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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.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Research Papers

SPP Research Papers feature in-depth examinations of policy issues. Manuscripts should be no more than 10,000 words, not including citations. These papers must be accessible to the educated lay-person outside of the author’s field of study.

Technical Papers

SPP Technical Papers provide the background technical analysis that underlies some SPP Research Papers. The Technical Papers are published when a policy issue requires a body of research with language and analyses that are highly specialized. Technical papers are not stand-alone publications, but are linked to an SPP Research Paper. 

Briefing Papers

SPP Briefing Papers provide an in-depth analysis and discussion of public policy issues in a manner that is easily understood by an educated lay-person. Whereas a Research Paper (see above) is based wholly on original research and/or data, these Briefing Papers may contain original research and/or data, but are otherwise an analysis of current thinking about existing policy options. 


SPP Communiqués are short papers (2,000 words maximum) that provide a thought‑provoking and succinct analysis of a particular policy issue. These papers must be easily understood by an educated lay-person.

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