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Instructions for authors: Submission guidelines

This is one of two documents that authors intending a submission should consult. This document details the specific style and formatting requirements to which submitted manuscripts must conform. The other document, Scope and Contribution Types, explains the journal’s topical scope and lists the types of contributions welcomed.

This document is organized into the following sections:

1. Submission Eligibility
2. Manuscript Formatting Requirements
3. Style and Usage Guidelines
4. Figures, Tables, and Statistics
5. Editorial Process for Submissions
6. Revisions and Resubmission Process
7. Process for Accepted Manuscripts
8. Publication Ethics and Policies


You must affirm at the time of submission that:

  • Your submission has not been published elsewhere, either in whole or in part, in any language. Presentation of a work at a conference is acceptable. Publication in conference proceedings may be acceptable, depending on the format and distribution of the proceedings. Please discuss prior publication in conference proceedings with the editor.
  • The paper is not under review by another publication.
  • The paper will not be submitted for review for publication while under review at BEQ (conference submissions are acceptable).
  • The paper is not based on data reported in any other prior or pending publication, unless you provide the editor with supporting documentation to demonstrate the unique contribution of the submission (this is appropriately done in a cover letter accompanying the submission).
  • The project is not a product of or embedded within a conflict of interest on your part.

Works previously submitted to BEQ and rejected are not acceptable unless the rejection letter specifically indicated that BEQ would consider another manuscript from you on the topic (this is often though not always explicitly labeled a “reject-and-resubmit” outcome). In such cases, you must in a cover letter identify the manuscript number of the prior rejected submission and should also in that cover letter indicate how the paper has changed since the prior submission.

To protect the integrity of anonymised review, papers that have been submitted may not be posted online during the review process. If the article is being presented at a conference while under consideration at BEQ, please ensure that the full text is not posted online.

The success of a peer-reviewed journal such as BEQ hinges on the willingness of scholars to evaluate each other’s work and provide feedback. When you submit work to BEQ you signal a commitment to reciprocate by acting as a referee for the journal if called upon to do so.


Submissions that do not meet formatting, style, and anonymity requirements will not be processed until brought into compliance. This may delay the review process. Papers egregiously out of compliance may be desk rejected.

Document Format

The manuscript you upload for consideration should have these basic formatting elements:

  • A single document including abstract, text, footnotes, references, tables, and figures.
  • Saved as a Word document or as a pdf file.
  • The paper is cleansed of any lingering comments or tracked changes.
  • Pages are double-spaced with one inch margins all around.
  • Text is 12-point Times New Roman or similar serif typeface.
  • Pages are numbered, and the first line of each paragraph is indented.
  • Ragged right margins please (turn off right-margin- or full-justification).

Manuscript Length

The length of an initial submission may not exceed 12,000 words (including the body of the text and the footnotes, but not including the abstract, tables, figures, or references).

The complete manuscript should be not be more than 50 pages in total (including all figures, tables, references, and other materials).

First Page of the Manuscript

The first page of the uploaded manuscript should have these elements (and only these elements):

  • An abstract of not more than 150 words.
  • Up to six key words in the order in which they should appear. (Terms such as “corporate social responsibility” count as one key word.)
  • Specify the citation/sourcing/referencing style used (see below for allowable styles).

Order of Document Elements

The order of things following the conclusion of article text is:

  • acknowledgements
  • references (if applicable)
  • tables and figures (if not embedded in the text)
  • appendix (if any)

Headings and Subheadings in the Paper

Format section headings and subheadings within the paper as follows (none are boldfaced):


Second-Level Headings: Left Margin, Italics, Headline Case

Third-Level Headings: Left Margin, Regular Type, Headline Case

Avoid using the first level heading INTRODUCTION to start the paper. All papers begin with an introduction. There is no need to tell the reader that the paper is starting with an introduction.

Numbering of sections and subsections is permitted in papers coming out of disciplines where this is common practice. Use Arabic not Roman numerals. Use the number 1 for the first major section after the introduction. Single-digit decimals can be used for second-level headings.

Citation and Referencing Style

BEQ is unusual among academic journals in that we make available to authors multiple options for acceptable sourcing styles. This permits authors to work with a system that is comfortable for them in relation to their discipline of origin, and also is in keeping with our multidisciplinary mission and outlook.

Four citation styles are available, and a submitted manuscript must conform to one (and only one) of these citation styles:

  • The Academy of Management Journal style guide. (One variation: we do not boldface book and journal titles as Academy of Management style would; we use only italics for these.)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style author-date system.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style notes system for the humanities. (Papers using this style must give full source information in the footnotes; we do not publish a separate bibliography).
  • The Bluebook system of citation for legal writing.

For book reviews that cite sources (which should be done very sparingly), the preferred style is the Chicago author-date system.

Regardless of which style is used, notes should be formatted as footnotes (not endnotes).

Use “References” (not “Bibliography” or “Works Cited”) to title these sections.

Citing Online Sources via DOI Numbers and URLs

Regardless of which of the four available source citation styles is used, we have these consistent principles regarding citation of online sources.

  • In references to academic journal articles, include a DOI with a reference for a cited article that is published online but still forthcoming in print (lacks a specific volume/issue/page-number citation); otherwise omit the DOI. Provide the DOI if the article is in an online-only journals that doesn’t group articles into volumes or issues.
  • Include a URL only if an online source has no DOI, as DOIs are always preferred.
  • As a proper source citation a URL is not adequate by itself; it should follow the available full facts of publication (author, title, sponsor, date). Occasionally it may be appropriate to mention a URL (e.g., tied to an entity or organization mentioned in the paper); in those cases give the URL in a footnote, not as a reference.
  • Access dates with URLs are generally unnecessary and should be omitted unless (a) no publication or revision date can be gleaned from the source, or (b) the source is likely to change without notice, or (c) the source is known to have been modified or deleted since it was consulted.
Spelling and Usage
  • BEQ adheres to conventions of grammar, usage, and style given in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (unless otherwise specified in this document).
  • The Merriam Webster online dictionary is BEQ’s dictionary of record.
  • Either British or American spelling is acceptable as long as consistent throughout.
  • Foreign words and phrases that are not in common use should be italicized.
  • Avoid biased language.
  • Papers that are poorly written or carelessly copyedited are likely to be desk rejected. Authors who need assistance with written English should consult a professional copyeditor before submission. BEQ’s publisher, Cambridge University Press, endorses one such service.
  • At BEQ we insist upon (and are slavishly devoted to) the use of the Oxford (serial) comma.
  • “Scare quotes” may use ‘single’ or “double” quotation marks but must be used consistently;
  • Periods and commas go before (not after) close-quotation marks;
  • Footnote numbers go after close-quotation marks;
  • For country abbreviations use US or UK or EU (not U.S. or U.K. or E.U.);
  • The standard style for bullets (which should be used sparingly) is a dot;

In order to preserve the integrity of anonymised review, the submitted paper must be prepared without authors’ names or identifying information, such as institution, acknowledgements, contact information, or extensive self-citation.

Prepare and upload a separate document: a title page listing full contact information for all authors. This is also the place to acknowledge identify funding sources and also individuals who have read and commented on the paper and accordingly would not be eligible to be anonymous reviewers.

Reference to your own work should be made in the third person to preserve anonymity.

In cases where self-references are too numerous or otherwise would tend to signal author identity, your names in citations may be replaced with placeholders (e.g., replace “Garcia 2003” with “Author”) and the sources for those citations withheld from the list of references. In such cases, provide the editor with an additional document listing these anonymized sources.

Also This

Authors are strongly urged to look at articles published in BEQ and make submitted papers look like those. A submission that was obviously prepared for another journal or that otherwise fails to conform to our submission requirements signals either disinterest in BEQ or lack of attention to detail – either of those being a signal it is not in an author’s interest to send.


The subsections below give specifics that authors should follow when creating figures and tables within a manuscript submitted to BEQ. As a general matter, we stress here that figures and tables in a submitted manuscript should resemble the kinds of figures that tables that one finds published in BEQ in recent volumes of the journal. A submitting author is seeking to persuade editors and reviewers that the paper is a good fit for the journal; the case for that paper is non-trivially aided to the extent that the paper in submission form looks like it belongs in the journal.

  • Figures can be placed either in the text at the point where they are mentioned or at the end of the manuscript on separate pages. Very wide figures should go at the end on a page that has a landscape orientation.
  • Use sans serif fonts such as Arial or Calibri within figures.
  • Do not surround the figure with a border.
  • Each figure should have its own explanatory title. Use a figure note at the bottom to explain any elements within the figure that need to be explained.
  • BEQ does not print color figures. If there is color in a figure in a submitted manuscript it will have to be changed to black/white/grayscale if the paper is ultimately accepted.
  • Tables can be placed either in the text at the point where they are mentioned or at the end of the manuscript on separate pages. Very wide tables should go at the end on a page that has a landscape orientation.
  • Except for cases where a table is too long to fit on a single page, tables should always appear in full on a single page; do not let them span across a page break.
  • Avoid use of cell borders within tables except where truly necessary, and do not surround the table with a border.
  • Do not paste in tables from statistical software output. Instead, create and format tables that look like the kinds of tables published in BEQ, or in journals such as AMJ.
  • In statistical tables, use full construct or variable names rather than abbreviations as much as possible. Avoid using cryptic variable names from statistical software.
  • Each table should have its own explanatory title. Use a table note at the bottom to explain any elements that need to be explained, to translate any abbreviations, to provide p-value significance levels, etc.
  • Look at tables that have recently been published in BEQ articles, and make your tables look like those tables.
  • Tables should look polished and professional, with columns properly aligned and rows appropriately spaced, so that they are easy for editors and reviewers to read and digest.
  • Statistics within either text or tables should include no more than two decimal places (with rare exceptions).
  • Use consistent labels for variables in text and tables.
  • If the paper has equations with Greek letters or other special symbols, make sure they rendered in a are large enough typesize to be easily readable.
How to Submit

Submit manuscripts for editorial consideration through the ScholarOne system at After submitting a manuscript, you will receive a confirmation of submission. If that does not arrive, please email managing editor Joanna Osiewicz-Lorenzutti at

If you do not receive the first email confirming your submission, it may be that your spam filter is catching ScholarOne correspondence, which will make receipt of subsequent correspondence (such as decision letters) unlikely. It is your responsibility to make sure you are able to receive email from us, and to keep your email address up to date in the ScholarOne system so that we may contact you.

What Happens After Submission

A submission will receive initial review from one of the journal’s editors, aimed at deciding if the paper should be desk rejected (rejection without external review) or if it should be send out for full peer review.

Some of the reasons why submissions are commonly desk-rejected (rejection without external review) include cases where the paper:

  • is not on a topic appropriate for BEQ;
  • does not promise to make a novel, theoretical contribution;
  • includes previously published material;
  • essentially repeats what already has been said on a topic, without contributing much new insight;
  • is written or structured in a way that does not fit the journal’s academic style;
  • is more journalistic or commentary-oriented than scholarly in level of argument and detail;
  • (if empirical) makes largely descriptive, rather than explanatory, use of the data;
  • (if empirical) has serious problems with the data, study design, or execution;
  • is not written with adequate quality of expression (non-native English speakers are advised to seek assistance with grammar, style, and copyediting prior to submission);
  • fails to comply with BEQ manuscript submission guidelines found in this document;
  • reveals its author’s identity.

If not desk-rejected, an anonymous copy of the manuscript is sent to reviewers. You are not notified when this happens, but the submission status in the online system will show as "under external review." Among reviewers, we aim to include at least one member of the editorial board and appropriate disciplinary coverage. Once the manuscript is returned by the reviewers, the editor or an associate editor reviews the paper as well as the reviewers’ reports to arrive at an editorial decision. You will receive a decision letter by e-mail, along with anonymous copies of the reviewers’ comments (and each reviewer receives the others’ comments).

For first-round submissions, decisions are generally either Reject, or Revise-and-Resubmit, or Major Revision. A first-round submission may also receive a Reject-and-Resubmit decision, which means the present submission will not be considered further, but the journal is open to a new and significantly changed and improved manuscript on the topic. In rare circumstances a first-round submission may receive a Minor Revision decision or a Conditional Accept decision.

How Long Will It Take?

Although each submission is addressed according to its individual characteristics, most follow the path outlined above. An editor’s workload, difficulty in finding reviewers, unexpected changes in reviewers’ availability, and many other factors can affect processing time. We strive to make an initial review decision (desk reject vs. send out for review) within four to six weeks of submission (and usually less time than that). When a paper is sent out for full peer review, we strive to reach a decision within three to four months of submission.

Checking the Status of a Submission

In your author center on ScholarOne you can view the status of your submission and read correspondence related to it. The manuscript status will give one of these indications:

  • under initial review (the paper is awaiting an editor’s initial determination whether it will be desk rejected vs. placed under external review);
  • under external review (the paper is with referees and we are waiting for their reports);
  • awaiting action editor decision (the reviews are in and a decision letter is forthcoming);
  • view decision letter (a decision has been issued and emailed, and can be viewed here).

You may also contact the journal’s managing editor to inquire about the status of a submission.

Timing and Format

Revise and Resubmit and Major Revision and Minor Revision decision letters include a time frame with a deadline the resubmission. If you need more time, contact the paper’s decision editor to request an extension of the deadline for submitting a revision. Editors will generally accommodate these requests within reason.

If you choose to revise and resubmit, use the decision editor’s letter to interpret the reviewers’ comments, focusing on the items recommended by the decision editor. It is important for you to revise carefully, as we strive to make a final decision on most manuscripts during the second round of review. Follow all of the same formatting and anonymity requirements as with first-round submissions.

Response Document

When submitting revisions, prepare a separate detailed author’s response explaining how you have dealt with the issues raised by the decision editor and reviewers. Include page number references to the new version so that discussed changes are easily located. Submissions must have only one author response document, addressing all of the comments from the decision editor and the reviewers.

It is essential that this response document be anonymous in order to preserve anonymised review should the editor elect to send the paper back to the reviewers. Accordingly, be sure you have not violated anonymity: don’t use letterhead, don’t sign the document, and don’t refer to yourself or your co-author(s) by name, or otherwise reveal your identity.

Submitting a Revision

Revised papers should follow all of the same (above) manuscript guidelines and are submitted electronically on ScholarOne at; in your author center you will find your manuscript under "Manuscripts Awaiting Revision." Upon submission of the revised version, your manuscript number will be appended to denote a revision (.R1 for first revision, .R2 for second revision, and so forth).

The original decision editor reads the revision (and your replies to editor and reviewers), and makes a decision as to whether the issues and concerns prompted by the first version of the manuscript have been dealt with adequately. If the revisions do not adequately address issues and concerns in the decision letter, the manuscript will be rejected by the action editor. If, from the perspective of the action editor, the revisions meet expectations the paper will typically be sent back to referees for their review and assessment. Usually all of the same referees are invited to see and comment on the revised paper. Occasionally the editor at his/her discretion may elect to not involve all reviewers again, or may elect to invite a new reviewer for the second round of review.


Manuscripts are almost always conditionally accepted before they receive final acceptance. Even if the editor has no substantive conditions remaining, a paper will not receive final acceptance and proceed into production until the authors submit a final version that conforms to style and formatting requirements for publication. Authors of a conditionally accepted manuscript must follow the detailed instructions for preparing the final version found in this document. That document also specifies the format and procedure for uploading final documents. A final manuscript that does not fully comply with formatting requirements will be returned to the authors, delaying final acceptance and publication.

Once the paper does receive final acceptance, it will enter the production process which consists of these steps:

  • BEQ through its publisher Cambridge University Press uses a plagiarism screening service, iThenticate, to check the originality of content before publication. If passages of the accepted paper are found to be too similar to previously published material, authors will be asked to make edits to remedy the duplication.
  • The paper is then copyedited by the publisher, who will reach out to the author with any queries that arise (e.g., unclear passages, missing information, incomplete references, and the like).
  • The proof version of the article is created, and the author is invited to use a web-based tool to review the proof and make any necessary final (minor) edits or corrections. The editor reviews the proof as well.
  • Once the proof is approved by author and editor, the article will appear online as a FirstView publication in advance of its scheduled publication in a print issue of the journal.

Authors of accepted articles will be asked to sign a license to publish form. You will be provided with an electronic pdf file of the published article for your personal use subject to the conditions of the license to publish form. Posting the pdf offprints online is a violation of the copyright agreement and is prohibited.


BEQ is a member journal of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and adheres to COPE’s best practices and policies regarding ethics and the resolution of ethical concerns in academic journal publishing.

Authors are advised to consult the journal’s research transparency policy addressing best practices in the use of data and the reporting of methods and findings.

Authors are required to identify funding sources for research submitted to the journal. At the time of submission these should be disclosed in the title page uploaded separately from the anonymized manuscript. If the paper is accepted funding sources are properly disclosed in the Acknowledgements.

Accepted papers undergo a plagiarism check using the screening service iThenticate to check the originality of content before publication. Authors can use iThenticate to screen work before submission. Although of course plagiarism is unacceptable, the iThenticate screening also identifies instances of recycled text – where text is identical or too similar to prior work published by the author. Although plagiarism can be grounds for summarily rescinding the paper’s acceptance, when the iThenticate screening identifies problematic content the editor will typically notify the authors and invite them to repair the problem.

BEQ articles can be published with ‘open access’ at the request of the author, upon paying an open-access fee established by Cambridge University Press.

Last updated 21 June 2021