Strategic Finance publishes only original material that contributes to the accounting and financial management profession.
We recommend that you study several issues of our magazine before you write and submit your manuscript. The best advice is to write only about the topics you know best and with which you’ve had experience.
To query about potential articles or article topics, contact Kathy Williams at email@example.com. For any questions about submitting a manuscript or any of the information below, contact Alice Schulman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT
Manuscripts should be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com. Include the manuscript as an attachment to your message.
Format. Files should be in Word format. We can also take TXT or RTF files. Do not send PDF files—staff must be able to make and save changes to the document in order to prepare it for review. Do not put an author’s name on anything within the manuscript file. All manuscripts are reviewed “blind.” Using the author’s name within the manuscript itself will cause delays in the review process. If it must be used within the context of the article, black out the name. The editorial staff and reviewers will understand it is referring to the author. Names may also be used in citations and other references if there is no indication that the person listed is also the author.
Submission Form. You will also need to submit a completed Manuscript Submission.
If you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat, you can save the completed form and include it as a separate attachment when sending your manuscript. If you only have Acrobat Reader, you will need to print the form and fax it to (201) 474-1603 or mail it to Strategic Finance, 10 Paragon Dr., Montvale, NJ 07645. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a submission form, so please submit both the manuscript and submission form at the same time. When submitting the manuscript via e-mail, please note in your message how and when the submission form has been sent. Manuscripts will not be processed without a form.
The criteria for acceptable manuscripts are:
- IMA is given exclusive publication rights.
- The manuscript must not have been previously published and is not available to other publishers.
- It must be submitted in English and in completed form for publication.
- The manuscript must not be a poem, outline, abstract, thesis, school term/research paper, unedited speech, or previously accepted manuscript.
- The content of the manuscript must be timely.
Length of Manuscript. Most manuscripts we publish are approximately 10-15 typewritten double-spaced pages. Ideal length is about 2,500 to 3,000 words for Strategic Finance.
Tables and Figures. Your manuscript will be strengthened if you can illustrate your points. Graphic illustrations should be kept simple and in proportion to the manuscript’s length. Make a specific reference in the text to each table or figure in your manuscript, and put each table or figure on a separate sheet of paper. If you use a table or figure from another publication, you must have obtained written permission to use it. Include a copy of the permission when submitting the manuscript.
THE REVIEW PROCESS
All manuscripts submitted to Strategic Finance are reviewed in a two-stage process to determine if they are appropriate for publication. Each manuscript is assigned a control number when it is submitted for review. When you want to know the status of your manuscript, please refer to this number when you contact the staff.
Technical Review. Each manuscript undergoes a blind review by three independent reviewers who have expertise in specific areas. All references to the author are deleted. Members of the manuscript appraisal committee base their evaluations on the following seven major criteria:
- Is the topic of the manuscript relevant for our readers?
- How well was the topic covered? Was it a thorough analysis and description of the topic? Were any assertions made that were not supported by the evidence and data supplied?
- Is the manuscript original and not a rehash of what has been published previously?
- Is it practical? Can our readers use the information to benefit their companies and careers?
- Is it technically correct and sound?
- Is the topic timely? Does the manuscript reflect the latest pronouncements and research? Does it represent a new development or innovation of which our members should be aware?
- Is the material presented clearly and concisely?
When the reviewers’ manuscript appraisal forms are returned to the editorial department after review, the three grades are then averaged to determine the overall grade assigned to the manuscript.
Reviewers recommend that the manuscript be published, revised, or rejected. They also provide reasons for their recommendations and suggestions on how the technical content of the manuscript can be improved.
Based on the review committee’s comments and further evaluation by the editorial staff of the magazine, manuscripts will either be considered for publication or rejected. You will be notified once a final decision has been reached. Turnaround time for the review process is 120 days.
Once the editor-in-chief has selected a publication date, a staff member will edit your manuscript and send you the edited version and an assignment of copyright form. Please review the editing, make any changes, sign the copyright form, and return all material within five days of receipt. During the editing process, an editor may contact you to discuss tables or figures to illustrate the article or any other matters pertaining to the content.
Complimentary Copies. After the article is published, you will receive 10 copies for your personal use. You may order additional issues or reprints by contacting Alice Schulman at (800) 638-4427, ext. 1547; (201) 474-1547; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IMA member authors of the top manuscripts submitted, determined by the grade average, and published during the chapter competition year are presented Certificates of Merit for their outstanding contributions to accounting and finance literature. IMA member authors of the top three manuscripts, as determined by an editorial advisory committee, will be presented Lybrand Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals, respectively.
IMA CHAPTER COMPETITION
As part of the yearly competition, chapters can earn credit as a check-off item in the Elective Activities category for submitting a manuscript to the magazine. The manuscript must be written or cowritten by a member of the chapter. Manuscripts are no longer credited automatically. Credit must be claimed as “Electives” on the Annual Transmittal Form submitted by the chapter as part of the competition.
To be eligible, manuscripts must meet the criteria listed above (see SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT). The editorial decision to either accept or reject the manuscript for publication does not affect the chapter credit. See the Chapter Competition Guide for more information.
TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE WRITING
Staff editors carefully edit every manuscript scheduled for publication. They follow a number of general principles in the editing process. Here are some suggestions for effective writing:
- Write punchy lead paragraphs that will “grab” readers and pull them into the article.
- Avoid long introductions. Get right to the point. Tell the reader exactly what you plan to do.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms. Readers don’t like to go back and check their meaning.
- Don’t pad your manuscript. It will be obvious to the editor and to the reader—if the editor lets the material stand.
- Avoid long, complex sentences. Break a complex thought into two or more sentences.
- Don’t assume that the reader knows as much as you do. Carefully explain or define a term that isn’t commonly used or was coined at your company.
- Use the active voice, not passive. Instead of writing “It was accomplished in 10 days,” say “We finished the project in 10 days.”
- Write a conclusion that sums up your major points and makes a statement on why the article is important to the reader.