Submission Guidelines

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Maine Policy Review encourages article submissions. This peer-reviewed journal provides timely, independent analysis of public policy issues affecting Maine and/or the region. Articles with a national or international focus also are considered as long as their relevance to public policy formulation in Maine is clearly established by the author.

Maine Policy Review is nonpartisan and encourages debate among its contributors. It is intended for a diverse audience, including state policymakers; government, business, and nonprofit leaders; students; and general readers with a broad interest in public policy. Many of its articles are based on some form of applied research or independent inquiry. Occasionally, the journal includes more technical or scientific articles. However, the journal’s philosophy is that articles must be understandable and informative to a diverse readership.

Submissions should represent original, previously unpublished material. The journal sometimes does consider printing material that has been published elsewhere (assuming all requisite permissions are obtained). This is not the norm and the editor should be contacted prior to the submission of non-original material.

Authors are encouraged to contact the editor prior to submitting to discuss their proposed piece to receive feedback on the proposed topic and to have any questions answered.

Feature Articles

1. Length and format

Articles should be roughly 15-25 pages in length (double-spaced text, 12-size font, one-inch margins). Longer articles will also be considered at the editor’s discretion.

2. Stylistic Considerations

Articles should be written in an enjoyable and readable style, the kind of writing you would expect to find in The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker. You are writing for a general audience, not a technical or academic audience. You might imagine you are addressing a member of the legislature or a government, nonprofit, or business leader in the state. You should provide sufficient background on the issue so that readers can understand the issue. However, it often makes sense to avoid cumbersome details that, while interesting to technical readers, would confuse a general audience. Avoid jargon, vague bureaucratic words, and alphabet soups of abbreviations. Define all technical terms and any abbreviations on first use. Whenever possible, provide concrete examples to clarify terms or concepts. If an abbreviation is used only once or twice, use the entire phrase.

3. Author Information

Submissions should include the author’s name, address, telephone, fax and e-mail address. This information should be provided for each author; however, please indicate to whom all editorial correspondence should be sent.

For articles that are accepted for publication, the journal requires a concise biographical statement (2-4 sentences) about each author that conveys his/her background in the article’s subject area. Each author must also submit a head-and-shoulders photograph (a high resolution electronic version is fine) in color or black-and-white. All paper photos are returned.

4. Figures and Tables

Tables and figures should be included in the body of the text, in the approximate place they would appear in print. Because all figures will be recreated in the sizes and formats most appropriate for presentation in the journal, authors of accepted articles may be asked to send original data files on which the table or figure is based (e.g., an Excel data file). Please contact the editor if this is not possible or is unusually cumbersome. Also for accepted articles, please consult the editor about any maps so that they can be provided in a format suitable for editing.

5. Footnotes / Endnotes / Citing References

Maine Policy Review uses in-text citations for references and not endnotes or footnotes, e.g., About 90 percent of Maine’s land is privately owned; the state owns 8.7 percent; and the federal government 1.8 percent (Hagen et al. 2005: 9). Please use the in-text citation format as shown in the example.

If you wish to include a note which contains important material, either format it as an endnote or include it in the text in parentheses. If the note is of limited relevance to the text then leave it out. Endnotes are numbered sequentially throughout the text and will appear at the end of the article. Please limit your use of them.

6. References

Many authors include references. However, please avoid long, exhaustive reference lists that are not central to your analysis. MPR uses a modified version of The Chicago Manual of Style. Use authors’ full first names unless the original publication used only authors’ initials. For on-line sources, indicate the exact Website address and the date accessed. Examples are shown below.

Book:

Pohlmann, Lisa and Christopher St. John. 2005. Getting by: Maine Livable Wages in 2004. Maine Center for Economic Policy, Augusta.

Journal article:

Rodgers, Harrell R. 2005. “Saints, Stalwarts, and Slackers: State Financial Contributions to Welfare Reform.” Policy Studies Journal 33(4): 497.508.

Government report:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2006. “Final Report and Recommendations, Medicaid Commission.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

Source accessed from a Website:

Leach, Joy. 2004. “Governor Signs Executive Order Creating Task Force on Traditional Uses and Public Access to Lands in Maine.”
[Accessed June 26, 2006]

Maine Land Trust Network. 2006. “A Tradition of Support and Cooperation.” [Accessed August 21, 2006]

7. Headings

We prefer no more than two levels of heads within the text. The first level is centered and upper case; the second level is centered with uppercase just for the first letter of each word.

8. Abstract and keywords

Articles should include an abstract of no more than 150 words and up to five (5) keywords. These will not appear in the print version of the journal, but will be included in the electronic version published on the Digital Commons.

9. Permissions

If a figure, table or more than 100 words of text from previously published material are included in the article, then the author must obtain written permission to use it from the copyright holder.

Occasionally, after an article’s publication in Maine Policy Review, the author requests permission to post his/her article on a website other than Maine Policy Review’s, or to submit the article in its published form to another journal. We encourage both practices. However, before preceding authors must obtain permission from the editor.

Commentaries

Commentaries are shorter pieces, generally 1,000-2,000 words in length. They may be in the following forms:

  • a short essay commenting on some aspect of public policy formulation in Maine;
  • a summary of a recent event or policy process dealing with an issue of current policy relevance;
  • a rebuttal to an article previously published in the journal;
  • a rejoinder to an article appearing in the same issue (generally, commentaries that react to current subject matter are submitted at the request of the editor).

The Margaret Chase Smith Essay

photo of Margaret Chase Smith

Each issue of Maine Policy Review begins with an essay in honor of Senator Smith. The purpose of the essay is to express an idea or perspective about public affairs, our society, or the world. The essay expresses the informed perspective of the author and often is challenging or provocative. Essays have covered such topics as education, civil society, campaign reform, and welfare policy. They can address the future as well as assess recent events or public policies.

Essays are short (800-1,200 words), are written in plain English and the use of references or footnotes should be avoided. They are similar in style and purpose to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times. In fact, occasionally the essay is a reprint from these or other national publications.

Most Margaret Chase Smith essays are published by invitation. However, writers interested in submitting a Margaret Chase Smith Essay are encouraged to contact the editor to discuss their proposal.

Submission Format

All submissions should be in electronic format

The text should be in Microsoft Word (*.doc), WordPerfect (*.wpd), or Rich Text (*.rtf) format. You may use character formatting, that is, formatting you can do on single characters or words (e.g., bold, italics, indentations), but do not use your word processing program’s special features (e.g., hanging indents, auto-endnote placement, etc.).

Editorial Review

All submissions to Maine Policy Review are subject to editorial review. The journal employs a double-blind method of review that involves expert (peer) as well as practitioner assessment of the article’s quality, policy relevance, and suitability for a general audience. Authors can expect to hear from the editor within three months of the date of submission as to whether the article has been accepted for publication.

Authors should expect to make revisions to their original submissions. Typically the reviewers’ comments indicate additional background that should be supplied for readers, suggest details that may be unnecessary or confusing to readers, and ask for stylistic changes that conform the article to the journal’s style.

Contact Information

Articles, commentaries, Margaret Chase Smith essays and/or your questions should be directed to the editor at the address below.

Barbara Harrity, Editor
Ph: (207) 581.1648
Fx: (207) 581.1266
Email:  mpr@maine.edu

Maine Policy Review
Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
5784 York Complex, Bldg. #4
University of Maine
Orono, ME  04469.5784