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Instructions to Authors

Social Problems is a quarterly journal of The Society for the Study of Social Problems that brings to the fore influential sociological findings and theories that have the ability to help us both better understand - and better deal with - our complex social environment. Please see below for additional information about sections and types of manuscripts.

Submission and Acceptance of Manuscripts

Authors are strongly encouraged to submit all manuscripts online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/socpro. Prior to submission, corresponding authors should gather the following information: (a) complete contact information for themselves and each contributing author; this should include degree, mailing address, and email address; (b) a copy of the manuscript, in a Word-compatible format, including abstract, key words, text, and references; (c) a cover letter (required) explaining how the manuscript is innovative, provocative, timely, and of interest to a broad audience, and other information authors wish to share with editors. Note: the cover letter for manuscripts will NOT be shared with reviewers. If the manuscript is accepted, you will be asked for title page, key words, and (optional) acknowledgements. 

Instructions for Anonymous Files
To ensure anonymity in the review process, remove all identifying material from your manuscript. This includes: author's names, institutional affiliations, and contact information, self-identifying references to previous work, self-identifying footnotes, and acknowledgements. Papers that do not meet these requirements will be returned without review to the author.

Acceptance of Manuscripts

Submission of a manuscript to Social Problems implies that it has not been published or is not under consideration elsewhere. If accepted for this journal, it is not to be published elsewhere without permission. As a further condition of publication, the corresponding author will be responsible, where appropriate, for certifying that permission has been received to use copyrighted instruments or software employed in the research and that human or animal subjects approval has been obtained.

In the case of coauthored manuscripts, the corresponding author will also be responsible for signing a license to publish form on behalf of his or her co-authors indicating that the manuscript is original work, has not been previously published, will not be submitted for publication to any other journal following acceptance in Social Problems, and that all necessary permissions have been received.

Manuscript Preparation

Papers are limited to a maximum of 35 pages (approx. 10,000 words) including references. Extra material including, tables, figures, photos, appendices, etc., should be kept to a minimum. All manuscripts should be typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double-spaced (including indented quotes and references) on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch document.  Remove page numbers (ScholarOne Manuscript Central adds the page numbers automatically).  Leave one-inch margins.  Avoid the generic use of male nouns or pronouns.

Social Problems uses ASA Style Guide, 2nd ed. (1997). General guidelines follow. Please see below for additional information about the types of submissions and word counts.

a. Preparing the manuscript. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, including references and tables, on 8-1/2" x 11" paper using 1" margins. Number pages consecutively for the abstract, text, references, tables, and figures (in this order).

b. Submitting the manuscript. Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/socpro.

c. Title page. If the manuscript is accepted, the title page should include complete contact information for each author, including (at a minimum) affiliation, mailing address, email address, and phone number. The corresponding author should be clearly designated as such.

d. Acknowledgment. If the authors choose to include acknowledgements recognizing funders or other individuals, they should be placed on a separate page immediately following the title page.  These acknowledgements should be removed for the anonymous version of the manuscript.

e. Abstract. On a separate page, each manuscript must include a brief abstract, double-spaced with a summary detailing the problem, procedures, and findings.

f. Text references.

1. Authors' names and publication dates used in the text should be enclosed by parentheses. Cite pages only in the case of a direct quotation, as shown below. 
2. Alphabetize multiple references. Separate with semicolons. 
3. For dual or triple authorship, give all last names; for more than three authors, use "et al." (include all names in the references following the text). 

4. For authors with more than one citation in the same year, designate by "a", "b", etc.


1. Gubrium (1993) suggests that "life narratives are not personality profiles" (p. 15).

2. . . .In various related projects (Berbrier 2000; Lowney 1998; Marvasti 2003).

3. . . . (Miller et al. 2002; Spencer and McKinney 1997).

4. . . . (Hondagneu-Sotelo 2001a, 2001b)

g. Reference list. List all sources alphabetically by author, and within author chronologically by year of publication, in a section entitled "References", following the main text. Please use referencing conventions established in the ASA Style Guide, 2nd ed. (1997). Examples appear in February and August issues of the American Sociological Review. Consult the ASA Style Guide for correct form.



          Gamson, Joshua. 1998. Freaks Talk Back. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

          Spector, Malcolm and John I. Kitsuse. [1977] 2001. Constructing Social Problems. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

Periodical Articles

          Jenness, Valerie. 1999. "Managing Differences and Making Legislation." Social Problems 46:548-71.

          Schmid, Thomas J. and Richard S. Jones. 1990. "Experiential Orientations to the Prison Experience." Perspectives on Social Problems 2:189-210.


          Emerson, Robert M. and Melvin Pollner. 2001. "Differences and Dialogue." Pp. 177-89 in Qualitative Research Methods, edited by D. Weinberg. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

          Loseke, Donileen R. and Joel Best, eds. 2003. Social Problems: Constructionist Readings. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.

          Loseke, Donileen R. and Spencer Cahill. Forthcoming. "Publishing Qualitative Manuscripts." In Qualitative Research Practice, edited by C. Seale. G. Gobo, J.

h. Tables. Type each table on a separate page and append at the end of the manuscript. Insert a location note at the appropriate place in the text (e.g., Table 1 about here).

i. Figures/Illustrations. Figures should be suitable for clear photo reproducibility. Retain the originals (for transmission to editor upon acceptance) and append copies at the end of the manuscript.
Please upload your figures as high resolution files (TIF or EPS, preferred). For line drawings, the resolution should be 1200 d.p.i and for color and half-tone artwork, the resolution should be 300 d.p.i. For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, please see http://cpc.cadmus.com/da.

Figures must be professionally lettered in a sans-serif type (e.g., Arial or Helvetica). All labels used in figures should be in upper case in both the figure and the caption. The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material.

Color Figures
Please contact the production editor (socialproblems@oup.comfor information about color.


Authors of accepted manuscripts must license copyright to The Society for the Study of Social Problems. However, authors have unlimited rights to republish their articles in volumes they write or edit and to duplicate the material for their own use in classroom activities. When articles are republished or duplicated under these circumstances, a citation to the previous publication in Social Problems is required.

Licenses, Offprints and Submissions

It is a condition of publication in Social Problems that authors grant an exclusive license to the The Society for the Study of Social Problems. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. As part of the license agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that Social Problems is acknowledged as the original place of publication and Oxford University Press as the Publisher.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals, authors will be invited to complete a copyright license to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication, you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communication with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

Authors will receive electronic access to their paper free of charge. Printed offprints may be purchased in multiples of 50. Authors may purchase offprints through the author services site where they sign their online license forms.

Open Access

Social Problems authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Openinitiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

Authors may use the following Creative Commons licences:

  • Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)
  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.


  • Regular charge: £1,750 / €2,275 / $2,800
  • Reduced Rate Developing country charge: £875 / €1,138 / $1,400
  • Free Developing country charge*: £0 / €0 / $0

*Click here for a list of qualifying countries.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


Permissions for Illustrations and Figures

Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist author in securing print and online permissions: please see Guidelines for Authors at http://www.oxfordjournals.org/en/authors/index.html. Information on permissions contacts for a number of main galleries and museums can also be provided. Should you require copies of this, please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department.


The following rules should be followed:

• The sentence should begin: 'This work was supported by . . .'

• The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. 'National Institutes of Health', not 'NIH' (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies). Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: '[grant number xxxx]'.

• Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: '[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]'.

• Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus 'and' before the last funding agency).

• Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: 'This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].' 

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See http://www.oxfordjournals.org/en/authors/index.html for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled Funding. This should appear before the Acknowledgements section.

Crossref Funding Data Registry
 In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

Advance Access

Advance Access allows for papers to be published online soon after they have been accepted for publication - reducing the time between submission and publication. Articles posted for Advance Access have been copyedited and typeset but not yet paginated for inclusion in a specific issue of the journal. Appearance in Advance Access constitutes official publication, with full-text functionality, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier). The final manuscript is then paginated into an issue, at which point it is removed from the Advance Access page. Both versions of the paper continue to be accessible and citable.

Authors Self-Archiving/Advance Access Policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.


Social Problems expects that authors will observe high standards with respect to publication ethics. For example, the following practices are unacceptable: (1) falsification or fabrication of data, (2) plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors' own work, in whole or in part without proper citation, (3) misappropriation of the work of others such as omission of qualified authors or of information regarding financial support. Allegations of unethical conduct will be discussed initially with the corresponding author. In the event of continued dispute the matter will be referred to the author's institution and funding agencies for investigation and adjudication.

Oxford Journals, publisher of Social Problems, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the journal strives to adhere to the COPE code of conduct and guidelines. For further information see http://www.publicationethics.org.

Language Editing

Language editing, if your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here. Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

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