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Chapter 5: Journal Submissions

NASW Press is pleased to announce the launch of its new, entirely online manuscript submission and peer-review system. Our four peer-reviewed journal Web sites are now live.

To submit to Social Work, please visit the journal submission portal at and click on the "Author Instructions" tab for more comprehensive submission instructions.

To submit to Social Work Research, please visit the journal submission portal at and click on the "Author Instructions" tab for more comprehensive submission instructions.

To submit to Children & Schools, please visit the journal submission portal at and click on the "Author Instructions" tab for more comprehensive submission instructions.

To submit to Health & Social Work, please visit the journal submission portal at and click on the "Author Instructions" tab for more comprehensive submission instructions.

Preparing Your Manuscript

This section describes how to submit and prepare a manuscript. Adhering to NASW Press format and style will improve the chances of acceptance if the substance of a manuscript has merit.

Appropriate Content

To determine which journal is most appropriate for your manuscript, refer to chapter 4, “Journal Descriptions.” You should be aware that the following submissions will be rejected automatically without peer review:

  • obituaries, biographical sketches, or testimonials
  • organizational reports
  • speeches that have not been recast in article format.

Editorial boards will generally be interested in reviewing a manuscript if it is related to the mission of the journal and it is a scholarly article with utility for social work practice. Editorial boards do not screen query letters.

Length of Manuscript

Manuscripts submitted to any NASW Press journal should not exceed 20 pages (28 for Social Work Research). Keep the following information in mind as you prepare your manuscript:

  • Manuscripts in their entirety must be in 12pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on all four sides.
  • All components of the manuscript—including abstract with keywords, text, references, appendixes, tables, and figures—are included in the total page count.
  • Short articles are preferred (length does not determine quality).
  • Manuscripts for Social Work, Health & Social Work, and Children & Schools that exceed 20 pages will be returned. Manuscripts for Social Work Research may not exceed 28 pages.

Overwriting and excessive length of a manuscript often result in rejection, even if the manuscript meets page limits. You should review your manuscript carefully with an eye to tightening and condensing text.

Revised Manuscripts

When you submit your revised manuscript the following items should be included:

  1. Response Letter to Reviewers Comments—Rebuttal Letter File
  2. Revised Manuscript—Article File

Please do not include any author(s) names and affiliated information because NASW's peer review process is strictly anonymous. You may extend the number of pages for your revised manuscript by no more than two pages to accommodate the reviewer's recommendations. The page count for your revised manuscript may exceed the maximum length by two pages, if necessary. This means the revised manuscript length for Social Work,Health & Social Work and Children & Schools cannot exceed 22 pages. Revised manuscripts for Social Work Research cannot exceed 30 pages.

Manuscript Essentials

Title Page

Please do not include any identifying information on the title page because it will be circulated for review with the manuscript. An effective title expresses the essence of a manuscript in as few words as possible. Conciseness and precision are the hallmarks of good writing and are particularly important for titles. Use key words, but do not resort to jargon. The title should attract readers and provide an accurate picture of the article without attempting to communicate its full content. NASW Press reserves the right to edit the title for marketing or space purposes.


A journal abstract should be written as a single paragraph of between 150 and 200 words. The abstract provides a distillation of the key concepts in the manuscript, including theoretical concepts, major hypotheses, and conclusions reached. Abstracts for research papers should include the purpose of the research, the study sample size and characteristics, the measurement instruments used, and the conclusions. You should present the value of the contribution without exaggerating the results. A comprehensive but concise abstract is important because readers and researchers often decide whether to read an article on the basis of the abstract.

Edit your abstract for specific, concrete language. Eliminate statistical data, jargon, clichés, slang, and needless words, as well as all reference citations, tables, or figures. For “this paper” or “this manuscript” write “this article” or “the present article.”

If your manuscript is accepted, the abstract will be published at the beginning of the article. Following publication of the full article, the abstract will be entered into the NASW Press Social Work Abstracts database and will appear in the Social Work Abstracts journal in print as well as in Social Work Abstracts PLUS (SWAB+) online.

Key Words

Key words describe the topic of an article and the population discussed in its contents. Typically, an article should be accompanied by three to five key words, carefully selected on the basis of how well they describe its content. Remember that abstracting services (and, for articles posted online, many Internet “indexing spiders”) will use these terms, so they should contain as few words as possible. In general, avoid using adjectives; change these to noun form.


The Economic Status of Vulnerable Older Women

Although the economic condition of elderly people in the United States has improved greatly in recent decades, concern for income security for certain segments of the elderly populationblack women and Hispanic women, particularly if they are unmarriedlingers. Their economic status remains extremely low. This article discusses the income status and work experience of black and Hispanic older women.
Key words: elderly people; income; racial–ethnic groups; women; work

NASW Press uses key words designated by authors to develop data on manuscript submissions. In addition, if the article is accepted, the key words will appear in the journal with the abstract and in the Social Work Abstracts database. They may also be used in the “Search” function of NASW Press online journals. Key words are not necessarily used for indexing.


Reviewers look for new work that extends the knowledge base and builds on the contribution of others. However, there is no formula for a successful article. You may want to keep the following suggestions in mind as you prepare your manuscript for submission.

  • State Your Purpose
    State your purpose clearly within the first few paragraphs of the article. If the reader cannot easily recognize what you hoped to accomplish in writing your manuscript, it is likely to be rejected.
  • Organize
    Establish a clear framework for the article, and organize the manuscript so that it flows coherently. Use subheadings judiciously to help the reader track the flow of the article. If the article is organized properly, it will proceed logically and directly from the opening statements to your conclusions.
  • Relate Your Work to Existing Knowledge
    You must relate your work to existing knowledge on the subject. However, you should not run voluminous electronic searches and incorporate every related reference you find. Instead, use those references that demonstrate best how the new information will fill gaps in the knowledge base.
  • Review and rewrite
    Reviewing and rewriting are basic steps in developing a manuscript for publication. As you review your work, eliminate redundancies and superfluous language. The use of pretentious jargon interferes with communication and can conceal the importance of your work. Write precisely in the active voice, use jargon only when absolutely necessary to convey specialized knowledge, and eliminate any language that might convey the perception of bias or any kind of stereotyping of people and behavior (see the “Guidelines for Writing About People” section in chapter 8). Finally, proofread your manuscript for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Use electronic tools, such as spell-check and a thesaurus, to ensure that you have used words correctly.
Author Blurbs

In newsletter, magazine, and newsletter articles, the author blurb is written in prose style. It contains each author’s full name as it appears on the title page, highest degree and any licenses or certifications, job title, employing organization, full mailing address and e-mail address for primary author, and city and state for secondary authors. For secondary authors, the state does not need to follow the city if the city is among those that do not require that the state be given (see the list in the “References/Citations” section) or if the state is named in the affiliation.

If two consecutive authors are from the same organization, the name, degrees and certifications, and job title of the first author are followed by the same information for the second author, and the employing organization and mailing address follow. Authors in the blurb should appear in the same order as in the byline, even if, for example, the first and third authors are from the same institution.

The author information also includes any acknowledgments the author needs or wishes to make for grants or substantive contributions to the content of the article and information about earlier presentations of the article a conference or meeting.

Author listings format:

  • Author names and degrees are in bold face.
  • If an author’s name includes a diacritical mark (a phonetic mark used in many non-English languages, such as an umlaut or accent), retain it. Do not add one if such a mark is not used.
  • Be sure to always include authors’ degrees and credentials, particularly those related to social work.
  • When an author holds the ACSW certification, do not include “MSW”; an MSW is a requirement for the ACSW.
  • Author job titles are lower case, except for named professorships.
  • Eliminate “the” from in front of all university names, except “Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey.”
  • In academic affiliations, when an organization within an organization is listed, the smaller (for example, college or department) should precede the larger (usually the university).
  • The e-mail address follows the zip code, separated from it by a semicolon. A colon precedes the address, when introduced by the term “e-mail.”

Funding Information

If your research was funded and you have funding requirements such as the National Institutes of Health requirement to deposit articles in PudMed Central, please be sure to submit a funding acknowledgment in the following format:

  • The sentence should begin: “This work was supported by . . .”
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, e.g., “National Institutes of Health,” not “NIH”
  • Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: [grant number xxxx]
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]
  • Agencies should be separated by a semicolon (plus “and” before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding, the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number “to [author initials with periods]”.

An example is given here: “This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].” Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central.


In scholarly publications, authors are expected to build on the published work of others and are responsible for giving adequate and accurate credit to those on whose work they draw. Any reference to earlier research, conceptual work, and so forth should be accompanied by a reference citation in text and complete reference information in the reference list; similarly, all statistical data that are not part of primary research being discussed in the article must be accompanied by a reference to the source of those data.

In rare cases, an author over-documents. It is not necessary to provide a reference citation for statements of well-known or historical facts, and it is not desirable to provide unwieldy lists of references. Unless an author’s purpose is to be exhaustive (as in a comprehensive literature review or meta-analysis), reviewers may query the author to delete all but the most essential of the supporting references.

Reviewers may also query the author if reference citations in text or reference list are unclear or incomplete. Queries should specify what additional information is needed.

NASW uses the author-date citation style set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).

Ways to Enhance Accuracy
  • If you change information in a reference, be sure to correct all citations of that reference throughout the article. In addition, ensure that the reference list is still in alphabetical order.
  • As you review a reference list, check to be sure that information that should be consistent throughout the list is so. For example, journal titles should be treated consistently, volume numbers for the same journal should correspond appropriately with the years, authors’ names should be spelled consistently, and so forth. Likewise, you should be sure that you have not inadvertently used the same page numbers for two articles in the same issue of a journal.
In-Text Author-Date Citations
  • Parenthetical citations—Parenthetical reference citations in text should, whenever possible, go at the end of the sentence so they do not interrupt the flow of the sentence.

Arrange multiple author-date citations alphabetically by surname of the first author, then chronologically for sources by the same author. Order citations containing “et al.” alphabetically in text, regardless of order in the reference list. Use a semicolon to separate reference citations within parentheses:

(Abramovitz, 1988; Miller, 1989; Ozawa, 1982, 1986, 1990)
(Duncan & Morgan, 1979; Lindquist et al., 1983; Smith, 1992)

  • Citations with the same surname and same year—If two references have the same author surname and year of publication, include author initials in all text citations to avoid confusion:

(M. Henderson, 1990; V. Henderson, 1990)

  • Citations of secondary sources—Secondary citations (for example, “Jones, cited in Roberts, 1990”) are acceptable if the primary source is unavailable. Only the secondary source (Roberts in the example) should be listed in the reference list.
  • Personal communications—Personal communications consist of letters, telephone conversations, interviews, and the like. Because they are not recoverable, personal communications are not included in the reference list. Use the following style in text: (personal communication with [first initial and last name], [title], [affiliation], [city and state abbreviation, if necessary], [month, day, and year of communication]:

(personal communication with R. Fischer, professor of social work, University of California, Los Angeles, May 20, 1992)

Alternatively, the name, title, and affiliation can go outside the parentheses and the words “personal communication” and the date inside:

J. T. Jones, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park (personal communication, June 11, 1991), suggested . . .

  • Nonparenthetical citations—Once a reference has been cited in a paragraph, omit the year in subsequent nonparenthetical citations in that paragraph, unless the reference could be confused with others cited in the article (for example, when there are two references by the same author):

In a recent study, Jones (1997) compared the findings of research conducted through 1995. Jones found that the results were inconsistent and often conflicting.

Use the past tense with in-text reference citations:

In her editorial, Hartman (1990) discussed the many ways of knowing involved in social work practice.

In a reference that appears in parenthetical text, use commas (not brackets) to set off the date:

(See Table 2 of Philips & Ross, 1983, for complete data.)

Reference List
  • Check to be sure that entries are listed in alphabetical order (by surname of first author), then chronologically (earliest publication date first).
  • Reference lists should have ½-inch hanging indents. This means that the first line of each entry is flush left, with the following lines indented ½ inch to the right. Microsoft Word can help you easily create hanging indents. Click on the help button (or hit F1) and search for “Indent paragraphs,” then link to “Create a hanging indent” for instructions.
  • For references listed as “in press,” you will be asked to update the listing.
  • Insert spaces between two initials; three initials should be bunched.

Jung, C. G.; Du Bois, W.E.B.

  • Capitalize the first word after colons and em dashes (an em dash is the “long dash,” often created by typing two hyphens, that goes between words in a sentence).
  • Delete commas in page numbers.

Federal Register, 42(163), 42474-42518

  • Delete “The” in titles of newspapers and periodicals in the reference list.

Atlantic Monthly
New Republic
New York Times

Citation Forms

Following are examples of the most commonly used citations found in reference lists.

  • Chapter in an Edited Book

Griss, B. (1988–89). Strategies for adapting the private and public health insurance systems to the health-related needs of persons with disabilities or chronic illness. In B. Griss (Ed.), Access to health care (Vol. I, pp. 1–38). Washington; DC: World Institute on Disability.

Hayden, W., Jr. (1988). A curriculum model for social work management. In P. R. Keys & L. Ginsberg (Ed.), New management in human services (pp. 58–69). Silver Spring, MD: National Association of Social Workers.

  • Article in a Journal

Bogo, M., Wells, L., Abbey, S., Bergman, A., Chandler, V., Embleton, L., Guirgis, S., Huot, A., McNeill, T., Prentice, L., Stapleton, D., Shekter-Wolfson, L., & Urman, S. (1992). Advancing social work practice in the health field: A collaborative research partnership. Health & Social Work, 17, 223–235.

Holland, T. P., & Kilpatrick, A. C. (1991). Ethical issues in social work: Toward a grounded theory of professional ethics. Social Work, 36, 138–144.

  • Check that the years for NASW journals correspond with the volume numbers: The 2009 volume number for Social Work is 54; for Social Work Research, 33; for Health & Social Work, 34; and for Children & Schools, 31.
  • Do not include numbers from publications if you are certain that pagination is consecutive for the entire volume. The issue number is necessary when each issue of the periodical begins on page 1. If in doubt, leave the issue number. If the issue number is given for one citation from a journal, all other citations of that journal in the reference list must provide the issue number.
  • For all NASW journals except Social Work Research & Abstracts and Social Work before 1970, do not include the issue number.Social Work Research & Abstracts was divided in 1994 into Social Work Research and Social Work Abstracts, both of which are paginated consecutively through volumes.
  • Books

Be sure that a book’s volume or edition number corresponds to the correct year. For example, The Social Work Dictionary, 4th edition, was published in 1999. If you were listing the 5th edition as a reference or resource, you would need to list 2003 as the year of publication. Double-check any publication dates about which you are unsure.

Format for books as references:

Bartlett, H. M. (1988). Analyzing social work practice by fields (Rev. ed.). Silver Spring, MD: National Association of Social Workers.

Feldman, D. A., & Johnson, T. M. (Eds.). (1986). The social dimensions of AIDS: Methods and theory. New York: Praeger.

James, F. J. (in press). Factors which shape the risks of homelessness: Preliminary observations from Colorado. Denver: University of Colorado, Graduate School of Public Affairs.

Jung, C. G. (1953). Psychology and alchemy. In H. Read, M. Fordham, & G. Adler (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (Bollingen Series, Vol.12) (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.). New York: Pantheon Books. (Original works published 1917 and 1928)

McReynolds, P., & Chelune, G. J. (Eds.). (1990). Advances in psychological assessment (Vol. 6). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Encyclopedia of Social Work and Supplement

If you cite material from an edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work or a supplement prior to the current (20th) edition, you may be asked if the subject matter was updated in the 20th edition. If it was, cite the 20th edition.

Do not cite all of the editors for an edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work in a reference. Cite only T. Mizrahi and L. E. Davis (Eds.-in-Chief) for the 20th edition, R. L. Edwards (Ed.-in-Chief), for the 19th edition, and A. Minahan (Ed.-in-Chief) for the 18th edition. Also, do not cite all of the editors for the 19th edition supplement; cite only R. English et al. (Eds.). Be sure to cite the correct volume number (Vol. 1 or 2 for the 18th edition; and Vol. 1, 2, or 3 for the 19th edition; and Vol. 1, 2, 3, or 4 for the 20th edition).

Butterfield, W. H., & Schoech, D. (1997). The Internet: Accessing the world of information. In R. L. Edwards (Ed.-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of social work (19th ed., 1997 Suppl., pp. 151–166). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Garfinckel, I. (1995). Child support. In R. L. Edwards (Ed.-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of social work (19th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 417–424). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Foster, L. W. (2008). Bioethics. In T. Mizrahi & L. E. Davis (Eds.-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of social work (20th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 197–204). Washington, DC, and New York: NASW7 Press and Oxford University Press.

Rauch, J. B. (1990). Genetic services. In L. Ginsberg et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social work (18th ed., 1990 Suppl., pp. 113–134). Silver Spring, MD: NASW Press.

Sze, W. M., & Ivker, B. (1987). Adulthood. In A. Minahan (Ed.-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of social work (18th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 75–89). Silver Spring, MD: NASW Press.

  • Electronic Sources

Butterfield. W. H., & Schoech. D. (1997). The Internet: Accessing the world of information. In R. L. Edwards (Ed.-in-Chief). Encyclopedia of social work (19th ed., 1997 Suppl., Social Work Reference Library [CD-ROM]). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Kaplan. C. (1997, November 4). Interethnic adoption provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188): Implications for social work practice. Retrieved Date from

National Association of Social Workers. (2003, April). New advocacy resources: Child welfare workforce; human services workforce; data on children & families. Government Relations Update. Retrieved Date from

Note: When citing electronic media in a list of resources (versus references), “retrieved from” should be replaced with “available at” and the date of retrieval omitted.

Information gathered via e-mail and electronic bulletin boards and discussion groups (“chat” rooms) should be cited as personal communications.

  • Legal References

Follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed.) for citation forms of legal references. Note that court cases are italic in text but are roman in the reference list.

Cite the name and year of an act in the text, along with the public law (P.L.) number. If possible, cite acts to the current official statute (according to the United States Code Annotated, Popular Name Table); otherwise, cite the official session laws. (See The Bluebook, pp. 3–43, for basic.)

  • Limited Circulation Publications

For publications of limited circulation or availability (such as newsletters and updates) and unpublished manuscripts, include a complete mailing address for the publisher or author. This should appear after the publication title, in parentheses, with no period following.

Kelly, E. (1988, March). Social workers come together for peace. Newsletter of the NASW Committee of Social Workers for Peace and Social Justice. (Available from NASW, 750 First Street, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002-4241)

  • Newspapers

Raymond. C. (1990, September 12). Global migration will have widespread impact on society, scholars say. New York Times, pp. A1, A6.

  • Nonprint Media

Reference citations of nonprint media should include the title of the primary contributor in parentheses, the format (for example, “[Videotape]” or “[Cassette]”) in brackets, and the name and location of the distributor.

Dickson, D. (Producer). (1990). State v. Swan: Testifying in a criminal child abuse trial [Videotape]. Silver Spring. MD: NASW Press.

Hitchcock, A. (Producer/Director). (1958). Vertigo [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

  • Paper Presented at a Conference or Meeting

Note: Be sure to include the month of a conference or meeting after the year.

Chaskin, R. J. (1997, February). Implementing comprehensive community development: Possibilities and limitations. Paper presented at the NASW Pennsylvania Chapter Conference, Harrisburg.

DiCecco, J. (1990. November). Using interpreters: Issues and guidelines for the practitioner in a multilingual environment. Paper presented at NASW’s Annual Conference, Boston.

Reamer, F. G. (1987. March). Social work and the public good: Calling or career? Paper presented at the annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, St. Louis.

Romero, J. (1990, May). Culturally appropriate interventions with Hispanics. Paper presented at the Cross-Cultural Competence Conference, San Diego Mental Health Services, San Diego.

When referring to papers presented at an NASW conference, refer to the following:

NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1988, Philadelphia
NASW’s Annual Conference, October 1989, San Francisco
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1990, Boston
No meeting was held in 1991.
World Assembly: NASW’s Annual Conference, July 1992, Washington, DC
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1993, Orlando, FL
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1994, Nashville, TN
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1995, Philadelphia
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1996, Cleveland
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 1997, Baltimore
No meeting was held in 1998.
NASW Regional Conference, September 1999, New Orleans
NASW Regional Conference, October 1999, Los Angeles
NASW’s Annual Conference, November 2000, Baltimore

  • Government Publications

Generally speaking, references to an executive department should contain the name of the department, preceded by “U.S.” Independent executive and congressional agencies are referenced by their traditional name:

Library of Congress
Social Security Administration
the former Veterans Administration
Office of Technology Assessment

Exceptions: U.S. General Accounting Office, U.S. Census Bureau (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce)

Publications for sale from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) should include the name of the originating department and agency if named (they usually are) and publication number if given.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1994). Statistical abstract of the United States, 1993 (114th ed.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Census Bureau. (1997, November 4). County income and poverty estimates, 1990 census estimates: Virginia 198.9 Retrieved Date from

U.S. Census Bureau. (1984). Projections of the population of the United States, by age, sex, and race: 1983 to 2080. In R. J. Koski (Ed.), Current population reports (Series P-25, No. 952, Tables C and F, pp. 6, 8). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. (1994). Sudden infant death syndrome (Publication No. PHS 2370-1114). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1994). Occupational outlook handbook. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Note: Government publications written under contract often have bylines.

Hopkins, A. (1994). Strategic planning for welfare administration (Publication No. HHS 1005-66). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth and Families.

Even if the book is available from the GPO, it is preferable to give the department’s name; publication numbers often do not clearly identify the agency or department.

Schafft, G., Erlanger, W., Rudolph, L., Yin, R. K., & Scott, A. C. (1987). Joint study of services and funding for handicapped infants and toddlers, ages 0 through 2 years (Final report for Contract No. 300-85-0143). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Division of Innovation and Development.

Government publications not available from the GPO should give the location of the department or agency.

National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Community Health Facilities. (1994). Community mental health centers. Bethesda, MD: Author.

U.S. Department of Defense. (1994). Military base closings in 1995. Alexandria, VA: Author.

  • Letters, Editorials, and Reviews

Use brackets to distinguish departments, such as “Letter,” “Editorial,” and “Book Review” (or other nonarticle material published in journals) in a reference list.

Hartman, A. (1991). Words create worlds [Editorial]. Social Work, 36, 275–276.

  • Unpublished Manuscripts

For unpublished manuscripts with a university affiliation, cite the college or university first, then the department. Be sure to include the city and state (or country). If the city is well known, or if the state or country is part of the university’s name, there is no need to include the state or country. (See the list of cities that do not require a state or country name later in this chapter.)

Farber, B. A. (1979). The effects of psychotherapeutic practice on psychotherapists: A phenomenological investigation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Rapp, C. (1989). Shifting paradigms or the creation of straw people. Unpublished manuscript, University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare, Lawrence.

  • Special Collections

Lathrop, J. (1921, April 6). Letter G. Abbott. Chicago: Edith and Grace Abbott Papers, University of Chicago Library.

Social Welfare Archives. (1915–1917). World War I clippings of the Paul Kellogg papers (Folder 252). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Library.

  • Cities and States in Reference Citations

In reference citations and in text, NASW follows Associated Press style for the omission of states and countries, except for Washington, DC. Use “DC” with Washington in text, resources, and reference lists.

Use the standard two-letter postal abbreviation for all states when listed in the reference list or the author blurb. In text, however, spell out the state name and include a comma before and after:

Example: Data for this study were gathered from a sample of 191 individuals in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, who were at high risk of institutionalization.

Do not cite the state with the following cities:

Los Angeles

New Orleans
New York
Oklahoma City
St. Louis
Salt Lake City
San Diego
San Francisco

Do not cite the country with the following cities:

Hong Kong

Vatican City

If the name of a state or country is in the name of an institution in a reference list, do not include the state or country with the city

Example: Tempe: Arizona State University.

  • Resource Lists

Reference lists are for citing works to which you have referred in an article or chapter. Resources, however, are included to direct readers to further informative materials like books, Web sites, and journal articles. Frequently, organizations and professional groups are also included in resource lists.

Resources should be listed in the same format as references, with two main differences:

Electronic publications: Do not include “retrieved from” or the date on which you accessed material in a resource list. Instead, simply state “Available at:” and list the URL. Remember that periods do not appear at the end of URLs or e-mail addresses, even at the end of a sentence, as they may cause confusion when readers type them into their Web browsers.

Kaplan. C. (1997, November 4). Interethnic adoption provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-188): Implications for social work practice. Available at:

Organizations and professional groups: The names of professional groups and organizations should never be italicized in resource lists, they are groups of people, not publications. Simply list the organization or group name, followed by “Available at:” and the URL.

National Association of Social Workers. Private Practice Specialty Section. Available at:

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