Information for Authors

Review Policy

Information for Reviewers

Other Policies

Information for Authors


The Journal of Applied Communications is a peer-reviewed journal. It welcomes original contributions from any author, although priority may be given to ACE members, should articles of comparable quality be available. Submissions should fit the scope of our journal.

First consideration will be given to theoretical and applied articles of direct value to ACE members.

The Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE) is an association of communication professionals and scholars dedicated to the professional development of its members. ACE’s members are faculty, staff, and students at land-grant and similar institutions focusing on the communication of agriculture, the environment, and family and youth issues.

Researchers who present their research at the annual ACE Conference are eligible for an expedited review for publication in the conference issue of JAC.

Articles should be submitted to one of four categories.

Categories are as follows:

  • Research and Evaluation - These are the traditional, scholarly articles, using quantitative (e.g., statistical and survey methods) and/or qualitative (e.g., case studies) methods.
  • Research in Brief - These articles are research-based and use scholarly methods but are shorter in nature. A research in brief is a concise but complete description of a limited investigation that will not be included in a later manuscript. This is considered a terminal publication. It presents initial proof-of-concept results on new ideas, audience analysis or engagement, new media investigations, program evaluations, interdisciplinary approaches to communication, or other innovative approaches. They are limited to 2000 words in length.
  • Professional Development - These articles take advantage of the author's particular expertise on a subject that will benefit career performance of ACE members.
  • Commentary - These are opinion pieces. They speak to trends in communication or other issues of importance to communication scholars or practitioners. This could include, but are not limited to, addressing ongoing debates in the agricultural communications discipline, methodological/epistemological/ontological underpinnings of agricultural communications research, and commentary from agricultural communications practitioners on their perspectives working in the field.
  • Review - These are critiques of new books, journal articles, software/hardware, technologies or anything else that would be appropriate for the audience of the JAC. They are 500-1,000 words in length.

All submitted articles are considered for publication. However, prospective contributors are encouraged to be aware of the focus of this journal and article requirements. The editorial team will review articles for scope, rigor, and formatting requirements for appropriateness for JAC before submitting for review. If you have questions about requirements, please contact the editor.

An article is accepted with the understanding that the Journal of Applied Communications has exclusive publication rights, which means that the article has not been submitted concurrently, accepted for publication, or published elsewhere.

While every effort is made to maintain an interval of no more than nine months from submission to publication, authors should be aware that publication dates are contingent on the number and scope of reviewer comments as well as response times during the review process.

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  • Double-spaced text in Times New Roman or similar font, 12-point, 1-inch margins.
  • Include line numbers. Visit add or remove line numbers for help on how to insert line numbers in Microsoft Word.
  • In the categories of research and evaluation, professional development, and commentary: Thirty pages is the limit for article submission including tables and figures. This thirty-page limit does NOT include the 250-word abstract (which is entered in a separate field on the submission form) or reference section.
  • In the category of review: the range is 500-1,000 words.
  • Inside pages with no author identification. Do not include a cover page in the manuscript file (you will upload a separate cover page).
  • No running head on the inside pages. (This is added by the system.)
  • Images, photos, and figures should be of moderate resolution (150 dpi or higher). Jpeg or png format is acceptable. Images, photos, and figures should be high resolution (300 dpi or higher).
  • ALL images, tables and figures should be incorporated within the body of the text, not at the end of the file.
  • References (in-text and in reference list), tables, and figures follow the latest edition of American Psychological Association rules for formatting. The 7th edition of APA must be used, effective, January 1, 2020.

NOTE: Where available, DOIs (digital object identifiers) for citations must be provided and hotlinked in the Word document. As a member of CrossRef, our publisher, New Prairie Press, is required to include DOIs. Use the free DOI lookup on CrossRef's website to check your citations.

Manuscripts accepted for publication should see Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for additional formatting details.

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Peer Review Process

JAC abides by the publication ethics guidelines maintained by COPE.

The article is first evaluated for fit with the journal’s scope by the editor. Scholarly manuscripts submitted to this journal undergo rigorous double-blind peer review. While every effort is made to maintain an interval of no more than nine months from submission to publication, authors should be aware that publication dates are contingent on the number and scope of reviewer comments as well as response times during the review process.

To understand how your submission will be reviewed/evaluated, read the information for reviewers. We advise you download the rubrics reviewers are instructed to use.

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Information for Reviewers

Reviewer Instructions and Feedback Form

First, please ensure you understand the journal’s current aims and scope. The editor screens submissions for suitability, but if you have concerns about the submission’s relevance, please email the editors.

Second, please read the manuscript in its entirety to understand its context within the discipline, rigor, contributions, and importance.

Next, evaluate the manuscript using the criteria in our reviewer feedback form (available below). Provide specific positive comments and constructive criticism, and refer to page and line numbers, when appropriate. When constructing comments, consider the following points adapted from Jones1:

  • Use your comments to the author as an opportunity to seek explanation on any unclear points and for further elaboration.
  • Please make suggestions as to how the author can improve clarity, succinctness, and the overall quality of presentation of the manuscript.
  • Confirm whether you believe the subject of the paper is sufficiently interesting to justify its length; if you recommend shortening the piece, it is useful to author(s) if you can indicate explicit areas where you believe shortening will benefit the manuscript’s impact (or similar language).
  • It is not the job of the reviewer to edit the paper for technical writing and mechanics (such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax), but it is helpful if you correct language where the technical meaning is or may be unclear. If you do notice a few errors, making note of them is greatly appreciated by authors and the editorial board. As an open-access journal, we do not have editing services available.
  • Reviewers may disagree with author(s’) opinions, but should allow them to stand, provided the author’s opinions are consistent with the evidence provided.
  • Remember, authors will welcome positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from you as a reviewer.
  • Being critical whilst remaining sensitive to the author isn’t always easy and comments should be carefully constructed so that the author fully understands what actions they need to take to improve their paper. For example, generalized or vague statements should be avoided along with any negative comments which aren’t relevant or constructive.

Download reviewer feedback form for research manuscripts

Download reviewer feedback form for books or other media

Download reviewer feedback form for commentary manuscripts

Download reviewer feedback form for professional development manuscripts

1Jones, L. (2017, June 22). Reviewer guidelines and best practice. Retrieved from: http://editorresources.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/reviewers-guidelines-and-best-practice/

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Copyright: In order for a submitted work to be accepted and published by the Journal of Applied Communications, the author(s) agree to transfer copyright of the work to ACE- this includes full and exclusive rights to the publication in all media now known or later developed, including but not limited to electronic databases, microfilm, and anthologies.

Author Warranties: The author(s) represent(s) and warrant(s) the following conditions: that the article submitted is his/her (their) own work; that the work has been submitted only to this journal and that it has not been previously published; that the article contains no libelous or unlawful statements and does not infringe upon the civil rights of others; that the author(s) is (are) not infringing upon anyone else's copyright. The authors agree that if there is a breach of any of the above representations and warranties that (s)he (they) will indemnify the Publisher and Editor and hold them blameless. If an earlier version of the paper was presented at a conference, the author must acknowledge that presentation and the conference.

The Journal of Applied Communications requires authors to agree to Creative Commons Attribution and Non-commercial licenses. Authors who publish with the Journal of Applied Communications agree to the following terms:

The journal retains the right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

The Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) encourages you to use and share the content in the Journal of Applied Communications, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license. You may copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt this work as long as you give full attribution, don’t use the work for commercial purposes, and share your resulting work similarly. Proper attribution of a work/article should include:

· Title of the work/article · Journal of Applied Communications · Names of the author(s) · URL of the work

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). To request additional rights, contact the JAC Executive Editor.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

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Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.

Archival Policy

Contents of the Journal are archived for perpetual access through New Prairie Press' participation in CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) and Portico and managed through the Digital Commons Publishing platform. New Prairie Press also participates in LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe). Once published, the contents are never changed.

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the New Prairie Press website and/or software agree not to misuse the New Prairie Press service or software in any way.

The failure of New Prairie Press to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between New Prairie Press and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

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