Style Guide

The American Journal of Play garners a wide readership of scholars, educators, policy makers, museum and industry professionals, public health workers and additional interested readers invested in the impact and importance of play in the world. Prospective authors should strike a balance in addressing peers in their area specialty as well as our multidisciplinary readership. We recommend limiting professional jargon and shorthand. Define any necessary discipline-specific terms and provide the full name of any acronyms in its first use.

As a matter of conviction and policy, the editors and publisher of the Journal urge authors to use inclusive language, that is, language that does not exclude or disparage people based on gender, age, race, class, or disability

Formatting

All manuscript text, including quotations, references, and endnotes, should be prepared in double-spaced, 12-point typescript in Times New Roman and formatted with one-inch margins.

Every manuscript document should contain an abstract of 100 to 150 words and five to seven keywords. With any submission, a separate cover sheet document is required that provides following information for each author: complete mailing address, email, academic/professional title, and institutional affiliation.  

The Journal adheres to the general rules for style, spelling, and capitalization established in the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style; Webster’s Third New International Dictionary; and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.

References  

In general, the Journal prefers submissions using endnotes, but also accepts those with author-text citations to accommodate the wide disciplinary scope of play studies. Please format submissions following the Chicago Manual of Style inclusive of the following exceptions:

  • the full name of an author should be used in any reference documentation
  • book citations do not require the publisher name or place of publication
  • article citations do not require the month or season of publication

Endnotes should be used judiciously and no more than one note per paragraph. Be sure endnotes appear at the end of the text sentences as opposed to midsentence.
In keeping with Journal style, we recommend that any discursive material and “see also” bibliographical discussions in the endnotes be used sparingly. For a note that combines citations with discursive material, please provide an introductory frame. Example: “For a good discussion of the problem, see Joe L. Frost, Play and Playscapes (1992), 230–45”).

Images, Tables, Figures, and Illustrations

If you would like to include any images, tables, figures, and illustrations in your manuscript, we ask that you do not embed these assets into your submissions. Instead, please provide these visual assets as separate email attachments in higher resolution JPEG or TIFF formats.

In the manuscript, identify asset placement with a descriptive title and a number like [Table 1] or [Figure 1]. Along with the title, each asset should have a short caption and the originating source of the visual material. Figures and illustrations should be numbered separately from tables and include a date.

Please ensure that any visual asset files clearly correspond to descriptive titles and numbers in your manuscript. Example: Table1.jpeg corresponds to [Table 1] in the submission document.

If the submission is selected for publication, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain any necessary print and electronic rights and permissions for copyrighted material used in the manuscript.

Additional Journal Preferences

  • Eliminate passive voice and omit wordy or roundabout phrasing when possible.
  • Cite specific pages whenever possible; otherwise cite the whole title.
  • Quotations should correspond exactly with the originals in wording, spelling, interior capitalization, and internal punctuation. Authors should use [sic] in the manuscripts they submit to indicate errors or idiosyncrasies present in the original source.
  • Avoid use of titles such as Dr., Rev., Gen., Mrs., and Miss in the body of an article.
  • Quotations should correspond exactly with the originals in wording, spelling, interior capitalization, and internal punctuation. Authors should use [sic] in the manuscripts they submit to indicate errors or idiosyncrasies present in the original source.
  • Avoid use of ff. and passim.
  • Avoid use of Op. cit., loc. cit., idem, and “hereafter cited as.” Use the author’s last name, the short title, and pages for second references to books and articles.