Defense ARJ Guidelines for Contributors

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The Defense Acquisition Research Journal (ARJ) is a scholarly peerreviewed journal published by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). All submissions receive a blind review to ensure impartial evaluation.


We welcome submissions from anyone involved in the defense acquisition process. Defense acquisition is defined as the conceptualization, initiation, design, development, testing, contracting, production, deployment, logistics support, modification, and disposal of weapons and other systems, supplies, or services needed for a nation’s defense and security, or intended for use to support military missions. Research involves the creation of new knowledge. This generally requires using material from primary sources, including program documents, policy papers, memoranda, surveys, interviews, etc. Articles are characterized by a systematic inquiry into a subject to discover/revise facts or theories with the possibility of influencing the development of acquisition policy and/or process.

We encourage prospective writers to coauthor, adding depth to manuscripts. It is recommended that a mentor be selected who has been previously published or has expertise in the manuscript’s subject. Authors should be familiar with the style and format of previous Defense ARJs and adhere to the use of endnotes versus footnotes (refrain from using the electronic embedding of footnotes), formatting of reference lists, and the use of designated style guides. It is also the responsibility of the corresponding author to furnish any required government agency/employer clearances with each submission.


Manuscripts should reflect research of empirically supported experience in one or more of the areas of acquisition discussed above. Empirical research findings are based on acquired knowledge and experience versus results founded on theory and belief. Critical characteristics of empirical research articles:

  • clearly state the question,
  • define the methodology,
  • describe the research instrument,
  • describe the limitations of the research,
  • ensure results are quantitative and qualitative,
  • determine if the study can be replicated, and
  • discuss suggestions for future research (if applicable).

Research articles may be published either in print and online, or as a Webonly version. Articles that are 4,500 words or less (excluding abstracts, references, and endnotes) will be considered for print as well as Web publication. Articles between 4,500 and 10,000 words will be considered for Web-only publication, with an abstract (150 words or less) included in the print version of the Defense ARJ. In no case should article submissions exceed 10,000 words.

Book Reviews
Defense ARJ readers are encouraged to submit reviews of books they believe should be required reading for the defense acquisition professional. The reviews should be 450 words or fewer describing the book and its major ideas, and explaining why it is relevant to defense acquisition. In general, book reviews should reflect specific in-depth knowledge and understanding that is uniquely applicable to the acquisition and life cycle of large complex defense systems and services.

Audience and Writing Style
The readers of the Defense ARJ are primarily practitioners within the defense acquisition community. Authors should therefore strive to demonstrate, clearly and concisely, how their work affects this community. At the same time, do not take an overly scholarly approach in either content or language.

Please submit your manuscript with references in APA format (authordate- page number form of citation) as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition). For all other style questions, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition). Contributors are encouraged to seek the advice of a reference librarian in completing citation of government documents because standard formulas of citations may provide incomplete information in reference to government works. Helpful guidance is also available in The Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents (Revised Edition): A Manual for Writers and Librarians (Garner & Smith, 1993), Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service.

Pages should be double-spaced and organized in the following order: title page (titles, 12 words or less), abstract (150 words or less to conform with formatting and layout requirements of the publication), two-line summary, list of keywords (five words or less), body of the paper, reference list (only include works cited in the paper), author’s note or acknowledgments (if applicable), and figures or tables (if any).

Figures or tables should not be inserted or embedded into the text, but segregated (one to a page) at the end of the text. When material is submitted electronically, each figure or table should be saved to a separate, exportable file (i.e., a readable EPS file). For additional information on the preparation of figures or tables, refer to the Scientific Illustration Committee, 1988, Illustrating Science: Standards for Publication, Bethesda, MD: Council of Biology Editors, Inc. Restructure briefing charts and slides to look similar to those in previous issues of the Defense ARJ.

The author (or corresponding author in cases of multiple authors) should attach a signed cover letter to the manuscript that provides all of the authors’ names, mailing and e-mail addresses, as well as telephone and fax numbers. The letter should verify that the submission is an original product of the author(s); that all the named authors materially contributed to the research and writing of the paper; that the submission has not been previously published in another journal (monographs and conference proceedings serve as exceptions to this policy and are eligible for consideration for publication in the Defense ARJ); and that it is not under consideration by another journal for publication. Details about the manuscript should also be included in the cover letter: for example, title, word length, a description of the computer application programs, and file names used on enclosed DVD/CDs, e-mail attachments, or other electronic media.


The Defense ARJ is a publication of the United States Government and as such is not copyrighted. Because the Defense ARJ is posted as a complete document on the DAU homepage, we will not accept copyrighted manuscripts that require special posting requirements or restrictions. If we do publish your copyrighted article, we will print only the usual caveats. The work of federal employees undertaken as part of their official duties is not subject to copyright except in rare cases.

Web-only publications will be held to the same high standards and scrutiny as articles that appear in the printed version of the journal and will be posted to the DAU Web site at In citing the work of others, please be precise when following the authordate- page number format. It is the contributor’s responsibility to obtain permission from a copyright holder if the proposed use exceeds the fair use provisions of the law (see U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994, Circular 92: Copyright Law of the United States of America, p. 15, Washington, DC). Contributors will be required to submit a copy of the writer’s permission to the managing editor before publication. We reserve the right to decline any article that fails to meet the following copyright requirements:

  • The author cannot obtain permission to use previously copyrighted material (e.g., graphs or illustrations) in the article.
  • The author will not allow DAU to post the article in our Defense ARJ issue on our Internet homepage.
  • The author requires that usual copyright notices be posted with the article.
  • To publish the article requires copyright payment by the DAU Press.


All manuscript submissions should include the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Author checklist
  • Biographical sketch for each author (70 words or less)
  • Headshot for each author should be saved to a CD-R disk or e-mailed at 300 dpi (dots per inch) or as a high-print quality JPEG or Tiff file saved at no less than 5×7 with a plain background in business dress for men (shirt, tie, and jacket) and business appropriate attire for women. All active duty military should submit headshots in Class A uniforms. Please note: low-resolution images from Web, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Word will not be accepted due to low image quality.
  • One copy of the typed manuscript, including:
    • Title (12 words or less)
    • Abstract of article (150 words or less)
    • Two-line summary\
    • Keywords (5 words or less)
    • Document excluding abstract and references (4,500 words or less for the printed edition and 10,000 words or less for the online-only content)

    These items should be sent electronically, as appropriately labeled files, to the Defense ARJ Managing Editor at:

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