Submission Requirements

Submitting Manuscripts to the Journal of Strategic Security

Authors should submit manuscripts online via the Journal of Strategic Security (JSS) manuscript submission and review system. Here are instructions for creating a user account and using the electronic system: manuscript submission and review system.

Important Note: Authors are responsible for ensuring that their manuscripts conform to the JSS style. The Journal of Strategic Security will not publish manuscripts that do not conform to JSS standards–especially endnote citations. Authors will be required to re-submit if manuscripts do not conform to the proper JSS format.


Manuscript Style

  • Microsoft Word. Authors must prepare and submit manuscripts in Microsoft Word format. Do not submit manuscripts in PDF format.
  • Abstract. Manuscripts should include an abstract of no more than 200 words. There is a text area for you to directly type or copy-and-paste your abstract directly through the online submission process.
  • Author Biography. Manuscripts should include a brief, one-paragraph author biography (150 words max). See past articles on the JSS website for reference.
  • Keywords. Manuscripts should include three to six keywords that characterize the topic. Select keywords where indicated during the online submission process.
  • Length. Articles published by the JSS are typically about 3,000 to 5,000 words in length. Occasionally, the JSS will consider publication of shorter or longer articles on a case-by-case basis. Authors should note the reason for substantially longer or shorter articles at the time of submission and may do so by contacting the editors.
  • Original Work. All submissions must be original and not draw substantially from previously published work.
  • Citations. The JSS uses endnotes. Authors should consult The Chicago Manual Style online. Common formats are available here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-1.html. Proper endnote formatting is imperative. See citation requirements section below.

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Citation Requirements

References. JSS uses endnotes. Insert endnotes using the Microsoft Word function from the References tab (simple insert). Do not create a bibliography. Do not use third-party software.

  • Authors should locate endnotes at the end of the document
  • Use numbers such as 1, 2, 3 in a superscript position at the end of sentence punctuation, like this.1
  • Do not insert references in the middle of a sentence.
  • Endnotes must be in 10 pt. Times New Roman font and single-spaced.
  • Use one endnote number and create a super endnote containing multiple sources separated by a semicolon if there are multiple sources in a sentence. Do not use the words see also, see, or other descriptors after semicolons in super endnotes.
  • Endnotes must include the DOI or URL (for example, web address) of sources, even if authors did not originally access the source online.
  • Remove all active hyperlinks.
  • JSS does not use parenthetical citations or bibliographies.

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Formatting Requirements

  • Justification. Manuscripts should be left justified, with a ragged right margin.
  • Line spacing. Manuscripts must be single-spaced. Please do not double-space.
  • Sentence spacing. There must only be one space between sentences, not two.
  • Paragraphs. Insert a single line space between each new paragraph. Left justify all paragraphs. Do not use indents or tabs. A paragraph is at least three (3) sentences (beginning, middle, and end).
  • Font:
    • Title—14 pt. Times New Roman, regular font-face (not bold), Title Case, left justified
    • Main Body—12 pt. Times New Roman font
    • Main Headers—14 pt. Times New Roman font, regular font-face (not bold), Title Case, left justified
    • Sub-Headers—12 pt. Times New Roman font, italicized, Title Case, left justified
    • Images/Figures/Table Headers—12 pt. Times New Roman font, regular font (not bold, per CMOS).
    • Endnotes—10 pt. Times New Roman font, single line spacing (not multiple)
  • Margins. Manuscripts should have 1” inch margins on the Left and Right, and 1” margins on the top and bottom of the page.
  • Punctuation. Use the Oxford serialized comma (for example he likes art, science, and literature). Periods and other punctuation must appear inside of quotations (in other words “at the end of a sentence like this.”).

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Images, Figures, and Tables

  • Authors must include permission to use any image/figure/graph/table not author-created. If created by the author, include the statement beneath the image/figure/graph/table: “Source: Created by author.”
  • To the extent possible, images and figures should appear in the document where referenced in the text.
  • All images must be included with your submission and saved as high-resolution .jpg or .gif files. High resolution means at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) and at least 800x800 pixels in size. The JSS will not generally accept images created in Microsoft Word due to insufficient quality.
  • Use formal titles for images, figures, and tables using the style Table/Figure/Image and number accordingly. Use a Descriptive Short Title (at top of image, figure, table, in 12-point Times New Roman, Title Case, not bold, no space below; Place notes, legend and other table-clarifying explanations, and source of table below the image, figure, or table, in 10 point Times New Roman, not bold, no space above, single space below. Text within table is 10-point Times New Roman. Rule lines: Thicker lines surrounding column names and totals is 1 ½ point and lines within table are ¼ point.
  • See the example below:
Table 1. Literature Review Categories
(prior to 2000)
(2015 to present)
No Date Total
Peer Reviewed Journals 5 25 35 0 65
Non-Peer Reviewed Journals 2 2 4 0 8
Dissertations and Theses 0 2 5 0 7
Books–peer/non-peer reviewed 5 45 30 0 80
Other (corporate and government research reports, internet sites, laws, court decisions, general references, and miscellaneous) 8 20 45 10 83
Total 20 94 119 10 243

Source: Author or authors. Or, cited, with permission, per CMOS if copyrighted.
Notes. The researcher reviewed all literature in this table. The endnotes contain only sources cited in the text.

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Writing Standards Required

The JSS looks for analytical, well-reasoned, and carefully researched arguments that expand and improve discourse on important strategic security issues. Arguments should be clearly constructed and well documented. Refrain from using rhetorical questions in the manuscript. Use only academic research questions. The JSS does not accept undocumented opinion pieces or descriptive papers that fail to provide new insights on an issue. Articles should encourage readers to think about a subject in a new light, provide an assessment of new developments, or add substantive knowledge to the existing literature.

The Journal of Strategic Security looks for articles that include the following elements:

  • Introduction. Heading required and should state the author’s purpose and present a clearly defined thesis statement. The author should present a concise “roadmap” that helps the reader anticipate the structure of the paper.
  • Body. Each section of the paper should be relevant to the author’s thesis. Every word should count. Every paragraph should begin with a central idea followed by properly cited supporting evidence. Authors should also remember to include and address counterarguments. Use headers and sub-headers to denote new topics and break up the text to improve organization and readability.
  • Conclusion. Heading required and the conclusion should summarize the main points of the argument as it relates to the central thesis. Please do not introduce new ideas in the conclusion. The author should suggest courses of action or policy recommendations. The Journal of Strategic Security looks for papers that are not only descriptive but also analytic and/or prescriptive—revealing important insights and developing creative strategies for the future.

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Submission Checklist

  • Please use MS Word’s US English dictionary. The JSS publishes uses US English spelling and dates should follow: month day, year format (e.g., January 19, 2024)
  • Please submit manuscripts using 3rd person voice.
  • Punctuation and quotation marks: Please follow American style (or North American Style) punctuation whereby double quotation marks begin and end direct quotes in the manuscript, use single quotation marks within a quotation, and commas, and sentence-ending punctuation such as periods and question marks are inside quotation marks.
  • Please refrain from using long sentences. Break up sentences greater than 40 words.
  • Long quotations (more than three lines) should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below; use quotation marks and endnote the reference with a full citation.
  • Eliminate as much passive voice as possible. Writing in active voice results in a livelier manuscript.
  • Define all abbreviations and acronyms on first use and use the acronym thereafter unless it starts a sentence. Then spell it out again. If not used again, do not create it.
  • Italicize foreign words and phrases in each instance.
  • Please refrain from using Latin abbreviations i.e., e.g., and, etc. Use “in other words” for i.e., use “for example” for e.g. and for etc., either list the items or end the list.
  • Refrain from using quotation marks or italics to emphasize common words. For example, the following word and phrases do not require any special font: market economy, Russian threat, terrorism, on track, hard power, soft power, grey zone, cold war, new war, true, and surge.
  • Avoid superfluous adjectives such as really and very.
  • Please spell as one word: counterterrorism (no hyphen)
  • Unless it is a mathematical equation, always spell out math signs (plus, minus, percentage, etc.) when part of a sentence.
  • Capitalize the word after a colon, like this: You see
  • When mentioning the United States as a noun, please spell it out in each instance. When using the United States as an adjective, please use the acronym, U.S.
  • JSS Article templates do not include epigraphs. If you’d like to include this, do so in the body text of the introduction and cite per CMOS.
  • Refrain from using contractions in academic writing.
  • Emphasis: Quote marks: See CMOS sections 7.50: Italics for emphasis, 7.57: “Scare quotes” and 7.60: Common expressions and figures of speech
  • Emphasis: Italics: See 7.53: Unfamiliar words and phrases from other languages. If a word from another language becomes familiar through repeated use throughout a work italicized only on its first occurrence.
  • Please do not use slashes in academic writing. Per CMOS, it’s a “somewhat informal” shorthand for or.” Choose the appropriate words to express yourself. See Section 6.106: Slashes to signify alternatives.
  • Foreign languages: See CMOS 11: Languages Other than English. CMOS section 7.53: Unfamiliar words and phrases from other languages. Use italics for isolated words and phrases from another language unless they appear in Webster’s or another standard English-language dictionary (see CMOS 7.54).
  • Avoid anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. A country or company is not “they;” it is an “it.” A terrorist group is not “they;” it is an “it,” and laws and regulations are “its.”
  • Pronouns and nouns (antecedents). Avoid incorrect use of pronouns. Pronouns refer to the immediately preceding noun. For clarity, authors should use nouns whenever possible versus overuse of pronouns. Using pronouns creates confusion and ambiguity.

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Book Review Guidelines

We do not accept unsolicited book reviews. If you have a recommendation for a book review, please contact our Book Review Editor:

The Journal of Strategic Security publishes book reviews to inform readers of the publication of a book of professional interest and to provide a concise evaluation of the book by a qualified observer. Book reviews are guideposts for our readers to navigate the strategic security sector.

Reviews should address the following areas:

  • Type of book (biography, anthology, history, monograph, etc.)
  • Place the book in the context of existing literature in the field – how does the book contribute or add to the field?
  • Briefly describe the book’s main argument – is it clear?
  • What are the book’s special attractions, deficits, or other features? If it has flaws, point them out candidly but courteously and professionally
  • Evaluate the book’s usefulness for those interested in intelligence, counterterrorism, and protection
  • Finally, is the book worth buying? Reading? By whom?

Reviews should be complete and preferably electronically submitted. Limit your text to approximately 1000 words (1,200 words maximum and 750 words minimum) typed, double-spaced, and carefully edited. Reviews may be edited for space and style if selected for publication. Include your name and institutional or agency affiliation as you would like it to appear, e.g., John Smith, Henley-Putnam University, or John Smith, Department of Homeland Security.

Reviewers should also include their highest level of education with abbreviation in addition to a 150-word biography at the end of the review.

Include the following in the review heading: title, author, publisher, number of pages, ISBN, and price of the book, as well as appropriate info from the sample below.

Sample Book Review Heading:
Hezbollah: A Short History. By Augustus Richard Norton. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-691-13124-5. Maps. Photographs. Glossary. Notes. Sources cited. Index. Pp. vi, 187. $16.95.

Additional Style Notes:

  • Do not use footnotes or endnotes – indicate exact pagination for direct quotes such as “Henley-Putnam is a leader in the strategic security sector,” (p. 321).
  • Provide the full names of anyone mentioned in your review

Instructions for Reviewers

Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the paper. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be constructive and include specific recommendations for improvement, with reference to page numbers and where possible location on the page. Your review should not include any personal details, including your name.

To maintain the integrity of our double-blind review policy, you must follow the instructions below to ensure that your review is completely anonymous. Be careful to omit any references to yourself. When an editorial decision is reached for the article, the review will be made available to the author(s) exactly as you submit it.

The “Submit Review” form also includes a place where you may upload a confidential cover letter which only editors may see.

After you write your review, you can upload it as a text file, a Microsoft Word (or RTF) file, or as a PDF file.

If you submit your review in Adobe:

Go to Edit – Preferences – Commenting and uncheck the box that says “Always use log-in name for Author name.” Close and then re-open the application.

Then open a file, add a new comment to it, right-click on the comment, and select Properties. Under the General tab, change the Author name to “Reviewer” or “Anonymous” and check the "Make Current Properties Default" box. Click OK and from now on any comment you make will say whatever you typed in and will not show your name as the author.

Mac users

Go to Acrobat Reader – Preferences – Commenting, and uncheck the box that says “Always use log-in name for Author name.” Close and then re-open the application. Follow the instructions above.

If you submit your review in Word:

Go to File – Info – Check for Issues – Inspect Document. Ensure all of the box in the pop-up dialogue are checked, then click on Inspect. A new window appears after Word completes the inspection where you the option to remove Document Properties and Personal Information. Select “Remove All” and then Close.

Mac users

Mac users go to Tools – Protect Document. Under the Privacy section, check the option to “Remove Personal Information from this File on Save.” Click OK and save the file.

For older versions of Word using a Mac, go to Preferences – Personal Settings. Click Security, and under Privacy options, select the “Remove Personal Information from this File on Save.” Save the document.

All of your personal information should now be hidden in your comments and track changes when you submit your review.

Criteria for Successful Reviews

Please ensure that your review addresses the following considerations:

  • Is the submission original?
  • Does it help to expand or further research in this subject area?
  • Is the paper well integrated and up to date with the existing body of literature?
  • Is the paper complete? What would make the paper stronger if certain literature or data were included?
  • Should it be shortened? If so, where and why?
  • Is the methodology presented in the manuscript and any analysis provided both accurate and properly conducted?
  • Do you feel that the significance and potential impact of a paper is high or low?
  • Are all relevant accompanying data, citations, or references given by the author?
  • Is the paper likely to be of sufficient interest to be cited by other researchers?
  • Are the methods, analysis, and conclusions robust and to a high standard?

If you have any questions about the review process and standards of the Journal of Strategic Security, please don't hesitate to contact me: .

Current as of February 2024