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Preparing your materials

Policy on prior publication

When authors submit manuscripts to this journal, these manuscripts should not be under consideration, accepted for publication or in press within a different journal, book or similar entity, unless explicit permission or agreement has been sought from all entities involved. However, deposition of a preprint on the author’s personal website, in an institutional repository, or in a preprint archive shall not be viewed as prior or duplicate publication. Authors should follow the Cambridge University Press Preprint Policy regarding preprint archives and maintaining the version of record. 

Preparing your article for submission

Preparation of Copy
For review, the main manuscript file can be submitted as Word, PDF, or LaTeX. Please ensure that your manuscript file is anonymous by deleting all self-identifying references. Should your manuscript be accepted, you will be asked to submit a final Word or LaTeX version that contains author information.

An Overleaf template for the Journal of Law and Courts is available, which can support authors in formatting their manuscripts prior to submission. Please see below for more information.

Preparation of Figures and Tables
Tables and Figures should be clearly legible and included in the manuscript and located at approximately the point where they are first referenced and should not be collected at the end of the manuscript. Tables and Figures should be numbered consecutively starting with Figure/Table 1. Tables may be prepared in the software used to create the manuscript (e.g., LaTeX, Microsoft Word, etc.), but please keep in mind that if accepted, Figures must be supplied as separate, high-resolution files.

Miscellaneous Formatting
Authors should typically write in the first person, present tense and avoid the passive voice.

Variables used in empirical analyses should be intuitively and clearly named. For example, one should not name a variable that measures a judge’s ideological location as “judicial ideology” but instead “judicial conservatism”. An indicator variable capturing whether a judge is female should not be named “Judge Gender” but instead “Female Judge”.

For empirical analysis using statistical methods, such as regression, complete details for the results must be included. For each coefficient reported, a standard error or other metric of uncertainty must be reported. The use of stars to indicate hypothesis test results is discouraged.

Citations and References
Submissions should follow the author-date system of documentation as outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). Simple citations of works are given in the text in chronological order by enclosing the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses—for example, (Friedman 2003)—and are keyed to an alphabetical list of references at the end of the article. Specific page or section citations follow the date, preceded by a comma: (Friedman 2003, 96). Other examples are as follows: for dual authorship of a single work, (Newman and Principle 2002); for three authors of a single work, (Koehlstedt, Smith, and Brown 1999 [subsequent citations would list Koehltedt et al.]); for two works by the same author, (McMullin 1990, 1985); for two works by different authors, (Burian 1977; Westfall 1980); for reprints, (Hume [1740] 1978).

Footnotes are used for material commenting on or adding to the text and should be used for citations of archival materials, unpublished interviews, and such sources. Within footnotes, citations to published works should refer to the author's last name and date. Do not use op. cit. Footnotes should be typed double-spaced on the pages where they occur. Do not use endnotes.

Full documentation appears in the references. References must list all works cited in the text. List works alphabetically by author and, under author, by year of publication. References not cited in the text should not appear in the reference list. Legal cases should not be in the reference list.

Example references: 

Book, one author
Smith, John. 1990. Law and Courts Today. New York: Publisher.

Book, multiple authors
Smith, John, and Susan Brown. 1998. Law and Courts Today. New York: Publisher.

Book Chapter
Smith, John. 2003. “Law and Courts Today.” In A History of Law and Courts, ed. Susan Brown and James Jones, pp. 94–114. New York: Publisher.

Journal Article
Smith, John. 2008. “Law and Courts Today.” Journal 61 (1): 149–64.

Unpublished Paper
Smith, John. 2011. “Law and Courts Today.” Unpublished manuscript, University of Law.

Numbered Working Paper
Smith, John. 2010. “Law and Courts Today.” Working Paper no. 567, Think Tank, New York.

Abstract and Keywords Preparation

For further guidance on how to prepare your Abstracts and Keywords, please refer to these guidelines.

How to prepare your materials for anonymous peer review

To ensure a fair and anonymous peer review process, authors should not allude to themselves as the authors of their article in any part of the text. This includes citing their own previous work in the references section in such a way that identifies them as the authors of the current work.

Please refer to our general guidelines on how to anonymise your manuscript prior to submission.

English language editing services 

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This step is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the Editor and any reviewers.  

In order to help prospective authors to prepare for submission and to reach their publication goals, Cambridge University Press offers a range of high-quality manuscript preparation services – including language editing – delivered in partnership with American Journal Experts. You can find out more on our Language Services page.

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal. 

Tables and Artwork

Please refer to the following guidance about preparing artwork and graphics for submission.

Seeking permissions for copyrighted material

If your article contains any material in which you do not own copyright, including figures, charts, tables, photographs or excerpts of text, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder to reuse that material. Guidance on how to do that can be found here.

Competing Interests

All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their title page. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article.

Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.

If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. 

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author 1 is employed at organisation A, Author 2 is on the Board of company B and is a member of organisation C. Author 3 has received grants from company D.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”. 

Ethics and Transparency Policy Requirements

Please ensure that you have reviewed the journal’s Publishing ethics policies while preparing your materials. 

Please also ensure that you have read the journal’s Research transparency policy prior to submission. We encourage the use of a Data Availability Statement at the end of your article before the reference list. Guidance on how to write a Data Availability Statement can be found here. Please try to provide clear information on where the data associated with you research can be found and avoid statements such as “Data available on request”.

A list of suggested data repositories can be found here.

Data Availability and Replication Policy

The Journal of Law & Courts is committed to scientific transparency. The JLC is committed to the Data Access and Research Transparency principles summarized in the APSA Guide to Professional Ethics in Political Science and supports the Journal Editors’ Transparency Statement.
Therefore, as a condition for acceptance for publication in the Journal of Law & Courts, the corresponding author must make available all materials that are sufficient to enable interested researchers to reproduce all of the analytic results that are reported in the text and supporting materials. Typically, this requirement will be met by depositing replication materials in the JLC’s Dataverse repository. In some instances, it might be appropriate to make use of other repositories, such as the Qualitative Data Repository. In such instances, JLC still requires a Dataverse repository, though we recognize the Dataverse repository might rely on such alternative repositories for complete replication materials. Unless other arrangements with the editor have been made, these materials should be publicly available at the time final manuscript files are transmitted to the JLC office, and the location of the data repository should be indicated as a footnote on the title page of the final manuscript file. Note that authors also can make their verification files available elsewhere (e.g., their personal website, other data repositories, etc.) as long as all of the necessary files are included in the repository on the JLC Dataverse. 
If the replication materials necessary to satisfy this requirement cannot be made public, due to ethical considerations, the use of proprietary data, or other concerns, it is the corresponding author’s obligation to notify the journal at the time of submission. In the event proprietary data cannot be shared and an exemption from this requirement has been approved by the Editor, authors must still provide a copy of any code or programs used to create the final results. This documentation should include details of how the proprietary data can be obtained by others.

Authorship and contributorship

All authors listed on any papers submitted to this journal must be in agreement that the authors listed would all be considered authors according to disciplinary norms, and that no authors who would reasonably be considered an author have been excluded. For further details on this journal’s authorship policy, please see this journal's publishing ethics policies.

Author affiliations

Author affiliations should represent the institution(s) at which the research presented was conducted and/or supported and/or approved. For non-research content, any affiliations should represent the institution(s) with which each author is currently affiliated. 

For more information, please see our author affiliation policy and author affiliation FAQs.


Overleaf is a free online tool for writing and submitting scholarly manuscripts. An Overleaf template is available for this journal, which allows authors to easily comply with the journal’s guidelines.

Benefits of using Overleaf include:

  • An intuitive interface, in which authors can write in LaTeX or rich text and see a preview of their article typeset in the journal’s style
  • Features enabling collaboration with co-authors (the ability to share, highlight and comment on versions of articles)
  • Sophisticated version control
  • Clean PDF conversion and submission into the journal’s online manuscripts system (supporting materials can also be added during this process)

Overleaf is based on LaTeX but includes a rich text mode. An author writing in Overleaf would need to have some knowledge of LaTeX, but could collaborate through the tool with an author who is not a LaTeX expert. Overleaf’s tutorial pages include a two minute video and an introduction to LaTeX course, and Overleaf also provides support for authors using the tool.

You can access the Journal of Law and Courts Overleaf template here. There is a direct link to submit your manuscript from within the Overleaf authoring environment. Once you have completed writing your article, please use the "Submit to Journal" button and select the link for Journal of Law and Courts to be directed to the journal's submission system.

Funding statement

A declaration of sources of funding must be provided if appropriate. Authors must state the full official name of the funding body and grant numbers specified. Authors must specify what role, if any, their financial sponsors played in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of data, or writing of the study. If they played no role this should be stated.

Supplementary materials

Material that is not essential to understanding or supporting a manuscript, but which may nonetheless be relevant or interesting to readers, may be submitted as supplementary material. Supplementary material will be published online alongside your article, but will not be published in the pages of the journal. Types of supplementary material may include, but are not limited to, appendices, additional tables or figures, datasets, videos, and sound files.

Supplementary materials will not be typeset or copyedited, so should be supplied exactly as they are to appear online. Please see our general guidance on supplementary materials for further information.

Where relevant we encourage authors to publish additional qualitative or quantitative research outputs in an appropriate repository, and cite these in manuscripts.


We encourage authors to identify themselves using ORCID when submitting a manuscript to this journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration with key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you have authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

See our ORCID FAQs for more information. If you don’t already have an iD, you can create one by registering directly at

ORCIDs can also be used if authors wish to communicate to readers up-to-date information about how they wish to be addressed or referred to (for example, they wish to include pronouns, additional titles, honorifics, name variations, etc.) alongside their published articles. We encourage authors to make use of the ORCID profile’s “Published Name” field for this purpose. This is entirely optional for authors who wish to communicate such information in connection with their article. Please note that this method is not currently recommended for author name changes: see Cambridge’s author name change policy if you want to change your name on an already published article. See our ORCID FAQs for more information. 

Author Hub

You can find guides for many aspects of publishing with Cambridge at Author Hub, our suite of resources for Cambridge authors.