Technical Communication is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published by the Society for Technical Communication (STC). It is aimed at an audience of technical communication practitioners and academics. The journal’s goal is to contribute to the body of knowledge of the field of technical communication from a multidisciplinary perspective, with special emphasis on the combination of academic rigor and practical relevance.
Technical Communication publishes articles in five categories:
- Applied research—reports of practically relevant (empirical or analytical) research
- Applied theory—original contributions to technical communication theory
- Case history—reports on solutions to technical communication problems
- Tutorial—instructions on processes or procedures that respond to new developments, insights, laws, standards, requirements, or technologies
- Bibliography—reviews of relevant research or bibliographic essays
The purpose of Technical Communication is to inform, not impress. Write in a clear, informal style, avoiding jargon and acronyms. Use the first person and active voice. Avoid language that might be considered sexist, and write with the journal’s international audience in mind.
Our authority on spelling and usage is The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition; on punctuation, format, and citation style, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition.
Manuscript Preparation and Submission
Submitting a manuscript to Technical Communication for review and possible publication implies that its submission has been approved by all authors, researchers, and/or organizations involved, that the manuscript (or a substantial portion) has not been published before, and that the manuscript is not under review elsewhere.
When using previously published materials (for example, images or text excerpts), authors are responsible for obtaining the permissions needed to reprint copyrighted materials.
The typical article length is between 5,000 and 8,000 words. Exceptions are possible.
Use up to three levels of headings, and indicate them clearly. Do not number headings of sections and subsections.
(all caps and bold, on a line by itself)
(first word only capitalized, bold, on a line by itself)
(first word only capitalized, bold, followed by two spaces, as part of the first line of the paragraph)
Except for the cover page, remove all identifying information from the manuscript. This includes author names, author affiliations, acknowledgments, and references to work in progress or unpublished manuscripts.
Do not use footnotes. Instead, use author-date citations within the text, and provide a complete list of works cited (labeled “References”). Avoid multiple citations for ideas or approaches unless they demonstrate an evolution in thought or practice.
Check all author-date citations within the text and all entries in the reference list for both accuracy and conformance to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), pp. 169–224.
Submit your manuscript as a double-spaced electronic file with one-inch margins. Do not attempt to mimic the format or layout of a published article. Keep the layout as clean and simple as possible.
Microsoft Word files are preferred. If you use another word processor, a Rich Text Format (RTF) file is also acceptable.
Organize your manuscript as follows:
- Page 1: Cover page—Title of the manuscript, a running head, and the names, affiliations, and contact info of all authors
- Page 2: Structured abstract—A summary of the article (maximum 250 words), using the headings “Purpose,” ”Method,” “Results,” and “Conclusion”
- Page 3: Up to five keywords an a practitioner’s take-away (maximum 100 words)—A bulleted list summarizing the practical implications of the article
- Page 4: Start of the manuscript
- Tables and figures—Start each table or figure on a new page
Send the manuscript as an attachment to an email to the editor-in-chief, Menno de Jong (e-mail: TCEditor@gw.utwente.nl).
The editor-in-chief will read your manuscript and check its potential suitability for the journal. In the case of a positive outcome, the manuscript will be sent to three independent referees for a double-masked review. On the basis of the referees’ recommendations, the editor will send you a decision about the manuscript. There are five possibilities: (1) reject, (2) revise and resubmit, (3) accept with major revisions, (4) accept with minor revisions, and (5) accept as is.
The Society for Technical Communication requires that authors transfer copyrights to STC for articles appearing in Technical Communication and grant STC permission to post the articles on Technical Communication Online for an indefinite period. STC will grant colleges, universities, and libraries the right to use the articles free of charge for educational purposes.