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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • You must be the author, or the authorized agent of the author(s) and copyright holder.
  • If different from the author(s): the author(s) must have approved the work for publication, agreed to submit the article to the Journal, and accepted full responsibility for the article’s content.
  • If the Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention agrees to publish the Article, you hereby agree that it will be distributed with a Creative Commons Noncommercial Attribution license (CC BY-NC 4.0).
  • Authors will grant a nonexclusive license in their work to the Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention and the University of Minnesota Libraries.
  • The Article must be the Author(s) original work and must not contain any libelous or unlawful statements or infringe on the rights or privacy of others or contain material or instructions that might cause harm or injury
  • The Article must not have been previously published, is not pending review elsewhere, and will not be submitted for review elsewhere pending the completion of the editorial decision process at the Journal.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

The Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention focuses on the trends, practices, research, and development of programs, policies, and activities related to the matriculation, orientation, transition and retention of college students. Also encouraged are literature reviews, "how-to" articles, innovative initiatives, successful practices and new ideas.

Publication Schedule

The JCOTR currently publishes two issues per year (April and November/December). Submissions are considered year round and are reviewed and slated on a rolling basis.

Occasionally, special thematic editions are added as a third issue during the year. There is a separate call for submissions to these issues with subsequent deadlines. 

Manuscript Submission Types

Feature Articles

The Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention is interested in feature manuscripts concerning research on orientation, transition and retention of college students. Authors may focus on recent original research, replication of research, reviews of research or essays on theoretical, organizational and professional issues. Both quantitative and qualitative research manuscripts are considered. Featured manuscripts should address one of the following:

  • The history of orientation, transition or retention programming.
  • Making a case for orientation, transition and retention work.
  • Orientation, transition and retention programming and supports for special populations.
  • Theory associated with orientation, transition and retention fields.
  • Contemporary issues affecting orientation, transition and retention work on college campuses.
  • Scholarship related to assessment of orientation, transition and retention work on college campuses.

Featured manuscripts should not exceed 30 pages of 1 inch margin, double-spaced, typewritten text INCLUDING references, tables, and figures.  Occasional exceptions to the page limits will be considered.

Emerging Research
Emerging Research submissions provide an opportunity to present information in upcoming areas of interest to NODA membership and highlight research and assessment driven practices for which the full implications for the OTR community may be unclear.  Manuscripts should not exceed 3000 words. Submission need not include an exhaustive literature review; however, manuscripts must utilize appropriate data collection and analysis methods.

Campus Notes
Campus Notes submissions are briefs on campus programs, "how-to" articles, successful innovations and pragmatic issues relevant to the orientation, transition, and retention of college students. They should not exceed 1,500 words and must include a short abstract.

Book Review
Book Review submissions are examinations of current, appropriate professional publications. These publications are Potential New Student Common Readers or Professional Resource books. Book reviews should include but are not limited to the following:

  • Any areas of concern professionals should consider if this book were selected
  • Areas within the book that are rich with discussion opportunities
  • Unique perspectives offered in the book
  • Ways to incorporate the book into overall new student programming
  • Partners that could assist with the book discussion or programming about the book (i.e. English classes, FYE classes)
  • Any special connections different types of institutions could emphasize
  • Note: If you do not recommend this book for a general student reader but you think it might work in a learning community or in a special interest group, be sure to note that as well

Submissions should not exceed 1,500 words. Here is a current list of publications that we are interested in receiving reviews for. If you are interested in writing a review for the JCOTR, please reach out to Book Review Editor Dr. Jeanine A. Ward-Roof.

Perspectives submissions are written in editorial or speech style, expressing the author's viewpoint, opinions, reflections or experiences on issues of importance to the community of orientation, transition and retention professionals. Submissions should not exceed 1,500 words.

In keeping with the international scope of NODA, The Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention welcomes manuscripts that report scholarship on international issues related to orientation, transition and retention in postsecondary education.

Style Guidelines

All manuscripts and submissions must be clear, concise and interesting with a well-organized development of ideas. The 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association should be followed for reference style and general guidelines. When preparing a manuscript for publication, the author(s) must carefully follow these instructions:

  • All manuscripts are evaluated through a masked review process and should contain no information that would identify the author(s) or institutional affiliation. Please double-check your manuscript for:
    • Self-citations that are "in press";
    • Self-referential citations that reveal author identity
    • Institution name (often in the methods section)
    • References to institution specific documents
    • Any indicator of either author(s) or institution(s) in the title of the manuscript file
  • Use titles that are short and descriptive.
  • Avoid use of the term "subject." Use more specific references such as "student," "client" or "participant."
  • Include an abstract that clearly describe the main intent or outcome of the manuscript in 75-100 words.
  • Use a Times Roman font and set all text (including references, quotations, tables and figures) in 12-point type, double-spaced.
  • Allow generous margins (at least one inch) around each page.
  • Lengthy quotations (a total of 300 or more words from one source) require written permission from the copyright holder for reproduction. Adaptation of tables and figures also requires such approval. The author is responsible for securing such permission. A copy of the publisher's written permission must be provided to the JCOTR editor immediately upon acceptance of the article for publication.
  • Only citations included in the manuscript should be listed in the references. Check all references before submission to ensure that all sources cited in the text appear in the references and vice versa. All reference entries should be accurate and complete, using the reference style in the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.
  • Include only essential data in tables and combine tables whenever possible. Indicate in the narrative of the manuscript, on a separate line and in square brackets, where to place the table or figure. Final placement is at the discretion of the layout editor.
  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references, quoted passages, tables and figures. Authors should make sure these are complete and correct.
  • Submission of a manuscript indicates the author's agreement to furnish information beyond the actual manuscript. The editor may request such information in order to assist with the review process.
  • Upon the acceptance of a manuscript, authors are responsible for making the changes recommended by the copy editor and for proofreading their manuscripts prior to submitting the final copy.


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