. Although bepress can provide limited technical support, it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a high-quality PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format) file, or a Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or RTF file that can be converted to a PDF file.

It is understood that the current state of technology of Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) is such that there are no, and can be no, guarantees that documents in PDF will work perfectly with all possible hardware and software configurations that readers may have.

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Rights for Authors and JMU Scholarly Commons

As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors retain all copyright rights to the article.

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the JMU Scholarly Commons website and/or software agree not to misuse the JMU Scholarly Commons service or software in any way.

The failure of JMU Scholarly Commons to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between JMU Scholarly Commons and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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