Journal for Quality and Participation Author Guidelines

The Journal for Quality and Participation is a peer-reviewed publication. Articles published in this journal must address issues related to the human-side of quality. Our editorial review team is comprised of a cross-section of distinguished practitioners with backgrounds in quality management, techniques, and tools; human resource management; employee involvement, facilitation, and coaching; leadership theories and practices; the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award system for performance excellence and the ISO 9000 series of standards, and factors impacting the overall impact of quality principles and tools, such as social responsibility and risk management.

We publish articles that have not been published previously and currently are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If an author has a previously published article that he/she believes is worth considering for publication after revision, he/she should include information on its history, including a copy of the original article, its publisher, and the name, volume, and issue in which it appeared. A letter granting permission to reprint the article from the original publisher also must accompany the article submission.

Occasionally, we also approach an author directly and ask him/her to submit an article on a specific topic for a specific issue. These commissioned articles do not go through our standard peer–review process. Instead, each is assigned to a member of the editorial team for guidance through the publication process.

General-Interest Articles

Articles generally should range between 1,500 and 2,500 words and can include up to three charts, tables, diagrams, or other illustrations. Every general interest article published in The Journal for Quality and Participation also appears in the online version provided on ASQ’s website. In addition to the printed content, the website usually includes expanded information related to the article, such as sidebars on related topics; companion articles that include greater depth or alternative views; presentations; expanded charts, tables, diagrams, other illustrations, or photos; audio or video files; etc.

Generally, the additional content should contain between 500 and 2,000 words. Authors are welcome to submit supplemental content to accompany their print articles, but we reserve the right to use materials from alternative sources. Any supplemental content should be differentiated clearly from the primary submission. Articles that do not contain supplemental content may be returned to authors for further development at the editor’s discretion.

Case Studies

Generally, a case study also appears in each issue. Case studies need to describe the exact issue or project and include detailed information on the process used, what worked and didn’t work in that process, and the results obtained. Case studies should contain between 2,000 and 2,500 words. Consultants must submit written permission from the organization described in the case study along with the article. We prefer to include expanded information for case studies online—particularly data presented in tables, charts, and graphs.


Each issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation currently features a variety of departments—some in print and some online. Some are written by regular columnists and others are submitted by authors and go through the peer review process. Articles for most departments should be limited to 1,500 words. If additional information would be worthwhile to readers, departments that appear in print may include supplemental material for the online version of the publication.

Occasionally, an author offers his/her own department for a year of publication. If you would like us to consider a new department, please submit a complete set of four installments. In lieu of that, please contact the editor at to make special arrangements. Articles for departments of this nature generally should be 1,500 or fewer words.

Manuscript Review Process

We log all article submissions into a database and delete all references to the author. These “blinded” versions then go to the editorial review team for comments and recommendations. There are three possible outcomes of this review

  • Accept with standard editorial revisions. In this case, the content of the article is accepted without requiring any changes by the author. As always, however, we reserve the right to edit the article for length and style.
  • Accept with author revisions. Articles in this category are suitable for publication but first require changes by the author. We provide specific feedback from our reviewers to guide the revision process. We also assign a tentative publication date, assuming the author will submit the revised article by the deadline.
  • Decline to publish. Occasionally authors submit articles that do not fit our editorial scope or reader guidelines (such as being too academic or too long). In these situations, we may provide the author with suggestions for modifying the article to make it more appropriate to our publication, but we do not assign a tentative publication date.

Please note that after articles are edited for publication, we do not return them to authors to review/approve unless we have questions about their technical content. We find it is not value added to debate punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and the other areas that are typically revised during editing. We ask you to trust that we have your best interests, as well as our readers’ interests, in mind.

Articles that appear to be advertising, are too academic, or don’t fit the general topics addressed by The Journal for Quality and Participation may be rejected without receiving peer reviews.

Helpful Hints

Our reviewers and readers usually view articles that include reference to an author’s proprietary products or methods as advertising. Although we encourage authors to share their personally developed theories and application approaches, we ask that they refrain from using our publication as a marketing tool. Please take great care when including information of this nature in your article.

If the article cites cost savings, cost avoidance, or cost-benefit ratios, or provides the results of statistical evaluations, include an explanation of the method of calculation, along with any underlying assumptions and/or analysis considerations.

When submitting an article that includes survey data, include the complete survey instrument. Although in most cases we would print only a sample of typical survey questions in the printed article, we may make the entire survey available online.

Our staff does not have the means to compile references or verify usage permissions. It is, therefore, important for you to provide all that information with your article, including written letters of authorization when appropriate. Plagiarism is a rapidly growing crime—particularly due to the use of information from the Internet. Please help yourself, and us, to maintain professional integrity by investing the time necessary to verify your sources and to obtain and document all necessary permissions. Information on our requirements for documenting references, along with specific examples, is included at the end of these guidelines.

Submission Format

  • We accept only electronic submissions in Microsoft® Word® format. Send electronic copies of articles to Include all of your contact information in a cover letter or your e–mail message. Failure to meet this requirement may result in the immediate return of your submission.
  • Tables should be included at the end of the article and must be in Microsoft Word. Each table must be referenced in the article and labeled, such as “Table 1: Team Members’ Project Roles.” Do not embed .jpg, tif, .gif, or tables in other similar formats in your article.
  • Drawings and other illustrations should be sent in separate Microsoft® PowerPoint® or Microsoft Word files; each item should be included in a separate file. All drawings and other illustrations must be referenced in the article, and must be labeled, such as “Figure 1: Pareto Analysis of Key Cost Drivers.” Do not embed drawings and other illustrations in the article. Please do not use other software to generate your drawings or illustrations. Also, please do not embed .jpg, tif, .gif, or drawings or illustrations in other similar formats in your article.
  • We can use photos with our articles—particularly online—if they enhance the article’s content. If you choose to submit a photo with your article, it must be a high-resolution .jpg or .tif (at least 300 dpi and at least 4" by 6" in size). We cannot enlarge photos and maintain the required resolution. Photos should be sent in separate files and referenced in the article, which should include a complete caption with a left–to–right listing of people in the photo, when applicable. Do not include any text with the photo file.
  • Also submit a separate high-resolution electronic photo (at least 300 dpi) for each author. Author photos should be at least 1" by 2". The background should be unobstructed. We do not have the ability to edit the photo in any way.
  • Please include a 50- to 100-word biography of each author. Author-developed biographies must mention the author’s place of employment, including a telephone number, website and/or e-mail address. We prefer that biographies focus on the author’s work experience. We encourage authors who have published books within the past five years to include the names of one or two books. We do not have space to mention articles, speech titles, etc.

Copyright Transfer

Prior to publication, authors must sign a form affirming their work is original and is not an infringement of an existing copyright. Additionally, we ask authors to transfer copyright to ASQ. The copyright transfer allows the author to reproduce his/her article in specific ways, provided the author requests permission from ASQ and credits the copyright to ASQ. The transfer also allows ASQ to reproduce the work in other publications, on its website, etc.

If authors use materials from other works in their articles (other than standard references), they must obtain written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to reprint each item of borrowed material. This includes any illustrations, tables, or substantial extracts (direct quotations) outside the realm of fair use. Submit these permission letters with the article. Articles cannot be published in JQP until copies of all permission letters are received.


One of the most common errors we’ve observed with submitted articles is improper referencing. Two problems occur most frequently: information included without proper attribution in the references and formatting that does not meet our style requirements. The information in this section is intended to ensure your references adhere to our standards.

The Journal for Quality and Participation uses its own reference style. All references should be numbered in the body of the text and a matching number should appear in the references section at the end of the article. Please do not use Microsoft Word endnotes or footnotes; we are unable to work with them and will return articles automatically for revision (without peer review) if these are present. Also, please do not include citations in the body of the text.


TYPE: Book, one author:
Jim Collins, Good to Great, Harper Collins, 2001, pp. 27–28.
TYPE: Book, two authors:
T.M. Kubiak and Donald W. Benbow, The Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook, 2nd ed., ASQ Quality Press, 2009, pp. 69–70.
TYPE: Magazine/journal article, one author:
Thomas Stewart, “Growth as a Process,” Harvard Business Review, June 2006, p.62.
TYPE: Magazine/journal article, two authors:
Mark C. Lee and John F. Newcomb, “Applying the Kano Methodology to Meet Customer Requirements: NASA's Microgravity Science Program,” Quality Management Journal, April 1997, pp. 95–106.
TYPE: Website articles:
Joanne Petrini, “Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development—Interdependent Concepts,”
TYPE: Conference proceedings:
Tito Conti, “Quality and Value: Convergence of Quality Management and Systems Thinking,” ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement Proceedings, Seattle, WA, May 2005, pp.149–161.
  • Watch your punctuation; we use commas to separate segments of the reference information, not periods.
  • Author’s names always appear with the first name followed by the last name.
  • Italicize the names of books, magazines, newsletters, and journals.
  • Use double quote marks around the names of magazine, newsletter, and journal articles and conference proceedings’ titles. Remember that punctuation marks fall inside the quotation marks in almost every case.
  • It’s not necessary to include the city with the publisher’s name.
  • When inserting the reference numbers in the body of the text, use the “superscript” function in Microsoft Word. Do not include a period behind the reference number or a space before or after the reference number, as shown below:

    Correct: Text in body of the article¹
    Incorrect: Text in body of the article¹.
    Incorrect: Text in body of the article ¹

  • When inserting the reference number in front of the reference information in the list at the end of the article, use the standard font size and format. Do include a period behind the reference number and a space after the period, as shown below:

    Correct: 1. Reference information
    Incorrect: 1Reference information
    Incorrect: 1.Reference information
    Incorrect: 1. Reference information

Featured advertisers

ASQ is a global community of people passionate about quality, who use the tools, their ideas and expertise to make our world work better. ASQ: The Global Voice of Quality.