About the Journal

Focus and Scope

The Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs (JPNA) is a peer-reviewed, open source journal focused on providing a connection between the practice and research of public and nonprofit affairs. This is accomplished with scholarly research, practical applications of the research, and no fees for publishing or journal access. JPNA publishes research from diverse theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary backgrounds that addresses topics related to the affairs and management of public and nonprofit organizations. 

Peer Review Process

JPNA uses a double-blind peer review process. Upon submission to the journal, all papers are sent to three reviewers for comment. Reviewers are selected based on their expertise in areas related to the submission.

Publication Frequency

JPNA publishes three issues per year. The spring, summer, and fall issues are released on April 1st, August 1st, and December 1st, respectively.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Authorship Guidelines

JPNA requires that authorship of an article be based on the following criteria:
  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work,
  • Drafting the work (or revising it critically) for important intellectual content,
  • Final approval of the version to be published,
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

All those designated as authors on a manuscript should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria may be acknowledged, but not listed as an author.

Conflicts of Interest

Awareness and proper management of potential conflicts of interest for authors, reviewers, and editors are essential to JPNA's mission.

JPNA defines a conflict of interest as arising from any relationship authors, reviewers, and/or editors have which (knowingly or unknowingly) interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision-making, or publication of a manuscript. Conflicts of interest can be financial or non-financial, professional or personal, and can arise in relation to an organization or an individual. 

JPNA requires full disclosure by authors of all conflicts of interest relevant to a submitted manuscript. It is also the responsibility of reviewers to disclose any potential conflict(s) of interest that may arise by reviewing a manuscript.

Associate Editors should disclose to the editor(s)-in-chief any conflicts of interest that they might have which would preclude them from handling a manuscript in an unbiased nature. When such conflicts arise, the manuscript will be assigned to a different associate editor. If the conflict extends to all associate editors, the manuscript will be handled by the editor(s)-in-chief. If an instance arises that the editor(s)-in-chief are unable to handle a manuscript without bias, a committee of three members of the editorial board will be tasked with overseeing the manuscript through the review process. 

To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, when members of the editorial staff submit a manuscript for review, a committee of three members of the editorial board will be tasked with overseeing the manuscript through the review process. Submissions by the editorial board to the journal will be treated as any other manuscript.

Ethics and Publication Malpractice

JPNA is committed to ensuring ethics in publication and quality of articles; and, the journal is a full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Conformance to standards of ethical behavior is therefore expected of all parties involved in the publication process: Authors, Editors, Reviewers, and the Publisher.

- Authors

Authors should present an objective discussion of the significance of the research as well as sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the research. Fraudulently or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable. Review manuscripts are required to be objective, comprehensive, and accurate accounts of the research. Authors should ensure that their work is entirely original, and if the work and/or words of others have been used there should be an appropriate acknowledgment of that work. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Concurrently submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Authors should not submit articles describing essentially the same research (providing the same literature review, the same theoretical approach, and/or using identical data) to more than one journal. The corresponding authors should ensure that there is a full agreement of all co-authors in approving the final version of the manuscript and its submission for publication.

- Editors

Editors should evaluate manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their academic and/or practitioner merit. An editor may not use unpublished information in the editor’s own research without the express written consent of the unpublished author. Editors should take reasonable responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted manuscript or published paper.

- Reviewers

Any manuscript received for review is treated as a confidential document. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review are required to be kept confidential and not used for personal gain. Reviews are expected to be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving their submitted manuscript. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be difficult should notify the editor and excuse themself from the review process. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, and/or other relationships or connections with any of the authors or institutions connected to the manuscript.

Article Corrections and Retractions

Corrections to, or retractions of, published articles will be made by publishing a correction or retraction note in the next available issue of the journal and without altering the original article. This allows for both the original article and the subsection correction to remain in the public domain and to be subjected to indexing.

Allegations of Misconduct and Complaints

JPNA takes concerns and allegations of misconduct seriously. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure the accuracy of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data in manuscripts submitted to the journal. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of authors to guarantee the veracity of the content of articles published in JPNA. However, when concerns or allegations of misconduct arise, they should be reported to the editors at editor@jpna.org. The report should include available evidence for the allegation in question. For allegations of misconduct that involve or create a conflict of interest for the editors, a committee of three members of the editorial board will be formed to investigate and address the complaint.

The editors of the journal adhere to the processes for addressing allegations and complaints that have been established by the Commission on Publication Ethics, as outlined here. When allegations are found to have merit, the editors will contact the appropriate administrative officials at the institution with which the author is affiliated and inform them of the charges and the decision of the journal.

As a practice, the journal does not retract manuscripts that have appeared in the journal unless it is for issues of misconduct. When allegations are found to have merit deserving the retraction of an article, the JPNA editors will make a recommendation of retraction to the editorial board and the Midwest Public Affairs Conference Board of Trustees for confirmation. Both confirming bodies must approve the retraction by majority vote. With the approval, the editors will prepare a written statement for publication in JPNA indicating that the publication of the article has been retracted and the cause for retraction. The statement will also be linked to the original article. Both the statement and the original article will remain in the public domain and be subjected to indexing.