Instructions to Authors

Instructions to Authors


  1. General Information
  2. Copyright for Numeracy
  3. Open Access Policy for Users
  4. Attribution and Usage Policies
  5. Editorial Policies
  6. Peer Review Process
  7. Guidelines for Preparing Manuscripts
  8. Reference Styles
  9. How to Submit Your Paper

General information

Numeracy is the open-access journal of the National Numeracy Network. Published continuously since January 2008, Numeracy strives to be the premier dissemination vehicle for scholarship in quantitative literacy (QL). Its peer-review process seeks feedback from an interdisciplinary group with the goal that its papers be relevant across disciplines. There are two issues per year, in Winter and Summer.

Numeracy seeks papers from a wide range of disciplines, including mathematics and statistics; natural and social sciences; humanities and fine arts; business and industry; engineering; sports and recreation; medicine, nursing and public health. Topically, the Journal intends to cover the gamut of QL: theories of teaching and learning; assessment; classroom practice; curriculum improvement; educational and information resources; faculty development; policy issues; real-world occurrence and applications.

Numeracy publishes two main types of papers. Articles are full accounts of projects, resources, developments and topical subjects. Perspectives give points of view of experiences and issues, or introductory or brainstorming reports on new ideas and innovations. These two types of papers are similar in that (a) their findings and conclusions are substantiated by some combination of evidence, analysis, and reasoned argument and (b) their various settings within the QL literature are communicated by appropriate citations and references. In addition, there are various smaller-scope papers including notes for timely dissemination of preliminary results or progress reports of anticipated or ongoing investigations; essays from book authors introducing their new books; reviews of books; editorials from the managing editors, officers of the National Numeracy Network, or invited guests; and a series of columns from our contributing editor.

On occasion, we include a Theme Collection of articles as a part of a regularly scheduled issue (e.g., vol. 6 [2013], issue 2; vol. 8 [2015], issue 1; and vol. 12 [2019], issues 1 and 2). Proposals for a theme collection should include an abstract of between 250 and 500 words describing the importance of the topic and the potential impact of the collection. In addition, proposals should identify a team of guest editors who intend to shepherd the collection through the editorial process from recruitment of papers through final copy editing. Finally, proposals should include abstracts for three or four papers that would be part of the collection if it were accepted, demonstrating both potential interest from a broad set of authors and the range of ideas that will be explored in the collection. All research papers submitted to the theme collection must go through peer review and receive approval from the journal’s senior and executive editors.

Numeracy is hosted for the National Numeracy Network by the USF Library, which is committed to ensuring that peer-reviewed research is open access. Thus Numeracy is freely and universally accessible online and its authors retain copyright under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, allowing anyone to reproduce or disseminate articles for non-commercial purposes, so long as the original authors and source are cited. After publication, authors have the right to post pre-print or post-print versions of their article online, including on their personal, departmental, or institutional repository pages. The journal content is preserved in LOCKSS and Portico, in addition to the back-ups at USF and offsite via bepress.

There are no publication charges.

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Authors must agree to the following when submitting a manuscript for consideration:

I hereby grant to the USF Tampa Library and the journal publisher the nonexclusive, royalty-free right to distribute, display, and archive this work in a digital and/or print format for non-commercial educational and research uses during the full term of copyright. I warrant that I have the copyright to make this grant to the USF Tampa Library and the journal publisher unencumbered and complete. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material from other sources.

Following publication, the author’s rights will be protected under a Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.

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Open Access Policy for Users

Numeracy is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author for non-commercial purposes. Nonetheless, reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein requires credit to the original publication source with a link to both the article and the license. This open access policy is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative's (BOAI) definition of open access.

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Attribution and Usage Policies

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted or by written agreement requires appropriate credit to the original publication source with a link to both the article and the Creative Commons License.

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Editorial Policies

Manuscripts cannot have been previously published or be currently submitted elsewhere for publication while in review for Numeracy, although manuscripts may have been deposited on a preprint server. Manuscripts that are derived from papers presented at conferences can be submitted unless they have been published as part of the conference proceedings in a peer-reviewed journal. Authors are required to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights, or the rights of a third party.

Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript, and should not be submitted by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission and peer review. Submission of a manuscript to Numeracy implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that any human-subjects research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate institutional review board.

Peer-Review Process

The peer-review process is designed to ensure that Numeracy publishes outstanding scholarship. One of the journal’s managing editors (or, where relevant, theme-collection editors) will manage the manuscript. The manuscript's managing editor will collect reviews and recommendations with respect to four possible outcomes: 1) accept without revision, 2) accept after revision without further external review, 3) neither accept nor reject until author(s) make revisions and resubmit, 4) reject. The reviews will be “single blind” but not “double blind” (i.e., reviewers will know the identity of the authors, but not vice versa, unless the reviewer self-identifies in the review). The manuscript’s managing editor will make the decision on outcome (in consultation with a journal editor, in the case of a theme collection manuscript) and advise the author through the bepress system. The ultimate responsibility for all decisions lies with the journal’s managing editors, to whom any appeals should be addressed.

Guest editorials, reviews of books and other educational materials, “From the Author” reflections, commentaries, and replies will normally be reviewed by only one or more of the journal’s editors.

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Guidelines for Preparing Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be submitted in English (American or British). Authors should submit manuscripts as a Microsoft Word file, which the bepress system will convert into a PDF document. Alternatively, authors may submit a high-quality PDF document.

Title and Abstract

  1. Do not include title, author(s) and abstract on the uploaded text; i.e., begin the document with the introduction. The bepress system will produce a title page and abstract page from information you supply in boxes when you submit the manuscript.
  2. Avoid long titles. We prefer titles (including subtitle) with fewer than 90 characters (including punctuation and spaces) and will object to titles longer than 120 characters.
  3. Use a colon (rather than a dash) to separate title from the subtitle, if you have one.
  4. Prepare an informative, 100–250-word abstract. All papers, including book reviews, editorials and commentaries, must have abstracts. The bepress system displays the abstract in a prominent, preview position. Some readers read only abstracts and do not download the PDF unless they need the details. It is important that the abstract be substantive; it must include sufficient information that the reader learns the method and findings of the study. Abstracts that are merely teases, previews or promises will not be accepted.

Cover Page Footnote

  1. The submission system contains a box labeled “Cover Page Footnote.” The instructions there ask authors to include acknowledgments in this section. Please ignore these instructions. Rather, include a brief biographical sketch of each co-author.
  2. Include acknowledgments in a section at the conclusion of the paper. (See below.)
  3. The biosketch “cover page footnote” will appear on the abstract page of the published PDF. Authors are encouraged to keep the biosketches short enough, or combine them, to have the abstract and biosketches all fit on a single page.

Main Text

  1. Do not include page numbers, headers or footers. The bepress system will add the appropriate information, including a running head that you supply during the submission process.
  2. For matters of style, consult The Chicago Manual of Style.
  3. Use the following style formats:
    1. Page size: 8.5 × 11 inches.
    2. Margins (left, right, top, and bottom): 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including tables and figures.
    3. Line spacing: single space, except to set off block quotations, equations and special remarks. Do not insert extra line space between paragraphs.
    4. Layout: single column.
    5. Fonts
      • Main body: 12-point New Times Roman.
      • Footnotes: 10-point New Times Roman.
    6. Headings: Left-justified
      • 1st-order: 16-point Arial, bold. 12-point line space before and after. No punctuation at end. Do not number 1st-order headings.
      • 2nd-order: 14-point Arial, bold, italics. 6-point line space before and after (except none when following a 1st-order heading). No punctuation at end. Do not number 2nd-order headings.
      • 3rd-order: 12-point, New Times Roman, bold, ending with a period, in line with the start of the paragraph. Do not number 3rd-order headings.
    7. Indents:
      • First paragraph after heading: no indent.
      • Subsequent paragraphs: 2-em (0.3 in.).
      • Block quotations: block indent 0.5 inch from left margin (only).
  4. Use the following document structure:
    1. Introduction.
    2. Subsequent sections (Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, etc.).
    3. Conclusions (or “Concluding Remarks,” or “Summary and Conclusions”).
    4. Acknowledgments.
    5. References.
    6. Appendices (if any). (For long appendices, use the supplemental content feature on the left-side navigation column.)
  5. Use footnotes, rather than end notes, for brief, extra information, including Web site URLs that are not included in the references. Number the footnotes consecutively through the document.
  6. Use a brief closing statement to acknowledge significant contributions by professional associates (including students where appropriate), permission to publish by employer, financial support, and reviewers. Precede the statement with a section heading “Acknowledgment” in 14-point, bold, Arial font.
  7. Use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize, rather than underlining it. Similarly, use italics rather than underlining for unusual foreign terms, and titles of books, journals, and movies.

Figures and Tables

  1. Anticipate that in the published document all tables and figures will need to fit within 1.5-inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right), whether portrait or landscape. Large tables or figures can be on pages by themselves, but they will need to be within the 1.5-inch margins (unless specifically approved by editor).
  2. For the review manuscript, include the tables and figures at the end. Indicate in the text the approximate location where the table or figure should appear (e.g., “Figure 1 about here,” set off by horizontal lines across the page). Include the figure caption with the figure.
  3. Every figure and table must be referenced in the text. For figures, use “Fig.” when referring to a figure in parentheses; otherwise spell it out (“Figure”).
  4. Each table must have a table number and title above the main part of the table. The table number (consecutive Arabic numerals) and title (headline capitalization) should be on successive lines and be New Times Roman, 9-point, bold. Explanatory information does not belong in the title; use notes (New Times Roman, 8-point) below the main body of the table and separated from it by a rule the full width of the table.
  5. For the body of the table use New Times Roman, 8-point font. The table should be constructed to be small so that readers can easily see the structure of the table. Use horizontal rules sparingly and, if possible, avoid vertical rules entirely. The boxy, gridded-cell appearance of tables as produced (before modification) by many word processors is not wanted. For detailed guidance, see The Chicago Manual of Style.
  6. Each figure must have a caption below the figure in the published paper. For the review manuscript, include the figure captions as an ordered listing between the tables and the figures (without captions); i.e., the text of the submission should be followed by (a) the tables, (b) the figure captions, and (c) the caption-less figures.
  7. Figure captions should be in Times New Roman, 10 point. They should consist of the following three parts: (1) Figure number (e.g., “Figure 1.”), bold, with Figure spelled out, and the Arabic numeral followed by a period; (2) figure title (sentence-style capitalization); (3) explanation and discussion, if important, up to 300 words.
  8. Figures should be inserted in the document as JPGs. They should be one of two sizes determined by width: (a) large – 5 inches wide, and (b) small 2.5 inches wide. For (a), width should exceed height; or for (b) height can exceed width but should be less than 5 inches.
    1. Avoid making prescreened line art (art containing gray shading). It is nearly impossible to digitize these images accurately without creating “blotchy” patterns. If you must use gray shading: generate the image at line screens of 85 lines per inch or lower; apply gray in steps no closer than 20 percent; do not use levels of gray below 20 percent or above 70 percent.
    2. Use thick, solid lines no finer than 1 point in thickness.
    3. Use bold, solid, sans serif type for lettering. At 100 percent, no type should be smaller than 6 point.


  1. Type short mathematical expressions inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using different levels (e.g., such as fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.
  2. Number equations sequentially. Number them on the right.
  3. 3. Italicize Roman letters used as variables in mathematical expressions (e.g., references to “n” for sample size or “p-values”). Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.
  4. Avoid unusual fonts for notation and symbols. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays correctly on the screen and prints correctly. When proofing your document under PDF pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other than standard fonts.

Reference Styles

  1. Following The Chicago Manual of Style (author-date citation) cite references in text by author(s) name and year (e.g., Jones 1999) (no comma between name and year). For multiple references by the same author in the same year, use the letters a, b, and c after the year (e.g., Jones 1999a, 1999b). Papers with four or more authors should be cited in the text using "et al." (e.g., Jones et al. 1999) (no comma).
  2. When citing multiple works in a single in-line citation, order them by date of publication and then alphabetically by author name.
  3. At the end of the paper, list the cited references alphabetically by lead author’s name in chronological order.
  4. Use the reference style of The Chicago Manual of Style.
  5. Do not write references to books, journal articles, and other formal publications as footnotes. Informational footnotes may include citations to references in the References section.
  6. Online books, journal articles and other formal publications should be cited and referenced like their in-print counterparts. References for other Web material, such as Web sites, are better done with footnotes; start with the URL and then give the available defining information such as title and author or agency/institute.
  7. Check to be sure that every reference that is cited in text, footnotes, tables and figure captions is listed in the References section.
  8. Any 'in press' articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript must be made available if requested by the editorial office.

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How to Submit Your Paper

New Account

To register a new account, click "Submit Article" in the sidebar. Then click on "Create Free Account" and enter your first and last name, e-mail address, and preferred password. You should receive immediately a confirmation e-mail at the address you provided (you may need to check your Junk mail); click in the link in the e-mail and proceed with your submission if ready. If you attempt to create an account at an address already in the system, you will be sent your password as a reminder. If you require assistance, contact the Journal Staff at .

Initiating the Process

Start the manuscript submission process by pressing the "Submit Article" link on the home page. If you have a bepress account, log-in and press “Continue.” If you do not have an account, you will need to register. After you have logged in, you will see a page listing the essentials you will need to complete the process: title, a separate abstract (for articles, perspectives and book reviews, not for guest editorials and commentaries/replies); and the manuscript in Word, RTF, or PDF. After reviewing the required elements, press “Continue.” Then review the Article Submission Agreement and the Copyright Agreement, and press “Accept.” (Pressing “Decline” dead-ends the process.)

Completing the Process

Review and, if necessary, correct the information about you, the first author, and press “Continue” (if you are not the first author, you can reorder the authors after they are all entered). Follow the prompts on the next page to enter all your co-authors and end with “Continue” to reach the main upload page. Fill in the boxes for the following and then submit.

  • Title (headline capitalization).
  • Running head (a shorter version of the title, max 60 characters).
  • Key words (optional; editors will provide them or may add to yours).
  • Subject (select one or more from a list).
  • Type of article (select one from list: Editorial, Article, Perspective, Notes, From Book Authors, Discussion and Reply, Book Review, Column, Other).
  • Abstract (upload or type) (Note, Numeracy aims for meaty abstracts that communicate the purpose, methods, findings, and significance of the paper succinctly and efficiently [250 words or less for articles and perspectives; at least a sentence or two for editorials, discussions/replies, and columns.]).
  • Cover Page Footnote (include brief-bio sketches; do not include acknowledgments).
  • Article (upload. If you upload a Word or RTF document, bepress will convert it to PDF and send it to you for checking.).
  • Cover letter (purpose and anticipated contribution to QL education).

A completion screen will provide you with a four-digit manuscript number for your manuscript. The system will send you an e-mail to confirm when it has converted to PDF. Please check over the PDF carefully to ensure the conversion was satisfactory and that the manuscript is ready for review. If no revisions are necessary, you do not need to notify the editor. If revisions are necessary, go to your My Account page, click on the submission title, and then use the "Revise submission" link to provide a revised version. Both you and the editor assigned to your submission will be notified when the revision has been uploaded, so there is no need to confirm with the editor.

Updating Your Account Information

You can update your Profile (e.g., Password, E-mail, Name, Institutional Affiliation) from the home page: http://services.bepress.com/numeracy/. Click “My Account.” Then

  • Log in to the site with your E-mail address and Password.
  • Click: Log In.
  • Click: Edit Profile.
  • Complete or update the fields on this screen to update your profile.
  • Please note: if you change your password, you will have to log in again using the new password.
  • Click: Update.

If you forget your password, click on “Forget your password?” on the login page.

You can also upload a new submission from the “My Account” page: Click “Upload” to start the process.

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