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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines below.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, remove all Document Properties that have any identifying information.

Author Guidelines



To submit your reflection, you need to Register on the Reflections home page (www.rnoph.org) and follow the email instructions to activate your account.

After registering, login and hover over your username in the top, right corner of the home page, “View Profile,” and complete the details requested in the various tabs. Most importantly, click “Author” in the “Roles” tab so the “make a submission” link will be available under the “Submissions” tab on the home page when you are logged in.


Reflections welcomes the following types of narratives:

  • A first-hand account of one or more authors’ experiences
  • An interview that highlights another person’s experiences
  • A review of one or more books in which their relevancy for the helping professions are integrated into a narrative of the author’s experiences

Guidelines for Writing a Successful Narrative

These guidelines will be used by reviewers to evaluate your manuscript:

  • Narrative: The author conveys interpersonal interactions, witnessed events, and felt experiences in a narrative format and is clear about the author(s)’ role (e.g. practitioner, recipient of service, teacher, field instructor, student, researcher, other).
  • Story: The author places the narrative within the context of a well-told story that helps readers discover new ways of thinking about the personal, the professional, and the political in our lives.
  • Portrayals: The author roots the narrative in the rich and detailed portrayal of key moments, examples, and vignettes that fully portray the interaction taking place between and among the people involved.
  • Context: The author places the reflection within an historical context, focusing on the present, and considering the implications of the narrative for the future.
  • References: The author uses references that might draw connections between the content and the published literature or that might assist the reader in understanding conceptual or theoretical conclusions about the nature of professional practice.
  • Conclusions: The author draws conclusions about the need for qualitative or quantitative research related to the issues arising from the narrative.

As you finalize your manuscript, use these guidelines to assess readiness for submission.

Prepare Your Manuscript

It may be helpful to look at articles in a published issue to use as examples of formatting. See, in particular, Kanary (2014) for more information about narrative style.

De-identify your manuscript. For example, use pseudonyms for persons and organizations that would identify you as author, and if you cite yourself, use Author instead of your name.

Manuscript length may vary from 1,200 to up to 8,000 words.

Submit as a Word file, single-space, flush-left (non-justified) with a blank line between paragraphs.

Use 13-point Times Roman font.

On the first page, center and bold your Title.

Skip one line and put Abstract flush-left, followed by an abstract not to exceed 250 words.

Skip one line and put Keywords, followed by 4-5 keywords (separated by commas) that do not appear in your title.

Skip one line and begin your narrative.

Use APA 7 style for references but do not use headers, footers or page numbers.

Bold and center primary headings; bold and flush-left subheadings.

Avoid using footnotes or endnotes.


Reflections authors and readers familiar with the mission of the journal are welcome to submit poetry, artwork, and photography that fit with the journal’s purpose. We welcome creative forms of expression that engage helping professionals in poetic and visual ways.

Guidelines for art, poetry, and photography submissions

  • Is original imaginative work, not yet published in a refereed journal
  • Conveys a theme relevant to the helping professions
  • Portrays interpersonal interactions, witnessed events, or felt experiences in a creative format
  • Sparks engagement, reflection, and meaning-making
  • Contains a narrative paragraph that provides the reader with an understanding of what inspired the poet/artist/photographer to produce this creative expression

Prepare Your Submission

 In your contextual narrative:

  • Be sure there is no identifying information such as your name or the name of someone featured in your expressive work.
  • At the beginning of your narrative, center and bold your Title.
  • Skip one line and begin your contextual paragraph that introduces your submission
  • If you have references in your paragraph, use APA 7 style, but do not use headers, footers or page numbers.
  • Avoid using footnotes or endnotes.

For poetry, submit as a Word file, single-space, flush-left (non-justified) with a blank line between your contextual paragraph and the poem. 

For photography, submit a Word File in which your photograph has been embedded immediately following your contextual paragraph.

Artwork could include drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, or any form of art that can be photographed and embedded in a Word File along with your contextual paragraph.


Submit Your Manuscript

From the Reflections home page, click the “Submissions” tab, click “make a new submission,” and follow the prompts.

Track Your Manuscript Through the Review Process

Once submitted, you will receive an automatically generated message from the Editor-in-Chief acknowledging receipt of your manuscript.

The editors will assess your manuscript to be sure it is ready to be sent out for review.

Once assessed as ready for review, your manuscript will be sent out for double-blind peer-review.

Publication decisions will take approximately three to four months. 

Once you have registered and submitted your reflection, you can login to track your manuscript’s status from your “Dashboard” (accessible by hovering over your username in the top, right corner of the home page) or by clicking “view your pending submissions" (under “Submissions” on the home page).

If you have a question, use the “Add Discussion” link in your submission record to communicate with the Editor of the Section to which you have submitted. If you need further assistance, contact the Editorial Leadership Team at reflectionseditorialteam@gmail.com.


This is a permanent section. Submissions to this section comply with the following overview.

Practice Section (Dr. Jon Christopher Hall, Editor): The process of being a practitioner or becoming a recipient of service can stimulate valuable narratives. For example, these narratives give voice to practitioners who work and advocate with individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and communities; participate in social justice and civic engagement work; or become recipients of service in the very systems in which they have practiced.

All articles published in this section are peer-reviewed.

Field Education

This is a permanent section.  Submissions to this section comply with the following overview.

Field Education (Dr. Beth Lewis, Editor): The process of field advisement and field instruction, as well as the experience of being a student in a practicum, can stimulate valuable narratives. For example, consider building narratives around insights gained from process recordings and verbatims or from supervisory relationships or other field experiences in which co-learning occurred.

All articles published in this section are peer reviewed.


This is a permanent section. Submissions to this section comply with the following overview.

Research Section (Dr. Monica Leisey, Editor): Although Reflections does not publish research results or literature reviews, the journal has a long history of publishing narratives of the personal and/or interpersonal aspects of the research process. Some examples of research narratives could be sharing the author's experience of collaboration during the research experience, engaging in the research project, or sharing lessons learned from the research process.

All articles published in this section are peer reviewed.

Teaching & Learning

This is a permanent section. Submissions to this section comply with the following overview.

Teaching & Learning (Dr. Arlene Reilly-Sandoval, Editor): The process of teaching, or being a student, continues the journal's practice of publishing narrative accounts about education and training. For example, classroom experiences, teaching innovations, university-community partnerships, continuing education, and other formal learning opportunities offer valuable insight.

All articles published in this section are peer reviewed.

Test of Notifications Section

This is for use by Rebecca and Mike to test who gets what notifications.

Practicing While Black

Call for Narratives for a Special Section on Practicing While Black
Submission due: March 15, 2021


Social identities and social group membership, privilege and oppression, characteristics of dominant and subordinate groups, microaggressions, White supremacy, allyships, and empowerment are prevalent and pervasive to practicing professionals in the current politically charged environment. Further, the coronavirus pandemic affecting the world and the United States showcases the ugly underbelly of injustices, inequities, institutional, and systemic racism. Now out in the open, the revelations affect how Black professionals engage in work within and on behalf their communities.  Further, using technology to conduct services, made Black professionals face the arduous tasks of calling and naming injustices, while simultaneously responding to the needs of individuals, families, communities, and organizations. We see the rapid changes in the political climate, communities dealing and coping with the coronavirus pandemic, but also affecting the professional environment.  As such, Black professionals must remain current with knowledge, skills, and aptitude in their professional practice. We must seek to find out how Black professionals are coping and dealing with centering and facilitating social justice and race-related issues in their approach.   The environmental conditions provide the most suitable time to look critically at the experiences of “Practicing While Black.”  Thus, there is a need for the special section in the Reflection Journal issue on this topic.

Aim and Scope of Special Section

Guest editors seek narrative expositions and reflections from professionals “Practicing While Black” with individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, institutions, government, academics, and settings. Thoughts on the design and use of technological advances to deliver services and content to encourage practitioners to remain technologically up to date are welcome. Submissions could include personal experiences with the provision of services, gaps in and opportunities for the need for services, and hopes for ways of moving forward with your practice.

This Special Section Focuses on Narratives From

Individuals who are “Practicing While Black” on every level of providing services, effectuating change, or dismantling racism to speak to bridging the impact with larger systems, including organizations, communities, and policies. All submissions should range from 1200-8000 words in length.

For inquiries about the submission for this section, contact Guest Editor:

Dr. Patricia Gray, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, pg202@hunter.cuny.edu

Additional Guest Editors:

Dr. Samuel Aymer, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, aymer@hunter.cuny.edu

Dr. Rebecca Chaisson, LCSW Southern University at New Orleans, rchaisson@suno.edu

Michelle Desir, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, md1244@hunter.cuny.edu

Dr. Priscilla Gibson, pgibson@umn.edu

Dr. Shakira Kennedy, LMSW, Touro School of Social Work, skennedy@touro.edu

Dr. Nadjete Natchaba, LMSW, Vice President S:US, nnatchaba@sus.org

Dr. Patricia Riley, LMSW, Consultant,  patriley21@gmail.com


Confronting and Dismantling Systemic Racism within Social Work Programs

Call for Narratives: A Call for Social Work Educators to Confront and Dismantle Systemic Racism Within Social Work Programs

Submissions due: April 15, 2021


2020 brought about a renewed awareness concerning systemic racism, police brutality and the need for criminal justice reform. Subsequently, many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) scholars, activists and every day citizens began to reflect upon their personal narratives publicly via social media about systemic racism and intolerance in criminal justice, education and health care. As many Colleges and Universities began to develop statements condemning systemic racism, BIPOC faculty, staff, administrators and students began to speak out about the systemic racism they experience within these institutions in the form of powerful narratives through the hashtag #Blacks in the Ivory. The social work profession has historically set itself apart from other similar professions such as counseling, or psychology through its emphasis on social justice and oppressed groups. However, social work education has made little progress in developing and implementing anti-racist practices nationally across schools, colleges and departments of social work that include the curriculum, faculty development (hiring, retention, promotion and tenure, funding, pay equity, pedagogical strategies), student development (recruitment, retention, scholarships/funding) and assessment activities.

Aim and Scope of Special Section

The guest editors are particularly interested in reflective pieces of 1) personal accounts that describe and explain personal experiences of institutional racism within schools, colleges and departments of social work 2) the process of developing personal or institutional strategies for addressing, confronting or dismantling racism within institutions and 3) identification and discussion of structural constraints on institutional change and strategies for addressing these constraints.  Submissions of 1200-8000 words, from short narratives focused on a single vignette, to longer stories with multiple portrayals of interaction and references to the literature are welcome.

This Special Section Focuses on Narratives From....

The guest editors are seeking narratives from social work educators and students including tenured faculty, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty, field educators and doctoral students.

For inquiries about submissions for this special section, contact Guest Editors:

Tiffany D. Baffour, Ph.D., M.A., M.S.S.

University of Utah, College of Social Work tiffany.baffour@utah.edu                           

Shonda Lawrence, Ph.D., LMSW, M.S.

Clark Atlanta University, Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work slawrence@cau.edu


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