Submission Guidelines for Young Children
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Young Children is a peer-reviewed journal from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Published five times a year, each issue offers practical, research-based articles on timely topics of interest. Our readers work with or on behalf of young children from birth through age 8. Readers include teachers, family child care providers, child development program administrators, resource and referral counselors, early intervention specialists, elementary school principals, teacher educators, students, researchers, policy makers, and others.
The editorial team and consulting editors use the following criteria when reviewing the content of articles submitted to Young Children. We look for articles that
- reflect the current knowledge base in early childhood education
- describe real life examples of developmentally appropriate practice
- provide practical strategies for practitioners
- cite relevant research findings, when appropriate
- suggest ways to involve families, when appropriate
- consider the roles of culture, ethnicity, and home language when relevant to the content
- support inclusion of children with a range of abilities
- show respect for gender, culture, and home language
Articles selected for publication in Young Children are considered a contribution to the profession; authors do not receive fees or royalties. Articles published in Young Children are peer reviewed and vetted by the Young Children editorial team.
Young Children articles vary in content, length, and writing style. Read recently published articles to learn what kinds of articles are published. Many authors write about a particular classroom, school, or teacher they have observed. If your article describes another educator’s practice in detail, please acknowledge this contribution or consider including him or her as coauthor.
Young Children does not publish term papers, literature reviews, or reports of research methodology and findings. The journal does not accept articles already published elsewhere in print or electronic format. We expect that articles have not been simultaneously submitted to other publications. Young Children articles are written in an informal, conversational style. They use active voice (e.g., “The teacher planned…” rather than “Plans were made by the teacher…”) and clear language. This makes the text easier and more enjoyable to read.
General Articles These articles address important early childhood topics. The following are the types of articles found in Young Children.
- Innovative, research-based teaching strategies.
- Early childhood theories and research, along with recommended practices.
- Specific issues affecting young children.
- Personal stories and observations
- Viewpoints - commentaries and opinion pieces where authors express their research-based opinions about specific issues or practices.
- Research in Review articles summarize research and describe implications for practice. Authors work with the journal’s Research in Review editors. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cluster Topic Articles Each issue features a group of articles that address different aspects of a topic. Although cluster topics are decided on many months in advance (see below), in order to respond to topical issues and trends, the editors may change the publish date of a cluster from time to time.
The chart that follows provides Young Children's cluster topics through March 2018, the date of publication, and due dates for articles. Designations of N/A mean that Young Children is no longer accepting articles for that cluster.
Article Due Date
Math in the Early Years
|N/A (Editor's Choice)|
Global Practices that Inform and Inspire
|November 1, 2016|
DAP Success Stories: Principals, Teachers, and Families Making a Difference
|January 5, 2017|
Joyful Learning in Kindergarten
|May 1, 2017|
We are no longer asking authors to submit cluster proposals. Authors should submit their entire article. Cluster articles go through a similar review process as do regular articles. Clusters are limited to five articles. We regret that not all cluster articles can be sent out for peer review.
When submitting an article to Young Children, please adhere to the following formatting and submission guidelines.
All manuscripts must meet page-length requirements.
- Brief articles, personal stories, viewpoints and opinion pieces: 500-1500 words
- General and cluster articles: 1000-3000 words (please note--we are specifically looking for quality articles that are 3,000 words or less)
- Infographics based on research (submit concept and rough sketch)
If manuscripts are not formatted correctly, they will be unsubmitted until the appropriate changes are made.
- Make sure the name(s) of author(s) as well as specific workplaces/schools/program names do not appear on any pages of the article; all manuscripts are subject to blind review.
- Use pseudonyms in place of children's real names.
- Include subheadings throughout the article.
- Use Times New Roman font, 12-point type, double space lines, and at least 1-inch margins.
- Number the pages.
- Include the title and date in the footer.
- Prepare the cover letter as a separate document.
- List the title of the article.
- Indicate the type of article (cluster topic, general, Viewpoint).
- List the name, affiliation, title, address, phone, fax, and e-mail for each author.
- Designate one author as the primary contact.
- Give the Manuscript ID for any manuscript written by a primary author or coauthor that was accepted for publication in Young Children within the last two years.
- Provide a brief summary of how one-third of the text offers useful and relevant information for teachers and other practitioners.
- Provide a brief abstract of 50 words or less
Authors should provide accurate and complete information for references and resources. Young Children expects authors to focus on references published within the last 10 years (unless they are seminal sources) in order to reflect the most recent research and data. Use primary references when available and avoid online resources such as Wikipedia or Ask.com. Authors should also use the number of resources appropriate for the length of their manuscript.
We encourage authors to include informative, interesting visuals (e.g., high-resolution photographs, children's work samples, charts, graphs) that enhance the content of the article and promote understanding. This is not a requirement.
Prior to submission, the author must possess completed model release forms for any recognizable person appearing in the author's photos (signed by any adult who appears in the photo and by the legal guardian of any child who appears in the photo). If the author did not take the photos but submits them with the article, the author must confirm that she or he has the right to publish the photos and that the photographer possesses the necessary model releases.
One sample model release and the visuals themselves should be uploaded as separate files in Manuscript Central as part of the manuscript submission. Do not include them in the body of the article. Young Children does not pay authors for their own photos when they are integral to the content of the article.
To make a photograph submission, please see our photography guidelines.
Authors are responsible for seeking and maintaining written permission from parents or legal guardians to include photos of children and adults. NAEYC may request to review these permissions.
For quoted material longer than 100 words, as well as figures and tables (or the content therein), authors must seek and submit to Young Children written permission from the copyright holder prior to publication.
Young Children receives all submissions electronically through Manuscript Central. After creating an account, authors will find instructions for manuscript submission. Be sure to submit the cover letter, article, and photographs as separate files. Authors can contact Manuscript Central for assistance or e-mail the Young Children editorial staff.
With the exception of articles for clusters, articles are generally published 16 to 28 months after acceptance. Authors may check the status of their submissions in Manuscript Central by logging into the account and clicking on the "Submitted Manuscripts" link on the left hand side of the dashboard.
Please note: Individuals may submit only one article within a six-month period. Young Children's preferred practice is to publish a particular author only once per 12-month period. On rare occasions we make exceptions to best meet the needs of our readers.
Authors may submit only one article at a time. This holds true whether they are the only author, or one of several. If authors have written several articles for submission, they must decide which one to submit first.
After the article has been reviewed, the authors will be notified of its status. After receipt of this notification, the author may submit another article. Thus, only one article per author can be under initial consideration and review at a time.
The Young Children review process generally takes 6–8 months from receipt of manuscript. The process is compressed for cluster articles. The schedule may vary according to the schedule of our reviewers, many of whom are on the academic calendar.
Steps in the Review and Editing Process
Initial reading. Given the volume of articles we receive, not all articles can be sent out for review, nor can we provide individual feedback on articles that are not reviewed. The editor-in-chief determines whether articles will go out for review. There are a number of reasons why articles are not sent out for review. Sometimes articles do not meet basic guidelines for content, writing style, length, or format. At times, the journal has a backlog of articles or has recently published an article on the same topic. In some cases, we receive a number of articles for a cluster that address the same topic and age group. The editor-in-chief might recommend revising an article before it is reviewed by consulting editors.
12 to 16 weeks after receipt
Peer review. Articles that meet basic guidelines undergo peer review by members of NAEYC’s Consulting Editors Panel. The reviewers provide comments and suggestions. NAEYC senior staff may also review articles.
16 to 26 weeks after receipt
Decision. Using all reviews as a guide, the editorial team determines one of the following as the next step.
The editor-in-chief notifies the author of the decision via e-mail. When necessary, this correspondence includes the reviewers' feedback and suggestions for enhancing the manuscript.
26 to 32 weeks after receipt
Revision. When authors submit revised articles, they must include a summary of what the author did to address the reviewers’ feedback, through Manuscript Central.
Within 6 months of authors' receipt of decision e-mail
Members of the editorial team read the revised manuscript, consider the author’s responses to the reviewers’ feedback and suggestions, and determine one of the following as the next step:
- Accept the article.
- Ask the author to make additional revisions.
- Advise the author that the manuscript still does not meet criteria for publication in Young Children.
With the exception of articles submitted and accepted for publication in a particular cluster, articles are generally published 16 to 28 months after acceptance.
From acceptance to print
It is not possible to determine in advance the exact publication dates of accepted articles (unless for a particular cluster). When planning issues, the editorial team considers the content, style, intended audience, and length of articles, as well as articles’ submission dates.
Authors are notified when their articles are scheduled for publication. They are asked to make updates and to complete biography, copyright transfer, and photograph submission and credit forms.
Editing involves the editorial and copy editing teams. The copy editor returns the edited article to the author via email for final approval before the manuscript enters production. On occasion, last-minute changes in an issue’s content may cause publication of an article to be postponed.
Authors receive two copies of the issue in which their article appears.
Susan Friedman, Acting Editor-in-Chief, Young Children
Joellyn Powers, Editorial Assistant, email@example.com
Manuscript Central: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/youngchildren
Interested in writing for other NAEYC publications?
Check out our author guidelines for: