Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Grins and Groans of Publishing in Professional School Counseling

Academic journal article Professional School Counseling

Grins and Groans of Publishing in Professional School Counseling

Article excerpt

A former editor of Professional School Counseling shares her insights into the publishing process and provides tips for authors for submitting manuscripts for publication consideration. A variety of resources including print materials and online resources are provided to assist new authors, published authors, and counselor educators who are encouraging new authors with the "grins and groans" of publishing in professional journals.


As past editor of Professional School Counseling, I have learned much about the publication process and have had the opportunity to read hundreds of manuscripts submitted for publication consideration in a national journal. In reading the manuscripts, I have come to appreciate the daunting task for authors, particularly those who are not familiar with the publication process. Given that perspective, I share with you a brief overview of the journal, my thoughts about the "grins and groans" of writing for publication and surviving the publication process, and a variety of resources that may be helpful to authors.


Professional School Counseling is the professional journal published by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The first volume of the journal was published in 1997 after the predecessor journals, The School Counselor and Elementary School Guidance Journal, merged. The School Counselor was in publication from the early 1950s and Elementary School Guidance Journal was in publication from the 1960s; a prior journal, Elementary Counselor, was in publication 1953-1954 (Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, 2004). Currently, each volume of Professional School Counseling consists of five issues (October, December, February, April, and June) with a circulation of over 15,000 to ASCA members. The Editorial Board is made up of counselor educators and practicing counseling professionals (i.e., school counselors, education consultants) with an editor; the editor and members of the board each serve a 3-year term. As terms of the board expire, a call for applications is announced in various professional communications (e.g., newsletters, e-malls, listservs). Applicants are asked to submit a curriculum vitae with a cover letter highlighting the strengths and experience that the applicant will bring to the Editorial Board. Editorial Board appointments are made each summer to serve a 3-year term.


Various articles have been written providing authors with recommendations (Davis & Sink, 2001; Sink, 2000), resources (Vinturella & Dorn, 1988), guidelines (Dorn, 1984), attitude (Smaby & Crews, 1998), and technique (Smaby, Crews, & Downing, 1999). The general themes from what has been written are to follow the guidelines for publication provided by the publisher, usually printed on the inside cover of the journal issue, and to adhere to the writing style guidelines, usually the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), currently the fifth edition (APA, 2001).

So, why publish in Professional School Counseling? The easy answer is to share your expertise, which by and large is an excellent reason to contribute to a professional journal. However, the answer to the question is multidimensional. By sharing your expertise, you help others in finding new and innovative ways to practice professional school counseling. By sharing your expertise, you have taken the time to review current themes in the literature and are staying up-to-date with the profession. By sharing your expertise, you are contributing to your identity development as a professional school counselor (Brott & Myers, 1999). By sharing your expertise, you are developing as a professional.

So, how do you increase your chances of being published in Professional School Counseling? The long and short of it is to submit a quality manuscript by following four simple rules. …

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