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Quality Progress

Author Guidelines

Quality Progress publishes two types of articles: features and columns. A feature article is 2,500 words or less and covers all topics; columns are a maximum of 600 words and are written on specific, repeating topics.

Aim and Scope

Quality Progress is ASQ’s monthly membership magazine and flagship publication. The magazine seeks to be the world's leading source of timely information about quality principles, tools and techniques. It provides learning opportunities, stimulates discussion on achieving performance excellence and delivers the means by which individuals, organizations and society can improve.

Please note Quality Progress will not publish an article that serves primarily to promote an organization's or individual’s products or services. In addition, it will not consider an article that is being submitted simultaneously to another publication, or use a previously published article without substantial revisions.

Why Should I Submit an Article?

By writing for QP, you gain:

  • Recognition from your peers and from current and prospective employers.
  • Exposure to 100,000+ quality professionals and practitioners.
  • Points toward continuing education or recertification.
  • Credit toward becoming an ASQ Fellow.
  • “Publish or perish” credit for academics.
  • Peer review of your work.
  • Professional editing of your work.
  • Recognition that you are contributing to the body of knowledge on quality.
  • The satisfaction of giving back to your profession.

Manuscript Review Process

Submitted articles undergo a blind review by members of Quality Progress’ editorial review board, comprised of ASQ members. Most manuscripts are reviewed in about 90 days.

There are five possible outcomes of this initial review:

  • Article is accepted. Accepted articles are generally published in the order in which they are submitted.
  • Article is rejected.
  • Revisions are requested of the author(s). If the author(s) chooses to revise and resubmit the article, it goes back to the original reviewers for a second review, during which any of these outcomes is possible again.
  • Minor revisions are requested, and the article is accepted contingent on those revisions being made.
  • Article is sent to additional reviewers for what is called a technical review. This may happen if the original reviewers can’t come to consensus on an article or if the reviewers don’t believe their expertise on the article’s topic is deep enough to give a fair review. This outcome extends the length of the review process.

Reviewers base their decision to accept a manuscript on criteria such as content, originality, readability, presentation and, most importantly, contribution to the quality body of knowledge and professional development of the reader. Figures, tables and graphs are encouraged (although no more than six if possible), and appropriate references and citations are important.

Please note Quality Progress will not publish an article that serves primarily to promote an organization's or individual's products or services. In addition, it will not consider an article that is being submitted simultaneously to another publication or use a previously published article without substantial revisions.

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Helpful Hints

Follow a simple rule: Write about a subject you know. While you should avoid writing the article in the first person, it’s important you tell us something new in your own words.

You can use references, but don't limit yourself to what other people have said. Practical illustrations and case studies are terrific ways to help get your point across.

Think in terms of suggesting infographics and presenting information about a process, for example, in this graphical form. Perhaps a few figures and tables already relate to one another and can be rebuilt into one larger infographic.

When selecting figures and tables to include with your article, remember to keep them relevant. More is not always better. If at all possible, limit figures and tables to six per feature article. Space is limited in the print edition of the magazine. When needed, editors can include extra figures and tables in the online presentation of the article.

We must stress the importance of adhering to the word counts requirements. If you feel you need to exceed the limits to explain further or flesh out details, consider how some information could be broken out into sidebars that QP editors can highlight as part of the online presentation of the article. Remember, there aren’t word count limitations when posting material at qualitprogress.com.

Remember, presentation counts! Please proofread your article carefully before submitting.

While you’re not restricted to writing on topics listed in our editorial calendar, you may improve your chances of getting published, or shorten the time until publication, by preparing an article that matches the calendar. Articles directed toward a particular topic should be submitted at least six months in advance so there is adequate time for peer review and editing.

Finally, although we have regular contributors for most of our columns, if you are interested in writing for one of them please contact our editorial team. We will accept submissions into the review process for “Back to Basics,” “Try This Today” and “My Quality Story”. These are the only columns for which we accept submissions.

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Column Guidelines

“Try This Today” (formerly “One Good Idea”)
This column helps readers learn about tools and techniques other professionals have developed or revised to help with daily tasks. This column should be about a new tool or a new twist on an old tool. You should include measurable results that prove the tool or technique works well.

We also consider columns about “one bad idea” — a lesson learned, perhaps the hard way, while attempting to apply a quality tool, technique or program.

Word limit: 600 words

“Back to Basics”
This column covers one well-known, entry-level quality tool, concept or methodology for readers new to the quality arena or those who need retraining on basic, traditional quality concepts. Include examples of how the tool or concept works, demonstrating why it has become a staple among quality practitioners.

Word limit: 600 words

“My Quality Story” (formerly “Quality in the First Person”)
This column offers an opportunity for readers to share their personal quality stories. An appropriate submission would be an account of how you got into the quality field, how it has helped your organization or your career or how quality has enhanced your personal life.

Word limit: 600 words

"Field Notes"
This column offers industry-specific information and insights particular to a specific audience/readership segment. The column can focus on one area with each installment, delving deep into a topic affecting that particular industry, whether it be regulation, market opportunities or a relevant current event.

Word limit: 1,200 words

NEW! “The Download”

A new column focused on Quality 4.0 to include discussions on the implications for quality within the context of Industry 4.0. For instance, what roles can quality professionals play in their organizations to apply proven quality disciplines to new, digital, and disruptive technologies.

Word limit: 1,200 words

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Submission Checklist

The following guidelines must be followed when submitting a manuscript.

ASQ reserves the right to return to authors any manuscripts submitted that are not in accordance with the guidelines.

  • Please submit your article to manuscripts@asq.org.
  • Include your name, address, daytime phone number and preferred e-mail address in your e-mail message. Do not include it in the manuscript.  
  • Use a standard 12-point font and one-inch margins.
  • Line spacing should be set at 1.5 or 2.
  • Format your text in a single column. Please do not use multiple columns.
  • Include page numbers on all pages of the manuscript.
  • Put figures and tables at the end of the manuscript in the order they should appear. If submitting electronic photos, send in TIFF, GIF or JPEG format at 300 dpi—no hand-drawn artwork.
  • Number and group references at the end of the manuscript. Do not use Word’s automatic reference or footnote option.
  • Include a brief author biography on a separate page at the end. Include current occupation, highest academic degree and where earned, and ASQ awards and designations. Information beyond this may not be included in final article.
  • Please follow these word count limits:
    • Feature articles – 2,500 words
    • Back to Basics – 600 word maximum
    • Try This Today (formerly One Good Idea) – 600 word maximum
    • My Quality Story (formerly Quality in the First Person) – 600 word maximum
    • Field Notes – 1,200 word maximum
    • The Download – 1,200 word maximum
  • If you do not have access to e-mail, send a hard copy and a computer disk to the attention of the Manuscript Coordinator, Quality Progress, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203. An electronic copy must be received for your article to be published. Computer disks will not be returned.

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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 or her article in specific ways, provided the author requests permission from ASQ and credits copyright to ASQ. The transfer also allows ASQ to reproduce the work.

You can request a sample of our copyright form by e-mailing manuscripts@asq.org.

If authors use material from other works in their articles, they must obtain written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to reprint each item of borrowed material in QP. This includes any illustrations, tables or substantial extracts (direct quotations) outside the realm of fair use.

Articles cannot be published in QP until copies of all permission letters are received at ASQ headquarters.

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2022 Editorial Planner

Each issue of Quality Progress includes a cover story article as well as a number of features, departments and columns. The 2022 Quality Progress editorial planner includes topics that will be covered in each specific issue; however, in 2022, these topics don’t necessarily represent what will be the cover article(s). Unlike in previous years, the cover article will be determined on the basis of trends, timing and scope of the complete editorial package. This new approach will give QP editors more freedom in content presentation and will be a great benefit for readers.

If the topic you would like to write about does not appear in the editorial planner, please do not let that dissuade you from submitting your article. We will use all accepted articles, whether they align with a cover theme or not.

If you are aiming for a specific issue, please submit your article at least six months before the issue date. If you miss this deadline, send the article anyway. Quality Progress may use it in a different issue.

Please note these are the projected topics for feature articles (which are about 2,000-2,500 words max). Also see our column descriptions (which are limited to 600 words).


Lean and Six Sigma

Teams and Leadership

Culture of Quality

Supply Chain Management

Professional Development / Careers

Risk Management

Standards and Auditing

Quality Tools and Basics

Quality 4.0 / Innovation

World Quality Month: Special Edition

Salary Survey

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