Writing for Technology Education Publications
Where should technology teachers submit
manuscripts for publication? How will they
be reviewed? What are their chances of being
accepted for publication? How may the odds
for acceptance be improved? This article an-
swers these and other common questions about
submitting manuscripts for publication in se-
lected technology education publications.
Henson's (1988) article in PHI DELTA KAPPAN
entitled "Writing for Education Journals"
prompted this survey.
A questionnaire containing nineteen
items was adopted from Henson's (1988) model.
Ten nationally/internationally distributed
publications in technology education were
identified and selected for analysis. The
questionnaire was mailed to the editor of
each publication in the spring of 1989. Edi-
tors were asked to respond to the questions
provided and to return a copy of their most
recent publication guidelines. All ten edi-
tors (100%) responded.
A brief description of the ten publica-
tions surveyed follows. Information regard-
ing manuscript review procedures is provided
along with an indication of each of the pub-
lication's target audience.
INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION magazine is written
for educators in industrial/technical and vo-
cational education departments at the second-
ary and post-secondary levels of instruction.
Articles published are primarily technical in
nature but may focus on administration or
philosophy. Publication decisions are made
by the editor in conjunction with assistant
JOURNAL OF EPSILON PI TAU (JEPT) is the
official publication of the Epsilon Pi Tau
honorary fraternity for education in technol-
ogy. Articles submitted to JEPT may focus on
technical competence, research and scholar-
ship, or social and professional efficiency.
Historical and philosophical articles are
sometimes included in JEPT. The journal uses
a referee panel consisting of the editor and
at least two referees from a national pool to
determine publication decisions.
JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TEACHER EDUCATION
(JITE) is the official publication of the Na-
tional Association of Industrial and Techni-
cal Teacher Educators. Most subscribers are
faculty members at institutions of higher ed-
ucation. Clientele include teachers of in-
dustrial arts/technology education, trade and
industrial education, technical education,
and industrial and military training. The
JITE provides an opportunity for publication
of research findings and professional re-
ports. Philosophical or conceptual articles
and dissertation findings are also included.
The journal uses a blind review process for
refereed articles that includes at least
three reviewers for each article subjected to
JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY (JIT)
is the official publication of the National
Association of Industrial Technology. Sub-
scribers include faculty at institutions of
higher learning, industrial representatives
and graduate and undergraduate industrial
technology students. Articles are primarily
technical in nature, but research findings
and conceptual articles are also published.
Manuscripts may be submitted for refereed or
nonrefereed status. Refereed manuscripts are
submitted for blind review by at least three
referees and the journal's editor.
JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (JTE) is
co-sponsored by the Council on Technology
Teacher Education and the International Tech-
nology Education Association. The JTE is di-
rected primarily at technology teacher
educators. The JTE provides a forum for
scholarly discussion on topics related to
technology education. Manuscripts focus on
technology education research, theory, and
practice. In addition JTE publishes compre-
hensive literature reviews, guest articles,
reactions to previously published articles,
book reviews, and editorials. The JTE uses a
blind review process with manuscripts re-
viewed by at least three referees from an
international editorial board.
SCHOOL SHOP magazine caters to persons
professionally involved in industrial
arts/technology education, industrial educa-
tion, or education for trade and industry at
all levels. Articles related to teaching
techniques, innovative projects, laboratory
or classroom administrative procedures, and
contemporary issues are frequently published.
Publication decisions are determined by the
editor in conjunction with assistant editors.
TECHNICAL EDUCATION NEWS (TEN) publishes
articles on all aspects of technical and oc-
cupational education, with emphasis on prac-
tical ideas that readers can apply to their
own instructional situations. Included are
manuscripts on curriculum development, teach-
ing techniques, instructional media,
exemplary programs, employment opportunities,
research, and major trends and issues in the
field. Publication decisions are determined
by the editor in conjunction with assistant
THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER (TTT) is the of-
ficial publication of the International Tech-
nology Education Association. It caters to
technology educators at all levels on topics
related to curriculum and technical content.
Philosophical and conceptual articles are
also included. Publication decisions are de-
termined by the consensus of a blind review
panel consisting of at least three assistant
editors from a national pool.
(TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, &
ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR STUDENTS) TIES magazine
is a publication of Drexel University and is
supported by industrial sponsorship. This
publication is for teachers interested in in-
creasing the technological literacy of their
students. TIES articles should promote the
understanding of technological concepts, tra-
ditions, and impacts. Articles on classroom
innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, and
problem solving are frequently published.
Publication decisions are determined by the
editorial staff of TIES magazine.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL (VEJ) fo-
cuses on articles which discuss current is-
sues in vocational education, technological
and social trends, and promising practices,
programs, and products. Articles frequently
relate to one of eight themes announced each
March for the next publishing year. Publica-
tion decisions are determined by the editor
in conjunction with members of the editorial
and publications committee. Publication de-
cisions are based not only on quality, but on
including a mix of articles in each issue.
Responses from publication editors to
the questionnaire are provided in Figure 1.
The ten publications surveyed varied greatly
in their characteristics. Major differences
in characteristics can be attributed to the
o Each of the publications deals with dif-
ferent aspects of technology education
and caters to different audiences.
o Some publications focus specifically on
research findings while others stress ar-
ticles related to classroom activities
o At least half of the publications use a
national panel of referees while editors
and staff members determine the publica-
tion decisions for other publications.
o Some publications are geared toward sec-
ondary school teachers while others serve
teacher educators almost exclusively.
o Several of the publications serve an au-
dience much larger than technology educa-
FIGURE 1. Characteristics of selected tech-
nology education journals
Manuscript acceptance rates ranged from
a low of 5% to a high of 75% with a mean ac-
ceptance rate of 44% for the seven publica-
tions that provided a usable response to this
question. These acceptance rates can be
somewhat deceiving because some publications
solicit articles while others do not. Edi-
tors of publications that provided theme is-
sues commented that the percentage of
acceptance for theme articles was greater
than their typical acceptance rate.
The number of issues published per year
ranged from two to ten. There did not appear
to be any correlation between the number of
issues published yearly and the acceptance
rate of the various publications. For in-
stance, THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER published ten
issues yearly but accepted only about 35% of
all manuscripts submitted for publication.
Conversely, the JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TECH-
NOLOGY published four issues yearly but ac-
cepted about 75% of all manuscripts submitted
The number of weeks required to receive
notification of a publication decision varied
between five and fourteen with an average of
ten weeks. There did not appear to be a re-
lationship between the amount of time it took
to receive notification of a publication de-
cision and whether the publication used a na-
tional review panel or reviewed manuscripts
"in house." Publications that did not uti-
lize a referee pool sometimes took longer to
provide a publication decision than those us-
ing such a panel.
There was no clear relationship between
the number of issues published yearly and the
amount of time it took for an accepted manu-
script to appear in print. SCHOOL SHOP pub-
lished ten issues yearly but required an
average of twelve months for accepted manu-
scripts to appear in print. Yet, the JOURNAL
OF EPSILON PI TAU, which published two issues
yearly, reported an average of only four
months to publish accepted manuscripts.
Writing styles were consistent among the
various publications with most requiring the
American Psychological Association (APA)
writing style. Three publications did not
require any specific writing style, and one
publication required the Gregg Reference Man-
ual. Most editors also indicated that their
publications accepted dot matrix printed man-
uscripts, although some mentioned that it was
not preferred. Several editors indicated
that photographs and other visual media had
no effect on publication decisions for their
particular journals, while others indicated
that such media did have a possible or defi-
nite positive effect. Most publications that
indicated visual media to have a positive ef-
fect emphasized curriculum or content spe-
cific articles. Lastly, most editors
indicated that they welcomed query letters or
telephone calls. Some stated that query let-
ters were more appropriate than telephone
HELPFUL HINTS FOR GETTING PUBLISHED
Editors seem to agree that there is no
magic formula for authoring a publishable
manuscript. Commitment on the part of the
writer is probably the single most important
attribute to successful publication. Still,
commitment is not enough. The VOCATIONAL ED-
UCATION JOURNAL publication guidelines indi-
cate that authors must: (a) have something
important to say and (b) say it well.
Both criteria are equally essential to
successful publication. Patrick Miller
(1987), at the time he was serving as editor
of the JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TEACHER EDUCA-
TION, described two types of manuscripts,
which he came upon all too frequently: (a)
those that had "not much to say but said ac-
ceptably" and (b) those that had "much to say
but said poorly." His observations reinforce
the VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL publication
guideline statements. Publishable manu-
scripts must provide important messages in a
well written manner.
Miller (1983), Hanlon (1987), and
Wilkerson (1987) have each provided helpful
suggestions for would-be authors. A summary
of their suggestions includes the following:
1. Familiarize yourself with field related
publications. By thoroughly reading se-
veral recent issues of a publication, it
is possible to obtain a feeling for the
flavor of that publication. Knowing the
types of articles that publications fre-
quently include and the audience they
cater to should help to determine the ap-
propriate publication for your manu-
2. Obtain a copy of the editorial guidelines
for publications you wish to consider.
These guidelines can help you avoid sim-
ple errors in writing style and format.
They often contain additional information
such as preferred length of the manu-
script and specific editorial procedures.
3. Write your manuscript as simply and se-
quentially as possible. Lack of focus
and organization are common causes of
4. Check to be sure that your manuscript has
"face validity." Like everyone else, edi-
tors and reviewers are subject to first
impressions. Eliminating all grammat-
ical, typographical, and spelling errors
prior to submitting your manuscript will
add to its face validity. The quality of
a manuscript's appearance can also have
an impact on the reviewer's first im-
pression. Only quality photocopies of
manuscripts should be submitted for re-
view in addition to one original copy.
Dot matrix print, while accepted by many
publications, should be avoided if letter
quality print can be provided.
5. Submit a manuscript to only one publica-
tion at a time. Ethical considerations
dictate that a manuscript should appear
in only one nationally recognized publi-
cation. By submitting to only one publi-
cation at a time, you avoid an excess of
editorial comments and the embarrassment
of having to choose between publications
in the event of multiple acceptance.
6. Have professional colleagues review your
manuscript prior to submitting it for
publication. The many helpful comments
which can be provided by colleagues'
critical reviews may save you much time
and frustration in the long run.
7. Write letters of inquiry to publication
editors regarding potential topics you
may be considering. Most editors welcome
query letters and appreciate the opportu-
nity to serve as a sounding board for po-
tential manuscript topics.
8. Consider writing an article for a theme
issue of a particular publication. Al-
most half of the publications surveyed
provided one or more theme issues
throughout the year. By authoring a
timely article on an upcoming theme
topic, your chances of acceptance should
9. Understand the review process for the
publication to which you choose to submit
your manuscript. A generic manuscript
review process flow chart is provided in
10. Have patience! The time it takes to
carry a manuscript from its original con-
ception through the actual publication is
often in excess of one year. Patience is
a necessary virtue for publication in
journals and magazines.
Potential authors should attempt to
match each of their manuscripts to an appro-
priate publication. The audience for whom
the manuscript is written, nature of the au-
dience, and the appropriateness of the manu-
script to a certain publication appear to be
the most crucial concerns. Other important
considerations may be the timeliness of the
manuscript, the extent and method by which
the manuscript will be reviewed, circulation
size of the publication, and the publica-
tion's acceptance rate. A careful review of
these characteristics prior to submission can
save much valuable time and effort on the
part of the author.
1 Len Litowitz is Assistant Professor, Department of
Industry and Technology, Millersville University,
American Psychological Association (3rd Ed.).
(1983). PUBLICATION MANUAL OF THE AMERI-
CAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION.
Washington, D.C.: Author.
American Vocational Association. (1989).
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL PUBLICATION
GUIDELINES. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Hanlon, H. (March, 1987). Writing for pub-
lication in art and education journals.
ART EDUCATION, 40(2), 46-48.
Henson, K. T. (June, 1988). Writing for ed-
ucation journals. PHI DELTA KAPPAN,
Miller, P. W. (Spring, 1987). A journal ed-
itor's nightmare. JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL
TEACHER EDUCATION, 24(2), 3-5.
Miller, P. W. (September/October, 1983).
How to get published. THE TECHNOLOGY
TEACHER, 43(1), 12-14.
Wilkerson, R. (November/December, 1987).
Featuring your story! VOCATIONAL EDUCA-
TION, 62(8), 38-40.
Permission is given to copy any
article or graphic provided credit is given and
the copies are not intended for sale.
Journal of Technology Education Volume 1, Number 2 Spring 1990