Submission Guidelines

Policies and Procedures for Submitting Manuscripts to the Journal of Pesticide Safety Education (JPSE)


The Journal of Pesticide Safety Education (JPSE) is the official repository of discipline-specific writings that have been considered, accepted, and published as refereed literature by the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators – AAPSE ( JPSE is solely an electronic journal and can be found at

An editorial board (five contributing editors and three managing editors) manage peer reviews of articles, set policy, and provide for the journal’s administrative needs. In addition, the associate editor appoints manuscript reviewers outside this board for each individual submission by authors.

Who May Submit Articles

JPSE accepts submissions from anyone who has a stake in pesticide safety education regardless of whether they are members of the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE). Potential authors might include, but are not limited to the following groups:

  • Pesticide safety educators
  • Pesticide regulatory officials
  • Policy makers
  • Members of the regulated community
  • In-house pesticide training coordinators (e.g., school, university, military)


Types of Articles Accepted – meeting the SCOPE of the journal

Manuscripts accepted for publication must address matters that directly bear on the topic of pesticide safety education. This is outlined above under “focus and scope” of the journal.

Historically, submissions rejected for no

t meeting the scope of the journal have lacked a significant pesticide safety education element. Most were  identified as submissions focused primarily on: field trial research, toxicological research, occupational behavioral research, pest management, and environmental research. Authors of those submissions were encouraged to either publish in a more appropriate outlet or to resubmit a manuscript with a significant pesticide safety education element.

Page limits and size guidelines

JPSE will accept articles for review in eight categories. Authors must indicate the category for which their submissions are to be considered. Article and abstract size (maximums) are guidelines only. The journal has no set page limits as long as authors make a reasonable effort to adhere to the guidelines for each category.

To date, JPSE has not rejected an article due to a manuscript exceeding size guidelines. Authors are encouraged to look at published articles in the journal to gain insight into size. Large manuscripts do take longer to review, format and publish. Editors will make every effort to encourage authors to tighten up manuscripts to avoid wearing out the reader and to make articles flow properly.

  1. Research Study
  • Formal reports of findings and implications arising from a scientifically framed study of some aspect of pesticide safety education.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 15 pages of double-spaced text (page = 66 lines, line = 80 characters of 12-point type) plus tables and figures.
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 100 words.
  • Reviewers: 3
  1. Program Description
  • Robust descriptions of pesticide applicator teaching (training) or applicator assessment (testing) program implementations, efficacies, or modifications.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 15 pages of double-spaced text (page = 66 lines, line = 80 characters of 12-point type) plus tables and figures.
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 100 words.
  • Reviewers: 3
  1. 3. Literature Review
  • A review of literature regarding a method, practice, policy, or trend that impacts pesticide safety education (e.g., open vs closed-book exam, school IPM), with accompanying discussion as to how pesticide safety educators should use the presented information.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 15 pages of double-spaced text (page = 66 lines, line = 80 characters of 12-point type) plus tables and figures.
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 100 words.
  • Reviewers: 3
  1. Review or Critique
  • Third-party review of recently produced pesticide safety education materials (e.g., reviews of new books, training manuals, booklets, pamphlets, videos, educational games, and computer-based training modules. or,
  • Third-party critique of a unique or innovative method, technology, or device that aids information delivery of (or focuses trainee attention on) any aspect of pesticide safety education (e.g., critiques of field demonstrations, trainee practice activities, in-classroom manipulations, on-line teaching tools, and animations).
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 1,000 words.
  • Abstract: none
  • Reviewers: 2
  1. Literary Note
  • A succinct, topically focused discussion delineating the merit (or liability) of a documented instructional practice, policy, or procedure evidenced in current pesticide safety education literature.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 750 words
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 75 words
  • Reviewers: 2
  1. Commentary
  • Development of an opinion or thought-provoking idea on an issue of interest to pesticide safety educators or the AAPSE readership.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 500 words
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 50 words
  • Reviewers: 2
  1. Article Response
  • A response to any article published in the JPSE.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 500 words
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 50 words
  • Reviewers: 2
  1. Templates and Tools
  • Description or publication of recently produced pesticide safety education materials (e.g., new books, reporting and programming templates, pest management protocols or prescriptions targeting compliance assistance or pesticide safety education, training manuals, booklets, pamphlets, videos, educational games, web-based training and information, computer-based training modules, etc. A description of a unique or innovative method, scripts and skits, hands-on programming, workshop and model program formats/templates, train-the-trainer programs, use of technology or devices that aid information delivery of (or focuses attention on) any aspect of pesticide safety education, field demonstrations, trainee practice activities, in-classroom manipulations, case studies, online teaching tools, animations, etc.
  • Article (suggested) Maximum: 5 pages
  • Abstract (suggested) Maximum: 100 words
  • Reviewers: 3

Publication Date

Accepted submissions are published as soon as they complete the editorial process. Articles are organized into a single volume corresponding to the year of acceptance and completion.

Notice to authors concerned about timing of publication in the same year of submission: If your article is accepted by September 7 of the year of submission and successfully completes the editorial process prior to the end of the year, it will be published in the same year volume as it was submitted. Articles submitted after September 7 and delayed in resubmission beyond 30 days by the authors (after review and acceptance), are subject to publication in the next year’s volume at the discretion of the editor. Prior to publication the editor will consult with the author to determine if timing is an issue with the final publication date. There has been some confusion as to whether JPSE stops accepting articles or stops publishing after this internal cut-off date. JPSE accepts articles and publishes articles continuously.

Editor’s note: Authors are welcome to contact the editor throughout the editorial process to get an estimate of the approximate date of publication. Authors should remember that they control much of this process during the period of revision after the review process is complete. If revisions are not conducted to the satisfaction of the editors this process can take much longer. With JPSE, the time authors have taken for revision has (historically) impacted the final publication date more than any other process in manuscript development.

Acceptance and Review Process including approximate timing

Authors will be notified in which volume their articles will be published. The speed at which articles complete the editorial process depends upon the size and complexity of the article and the speed at which the author returns corrected manuscripts to the editors for final review prior to publication. An estimate of the editorial process for authors is as follows:

Submission to Editors via e-mail ( – submissions are acknowledged – generally – within one week of submission. The author will be notified if the article meets the scope of the journal. Submissions not meeting this scope will be rejected at this point. Others will be accepted and sent for review.

Review process – the associate editor lines up three reviewers (for most submissions (see categories), strips the identify from manuscripts to meet the blind review process, and sends the manuscript to reviewers. Reviewers are asked to complete the review process within 30 days. This can be delayed dependent upon the reviewer and the complexity of the article. Reviewers are asked to return the manuscripts with a decision as to whether the manuscript is:

  • ACCEPTED with no changes,
  • ACCEPTED with minor changes,
  • ACCEPTED with major changes,

Revision process – articles are returned to the authors by the associate editor for revision. For most articles, authors should complete this process within 30 days, dependent on the changes suggested by the reviewers. Reviewer changes are the opinion of each reviewer and can be different from one reviewer to the next. Authors should consult with the associate editor if this presents confusion as to how to alter the manuscript to meet acceptance. Articles with major changes are subject to being reviewed a second time dependent on the changes required. Reviewers have the discretion to suggest a second review, but the associate editor and editor-in-chief can override this request if they feel the author has made the appropriate changes to meet the review comments. Timing of a complex article with major revisions can take up to a year to be completed. Again, this is affected by the actions of the authors.

Copyediting process – once changes have been made successfully and returned by the author, the copy-editing process begins by the assistant editor. This will take approximately 30 days, again, dependent on the complexity of the article. Authors will be given the opportunity to review copy editor changes. This is a pure editing process. Historically, the JPSE copy editor is a professional editor. As such this process prepares the article for final publication. Authors should expect changes to article flow and changes in grammar and technical format. This editorial process will be subject to the APA standards of publication.

Final publication – when the copyediting is finished the manuscript will be sent to the editor-in-chief to fit the format and style of the journal volume. Headers and page numbers will be added, identifying components, removed for the blind peer review, will be added and confirmed with authors, pages will be formatted to fit figures and tables, and the article will be finalized into a PDF format for posting on the JPSE website (internal to AAPSE.ORG). This process generally takes 30 days dependent on the complexity of the article. A category is finalized for publication. Authors are consulted during this process and given one last look at their article prior to publication. At this stage, authors CAN NOT make significant changes to the article unless those changes relate to errors in the formatting that could significantly changed the article. With complex articles the editor-in-chief and copy editor have been known to work directly with authors to complete this process, including the use of Google Docs and Zoom to directly review copyediting changes. This can add weeks to the process. So authors should expect delays here if they interject significant changes or the copyediting produces significant changes. 

In all a typical manuscript generally takes from 4 to 6 months to complete the publication process.


Articles accepted for publication in JPSE must be original works and not published elsewhere. Once the articles are accepted for publication in JPSE, they must be free of copyright conflicts. The copyrights for the completed articles will be held by JPSE. This means that once accepted, the works cannot be published in an identical form or content elsewhere without the express written permission of the JPSE Editor-in-Chief. Authors are required to confirm that copyright will be free and clear upon submission of a manuscript.

Form and Layout Standards for Manuscripts

  • JPSE Author Guidelines follow the American Psychological Association’s manual of style. Here are some basics of APA Style for authors and reviewers.
  • Basics of APA Style Tutorials– This is a collection of tutorials that describe the basics of APA Style. For more detail you should refer to the formal manual published by the American Psychological Association. For more information on APA Style go to the APA Style website.

General: Submitted material should adhere to all font and formatting conventions outlined below. The author should not produce “camera-ready” copy; final layout is the editor’s job. The editor can do this most easily when the formatting commands within a received manuscript are standardized and minimized. Articles will be returned to the author if the format does not adhere to the JPSE submission guidelines as to text type, alignment, spacing, tabs, tables and figures, and submission file type (.doc, .rtf, .jpg, and .tif).

Font: Manuscript text (titles, headings, subheadings, tables, legends, captions, discourse, acknowledgments, and citations) should be put in a sans serif font (e.g., Helvetica, Arial, or Verdana). An author might use a serif font (e.g., Times Roman) in a few “specialized” instances to improve italic rendition (e.g., Latin abbreviations, non-English words and phrases, transliterations, and scientific names of organisms [but not IUPAC chemical names]). 

Capitalization: Use upper and lower case letters for all headings, subheadings, tables, and other text. Do not use all capital letters except where necessary for abbreviations (e.g. IPM, GMO), or in other special cases.

Hard Spaces: Use one hard space after each sentence. Do not use hard spaces in tables or for other formatting (such as lists) where tabs can be used. Hard spaces are very time-consuming to remove from documents and an excessive number of hard spaces in a document will result in return of the manuscript to authors for correction.

Paragraph Line Spacing: Use left justification and double line spacing. Do not indent the first line of a paragraph. Separate each paragraph from both preceding and subsequent text or headings by a blank line.

Title: The title should occupy the first line of the manuscript, be left-justified type, and be separated from the author identification by a blank line.

Author Identification: This contains the author’s name, title, institution, city, state, and e-mail address in single-spaced text of left-justified type. Use commas to separate elements within a description (e.g., name and title). When a submission has multiple authors, insert a blank line between subsequent entries. Similarly, use a blank line to separate the author description(s) from the body of the manuscript.

Overall Structure: Authors should limit hierarchical structuring to two levels (main and secondary headings) as described below.

Main Headings: A main heading signals a principal section of the text (e.g., Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Conclusions). Center main headings and separate from text above and below by single blank lines.

Secondary Headings: Secondary headings signal thematic subsections within a main heading’s text (e.g., Data Collection and Data Analysis when nested within Methodology). Format secondary headings as left-justified text. Separate each secondary heading from both preceding and subsequent text by double spacing. Paragraphs presented under a secondary heading should not be indented.

Table Structure: MS WordTM is best, using a sans-serif font. The maximum width of a table should be 60 characters. Ensure all text in table cells is at least 9-point type. Manually constructed “TabKey columns” tables are also acceptable if the columns are configured with tabs only (i.e., no hard spaces inserted to aid internal alignment). Manuscripts with tabular arrays containing internal hard spaces (resulting from commands) or extraneous characters will be returned to their principal authors for correction.

Table Placement: Place each table within the body of the manuscript near the first discussion of the table’s content. Separate the table from text by double spacing before and after the table. Tables should be given a number and title separate from the table body (e.g., Table 1. Non-English Languages Spoken and Read as Reported by State.). This will enable the author to reference the table number in the text body of the article. The title and table body should allow the table to stand on its own without the reader having to search the body of the article for an explanation of the table content.

Figures: All image files (photographs, artwork, etc.) must be submitted as separate TIF or JPG files. These images must be of a high quality and clearly illustrate the image or point. All images must be in their finished form. Before sending photographs, drawings, or other original artwork, the primary author should contact the JPSE editor-in-chief. Graphical figures (e.g., pie charts) produced via Microsoft Word TM should be included in the manuscript’s body. To place such figures in the manuscript, use the same standards as those for tables, including guidelines for numbers and titles.

Acknowledgments: The author should convey his or her acknowledgments in a section bearing the main heading “Acknowledgments.” This section should follow the concluding remarks and precede the references. Paragraphs within the acknowledgments should not be indented.

Footnotes and Endnotes: The JPSE does not publish footnotes or endnotes.

References: Compile and place bibliographic citations in a manuscript section bearing the main heading of “References.” The References heading should be left justified and separated from preceding and following text by double spaces. Bibliographic citations presented in the References section should conform to the style prescribed in the latest Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Each citation should be left justified, single spaced, and separated from proximal entries by a double space. Examples of suitable bibliographic style can be viewed in articles published on the JPSE Web Site (

Abstract: The JPSE publishes an abstract of each of its offerings as part of the journal’s “Table of Contents.” Thus, except for reviews and critiques (please see the discussions above), each manuscript submitted for publication in the JPSE must include an abstract. The maximum length of an abstract is influenced by manuscript length and article type. Particulars regarding abstract length for each type of article are described in the “Types of Articles Accepted” section above. In general, the abstract should:

  1. Indicate the article’s principal topic,
  2. Concisely state the article’s purpose and scope,
  3. Identify the sources of data used, and
  4. State the author’s conclusions and their implications.

Within the manuscript, the Abstract heading should be left justified and separated from surrounding text by a double space. The body of the abstract (paragraph form) should begin with a tab. The abstract should be the final portion of the manuscript.

Procedures for Submitting an Electronic Manuscript

To minimize the potential for errors arising from non-standardization, the JPSE editorial board considers only manuscripts that use Microsoft Word ™ (*.doc) formatting. Authors who prefer to use other word-processing software can meet the JPSE document format requirement by choosing their word processor’s “save-as” feature and saving the manuscript file in a MS WordTM compatible format. Often, saving the manuscript as a rich text format (*.rtf) file best accomplishes this.

All graphics and images submitted in the articles must also be submitted as separate JPEG (.jpg) or TIFF (.tif) files. This is critical to control image size during the final formatting process.

Manuscript Submissions via Internet (preferred route):

Authors may submit manuscripts that utilize Microsoft Word ™ (*.doc) format by e-mail to:

Manuscript Submissions via Postal Carrier (alternate route):

Authors lacking Internet access may mail a CD-ROM containing a Microsoft Word ™ (*.doc) formatted manuscript to:

Michael J. Weaver, Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Pesticide Safety Education
Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs (MC0409)
302 Agnew Hall – 460 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Before mailing a CD containing a manuscript, ensure that the principal author’s complete return address accompanies the posted material. Those with questions regarding manuscript submissions to the JPSE may contact the Editor-in-Chief (1-540-231-6543); 

Procedures revised by the JPSE Sub-Committee to Revise JPSE Manuscript Submission and Review Guidelines. Members: Wayne Buhler, North Carolina State University, (chair), Dan Wixted, Cornell University, Fred Whitford, Purdue University, and Bruce Paulsrud, University of Illinois. Published, February 2006; Revised, August 2009, M. J. Weaver; Revised, June 2010, M. J. Weaver, Revised, December 2021. M. J. Weaver; Revised, February 2022, M. J. Weaver, Revised, March 2022.

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.

  1. 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).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. 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.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which are found above.

If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review) have been followed.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (c), American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, ISSN 1553-4863.

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Date of Revision: 08/09/22, MJW