Aims And Scope

The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices is a peer-reviewed, U.S. journal registered with the U.S. Library of Congress that presents current and innovative academic criminal justice and police use of force research as well as operational and administrative police practices from across the U.S. Manuscripts are welcomed from practitioners, researchers and others interested in developments in police use of force, police practices and procedures. The journal seeks to bridge the gap in knowledge that exists regarding what is an objectively reasonable use of police force, what is excessive force, how to assess the reasonableness of an officer’s decision to use force, what police do, why police use force, causes of crime and how police maintain order, administer laws, and serve communities within the U.S.

The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices is committed to peer-review integrity and upholding the highest standards of review. Once your submission has been assessed for suitability by the editor, it will then be double blind peer-reviewed by anonymous expert referees. Find out more about what to expect during peer review and read our guidance on publishing ethics.

There are no charges to submit and publish within the U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices.

The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices asks for no exclusive rights to any article or other submission. The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices takes no rights from you but embraces the right to distribute articles and submissions accepted for publication in any format, including print, web, e-reader, and formats currently known or yet to be discovered. The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices has an open-reprint policy and encourages the use of its publications by the general public, students, faculty, police officers, police administrators and government officials as long as proper citations are provided. The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices uses the Creative Commons CC-by guidelines.

All contributions to the U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices for publication must undergo a rigorous, double blind, peer review after it is assigned a minimum of three noted industry professionals/academicians before a contribution is selected to appear in the journal. Our editors are given detailed instructions in their “Guide to Editing an NEFI Journal” on setting up the review process and the editor must complete various progress reports and submit to their NEFI Development Editor throughout the process. This is very important for the assurance of quality. When reviewers are sent articles to review, they are provided an in-depth review form to help in evaluating the submission, and the reviewer must complete and forward their evaluation to the NEFI editor within four weeks of receipt of the journal article.

Find out more about peer review in this guide from Sense and Science.

Research Notes, Essays and Reviews 

Please submit a cover letter containing a brief (150-300 word) biographical sketch of each author. These should include institutional affiliation, postal address, acknowledgments, research interests, e-mail address, and web page address, if any. This information, however, should NOT appear in the manuscript itself in order to preserve the integrity of the blind peer review process.

All submissions must be double-spaced, accompanied by an abstract page of not more than 150 words, and manuscript body not to exceed 7,000 words  (font size 12), excluding abstract and reference pages. Diagrams and tables should be kept to a minimum and must be included within the document at their insertion point. In addition, each diagram and/or table must be numbered and placed at the end of the document with directions of their points of insertion in the text clearly indicated.

References should follow at the end in the APA style (author, date, title, page) with a comprehensive bibliography of all works cited, and authors’ names. Footnotes are not acceptable.

Finally, each author must disclose any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated – including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition.

Writing Your Paper

Please carefully follow the guidelines below as you write. Any manuscripts not meeting these guidelines will be returned to the author(s) for correction, which can cause significant delays in the publication of your work.

Please ensure that your journal manuscript is between 5,000 – 7,000 words.

  1. be submitted in Microsoft® Word.
  2. be typewritten in English
  3. be written in objective third person point of view throughout (Use “the authors” or “the researchers” NOT “I” or “we”)
  1. Originality of manuscripts. Only ORIGINAL submissions will be accepted for publication. Manuscripts may not have been previously published or be submitted for publication elsewhere.
  2. Simultaneous Submissions. No manuscript may be submitted to the U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices for publications at the same and/or when under consideration from another journal.
  3. Revised manuscripts. The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices will not publish a manuscript that is a “revised” version of a manuscript that you published elsewhere. In order to be considered original, a manuscript must be at least 80% new material with no more than 200 consecutive words (properly cited) repeated verbatim from any previously published work.
  4. Copyright. For those already familiar with NEFI’s publication process, please note that PDF copyright agreements are not accepted. As part of the manuscript submission process, you and your authors will be asked to sign the Author’s Warranty and Use Agreement digitally.
  5. Plagiarism. The U.S. Journal of Police Use of Force and Practices takes concerns of plagiarism very seriously. All manuscripts are checked for plagiarized passages prior to being accepted for publication. Please ensure that all information taken from outside sources is properly cited and that all thoughts are composed in your own words. All instances of plagiarism will be immediately returned to the authors for correction and may be cause for removal of the manuscript from the publication.
  6. Titles. Titles may be no longer than 100 characters. Subtitles, if included, may be no longer than 50 characters.
    1. Note that all titles must be entered in title case. To put a title in title case, the first letter of each word should be capitalized unless that word is a preposition (position words such as “over,” “with,” or “between”), conjunction (connecting words such as “and” or “but”), or article (“a,” “an,” or “the”). The only exceptions to this rule are that the first word of the title or subtitle is always capitalized, even if it is an article, preposition, or conjunction.
    2. Titles may not be written in all capital letters (e.g., “CHAPTER TITLE” is incorrect; “Chapter Title” is correct)
  7. Headings. Please format all headings as in the below manuscript formatting templates. Heading names within the body of your text may be tailored to the content of the work. Note that headings and subheadings should NOT be numbered (e.g., 1. Introduction, 2. Background, etc.).
  8. Images. A manuscript may include no more than 20 figures. All submitted images and figures must be submitted as separate files in .tif format. Please also note that it is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission to use any image currently under copyright by a third party.
  9. APA citations. Please ensure that all information in your manuscript that is taken from another source is substantiated with an in-text reference citation. A minimum of 10 sources is required for each submission. Please also note that your references must follow APA (American Psychological Association) style. (The publisher will return your submission to you for correction if you do not properly format your references.) For more information and examples on APA citations, please see APA Style CENTRAL.
  10. Self citation. Researchers may need to cite their previously published works in order to communicate an idea effectively in their present manuscript. While the NEFI encourages the use of self citations in these cases, it is important that self-cited works do not account for, at most, 50% of the total references in the manuscript.
  11. LaTex. LaTex files are NOT accepted because they are not compatible with NEFI’s typesetting program. As an alternative, we require that you use MathType (see “Equations” below).
  12. Equations. If a symbol or equation can by typed directly into Microsoft Word, please do so. Otherwise, we require using MathType to format all equations. Authors can download a free trial version of MathType here.
  13. Copy editing and proofreading. It is crucial that complete copy editing and proofreading of your manuscript be conducted prior to submission to ensure proper use of the English language, proper grammatical structure, and correct spelling and punctuation. Manuscripts that are submitted to the publisher are considered to be in their final form and ready for publication as is. We recommend eContent Pro International for copy editing.
  14. APA and NEFI house style. Please be advised that due to APA and NEFI house style rules, changes in regard to, among other things, capitalization, the appearance of block quotes and bulleted and numbered lists, and the placement of images on the page may be adjusted accordingly during the typesetting phase. Please format your manuscript according to the proper template for your publication type (handbook chapters will fall under the “Authored or Edited Chapter Template”):
  15. Peer review. All submissions must undergo a double-blind review process before being accepted for publication.
  16. All manuscripts MUST be submitted through the online submission system. Manuscripts submitted outside of the system will not be considered for publication.

The strongest papers usually have one point to make and they make that point powerfully, back it up with evidence, and locate it within the field.

Make sure that you’ve described your methodology and approach; whilst it may seem obvious to you, it may not to your reader. And don’t forget to explain acronyms.

Make your work accessible by using clear language.

You can’t review the whole of the relevant literature, but you do need to tell the reader how what you’re doing relates to key work that’s gone before and, if possible, how you are building on it.

Your literature review should take into consideration the current state of the literature, so don’t talk about “recent research” if you’re giving citations from the 1990s. And when you reference something, ensure you fully understand its relevance to your research, so you can make it clear for your reader.

You may be building on a concept already in existence but you still need to have something new to say. Make sure you say it convincingly, and fully understand and reference what has gone before.

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