This guide describes how to prepare contributions for submission. We recommend you read this in full if you have not previously submitted a contribution to Public Finance Journal. We also recommend that, before submission, you familiarize yourself with Public Finance Journal’s style and content by reading the journal, either in print or online, particularly if you have not submitted to the journal recently.
Formats for PFJ Contributions
Articles are the main format for original research contributions to Public Finance Journal. In addition, Public Finance Journal publishes other submitted material as detailed below.
Articles are original reports whose conclusions represent a substantial advance in understanding of an important problem and have immediate, far-reaching implications. The typical length of a paper published by the journal does not exceed 6,000 words. However, the final print length is at the editor's discretion.
Articles start with a fully referenced summary paragraph, ideally of no more than 200 words, which is separate from the main text and avoids numbers, abbreviations, acronyms or measurements unless essential. It is aimed at readers outside the discipline. This summary paragraph should be structured as follows: 2-3 sentences of basic-level introduction to the field; a brief account of the background and rationale of the work; a statement of the main conclusions (introduced by the phrase 'Here we show' or its equivalent); and finally, 2-3 sentences putting the main findings into general context so it is clear how the results described in the paper have moved the field forwards.
As a guideline, articles typically have no more than 50 references.
Sections are separated with subheadings to aid navigation. Subheadings may be up to 40 characters (including spaces).
Word counts refer to the text of the paper. Title, author list, acknowledgements and references are not included in total word counts.
To notify the journal of the potential need for a correction, please contact the editors-in-chief at [email protected].
Books that are well-researched, make an original contribution to the field of public budgeting and public finance, and that would have an interest to academics and practitioners will be considered for book reviews. Publishers and authors that are interested in having their books considered for review in Public Finance Journal should contact the journal's book review editor at:
Meagan M. Jordan
Old Dominion University
Most published book reviews are between 1,000 and 1,500 words. They should be written so as to inform a broad readership of public and nonprofit managers, practitioners, and researchers. Specifically, they should explain what the book is about and enable prospective readers to decide whether they would like to read the book. When appropriate, longer reviews and reviews involving multiple books on a single theme may be commissioned. Book reviews undergo an editor-reviewed process.
Public Finance Journal publishes high quality, accessible research that covers the spectrum of public budgeting and finance. Contributions should therefore be written clearly and simply so that they are accessible to readers that are practitioners and to readers that are academics from other disciplines. Thus, technical jargon should be avoided as far as possible and clearly explained where its use is unavoidable. Abbreviations, particularly those that are not standard, should also be kept to a minimum. The background, rationale, and main conclusions of the study should be clearly explained. Titles and abstracts in particular should be written in language that will be readily intelligible to both academics and practitioners. Essential but specialized terms should be explained concisely but not didactically.
Even though no paper will be rejected because of poor language, non-native English speakers occasionally receive feedback from editors and reviewers regarding language and grammar usage in their manuscripts. You may wish to consider asking colleagues to read your manuscript and/or to use a professional editing service. You can also get a fast, free grammar check of your manuscript that takes into account all aspects of readability in English. Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in Public Finance Journal.
Public Finance Journal's editors provide detailed advice about the expected print length when asking for the final version of the manuscript. Public Finance Journal's editors often suggest revised titles and rewrite the summary paragraphs of articles so that the conclusions are clear to a broad readership.
After acceptance, Public Finance Journal's copyeditors ensure that the text and figures are readable and clear to those outside the field, and edit papers into Public Finance Journal's house style. They pay particular attention to summary paragraphs, overall clarity, figures, figure legends, and titles.
Proofs are sent before publication; authors are welcome to discuss proposed changes with the editors of the journal, but Public Finance Journal reserves the right to make the final decision about matters of style and the size of figures.
Format of Articles
Contributions should be double-spaced and written in English.
Public Finance Journal strictly adheres to the style of APA's 7th edition for the formatting of manuscripts, in text citations, and your reference list. As a guideline, Articles allow up to 50 references in the main text if needed.
If you are using a reference manager for your manuscript, do not use linked fields (produced by EndNote, Zotero, and other similar programs). Please have the software remove their codes and incorporate the references as text before saving your file.
The journal's style supports endnotes. Endnotes should be brief and follow the conclusion section of the manuscript.
Acknowledgements should be brief, and should not include thanks to anonymous referees and editors, inessential words, or effusive comments. A person can be thanked for assistance, but not "excellent" assistance, or for comments, not "insightful" comments, for example. Acknowledge can contain grant and contribution numbers.
Public Finance Journal encourages the open sharing of data and replication materials. Manuscripts that share this material on the journal's Dataverse are eligible to receive Open Science Badges. An endnote discussing what materials you have made available and a link to the materials should also be included in the manuscript.
Third Party Rights
Public Finance Journal discourages the use or adaptation of previously published display items. We acknowledge, however, that it may be necessary to use published data, figures, or images. If such a necessity arises, it is the authors responsibility to collect the necessary permissions from the copyright holder.
All contributions must be submitted online, unless otherwise instructed by the editors. Please be sure to read the information on what to include in your cover letter as well as several important content-related issues when putting a submission together.
Before submitting, all contributors must agree to all of Public Finance Journal's publication policies.
Public Finance Journal authors are highly encouraged to make data and materials publicly available upon publication via the journal's dataverse. Posting of data and materials should be made upon acceptance, with the respective DOI link to the material provided in the manuscript.