Policies and Guidelines for Features
Features, regularly published in JOPERD, consist of a series of interrelated articles with a central or unifying theme that is clearly articulated in each article and that ties the articles together. The theme should be carefully chosen to appeal to the broad range of interests among JOPERD readers. The content should not include research studies, but rather theoretical and practical articles intended primarily for practitioners at every level. Past issues can serve as a guide to appropriate content.
There are two types of features: (1) association and (2) independent. An association feature is generated by, or submitted to and approved by, a JOPERD-sponsoring association (AAPAR, NAGWS, NASPE, or NDA). An independent feature is generated by an individual or group of individuals, based on a proposal submitted to the JOPERD editor for consideration by the JOPERD Editorial Board. Some requirements apply to all features, while others are particular to association or independent features. These will be presented in the following three sections.
Requirements for All Features
- All feature articles must be double-blind reviewed by at least two reviewers.
- The feature editor conducts the blind review, supervises the revision process, and approves the articles before transmitting them to the JOPERD editor.
- The feature editor may not contribute an article to the feature other than a brief introduction as described below.
- The reviewers may not write or co-author an article.
- Authors may not write or coauthor more than one article.
- No more than 50 percent of a feature’s contributors (authors and editors) may be affiliated with a single university.
- Features must include at least as many illustrative photos as there are articles in the feature (i.e., a six-article feature must supply at least six photos, though the photos might be distributed unevenly among the articles).
- Although anyone may contribute to a feature (including AAHPERD and association staff, board members, and officers, as well as nonmembers), JOPERD Editorial Board members who contribute to a feature will be recused from any consideration of the acceptability of the feature.
- Before publication, all authors, including the feature editor, must submit a signed copyright release form provided by the JOPERD editor at the time of the feature’s acceptance.
Requirements for Association Features
- For consideration as an association feature, a proposal must be submitted to the appropriate designee of the association (usually the publications chair), following the procedures set forth by that association.
- Each association may have up to two features published in a calendar year. For additional features within a year, an association would have to submit a proposal in the same manner as an independent feature, and this proposal would be subject to review and approval by the JOPERD Editorial Board.
- Association features are limited to 32 published pages (about 64 double-spaced manuscript pages in 10-point Times Roman type).
Requirements for Independent Features
- The feature editor must submit a feature proposal (see below) to the JOPERD editor, who will verify that it meets all the basic requirements and then pass it on to the JOPERD Editorial Board for review.
- Based on its review, the JOPERD Editorial Board may accept or reject a proposal outright, or may ask for a variety of modifications (including, but not limited to, adding or deleting an article, combining two articles, or requiring changes to the proposed content of individual articles). The final approval and publication decision rests with the JOPERD Editorial Board.
Feature Editor’s Responsibilities
The feature editor selects a theme, develops a comprehensive feature proposal, and submits it to the JOPERD editor or to the appropriate association. The proposal should contain the following:
- An overview and purpose of the proposed feature
- A discussion of the relevance, or timeliness, of the feature (i.e., why will the feature interest readers, in what ways will the feature be useful to readers, and to whom will the feature appeal?)
- An outline of the organizational structure and content of the feature, including article abstracts and author vitas
After the proposal is accepted, the feature editor will write an introduction for the feature (3 double-spaced manuscript pages maximum). This will typically incorporate material from the proposal’s overview, giving the purpose and relevance of the feature. The introduction should explain significant points to the reader and, if necessary, guide the reader through the logical sequence of issues or the ordering of the articles. The introduction could describe why these particular articles were selected, how they relate to the theme, points of similarity or difference between authors, and so on. An introduction that states “the first article deals with...and the second article talks about...” does not explain very much to the reader. The main purpose of the introduction is to unify the feature so it will be understood as an entity rather than as separate or independent articles with no connection.
The feature editor may also prepare a summary for the end of the feature, although this is usually unnecessary. As with the introduction, the summary should be no more than 3 double-spaced manuscript pages.
The feature editor also prepares and submits the feature as described below.
Preparing and Submitting a Proposal
- List the name of the feature editor, position and address, telephone number, and email.
- List the names, addresses, and positions of two or more individuals who have agreed to review the proposed feature articles. Explain how their expertise qualifies them to serve as reviewers. (Reviewers are acknowledged in the JOPERD Reviewers Index, published annually in the November/December issue.)
- Select authors for each article and include their names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and positions, along with their abstracts, in the proposal. Be sure to inform authors that publication is not guaranteed.
- Include an abbreviated vita—no more than one page—for each author as well as for the feature editor. This short vita will give basic biographical, institutional, and position information, and it should briefly discuss the author’s competency or background in the topic area. Standard, multipage authors’ vitae are not acceptable and will be returned for the feature editor to condense.
- Submit the proposal via email attachment to the JOPERD editor (for independent features) or to the appropriate association official (for association features).
Feature Editor’s Actions After Proposal Acceptance
- Establish realistic deadlines, working backward from the date the material is expected to be in the JOPERD office. JOPERD recommends allowing several months for the writing of the articles, one month for the initial review of manuscripts, and about two months for the revision process.
- Inform the authors that a signed copyright release form is required and will be sent to them by the JOPERD editor at the time of an article’s final acceptance.
- Inform the authors that manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the JOPERD “Guidelines for Authors” (called “Contributor Guidelines” on the web site).
- The manuscripts’ contents need to be blinded to conceal authorship as much as is feasible before being sent out for review. The electronic files also need to be blinded by deleting the author’s name under the “Properties/Summary” window. The file name also should conceal authorship.
- Send the blinded manuscripts to the reviewers.
- When the reviews come in they should be compiled into one document for each article with each review numbered. This is best done by copying and pasting the reviews into the new document, thereby concealing the reviewers’ identity. The reviews are then sent to the authors with any appropriate comments you wish to make (e.g., you may have to resolve conflicting recommendations from the reviewers).
- When revised manuscripts come in, verify that the reviewers’ concerns were appropriately addressed. In some cases, additional revision by the author, or edits by you, may be needed.
- Solicit photographs or artwork from authors or other free sources to illustrate the articles. JOPERD typically does not use photographs of authors. Photographs should be sharp and show persons in action when possible. Digital photos need to have a resolution of 300 dpi/ppi. If they have a lower resolution, then they need to be of sufficient size to be scalable to 300 (e.g., a 10 x 10 photo at 72 dpi would scale to 2.5 x 2.5 at 288 dpi). Digital photos for cover use need high resolution and a large size (8.5 x 11 inches). Photos may be sent on a CD or as attachments in a series of emails to the JOPERD editor. Photos should be sent in native files (preferably JPEG), not embedded in text files. Transparencies and glossy prints from film (not from digital files) are also acceptable. Information about the shot and the photographer’s credit should accompany each photo.
- Keep the JOPERD editor informed of progress throughout the feature's development. The editor will be glad to assist if needed.
Submission of Final Materials
- Each article should have its own named digital document.
- Send feature materials to the JOPERD editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the established deadline. All manuscripts received from the feature editor are subject to a final review by the JOPERD editor, who will send authors the acceptance letter and a copyright release form. Occasionally, a manuscript may be rejected for extraordinary reasons (such as scholarly lapses), subject to adjudication by the JOPERD Editorial Board.
- Inform the JOPERD editor of the recommended article sequence. Decisions about use of photographs and artwork will be made by the editorial staff based on budget, space, and design considerations.
- Write to all authors informing them of the disposition of their manuscripts (prospective date of publication, etc.) and thanking them for their contribution.
- No feature will be scheduled for publication until all its elements are received by the JOPERD editor.
Although feature editors are not reimbursed, their work is recognized as a significant contribution to the profession. Feature editors who would like to have their contribution acknowledged in a letter written by the chairperson of the JOPERD Editorial Board should provide the JOPERD editor with the name and address of their dean, department chairperson, or other supervisor.