Writing for ACI Journals
Thank you for considering the ACI Journals as the publication venue for your paper! ACI Journal manuscripts must be within the area of interest of ACI and further the knowledge in concrete materials, design, and construction; be original in authorship and publication; be based on adequate factual record; and be significant in data or treatment. Peer reviewers will evaluate the suitability of the manuscript for publication and state justification for publication. Here are the life-cycle milestones of a successfully published paper:
- Write and format your technical paper.
- Submit the paper for initial peer review.
- The paper formatting will be checked by staff.
- The paper will be blind reviewed by three reviewers.
- The reviewers will make one of four recommendations (accept, accept with revisions, decline with advice to rewrite and resubmit, decline).
- Authors with papers accepted with revisions and authors with papers declined with advice to rewrite and resubmit will receive reviewers' comments to incorporate.
- Accepted papers and revised papers that pass peer review will send ACI the final version of their paper.
- Your paper will be lightly copyedited, paginated, printed, and posted to the ACI website.
- Other authors may choose to write a discussion of your published paper.
- Papers chosen for excellence will receive awards at a future ACI Convention.
ACI Publications Policy sets the principles for all ACI publications. The steps below describe in more detail the publication steps for manuscripts in the ACI Structural Journal and ACI Materials Journal.
Writing & Formating
The language of publication is English and the manuscript must be understandable and correct in English writing, grammar, and syntax. The English language editing service, found on the ScholarOne Manuscripts author dashboard, will help ensure your paper is clearly written in Standard English. The following documents describe the editor's expectations for your paper.
Some tips for working in Microsoft Word:
- Do not use Microsoft Word's automatic footnote capability. Place footnotes at the end of the document as opposed to within the text. Reference the footnotes using an asterisk (*).
- Do not use end notes in the final version of the manuscript.
- Do not link references or figures; rather, embed them.
- Do not use tabs with text (i.e., do not indent blocks of text).
- Use consistent spacing throughout the document.
- Use automatic word-wrap (soft returns) consistently for sentences within a paragraph and the enter or return key (hard return), at the end of a paragraph.
Initial Submission & Review
To begin the peer review process, please submit your manuscript through ScholarOne Manuscripts. This peer review management system is separate from ACI and requires you to have a separate login from the one you use on the ACI website. You can read more on the Manuscript Submission web page. Once your paper is received, staff will perform an initial check. You may be asked to make changes to the paper before we can send it out for peer review. If this happens, please submit a clean manuscript that does not show changes, corrections, or deleted material marked on the manuscript.
Review, Response & Final Submission
Each paper is read by three reviewers who comment on the paper. The reviewers will make one of four recommendations:
- accept with revisions
- decline with advice to rewrite and resubmit
Authors of accepted papers will be asked to submit their final manuscript. Authors of papers accepted with revisions will receive the reviewer comments so changes can be incorporated into the manuscript. These papers are then re-reviewed. Authors of papers declined with advice to rewrite and resubmit will receive the reviewer comments. The authors can then, if they wish, choose to incorporate suggested changes into a re-written manuscript. These papers can then be submitted as a new paper. Declined papers cannot be re-submitted.
Authors who wish to appeal a decision to decline their paper should write to the Managing Editor. Please be sure to include the reasons for appeal and the manuscript ID number.
Publication & Awards
Accepted papers will be lightly copyedited, layed out, and paginated into a journal. Authors will have an opportunity to review final pages before they are sent to the journal. ACI Materials Journal papers take about twelve months to appear, ACI Structural Journal papers take about twelve months. Authors are free to post their papers in their institutional repositories. At each Spring convention, ACI awards meritorious papers published in the calendar year two years prior. Award winners are listed on the ACI website.
Discussions & Closures
Discussions are open to anyone who has significant comments or questions regarding the contents of a published ACI Journal manuscript. Discussions must be written in a professional manner, and should not contain matter readily found elsewhere, advocate special interests, contain obvious commercial intent, controvert established facts, or be purely speculative. Discussions must reach ACI headquarters before the deadline date. Because of deadlines, all discussion contributions must be complete and in compliance with all requirements to be considered for publication. Discussions should be brief: 1800 words or word-equivalents, including illustrations and tables, is maximum. Illustrations and tables count as 300 words each. Do not repeat references cited in the original paper, cite them by original number. Discussions should be about the paper, not some new or outside work on the same subject. Use references wherever possible instead of repeating available information.
The author's closure should be related to the discussion received. If a closure is received within its specified deadline, the discussion and author closure will be published simultaneously. That will conclude the discussion on the published manuscript.