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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines



Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Journal of Professional Communication 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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Types of manuscript JPC will consider

Scholarly articles

A scholarly manuscript should investigate an idea or set of ideas or set of circumstances. Manuscripts may be of an empirical, critical or theoretical nature.


Case Studies

Case studies will be in-depth examinations of a professional communication event. These should provide a systematic insight into an event (e.g. Toyota’s handling of PR during their acceleration crisis; Government handling of Wikileaks situation). Case studies are not simply journalistic exercises or an exercise in fiction writing, but rather research papers that follow a distinct outline/approach: Here’s one method for writing this type of case study. It is a more traditional, academic approach that focuses on theoretical and empirical analysis. Variations on this model are acceptable, but should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief before submission.


  • Situational Analysis
  • Review of Existing Research and Theory
  • Outline the case study problem(s)
  • Methodology
  • Collect Data
  • Interviews (6 minimum) – original research!
  • Documentation
  • Archival records
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Presentation of Results
  • Conclusions and Limitations


In-depth journalistic articles investigating a topic of contemporary interest to academics and practitioners of professional communication.


Original Works of Art or Design

Original works of art or design, with commentary describing their role in a communications campaign in which they were used.


Original Works of Sound

Pieces of music that has been used in an effective communications campaign may be submitted.


Book and Media Reviews

Reviews of resources (books, documentaries, websites, learning tools, gadgets such as the Playbook, iPad, the Kindle, etc.) that would be valuable to professional communicators may be submitted.



Short, topical pieces by either academics or practitioners exploring a point of view on matters of contemporary professional or scholarly interest. These manuscripts are encouraged to be controversial and provocative.



These are in-depth interviews, usually concerning a specific topic or event, or investigating a professional experience or case. Potential interview submissions must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief before submission.

Personal Histories

This category is where practitioners and academics can tell their stories. Almost everyone who has entered the field has followed a unique and interesting path. We want to share those paths with others so that they may be inspired to find examples and mentors.


Junior Practioners & Reverse Mentoring

This category will be a place for junior practitioners (less than five years of professional experience) to explain their point of view on the changing landscape of the professional communication practice. This will be a place to hear fresh perspectives so that the experiences of juniors can be of benefit to senior practitioners.


Practical Papers

Addressing the issues confronting communications practitioners in industry, consultancy and government.


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The Submission Process

All authors are required to submit their work electronically through the Submit Article section on the left navigation bar. Once you create an account and click on Submit Article, you will be required to fill out contact information in the online form. After filling out the short form, you will then need to upload your manuscript. Along with your manuscript, you will be asked to include the following:


Keywords: Please include 7-10 keywords that best describe your submission.

Abstract: Please include an abstract of 150-200 words in English. Multimedia works should also be accompanied by a 150-200 word abstract describing the nature of the project.

Cover Letter: Please briefly state the purpose of your paper and its expected contribution to the Journal.


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 Journal of Professional Communication, 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 Journal of Professional Communication.

Deadline to submit: Manuscripts will be considered on a rolling basis.


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Formatting Requirements

Instructions for Authors:

  1. Format: MS Word document
  2. Author name, email, telephone number and mailing address on cover page.
  3. Length: up to 7,000 words. Authors wishing to submit manuscripts exceeding this word limit must consult with the Editor-in-Chief prior to submitting work.
  4. Multimedia Works: accepted in a zip format or DVD-ROM.
  5. Referencing: any pictures, diagrams, figures used should be at the end of the paper and not be part of the paper. Instead please indicate with a comment, such as: ‘insert fig. xyz here’ in the body/paragraph of the actual paper.
  6. All “identifying features” that may be linked to the author’s identity should be blacked over or eliminated from text (e.g. references to the author’s workplace, references to the author’s publications, and references to events or accomplishments easily linked to the author). This is to preserve the author’s anonymity during the peer-review process. Only the Editor-in-Chief will know the identity of the author of a manuscript sent out for peer review.
  7. Language: English and/or French
  8. Source citations should appear within the text of the paper and in the APA format. Works Cited (Bibliography) should also be in APA format but on a separate page.

If you have any questions regarding the submission process, please contact Dr Alex Sévigny at jpc@mcmaster.ca.

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Editorial Decision Process

Your manuscript will be received by the Editor-in-Chief and then discussed anonymously with a member of the editorial board with appropriate expertise for evaluating the manuscript.

Once approved by the editorial board member, your manuscript will be sent to two anonymous peer reviewers. These may be academics or practitioners.


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Peer Review Process

All manuscripts will be submitted to at least two peer reviewers in a double-blind system. This means that neither reviewers nor authors know one another’s identity. Peer reviewers will return an evaluation form to the Editor-in-Chief, with a recommendation to:


Accept as is.

Accept with minor corrections/changes

Accept with major corrections/changes

Revise and resubmit



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Rights for Authors and DigitalCommons@McMaster

As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to DigitalCommons@McMaster all copyright in the article, subject to the expansive personal--use exceptions described below.

Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of DigitalCommons@McMaster, requires credit to DigitalCommons@McMaster as copyright holder (e.g., DigitalCommons@McMaster © 2014).

Personal-use Exceptions

The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from DigitalCommons@McMaster provided the author does not alter the format or content of the articles, including the copyright notification:

  • Storage and back-up of the article on the author's computer(s) and digital media (e.g., diskettes, back-up servers, Zip disks, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the author(s);
  • Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;
  • Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)'s place of employment (e.g., a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota's Department of Phrenology online publication series); and
  • Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the author at the university or college employing the author.

People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.

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Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.