Author Guidelines

The High School Journal welcomes original manuscripts that investigate issues of relevance to secondary students, teachers, and schools. Manuscripts may investigate any secondary grade level or subject-matter, including issues related to counseling and the transitions to and from high school. Qualitative and quantitative studies informed by theory, as well as conceptual pieces, are acceptable for submission. All manuscripts should include a critical lens or perspective. On occasion, we accept timely book reviews; consult the managing editor before submission. Because our audience is wide, be sure to explain all terms that may be particular to a specific discipline.


All blinded manuscripts must be submitted electronically through ScholarOne. Upload your original source files, which will be converted to PDF. It is necessary to have the source files should your manuscript go into production. Tables and figures should be in a separate document. Include a title page as a separate document (not sent to reviewers) that includes all author information (name, affiliation, and email). The first author will be the corresponding author unless otherwise indicated. If you wish to include an author note, include that on the title page.

All correspondence between authors and the editorial staff will take place via email. You are encouraged to consult recent issues of The High School Journal before submitting.

Please visit the ScholarOne site to create an account and submit a manuscript with cover letter. To ensure a blind peer-review, make sure the main manuscript files has no identifying author information. Use “Author, YEAR” for in-text citations, and for references simply use “Author. (YEAR)” as a placeholder with all other reference information removed.

Review Process

All submitted manuscripts are screened by two members of the High School Journal Editorial Board who evaluate for fit (secondary education focus; critical perspective) and quality. All Editorial Board members are doctoral students in education at UNC-Chapel Hill, and are overseen by a faculty member. If the board determines the manuscript meets our criteria, it will be sent for peer review by scholars whose expertise corresponds with the submission. Then, each manuscript is reviewed by at least two experts in the field. The review process generally takes 3-4 months.

Writing Guidelines


Manuscripts should be written in American English. Because our audience is interdisciplinary, please take care to explain any discipline-specific jargon.

Page Limit

Manuscripts are limited to 30 pages, exclusive of the title page, references, appendices, tables, and figures.

Text Formatting

Use the current APA manual for formatting of text, headings, reference lists, etc. General sections for most manuscripts include, but are not limited to: introduction (no heading is used for this section); literature review; methods; results/findings; discussion; limitations; conclusion.


Use the current APA manual for formatting all citations in-text and in the reference list.

For qualitative studies, cite all quotations in-text from interviews or emails as (Name of participant, personal communication, date). These citations are not included in a reference list. Quotes from field notes, analytic memos, student work, or the like should be cited similarly.

For all journals cited in the reference list, please include the volume and issue number, as in this example:

Greene, J. A., Bolick, C. M., Caprino, A. M., Deekens, V. M., McVea, M., Yu, S., & Jackson, W. P. (2015). Fostering High-School Students’ Self-Regulated Learning Online and Across Academic Domains. The High School Journal, 99(1), 88-106.


Abstracts should be a maximum of 200 words and should be a summary of the paper. Include a list of suggested keywords. Use ERIC’s thesaurus to find keywords relevant to your paper. It is recommended that if you use one term in the abstract– such as secondary education– that you use a synonym as the keyword– high school. This ensures that more searchers will find your manuscript. The editors will look over keywords and revise as necessary.


Footnotes should be used only when necessary. Number consecutively. Do not use endnotes.


Submit tables as editable text documents (such as .doc) and not as spreadsheets or image files. Within the document, indicate where a table should be placed with < Insert Table 1 about here >.


Figures, should also be submitted in a separate document, if possible as editable text. Within the document, indicate where a figure should be placed with < Insert Figure 1 about here >.

Manuscript Decisions

Once your manuscript has undergone peer review, the editorial board will use the reviews to make a collective decision. You will receive an email notification from the managing editor with one of the following decisions:

  1. Accept. The manuscript has been accepted as-is.
  2. Minor Revisions. The manuscript has been accepted pending the author(s) making minor changes as specified by the managing editor and reviewers. This could mean adding clarifications, references, and/or correcting mistakes.
  3. Major Revisions. The manuscript has been accepted pending the author(s) making major changes as specified by the managing editor and reviewers. This could mean responding to reviewers and editors comments by adding additional clarification, rearranging the manuscript, adding or deleting sections, adding relevant literature, and/or correcting mistakes. This decision could also lead to exchanging multiple drafts with the editors.
  4. Reject and Resubmit. The manuscript has not been accepted at this time, but the author(s) are encouraged to use the feedback from reviewers and the editorial staff to revise and resubmit. Articles that are resubmitted will undergo another peer review process, if possible from the same reviewers. Manuscripts must be resubmitted within 60 days or they will be considered a new manuscript. Resubmitting does not guarantee acceptance.
  5. Reject. The manuscript has been denied publication, and a resubmission is not possible.

Accepted Manuscripts

The corresponding author will be notified via email if a manuscript is accepted. When production begins, the editorial team (the managing editor and associate editors) will carefully read and edit the manuscript. Edited manuscripts are then returned to the corresponding author for corrections and changes. Once both the managing editor and corresponding author are satisfied, the manuscript will move to the proof stage. The proof will be returned to the corresponding author for additional review and to answer any remaining queries from the publisher (usually regarding citations). At this point, only small changes such as error corrections can be made. Authors can contact the managing editor by email at any point in the process with questions.


Upon acceptance, all authors must sign a copyright agreement to begin production. Copyright is maintained by UNC Press. There is a one-year embargo on publications which prevents authors from uploading published manuscripts to institutional repositories or other personal or professional websites. One year after publication, published manuscripts can be uploaded to these sites. To read more, visit the UNC Press website.

The copyright agreement states:

“As a condition of publication, the Author assigns copyright in and to the manuscript named above, for publication in all forms and media, to The High School Journal, published by the UNC School of Education (hereafter referred to as the Publisher), effective when it is accepted for publication by the Publisher. The Journal is distributed by the University of North Carolina Press.

The Author confirms that the manuscript mentioned above contains no material the publication of which could be construed as libelous or would violate any copyright or other personal or proprietary right of any person or entity. The Author will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Publisher against all suits, proceedings, or claims that may be taken on the ground that said article is in such violation.

The Publisher, as assignee, grants to the Author the right to quote from this article in any book or article that s/he may later write, the right to photocopy the article for his/her own use, and the right to republish the article in any book s/he may write or edit after the journal has appeared. In the case of republication, notice of previous publication in this journal must be given, and the Publisher should be notified in writing.

The Author will be given the opportunity, and a reasonable amount of time, to read and correct either the edited manuscript or proofs, depending on the journal’s publication schedule; but if these are not returned to the Editor by the date specified, then production and publication may proceed without the Author’s corrections. For diagrams or illustrations used in the article, the Author agrees to furnish camera-ready artwork satisfactory to the Editor and the Publisher’s production department and any permissions necessary for publication.”

Editorial Office

The High School Journal
c/o School of Education
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB 3500, Peabody Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500