Manuscript Preparation

JCR manuscripts are judged not only on the depth and scope of the ideas presented but also on whether they can be read and understood by our readers.

Please read the journal to familiarize yourself with the types of manuscripts we publish. Our subscribers have varied backgrounds, so gear your manuscript to an interdisciplinary audience.

Please review the instructions on this page before you submit your manuscript. If you have any questions, please contact the editorial office.

Proofreading and Copy Editing

Proofread your manuscript carefully before submission and consider hiring a copy editor. Ensure all comments among authors have been removed, all tracked changes have been accepted or rejected, and that the “track changes” feature has been turned off.

If you need professional assistance preparing your manuscript for submission (English-language copy editing, general writing, and language or translation issues), consider the following:

Note: These are merely suggestions and use of these professional editing services does not guarantee publication. Your university might have a list of trusted editorial specialists as well.


It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary permissions for figures and other third-party content included in your manuscript or web appendix prior to acceptance.

Oxford University Press (OUP), provides detailed guidelines to help authors determine when permission is needed to use third-party content and answer common questions pertaining to the process of obtaining permissions. See OUP’s Rights and permissions guidelines for authors or contact OUP with questions regarding permissions.

Author Anonymity

Do not identify yourself or your university affiliation in your manuscript during the review process. However, author identities should not be omitted from the references (if applicable).

Do not include the author note or the data collection paragraph in the manuscript file (these items must be entered into the submission form and will only be visible to the editor and associate editor)

In the methods sections, where data collection and participant pools are discussed, use terms such as “large public university” instead of the name of the specific institution where data were collected

If you are including links to study pre-registrations or other online content, make sure the webpage at the link is completely anonymized and the URL does not identify authors or institutions

If your manuscript is accepted for publication, the final version should be updated to include identifying information that was omitted during the review process.

Author Note

Enter your author note during Step 6 of the submission process (do not include the author note in the manuscript file during the review process). The author names and order listed in the author note should match the author information that was added to the submission during Step 4.

Denote the corresponding author and provide the following information for each author:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Current position
  • Current affiliation (department and university/institution)
  • Acknowledgments of financial, technical, or other assistance

Authors should verify the order of author names and update the information in the author note with each revision. The author note provides us with a record of author identities for each submission (as contact and affiliation details listed in ScholarOne user profiles may change later).

If the manuscript is based on the lead author’s dissertation, the author note should state this (and should not state that all authors contributed equally to the article) if the article is to be considered for the Ferber Award.

See our sample author note.

Manuscript Length

Authors should strive for economy and clarity when preparing manuscripts for JCR. The contribution to knowledge relative to the length of the manuscript is a key criterion in the editorial review process.

Although the typical manuscript submitted to JCR ranges from 35 to 40 double-spaced pages, shorter manuscripts are also welcome.

The total number of pages may not exceed 60 pages (this includes the title, contribution statement, abstract, main text, appendixes, references, tables, and figures). A separate web appendix file may be submitted and does not count toward this limit.

Manuscript Content and Formatting

The manuscript file must include the following items in the following order:


The manuscript must adhere to the following formatting requirements:

  • Upload your file in Word, Rich Text, PDF, or LaTeX format
  • Use US Letter size (8.5″ x 11″) and one-inch margins on all sides
  • The contribution statement (for new submissions only), abstract, main text, and references must be double spaced and left justified; in single-column format, portrait orientation, and Times New Roman 12 font
  • References should have a hanging indent
  • Do not number headings
  • Add an extra double space before and after primary or secondary headings; add an extra double space before tertiary headings
  • Do not include a running head, endnotes, underlining, or line numbering (the system will number lines during file conversion)
  • Do not number the pages (the system will number pages during file conversion)

See our sample manuscript. Additionally, our style sheet (for accepted manuscripts) contains detailed guidelines for statistical reporting and formatting references.

If you need assistance formatting your manuscript, please consult your university support staff.

Manuscript Title

Enter your manuscript title during Step 1 of the submission process. It must also be included in the manuscript file (before the contribution statement).


  • The title entered into ScholarOne MUST match the title in the manuscript file
  • Use title case (also referred to as headline case)
  • Keep your title concise and clear; many titles can be shortened
  • Use descriptive terms and phrases that accurately highlight the core content of the manuscript

Titles are an important mechanism for drawing a wide variety of potential readers to your manuscript if it is accepted. Online indexing databases and search engines such as Google Scholar and Web of Science often use titles to categorize and display articles, and the title may therefore influence whether scholars will read an article. A well-constructed and informative title should make your article discoverable to a larger number of scholars, which could lead to more citations.

Contribution Statement

Every new submission must include a contribution statement (maximum of 300 words). Enter your contribution statement during Step 6 of the submission process. It must also be included in the manuscript file (double spaced and placed before the abstract)

Your contribution statement will be shared with the entire review team. The purpose of the contribution statement is for you to provide a clear and concise understanding of the primary contribution provided by your manuscript. Your contribution statement should:

1) clearly articulate the ways in which the research provides insight to a consumer-relevant question;
2) situate your research within the existing knowledge on the topic; and
3) explain what the research adds to what is already known about the consumer-relevant problem


  • Do not reveal author identities in your contribution statement
  • The contribution statement entered into ScholarOne MUST match the contribution statement in the manuscript file
  • Do not include a contribution statement when submitting an invited revision
  • Contribution statements will not appear in published articles

See our sample contribution statements.

Abstract and Keywords

Enter your abstract (maximum of 200 words) during Step 1 of the submission process. It must also be included in the manuscript file (double spaced and placed after the contribution statement), followed by a list of three to six keywords in a separate paragraph.

Your abstract should substantively summarize your manuscript and address the following:

  • Topic/Issue
  • Approach/Methods
  • Results/Findings
  • Implications/Conclusions


  • The abstract entered into ScholarOne MUST match the abstract in the manuscript file
  • Do not include any citations, tables, or figures in your abstract
  • Do not include any information that is not in your article
  • Avoid using “we” or expressions like “we found that consumers…” (i.e., omit “we found that” and just say “consumers…” instead)
  • The abstract should contain enough information about your manuscript to allow potential reviewers to judge whether they have enough expertise to review the manuscript; the abstract should also be engaging enough for them to want to review it

In crafting your abstract, recognize that JCR is an interdisciplinary journal and we aspire to being read and cited by scholars in a wide variety of disciplines. Make the writing in your abstract accessible so that the importance of your article will be transparent to a wide variety of scholars. Include terms and descriptions that will allow your article (if accepted) to be found by scholars interested in your theories, substantive findings, and methods. For instance, a manuscript investigating processing style by comparing adults across the age span should reference both the relevant theories of processing and the operationalization through age, so that scholars with either interest would be drawn to the work.

See our sample abstract.


Do not number your headings. You may use up to three levels of headings:

Primary Headings: all-caps, centered, bold, with an extra double space before and after

Secondary Headings: capital and lowercase letters, flushed left, with an extra double space before and after

Tertiary Headings: capital and lowercase letters, indented, italicized, punctuated with a period, with an extra double space before the heading; the text follows on the same line

See our sample manuscript which includes sample headings.


We strongly discourage the use of footnotes. If you use footnotes, they should appear at the bottom of the given page (not to be confused with endnotes, which appear at the end of the manuscript and are not allowed at JCR).

Create notes that are linked to the text using the footnote function on your word processor so that the footnotes are automatically and accurately renumbered when you make changes.


Tables must be included in the main manuscript file and placed in the body of the manuscript during the review process.

See our sample manuscript which includes sample tables.

Note: If your manuscript is accepted for publication, the typesetter will require an editable version of each table.


Figures must be included in the main manuscript file and placed in the body of the manuscript during the review process.

High-resolution images are not required during the review process, and authors are strongly encouraged to include lower-resolution images in order to reduce the manuscript file size and streamline uploading and downloading. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, separate figure files will be required and higher-resolution images can be submitted at that time.

  • Axes: Label both vertical and horizontal axes. The ordinate label should be centered above the ordinate axis; the abscissa label should be placed flush right, beneath the abscissa. Place all calibration tics inside the axis lines and their values outside the axis lines. If the junction of the axes is zero, there should be only one zero.
  • Error Bars: When graphing means, the inclusion of error bars is optional. However, if error bars are reported, they must be the 95% confidence interval.
  • Labels: Number each figure. Figure labels must be centered and typed in all capital letters.
  • Legends: Legends should be placed horizontally, if possible, either in an appropriate white space in the figure or centered beneath the figure.
  • Lines: Clearly differentiate lines within figures. Variations include bold line, fine line, broken line, dotted line, etc. Lines within the figure should be identified by either a legend or a short description in a note.
  • Notes and Source Lines: Notes and source lines appear at the bottom of the table or figure, indented and aligned to the left. Descriptive information in addition to any notes should be placed above the notes, paragraph indented.
  • Space: When boxes are used to delimit text or freespace drawings in figures, white space inside boxes should be kept to a minimum.
  • Titles: Each figure must have its own descriptive title, centered and typed in all caps.
  • Typefaces: Use only sans serif typefaces (e.g., Helvetica, Arial) in figures. Lettering on all figures must be professional in appearance and large enough to be easily read when reduced to actual size.

See our sample manuscript which includes sample figures.


If appendixes are provided, they should appear on a new page before the references. Multiple appendixes are labeled with letters (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.). A single appendix is labeled without the letters (Appendix).

A manuscript appendix is distinct from a web appendix containing supplementary materials (see the separate web appendix instructions below). A manuscript appendix is integral to the manuscript and counts toward the page limit.

See our sample manuscript which includes sample appendixes.


Each reference should be cited in the text at an appropriate place. Do not include references that have no corresponding citations in the text, and be sure that you have provided the complete reference for every in-text citation.


  • Author identities should be left in the references (if applicable)
  • There must be a reference for every citation and a citation for every reference
  • References must be double spaced with a hanging indent

See our sample manuscript which includes sample references. Additionally, our style sheet (for accepted manuscripts) contains detailed guidelines for formatting references.

Web Appendix

Authors are encouraged to submit a supplementary document (i.e., a web appendix) containing stimuli, instruments, replication studies, or additional information not contained in the manuscript. The contents of the web appendix should be supplements or enhancements only (not content essential to the understanding of the article).

Upload a separate web appendix file during the submission process:

  • Select the “Web Appendix” file designation during Step 2
  • Select “Yes” when prompted during Step 6


  • Upload only one web appendix file containing all supplementary materials
  • Your web appendix must follow the manuscript formatting guidelines
  • Do not include author names or other identifying information in your web appendix during the review process
  • Include the manuscript title and a brief paragraph describing the contents of the web appendix
  • Mention the web appendix in-text where relevant, e.g., “See the web appendix for additional details”
  • If you are including a link to your data or other supplementary materials, make sure the webpage at the link is completely anonymized and the URL does not identify authors or institutions
  • The web appendix will be included (after the manuscript) in the system-generated blinded PDF that is provided to reviewers
  • If your manuscript is accepted, the web appendix will accompany the online version of your article and can include any materials that are not appropriate for the print version because of space constraints

Excel Files

Do not upload Excel files containing many columns or multiple worksheets (these files do not convert properly to PDF). If you would like to share data in a complex Excel file with reviewers, we recommend one of the following options:

  • Convert the Excel file to PDF (make sure the formatting is correct after conversion) and upload the PDF instead
  • Remove identifying properties from the Excel file (see instructions), upload it to the cloud (e.g., Dropbox), and provide a link to the file in your manuscript or web appendix
  • Upload the data to an open-access data repository (see Nature’s list of suggested repositories) and provide a link to the data in your manuscript or web appendix

If your manuscript is not an invited revision but you have submitted a version of the manuscript previously (i.e., the editor provided a “straight reject” or “desk reject” decision) or there is significant overlap with one of your prior submissions to JCR, the following applies:

  • The paper must be submitted as a new manuscript
  • You must explain the relationship between the new submission and the prior submission in your confidential cover letter to the editor
  • You must disclose the previous manuscript number in your confidential cover letter to the editor (regardless of the editor’s previous decision)
  • Revision notes are not required but you may provide them in a separate file (choose the “Supplementary File NOT for Review” file designation during Step 2 of the submission process; this will only be accessible to the editor and associate editor and will not be shared with reviewers)