Publishing, Editing, and Promotion with USAWC Press

August 2019

The US Army War College Press (The Press) has two product lines: The US Army War College Quarterly-Parameters and scholarly monographs.  The Press has a small, but highly effective publishing team.  However, for a successful publishing outcome, authors must follow the guidelines outlined here.

All US Army War College (USAWC) manuscripts, regardless of length, topic or research methodology, must address issues of strategic relevance to US Army and/or Department of Defense (DoD) leaders; all manuscripts must also exhibit the highest standards of research and scholarship, and include actionable strategic, policy, or instructional recommendations.  Authors must avoid jargon and write in a language accessible to busy policymakers and senior decision-makers.

The first step, whether submitting an article to Parameters or a scholarly monograph, is to send an abstract to The Press [usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil].  Abstracts should consist of no more than 200 words and should tell The Press (a) what the proposed topic and thesis of the manuscript are (b) why or how the thesis differs from the literature that already exists on the topic (c) what sources/methodology were used and (d) why or how this manuscript will benefit Army or DoD senior leaders. Manuscripts will not be considered without an abstract.

The USAWC uses the Chicago Manual of Style (most recent edition) as its formatting standard.  Accordingly, all submissions must follow its guidelines.  Specific items not covered by the Chicago Manual can usually be found in the official US Government Style Manual.  Articles for Parameters must not exceed 6,000 words with 5,000 words being the preferred length; special commentaries and review essays should number between 2,500 and 3,000 words; and book reviews must not exceed 1000 words with 800 words preferred.  Monographs must not exceed 15,000 words of main text, including footnotes, or 20,000 words total when the Executive Summary and Foreword are included (both of which are mandatory).  Longer manuscripts will require the special approval of the Director of SSI and the USAWC Press (Director) before being considered for publication.

All manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.  Manuscripts submitted in other formats will be returned.  Tables, charts, graphs, or photographs are welcome, but must contribute substantively to the text.  If any table, chart, graph, or photograph has been previously published, written permission from the copyright holder to republish the content must be included with the submission.

Article submissions will be subjected to a double-blind review by the Parameters Editorial Board.  Monographs will be blind-reviewed by the Press Acquisitions Review Board (PARB).  Reviewers will assess each manuscript’s content, scholarship, and relevance to DoD, and will usually offer one of three recommendations: “Publish As Is” (or with Minor Revisions), “Resubmit after Major Revisions,” or “Reject.”  A review may take as long as eight (8) weeks.  The Editor-in-Chief (EIC), USAWC Press, makes the final decision regarding if and when to publish article-length manuscripts in Parameters.  The SSI Director makes the final publication decision regarding all scholarly monographs.

If the Director approves a monograph-length manuscript for publication, the Senior Editor (SE) or Managing Editor (ME) of The Press will contact the author with release forms and, if appropriate, Public-Affairs clearance forms and will coordinate the editing sequence for that manuscript.  NOTE: US Government employees must obtain PAO clearance from their organizations and submit written evidence of same to The Press before the manuscript can be published.

The Director will assign a publication priority to each monograph.  But that priority may change with little or no warning due to the needs of the USAWC, the US Army, or DoD.  The Press will, however, do everything in its power to move manuscripts through the publication process efficiently.  Under normal circumstances, authors who have submitted correctly revised and formatted manuscripts may expect publication in about 18 weeks.  This is approximately one third the time an academic or commercial press would require.  But each manuscript is unique and some may require more editorial or graphic work than others.

Author’s Checklist:

  1. Abstract: Abstract submitted and accepted.
  2. Manuscript Text and Tables/Graphics: Manuscripts must concern a topic of strategic relevance, be correctly formatted, and fully documented with regard to all facts, quotes, and graphics, and be submitted in MS Word format.  Tables must be included in the body of the Word document. Charts and graphs must be submitted in Excel. Photos must be provided as .jpg images. Identify the desired location of the graphic (by using “insert” along with the file name of the graphic). The official US Government Style Manual is to be used for issues not covered by the Chicago Manual.
  3. Contact Information: The Press requires the author(s) full name(s), email address(es), and phone number(s) to maintain good contact throughout the publication process.
  4. Executive Summary and Foreword: Authors must submit an Executive Summary (2000-2500 words); and a Foreword (200-500 words) for the Director’s signature.
  5. Author Biographical Information: Authors must submit a short paragraph with biographical information (50 words for article submissions; 300 words for monographs); avoid using bullets and acronyms.
  6. Human Subject Research Determination: If the manuscript involves data collection from, or about, living humans, the author must (prior to submission) provide a Human Subject Determination Form to the USAWC Human Subject Research Representative.  The form must indicate whether the research in question required review by an Institutional Review Board, and if so show proper documentation regarding the Board’s determination.

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