Social Policy Report Submission Guidelines

The Social Policy Report (SPR) is a quarterly publication of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Its purpose is twofold: (1) to provide policymakers with comprehensive, non-partisan reviews of research findings on topics of current national interest, and (2) to inform the SRCD membership about current policy issues relating to children and about the state of relevant.

Topic Proposals

Articles originate from a variety of sources. Some are solicited by the editorial board, while others are proposed by the authors. Authors interested in submitting a manuscript are urged to propose timely topics to the lead editor via email ( Topic proposals should take the form of an extended abstract (approximately 2 pages) that outlines the topic and scope of the proposed report.

Submit a Social Policy Report  topic

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English Language Editing Services

Authors have the option, but are not required, to use the services noted below to translate or proofread their text pre-submission. This option may be particularly helpful to non-native English speakers. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and SRCD does not endorse – and is not responsible for the quality of – any product or service mentioned.

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Ethics and Integrity

Sociocultural Policy

As developmental science becomes more global, and the role of context in human development becomes more evident, it is necessary that SRCD publications provide, in addition to age, an indication of the unique characteristics of the sample and the “socioeconomic and cultural place” from which their findings originate. Accordingly, it is now required that manuscripts to be published in SRCD journals specify clearly in the appropriate section(s) (e.g., Method, Discussion) and in an abbreviated form in the Abstract: (1) the dates of data collection (if applicable); (2) the theoretically relevant characteristics of the particular sample studied, for example, but not limited to: race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, sexual orientation, gender identity (inclusive of non-binary options), religion, generation, family characteristics; and (3) the place(s) from which that sample was drawn, including country, region, city, neighborhood, school, etc. and all other context variables that are relevant to the focus of the publication, except when it violates expectations of privacy and confidentiality by an institutional review board or the setting itself. Additionally, selection and recruitment procedures should be clearly specified in the Method section.  

The Sociocultural Policy is the product of a recognition that current policies and practices were not reflecting the state of the scholarship in terms of addressing diversity and replicability. As such, the Sociocultural Policy reflects current gaps in the science and is a dynamic policy. The Society will conduct ongoing reviews and re-evaluations of the Sociocultural Policy’s effectiveness over time and its efficacy in advancing the Society’s strategic goals. The Sociocultural Policy, procedures, and rationale will be revisited on a biannual basis to reflect changing demographics, an increasingly global society, and relevant contemporary issues.

Note for Social Policy Report authors: The Sociocultural Policy applies primarily to original reports of data. When discussing existing data (e.g., in literature reviews) or in Social Policy Report papers, space limitations and the availability of information in the original research reports may be a consideration. In these cases, authors should strive to provide as much information as possible about the characteristics of samples that are relevant to the generalization and interpretation of results. Authors who are submitting to Social Policy Report should consult with the Editor if they wish further guidance.

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    Formatting Requirements

    Format and Style

    Manuscript submission should include text, abstract, references, and a brief biographical statement for each of the authors, and should be sent as Microsoft Word files (.doc, .docx, or .rtf).

    All manuscripts must align with APA Style rules including:

    • Double-spaced throughout (abstract, body text, references)
    • 12-point, Times New Roman font

    Page Limit

    Manuscripts vary in length ranging from 30 to 45 pages of text (approximately 8,000 to 12,000 words), not including references and figures.

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    Review Process

    Reviews are typically obtained from academic or policy specialists with relevant expertise and different perspectives. Authors then make revisions based on these reviews and the editors’ queries, working closely with the editors to arrive at the final form for publication. Review for the SPR is single-blind; reviewers are aware of the identities of the authors.

    The SRCD Science and Social Policy Committee, which founded the SPR, serves as an advisory body to all activities related to its publication.

    Copyright of the articles published in the SPR is maintained by SRCD. Statements appearing in the SPR are the views of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by the editors or by SRCD.

    The SPR employs a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to the editor you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published work. If a submitted manuscript is based upon conference proceedings or other publications, this should be indicated in the Author Note.

    Authors of accepted manuscripts will be asked to complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form.

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    Accepted Manuscript and Publication Information

    iThenticate Notification

    Powered by Turnitin’s text comparison tool iThenticate, CrossRef’s Similarity Check enables the SRCD Editorial Office to assess the originality of all submitted manuscripts. iThenticate finds and reports overlaps in text through the use of text-searching algorithms, checking a document against an extensive database of published scholarly writing. Its reports highlight material that matches documents in the iThenticate database and their percentage of similarity. The reports allow editors to judge the appropriateness of any substantial overlap between documents, which can range from authors using identical language across manuscripts to report precise details of methods to more concerning cases of recycling text.

    For more information, please see the Committee on Publication Ethics' Text Recycling Guidelines:

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