Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Please read these guidelines before submitting your new or revised manuscript through our submission system.
Types of Manuscripts
Policy on Related and Overlapping Publications
Suggestions for the Editorial Team
Data Collection Information
Sample Data Collection Paragraphs
Proofreading and Copy Editing
Manuscript Order and Content
Abstract and Keywords
Data Maintenance Policy
Statement Regarding Uniqueness of Work and Anonymity
Additional Instructions for Invited Revisions
Overview of the Review Process
Further Information for Authors
JCR publishes empirical, theoretical, and methodological papers of the highest quality on topics in consumer research. The overriding criterion for publication in JCR is that the paper should advance understanding of consumer behavior or the conduct of consumer research. Typically, a paper suitable for JCR should attempt to advance, deepen, or repudiate existing published theory about consumption, and offer empirical support for its claims.
JCR is an interdisciplinary journal. It encourages a variety of disciplinary perspectives, methods, conceptual approaches, and substantive problem areas. In general, JCR is interested in publishing articles derived from orientations and paradigms as diverse as those of the readership base.* In all cases, rigorous paradigm-appropriate inquiry is imperative. At the same time, papers should be intelligible to scholars in consumer research generally.
*JCR is governed by an 11-member policy board representing the following organizations: American Anthropological Association, American Association for Public Opinion Research, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, American Marketing Association, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, Association for Consumer Research, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, International Communication Association, Society for Consumer Psychology (APA Division 23), and Society for Personality and Social Psychology (APA Division 8)
The following types of manuscripts are appropriate:
- In general, all manuscripts dealing with the acquisition, consumption, and disposition of goods and services construed broadly, as well as the intra-individual, interpersonal, social, and cultural processes and effects related to these activities.
- Empirical studies that report quantitative and/or qualitative theory and evidence illuminating a particular consumer behavior phenomenon or set of phenomena.
- Organizational and societal consumer behavior research in which the unit of analysis is broader than the individual.
- Reassessments of previously reported research findings or insights, with possible refinements.
- Exploratory or descriptive research of unusually high generative potential in that the paper establishes groundwork for further theoretical research, defines the boundaries of the research issue, or raises important questions that can be investigated in future research activities.
- Theoretical, conceptual, or perspective articles of unusual breadth or depth that introduce new concepts, explanations, and viewpoints regarding some important aspect of consumer behavior, including deductive, inductive, analytical, critical essay, and other approaches.
- Review articles of unusual integrative vision offering a unified presentation of previous literature that contributes to the field by identifying significant gaps in knowledge, synthesizing previously disparate findings, integrating research streams from different disciplines, and/or identifying research priorities and future developments.
- Meta-analyses of prior empirical findings on a particular consumer behavior topic that effectively summarize current evidence on conceptual and substantive issues and identify the most pressing and most novel directions for future research.
- Methodological expositions that offer significant advances in the state-of-the-art research tools or philosophy-of-science issues pertaining to consumer research, with specific illustrations and implications for the conduct of consumer research.
Manuscripts are evaluated in large measure on the relative magnitude of their contribution to the literature. It is imperative therefore that the editors be made aware of related research that is not yet readily known. Hence, authors submitting a manuscript for review should clearly indicate in their note to the editor the relation of the manuscript to any other manuscripts currently under review, in press, or recently published by the authors. The editorial office may contact you to ask to see a copy of one or more of these other papers.
Failure to provide these references in the note to the editor may lead to withdrawal of a manuscript under review or, if published, to retraction of the article, if the work is determined to be materially similar to submission or publication at another journal.
JCR does not publish papers that have been previously published (in almost all cases). Occasionally, an author may wish to submit a manuscript that has been published elsewhere, in whole or in part. JCR will consider such a manuscript for publication only if it meets ALL of the following conditions:
- At the time of manuscript submission, JCR receives written authorization from the holder of the copyright to publish any portion of the material in question.
- The other outlets for the material in question are sufficiently inaccessible to the general JCR readership such that JCR will perform a real service to its readership by making the material more readily available.
- The form of the potential JCR article differs substantially from the other forms in which the material is available in terms of length, positioning, type of analysis (if any), and/or the nature of the discussion. That is, the JCR article must offer some “value added” over and above the other presentations.
- The manuscript is submitted on a timely basis (i.e., not long after the appearance of the material elsewhere and preferably prior to actual publication elsewhere).
- The manuscript is accompanied by the other versions of the material available to allow editorial judgment of the three preceding points.
- The manuscript is clearly intended to make an independent contribution to the consumer research literature and can in no way be construed as a mere promotional vehicle.
The editor in chief selects the editor for each manuscript and authors should not request a specific editor. However, authors are encouraged to suggest up to three associate editors and four or five reviewers they consider most appropriate for their manuscript.
Please make these suggestions in your note to the editor (not in the manuscript itself) and provide brief explanations. We may not invite these people to serve on the review team (depending on availability and other factors), but it is useful to see which associate editors and reviewers the authors believe would be most knowledgeable about their manuscripts, both in terms of substance and methods used.
Do not suggest people who have already seen the manuscript, nor anyone with whom you might have a conflict of interest (colleagues, co-authors, advisors, friends, students, etc.).
When submitting new or revised manuscripts for review, authors must include a data collection paragraph in their note to the editor (not in the manuscript itself, to preserve confidentiality during the review process).
Please write in the third person (e.g., "The authors jointly analyzed the data.") and provide the following information for each study:
- Where the data were collected
- When the data were collected
- Who collected the data
- Who analyzed the data
The data collection paragraph should be updated and included in the note to the editor with each revision (as studies may be added or removed). This paragraph must also be included just before the appendixes (or before the references if there are no appendixes) in the final version of all manuscripts accepted for publication.
The first author supervised the collection of data for the first study by research assistants at the University of Chicago Decision Research Lab in the autumn of 2011. The first and second authors jointly analyzed these data. The first and second authors jointly managed the collection of data for study 2 using the Qualtrics panel described in the methods section in the spring of 2012. These data were analyzed jointly by all three authors with support of a statistical staff member at the University of Chicago.
The first author conducted all of the in-person fieldwork herself from autumn of 2007 until spring of 2009. The second author acted as confidante throughout the process and visited the field site twice. Both authors conducted the online fieldwork independently and equally as active social media participants. Data were discussed and analyzed on multiple occasions by both authors using the first author’s field notes, photographs, video, and artifacts, and both authors’ online notes, screen captures, and text files. The final ethnography was jointly authored.
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. Remember that our subscribers have varied backgrounds, so gear your manuscript to an interdisciplinary audience.
Proofread your paper 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 paper for submission (English-language copy editing, general writing, and language or translation issues), consider the following:
Do not identify yourself or your university affiliation in the main text of your manuscript during the review process.
In the methods sections, where data collection and participant pools are discussed, use terms such as “large public university” instead. However, author identities should be included on the title page and left in the references if applicable.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication, the final version should be updated to include identifying information that was omitted during the review process.
In general, 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 prototypical manuscript submitted to JCR is in the range of 35 to 40 total double-spaced pages (including appendixes, references, tables, and figures), shorter manuscripts are also welcome.
In some instances, a piece may require a somewhat longer exposition because of the nature of the manuscript’s objectives or research approach (e.g., development of a new theory, presentation of a series of related experiments, ethnographic research). In such cases, manuscripts ranging from 40 to 60 total pages will be considered.
Manuscripts exceeding 60 pages will sometimes be considered for publication. An author wishing to submit a manuscript that exceeds 60 pages should contact the editorial office before submitting the paper for review.
Authors of longer manuscripts should be cognizant that acceptance of such papers rests on editorial judgment of their greater relative contribution to knowledge.
Our submission system cannot accept files larger than 5 MB.
Figures and photographs do not need to be in high resolution during the review process and may be submitted in lower resolution to reduce the manuscript file size.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication, separate figure files will be required and higher-resolution images can be submitted at that time.
The manuscript file must include the following items, in order:
- Title page with author note
- Contribution statement
- Abstract and keywords
- Main text
- Appendixes (if applicable)
Please review your manuscript file prior to submission to confirm adherence to our formatting requirements:
- Tables and figures should appear throughout the body of the paper during the review process.
- The main text must be double spaced in Times New Roman 12 font.
- Numbering begins on the title page and is in the upper right corner.
- The paper must be left justified.
- There must be one-inch margins on all sides.
- Use letter format (not A4 or international).
- Nothing should be underlined.
- The main text should be in single-column format.
- There should be no endnotes in your manuscript.
You may use footnotes, which 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.
Use footnotes sparingly. If you have extensive footnote-like material, it should be included in a web appendix instead.
The title page of the manuscript should include an author note that denotes the corresponding author and the following information for each author:
- Full name
- Email address
- Current position
- Departmental or institution affiliation
Please see our sample author note.
Every new submission must have a contribution statement (a maximum of 300 words).
The contribution statement should be included in the manuscript after the author note and before the abstract. Contribution statements are for the review process only and are not included in published articles.
The goal of your contribution statement should be to provide a clear and concise focal point for your paper. Do not explain the methodological or operational details of your research.
Your contribution statement should be focused on the following:
- The state of scholarship prior to your research
- What your research adds
Include an excellent abstract (a maximum of 200 words) that summarizes your work, followed by a list of three to six keywords in a separate paragraph.
Your abstract should address the following:
- Motivation/Problem (what gap does your research fill?)
- Implications and Conclusions
Do not include citations, tables, figures, or information in your abstract that are not in your manuscript.
Please see our sample abstract.
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. There must be a reference for every citation and a citation for every reference.
Please see our sample references. Detailed instructions on formatting references are provided in our style sheet.
Authors are encouraged to submit stimuli, instruments, replication studies, or additional information not contained in the manuscript in a separate document (i.e., a web appendix) at any point in the review process.
Please format your web appendix in the same manner as a manuscript. Include a title page with the article title, author names, and a brief paragraph describing the contents of the web appendix.
If your manuscript is accepted, this information will appear in the online version of your article (and should be referenced in the author note of the article). These online-only article enhancements can include any materials that are not appropriate for the print version because of space constraints.
Authors are encouraged to upload their data files to an open-access third party data repository such as Dryad at any time during the review process, but there is no requirement to post your data.
If you choose to upload your data, it is your responsibility to obtain all necessary permissions to publicly post your data.
If your manuscipt is accepted for publication, the author note in the final version of your manuscript should note the availability of uploaded data files and provide a link to the data.
Authors of manuscripts that report data-dependent results will make available, upon request only, exact information regarding their procedures, stimuli, and data for five years after the date of publication for the benefit of researchers interested in replicating or extending these results.
JCR encourages authors to make their information available beyond the mandatory five years.
Exceptions will be made for identifiable or proprietary data. Authors must request such an exception and state the basis for it in the first version of a submission in which the relevant data appear. This request must normally be made at the time of the initial submission, although a request pertaining to data added in revision is allowable when the relevant revision is submitted. Should the relevant paper be accepted or offered revision, the editor will address the request in the decision letter.
Authors must provide sufficient information in their manuscripts about their research procedures, measures, and descriptive and summary results to enable reviewers to make informed judgments about the quality of the research.
All authors should thus be prepared to submit (only if requested) an additional Word file containing summary tables (e.g., correlations, analysis of variance summaries, means and standard deviations), scales or measures with reliability and validity assessment information, sample stimuli or instructions to respondents, interviewers, or observers, or procedures used to interpret textual data.
Supplementary material that repeats verbatim manuscript content should not be sent. The overall purpose of this recommendation is not to make the process more difficult but rather to decrease the number of revisions required as a result of matters that seem unclear.
Final acceptance of manuscripts is conditioned on an anti-plagiarism check using iThenticate.
Plagiarism.org has helpful information and links to other resources about plagiarism.
The Committee on Publication Ethics has guidelines and additional information on research integrity.
By submitting your manuscript, you guarantee that the following is true:
- Your manuscript has not been published, is not in press, is not in review elsewhere, and has not been previously rejected at JCR (without a new submission offer from the editor).
- For all studies, you disclosed all measures collected, all conditions in the experiments, data exclusions, and how you determined your sample sizes.
- You have indicated in your note to the editor the close relationship of this manuscript to any other manuscripts you currently have in review, in press, or recently published on this topic in this and other journals.
- You have not identified yourself or your school affiliation in any way in the methods sections, where data collection and participant pools are discussed. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, the final version should be updated to include identifying information that was omitted, but it must not be in the manuscript during the review process.
When you resubmit your manuscript, you will also need to submit a set of revision notes describing how you addressed the broad issues and concerns summarized in the editor's decision letter and the associate editor's report.
You may provide very brief separate comments to reviewers explaining your choices, but this is not necessary; everything can go into the overview.
Keep in mind that your goal is to win the support of the associate editor and the editor, not all reviewers on all details. Use the decision letter and the associate editor's report as your guide and use the reviews for more detail on issues raised by the associate editor.
Your revision notes should explain any changes that you made in your revised manuscript that are not apparent in the paper itself.
- Contribution statements are not required for revised manuscripts.
- An updated data collection paragraph must be included in the note to the editor with each revision.
- Keep your revision notes brief (no more than eight pages) and avoid repetition.
- In your revision notes, do not refer to page numbers in the manuscript file when discussing changes you made to your manuscript (the page numbers may change after your manuscript is processed by editorial office staff).
Upon submission, the editor in chief selects the editor for each manuscript. The editor assigns an associate editor, who is made aware of the authors’ identity, and three reviewers, who are blind to the identity of the authors.
The reviewers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. The associate editor integrates and prioritizes this analysis and makes a recommendation to the editor. The editor determines the final disposition of the paper.
The blind associate editor’s report and individual reviewer comments are provided in support of all editorial decisions.
The general review process for JCR:
- Managing editor checks submission and assigns manuscript number
- Corresponding author receives confirmation email within 48 hours
- Editor in chief assigns editor
- Editor selects associate editor and reviewers
- Associate editor has three days to make additional suggestions regarding reviewers
- Manuscript is sent to reviewers, who have 25 days to return their reviews
- Reviews are sent to associate editor, who prepares a report
- Editor prepares decision letter based on associate editor's report and reviews
- Editor's decision letter is emailed to corresponding author
- Blind AE report and reviews are made available to all authors and reviewers in the peer review system
JCR prides itself on providing high-quality, professional reviews in a timely fashion. Most decisions are made within 60 days of manuscript submission. Authors submitting longer manuscripts should anticipate a somewhat longer turnaround time.
A recent JCR tutorial by Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren Block, Rebecca W. Hamilton, and Julie L. Ozanne discusses both writing reviews for academic journals and responding to reviews of one’s own work: A Field Guide for the Review Process: Writing and Responding to Peer Reviews
Additional information about the review process can be found in our instructions for reviewers.
Tutorials in Consumer Research
Ferber Award Guidelines (for dissertation-based manuscripts)
Style Sheet (for accepted manuscripts)
Conflict of Interest Policy
Please contact the editorial office with any questions.