Aims & Scope

General Submission Guidelines

The National Forensic Journal welcomes submissions related to the instruction, practices, development, critique, and research of speech, debate, and performance activities reflecting the educational vision of the National Forensic Association. The goal of the journal is to advance the educational values and practices of the National Forensic Association by fostering scholarly discussion among forensic educators, administrators, and students. Submitted papers may address all areas of forensic activity. The journal welcomes submissions from a variety of theoretical or philosophical perspectives and methodological approaches, and those that explore both traditional and innovative approaches to competitive speech activities. While the journal primarily publishes scholarly applied or theoretical research, critical essays and reviews on topics of forensics pedagogy and practice are welcomed.

While publishing applied or theoretical research in forensics is the primary objective of the journal, reviews of books and other educational resources related to forensics will also be considered and should be limited to 1,000 words or less. The journal will, from time to time, publish collections of short essays on a selected theme in a forum discussion section. The section provides a venue for shorter manuscripts that address a specific issue of contemporary concern for the NFA community. Suggestions regarding future forum discussion topics are welcomed by the editors.

All submissions will undergo anonymous peer review, which typically takes about three months.

Submitted manuscripts should be double-spaced throughout, including block quotations, notes, and references prepared in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual (7th edition). To ensure anonymous review, please avoid self-references in the manuscript. Include on a separate title page, the author(s) name(s), academic titles, institutional affiliations, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and any manuscript history. The second page of the manuscript should contain an abstract of no more than 250 words. The text should begin on the third page of the manuscript and should include a title at the top of the page.

While under review by the National Forensic Journal, authors may not submit the manuscript to another publication source. Articles should not be submitted that have previously been published in other sources. Upon acceptance, the National Forensic Association shall retain copyright for the article. Authors are expected to follow the review guidelines established by their institution’s research review board for studies involving human subjects. Research conducted at the NFA national tournament must be approved in advance by the NFA Research Committee.

Forensics Futures Forum Submissions

The editorial team at the National Forensic Journal is excited to introduce invited forum collections called Forensics Futures. Presented in a variety of formats, these forum collections will be dedicated to conversations about specific issues, innovations, opportunities, strategies, or concerns for the collegiate speech and debate community.

Each forum collection should be centered on a particular theme. Although the specific contents and arrangement of each forum collection may vary, the following is one possible approach to organizing a Forensics Futures forum:

 •An introduction to the forum providing the framing or context for the conversation;

 •Individual reflections / thought essays by each contributor to the forum, related to the theme of the forum, approximately 1000-1500 words each;

 •One or two responses to the forum collection, identifying meaningful commonalities, pressing points of divergence, and / or directions for future dialogue inspired by the collection.

 •Entire forums (including introduction, individual contributions, and responses) should not exceed 10,000 words, including notes and references.

We are excited to provide space within the journal to continue, and preserve, the many exciting discussions taking place in various areas of our community!

Original Literature Submissions!

The National Forensic Journal is excited to solicit original short story submissions for publication! These stories should be original work produced by the author, should strive to use evocative or exciting language, and should include narratives that advance a compelling idea or elicit an emotionally resonant reaction.

In order to preserve our ties to the forensic activity, submissions of original literature are only open to authors with a background in collegiate speech (current competitors or coaches). Original literature submissions should be unpublished and not under review elsewhere. We also ask that any work you have available on a personal website or blog be removed before you publish it in the NFJ.

Submissions should not exceed 1800 words. Please be sure to include a title for the submission and a short author bio along with your submission.