Before making your submission, we strongly suggest that you read through the information and guidelines below. Failure to do so could result in your submission being rejected, even before it is fully reviewed. Understanding the information on this page and applying it to your submission—before you submit—can increase the chances of your submission being accepted for publication.
If you have any pre-submission questions about this information, the guidelines presented, or whether the topic of your submission qualifies for publication, please contact us.
I. Manuscript Preparation Suggestions
Regardless of whether your submission is for our Journal or our blog, the following suggestions will help streamline the submission, evaluation, and production processes.
- Make sure your submission is consistent with our mission statement. You can find our mission statement here: Interpreter’s mission statement.
- Use Microsoft Word for your submission. We use Word, internally, for our processes. If you use a different word processor, export your document to Word format or to RTF format.
- Format your paper according to the Interpreter Style Guide. This includes not just word usage, tone, and approach, but also citations used. You can find our style guide by clicking this link: Interpreter Style Guide.
- Use footnotes rather than endnotes or bibliographic notes. Depending on the nature of your notes, we may make a decision during the production process to switch from footnotes to endnotes.
- Make sure your submission includes an abstract. This should be a single paragraph at the beginning of your document that provides an “executive overview” of the document’s content. Each published Journal article includes an abstract; see any of our articles for examples.
- Collect documentation early. If your submission is accepted for publication in the Journal, it will be source checked (additional information below). As part of that process we will ask for documentation for non-scriptural references. If you have that documentation now, submitting it with your paper may make it easier to evaluate your submission. Further, if your submission includes citations to rare, obscure, or hard to find resources, we have found some submissions have been unduly delayed. In those cases we may require source documentation before we begin or complete the peer-review process. Failure to provide source documentation for all references cited can result in either requiring revision of the paper to excise any unsupported reference, delay in preparation for publication until the references are available, or rejection of the paper.
II. Submissions for Our Journal
We encourage any of the following types of submissions for possible publication in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. The Journal is a scholarly publication, and as such, your submission should be suited for an academic readership. We invite the submission of the following types of papers:
- Article. This type of submission presents substantive research and new ideas.
- Essay. This type of submission presents personal evaluation and interpretation of broad issues and trends; it is less research-based than an article.
- Review. This type of submission evaluates and provides personal perspective on a book, article, or other media. It is typically short in nature, but should not be less than 3 pages, single spaced.
- Review Essay. This type of submission encompasses a review (of a book, article, or other media), but also includes new analysis and a detailed response.
- Note. This type of submission typically presents a new, single research idea or insight. It is, by nature, short (3-4 single-spaced pages).
When you submit a review or review essay, those are immediately sent to our Book Review Committee for consideration as to whether they should be published or not.
If you submit an article, essay, or note, they are evaluated according to a rigorous process that can take a great deal of time. (This means that publication is typically not a fast process—you need to understand that before you submit your paper.)
Potential Reasons for Initial Rejection
Before submitting your paper, it is helpful to understand the most common reasons for rejection:
- Your submission is not consistent with our mission statement. It is critical that you understand the mission and focus of The Interpreter Foundation.
- Your writing uses an approach, tone, or style that is inconsistent with the expectations of our readership. It would be a good idea to read several Journal articles in your topic area to understand what is meant by “approach, tone, or style.” (You may find our subject index helpful in locating some representative articles.)
- You fail to organize your paper around a clearly articulated central thesis or support that thesis with a logical approach. Create an outline for your submission and then use the outline as headings. Have some friends or colleagues read your submission to see if they can, without your help, identify your central thesis and the supporting arguments you make.
- You fail to recognize, engage with, or properly treat prior scholarship. Chances are very good that faithful scholars or critics have dealt with your topic area previously. You need to understand that scholarship and allow it to affect how you develop your submission. A simple example would be that your submission deals with the text of the Book of Mormon, but you don’t consider the work done by scholars such as Royal Skousen, Stanford Carmack, or Matthew Bowen.
- Your thesis and supports are too speculative and don’t advance the scholarship. Make sure that the case you make for your thesis is built on sound scholarship, not on what “could be,” “must be,” or other speculative possibilities. It is a very good idea to avoid “mind reading,” as well. We don’t know what historical figures thought unless they explicitly tell us what they thought.
- Your submission does not have a clear and broad interaction with our faith or scriptures. It will be beneficial to the reader if you can find support for your thesis in the scriptures and among the statements of modern prophets and apostles. Make sure, however, that you don’t engage with just a subset of the scriptures or doctrinal statements. (This is commonly referred to as “cherry picking.”)
- Your submission relies heavily on highly questionable, unreliable sources. When citing scholars, historical figures, or other sources, make sure those sources are reliable and employ scholarly practices. Scholarship that relies upon material that is peer-reviewed and published by reputable institutions will be favored. When possible, use primary or secondary sources. Tertiary sources or sources further removed seldom reinforce scholarly arguments.
- Your submission is inconsistent with or wildly divergent from the requirements of our style guide. We rely primarily on the Chicago Manual of Style, but see our style guide for more information. If your submission follows a different style guide (or no style guide at all), it is less likely to be considered for publication.
To be accepted for publication in our Journal, your submission must initially make it past one of our editors, and the above items are red flags for those editors. If you avoid these issues, your submission has a greater chance of being accepted.
The Peer Review Process
If our editors feel your paper merits further consideration, they send it to three to five peer reviewers. These reviewers are experts in the fields you draw upon in your submission, and they will expect that you have “done your homework” and that your submission exemplifies sound logic and clear writing. They evaluate your submission based on guidance provided on this page.
Based on the feedback of the reviewers, your paper may be accepted (“as is” or “with recommended changes”) or rejected.
Acceptance of Your Submission
If your submission makes it this far, we will then ask for a final draft and electronic copies of the sources you cite in your submission. As an author, you should consider your paper, at this point, “done” and ready for publication. In other words, once you submit the final draft, it really is “final” and you should not pursue any additional development or refinement of the submission.
The Production Process
With the final draft and sources in hand, we place your submission into what we refer to as our “production process.” This involves the following:
- Source Checking. Every citation and reference in your submission is evaluated by a source checker. We ensure that (1) the source is quoted appropriately, accurately, and fairly; and (2) the citation is referenced according to our style guide in a way that will allow readers to locate and check the source if they would like. You will generally not see your submission after source checking unless the source checkers raise any red flags.
- Copy Editing. Your submission is read through by an experienced copy editor to ensure it “flows” well and that your points are being stated clearly and unambiguously. The editing process ensures that the style throughout meets the criteria of our style guide. You will generally not see your submission after copy editing unless additional input is necessary to resolve any issues raised by the copy editor.
- Typesetting. Your submission is typeset and sent to you for review. It is at this point that you can make any minor changes to finalize the paper.
The production process described above typically requires anywhere from four to six weeks, but that timeframe can vary based on workloads and other considerations.
III. Submissions for Our Blog
Submissions for The Interpreter Foundation Blog are generally less formal than the process required for submissions intended for our Journal. Submissions must still be consistent with our mission statement and must be of interest to our readership. Blog submissions are not typically sent out for peer review.
Determinations about accepting a submission for our blog are made by one of our editors.
IV. Making Your Submission
Please use the following form to submit your paper for consideration (* Required Field):