Society for American Sign Language Journal

Style Guide

Author's Guidelines

The Society for American Sign Language Journal (SASLJ) seeks to publish high-quality, scholarly studies that advance knowledge and practice in the field of American Sign Language. It also seeks to make the journal accessible and useful to a range of readers not only in the United States but also the world.

Since the readership of SASLJ is interdisciplinary, it is important to define all discipline-specific terms clearly, with illustrative examples.

Should an article be empirical, it must be positioned within a theoretical framework. The paper should include precise information about the study's research questions and/or hypotheses, research design, and data collection; identify measurement or coding systems used; and, if needed, include information about their reliability. The paper should detail the study's coding practices and, if available, provide information about inter-rater reliability. Quantitative studies should include descriptive and analytic statistics, graphic representation, and data on impact. Qualitative studies should include rich descriptions of the naturally occurring data from diverse perspectives and illustrate these with well-selected examples; assure the credibility, transferability, confirmability, and dependability of the research; and present one or more forms of data triangulation. Mixed methods studies should follow both research approaches.

Authors should indicate whether the study is a part of a larger research project and, if so, clearly state how the particular study differs from other studies within the research project.

Submission Requirements

The following are requirements for submitting manuscripts.

Language of Publication: English, in a style that is accessible to a broad readership of researchers, developers, practitioners, and administrators. Please use American spelling, as per Merriam-Webster's dictionary.

Abstract Style: Abstract should be written no more than 250 words along with rationale(s), method(s), result(s), and conclusion.

Manuscript Style: APA (Publication Manual of The American Psychological Association. 7th ed., 2020). Consult the APA website for further information: www.apastyle.org.

Manuscript Length: Manuscripts between 6,000 and 10,000 words are preferred (including bibliography, tables, and notes). Depending on merit, longer or shorter articles are accepted.

Manuscript Format: Please submit articles as Microsoft Word files, formatted as per the guidelines below.

Only original works that have not been previously published elsewhere and that are not under consideration by any other publication may be submitted for review.

The SASL Journal does not accept multiple simultaneous submissions from the same author.

Manuscript Formatting Requirements

Society for American Sign Language Journal follows the latest edition of American Psychological Association for the formatting of articles upon initial submission. It is the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a Microsoft Word file.

To submit, please complete the following steps:

  1. Write your article in English, using US spelling and punctuation conventions. For spelling, refer to Merriam-Webster's 12th edition, available online at https://www.merriam-webster.com; for punctuation, refer to American Psychological Association, 7th edition.
  2. Do not include a title page. Please submit your abstract in a separate Word document.
  3. Page size should be 8.5 x 11 inches (standard US letter); all margins (left, right, top, and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  4. Please double-space the entire manuscript, including footnotes; all text should be left-justified.
  5. Use Times New Roman font; main text should be 12 pt., while footnotes should be 10 pt.; font color should be black (although color may be used in figures, maps, etc.)
  6. If your article is divided into sections, please use 12 pt. bold font for section headings, preceded by roman numerals (I, II, etc.).
  7. Do not format the text as if it were a printed book or article (for instance, introducing page or section breaks, using running heads, formatting subheads in display fonts).
  8. To maintain the objectivity required when presenting research, the use of first-person pronouns and modifiers (I, me, we, my, our...) should be avoided.
  9. Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file. Appendices, data, and/or transcriptions should be submitted for review along with the manuscript, and reference to these materials should be made in the text of the manuscript.

Citation styles

The Society for American Sign Language Journal house style is based on Publication Manual of The American Psychological Association, 7th edition.

Please do not use abbreviations such as ibid., op. cit., or art cit., as this frequently leads to errors during the editorial process.

Footnotes should be confined, as far as possible, to necessary references.

Commonly used abbreviations include the following:

  • Number: no.
  • Editor: ed.
  • Editors: eds.
  • Translator: trans.
  • Chapter: ch.
  • Appendix: app.
  • Figure: fig.
  • Note 5: n5

Figures and tables

Please use 12 pt. Times New Roman font (or the closest comparable font available) for all figures, tables, and captions.

Titles for figures and tables should use bold font and appear above the figure or table; captions should use roman font and appear below the figure or table, and include source references in parentheses. Sources should always be provided, using the same citation conventions described above.

Please ensure that all materials fit within the same margins as for the regular text (standard US letter, with 1.5" margins).


Figures include illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, etc. Once articles are accepted for publication authors will be asked to send figures in publishable format. At that stage, graphs should be supplied as Excel files with data attached so that formatting changes can be made. Please be aware that high-resolution files (300dpi+) will be required for all published images and that the intellectual property and all reproduction rights for images online remain with the author/publisher regardless of prior electronic or print distribution.

It is the author's responsibility to clear all copyright permissions for any text or illustrative material that is not your own work yet will be appearing in your article. For more information on permissions, see Section 1 of the Clemson University Press author's guide: https://libraries.clemson.edu/press/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2019/10/CUP-AUTHOR-GUIDE.pdf

Figures should be numbered consecutively as they appear, as follows: Figure 1.1; Figure 1.2; etc. Authors should indicate the position the figure should occupy in the text, as follows: {INSERT FIGURE 1.1 HERE}


Tables should be created using the Word Tables options, rather than being scanned in, submitted as images, or produced using rules and the tab key. Tables are printed without vertical rules (lines) but horizontal rules should be used (sparingly) for clarity.

Tables should be numbered consecutively as they appear, as follows: Table 1.1; Table 1.2; etc. Authors should indicate the position the table should occupy in the text, as follows: {INSERT TABLE 1.1 HERE}

Common style issues


  • Use one space (not two) after the punctuation at the end of a sentence
  • Insert one space between initials: W. C. Stokoe (not W.C.)


  • Spell out whole numbers up to and including one hundred, except for page numbers, e.g., ninety-seven, 104
  • Use an en dash in number ranges, e.g.: 11–12, 22–29, 126–37, 1865–1939.
  • Spell out whole numbers up to and including one hundred when followed by hundred, thousand, million, etc. – e.g., forty-seven billion
  • Spell out ordinal numbers up to and including hundredth – e.g., "The year 1917 marked the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of American School for the Deaf."
  • Use "nineteenth century," not "19th century"
  • Spell out all numbers that begin a sentence – e.g., "Eighteen seventeen, the year of the establishment of American School for the Deaf"


  • Well-known abbreviations should be used when appropriate and followed by a full stop, e.g., Mrs., Prof., Ltd.
  • Full stops are not needed in acronyms or abbreviations which consist of a sequence of capital letters, e.g., American Sign Language (ASL)


  • Titles of books, plays, and works of art should be italicized – e.g., W. C. Stokoe, Sign Language Structure; Bette Miller, Ameslan Prohibited
  • Titles of poems should be enclosed in double quotes – e.g., Clayton Valli, "Dandelion"


  • Maintain original spelling and punctuation within quotations
  • Use double quotes (" ") for quotations; if there is a quote within the quotation, use single quotes (' ') – e.g., "He overheard her saying, 'I only watch Lentz!'"
  • Punctuation marks at the end of quotations are placed inside the quotation marks– e.g., "According to my professor, 'It is always a good idea to read Bellugi's articles.'"

Signed Language Words, Translations, & Media

  • When used in the main body of the text, words or phrases in signed languages should be written in the American Sign Language gloss format. (e.g., IX=1 WILL GO>IX=3 STORE.)
  • If you are writing short passage in signed language, please follow the passage with an English translation, enclosed in italics.
  • Videos or photos of signed language are strongly encouraged to be included in the manuscript when using them directly as part of the data. (See The Austin Principles for more information about data repositories and accessibility at https://site.uit.no/linguisticsdatacitation/austinprinciples/)