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Instructions to Authors

The Gerontologist is a bimonthly journal of The Gerontological Society of America that provides a multidisciplinary perspective on human aging through the publication of research and analysis in gerontology, including social policy, program development, and service delivery. It reflects and informs the broad community of disciplines and professions involved in understanding the aging process and providing service to older people. Articles, including those in applied research, should report concepts and research findings, with implications for policy or practice. Contributions from social and psychological sciences, biomedical and health sciences, political science and public policy, economics, education, law, and the arts and humanities are welcome. Brief descriptions of innovative practices and programs are appropriate in the Practice Concepts section. Please refer below to the Types of Manuscripts Considered for Publication and Word Countfor additional information about sections and types of manuscripts.

On this page:

Instructions for Anonymous Files
Acceptance of Manuscripts
Manuscript Preparation
Types of Manuscripts Considered for Publication and Word Count
Book Reviews
Licences, Offprints and Submissions
Permissions for Illustrations and Figures
Language Editing
Advance Access
Authors Self-Archiving/Public Access Policy
Open Access
New Professionals/New Reviewers


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the publisher of The Gerontologist, was founded in 1945 to promote the scientific study of aging, to encourage exchanges among researchers and practitioners from the various disciplines related to gerontology, and to foster the use of gerontological research in forming public policy. The Society's 5,500+ members include leading gerontological researchers, educators, and practitioners in biological, medical, behavioral, and social sciences and the humanities. For more information about the Gerontological Society of America, visit (link to

The organization fosters collaboration between physicians, nurses, biologists, behavioral and social scientists, psychologists, social workers, economists, policy experts, those who study the humanities and arts, and many other scholars and researchers in aging. This stems from the belief that the intersection of research from diverse areas is the best way to achieve the greatest impact and promote healthy aging. Through networking and mentorship opportunities, GSA provides a professional “home” for career gerontologists and students at all levels.

Instructions for Anonymous Files
Upload one anonymous version of your manuscript with no author names, addresses, acknowledgment details, or other identifiers. Be sure to check there are no self references in the text itself. You can insert the term "blinded for review" in its place. This includes self-references to your name and University/Institute. This version will be seen by reviewers.

Instructions for Non-Anonymous Files
Upload a complete version of the manuscript with all of the author and acknowledgment details. This version will be seen by the editors and will be the version published, IF accepted.

Additional instructions regarding submissions can be obtained by contacting the Managing Editor, Megan McCutcheon, at

2. Acceptance of Manuscripts

Submission of a manuscript to The Gerontologist implies that it has not been published or is not under consideration elsewhere. If accepted for this journal, it is not to be published elsewhere without permission. As a further condition of publication, the corresponding author will be responsible, where appropriate, for certifying that permission has been received to use copyrighted instruments or software employed in the research and that human or animal subjects approval has been obtained.

In the case of coauthored manuscripts, the corresponding author will also be responsible for signing a license to publish form on behalf of his or her co-authors indicating that the manuscript is original work, has not been previously published, will not be submitted for publication to any other journal following acceptance in The Gerontologist, and all necessary permissions have been received.

3. Manuscript Preparation

The Gerontologist uses APA style. General guidelines follow; for more detailed information, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Please see section 4 below for additional information about the types of submissions and word counts. Please read “Editorial: Science or Fishing?” for valuable information about manuscript preparation.

a. Preparing the manuscript. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, including references and tables, on 8-1/2” x 11” paper using 1” margins. Number pages consecutively for the abstract, text, references, tables, and figures (in this order).

b. Submitting the manuscript. Manuscripts should be submitted online at (See above for details.)

c. Title page. The page should include complete contact information for each author, including (at a minimum) affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number. The corresponding author should be clearly designated as such. APA recommends that a title be no more than 12 words.

d. Acknowledgment. If the authors choose to include acknowledgments recognizing funders or other individuals, they should be placed on a separate page immediately following the title page. These acknowledgments should be removed for the anonymous version of the manuscript.

e. Abstract and key words. On a separate page, each manuscript must include a brief abstract, double-spaced. Structured abstracts for research articles, Brief Reports, and Practice Concepts submissions should be approximately 200 words (the web-based system will not accept an abstract of more than 250 words), and must include the following headings: Purpose of the study, Design and Methods, Results, and Implications. Forum and Policy Studies manuscripts must also include an abstract of about 200 words, but without structured headings. Below the abstract, authors should supply three to five key words that are NOT in the title. (Please avoid elders, older adults, or other words that would apply to all manuscripts submitted to The Gerontologist.) Please note three key words must be entered in order to move forward in the online submission process.

f. Text references. Refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for style. References in text are shown by citing in parentheses the author’s surname and the year of publication. Example: ‘‘. . . a recent study (Jones, 1987) has shown. . . .’’ If a reference has two authors, the citation includes the surnames of both authors each time the citation appears in the text. When a reference has more than two authors and fewer than six authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs. In subsequent citations, and for all citations having six or more authors, include only the surname of the first author followed by ‘‘et al.’’ Multiple references cited at the same point in the text are in alphabetical order by author’s surname.

g. Reference list. Type double-spaced and arrange alphabetically by author’s surname; do not number. The reference list includes only references cited in the text. Do not include references to private communications or submitted work. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for correct form.

Journals: Kaskie, B., Imhof, S., Cavanaugh, J., & Culp, K. (2008). Civic engagement as a retirement role for aging Americans. The Gerontologist, 48, 368–377. doi:10.1093/geront/48.3.368
Books: Quadagno, J. S. (1982). Aging in early industrial societies. New York: Academic Press.

h. Tables. Tables are to be double-spaced, numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers and have a brief title for each. Place table footnotes immediately below the table, using superscript letters (a, b, c) as reference marks. Asterisks are used only for probability levels of tests of significance (*p < .05).

i. Figures/Illustrations. Please upload your figures either embedded in the word processing file. For line drawings, the resolution should be 1200 d.p.i. and for color and half-tone artwork, the resolution should be 300 d.p.i. For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to

Figures must be professionally lettered in a sans-serif type (e.g., Arial or Helvetica). All labels used in figures should be in upper case in both the figure and the caption. The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material.

Color figures.
Please contact the production editor for information about color.

j. Appendices: Please upload your appendix file embedded in the word processing file. Please make sure to follow APA style when formatting appendices. All appendices will be published online only as supplementary material.

4. Types of Manuscripts Considered for Publication and Word Count

All manuscripts submitted to The Gerontologist should address practice and/or policy implications. The word limits listed below include abstract, text, and references. The word limit does not include tables and figures. All of the following manuscripts undergo the standard peer-review process, unless otherwise noted.

a. Research Articles. Most articles present the results of original research. These manuscripts may be no longer than 6,000 words. The text is usually divided into sections with the headings: Introduction, Design and Methods, Results, and Discussion. Subheads may also be needed to clarify content.

Qualitative manuscripts may be no longer than 7,000 words. Please adhere to the following: Avoid the subheading: “A Qualitative Study,” provide new/novel findings; clearly present research design and analysis procedures. Please refer to the following editorials for further information about qualitative submissions: Schoenberg, N. & McAuley, W. J. (2007). Promoting qualitative research. The Gerontologist, 47(5), 576–577. and Schoenberg, N.E., Miller, E.A. and Pruchno, R., The Qualitative Portfolio at The Gerontologist: Strong and Getting Stronger. The Gerontologist (2011) 51(3): 281–284

Humanities and Arts: Please refer to the following editorial for additional detail with these types of submission: Kivnick, H.Q. & Pruchno, R. (2011). Bridges and Boundaries: Humanities and Arts Enhance Gerontology, The Gerontologist, 51(2), 142-144.

b. Literature Reviews and Measurement Development Online Only Articles: The Gerontologist has launched a new policy welcoming submissions using sophisticated scale development procedures (6,000 words) and/or literature reviews (8,000 words) for consideration for publication. These articles will be published online only (title would appear in a print issue Table of Contents for the journal, but the article would appear online only). Articles will go through our usual peer review and editing processes. They will receive a DOI, be searchable, and will be available electronically.

c. Brief Reports Brief reports are encouraged for significant and innovative papers that are not as long as full research articles, but are equivalent in quality. Manuscripts should be no more than 2,500 words.

c. The Forum. Timely scholarly review articles or well-documented arguments presenting a viewpoint on a topical issue are published in this section. Total length should be no more than 5,000 words.

d. Practice Concepts. A Practice Concepts manuscript describes, in 6,000 words or fewer, an innovative practice amenable to replication OR the translation of a practice that already has an evidence base but has not yet been trialed in the "real world." Authors must clearly specify the following information about the practice: (a) uniqueness or innovation, (b) theoretical or conceptual basis, (c) essential components or features, (d) evidence that supports replication or suggests modifications, and (e) challenges to feasibility and/or barriers to implementation in real world settings. The article should be structured to highlight these points (the structure of a research article does not necessarily apply). An important goal is to provide enough information about the practice to allow its replication (in a research context) or translation (in a real world context).

Please refer to the following editorials for further information about Practice Concept submissions: Morrow-Howell, N. & Noelker L. (2006). Raising the Bar to Enhance the Research–Practice Link. The Gerontologist, 46, 315-316 and Kimberly S. Van Haitsma, K.S, Williamson, J.B., & Pruchno, R. (2011). Practice Concepts and Policy Studies: The New Divide, The Gerontologist, 51(6), 731-733.

e. Policy Studies. Policy studies manuscripts deal with aging-related public policy programs and proposed changes in those programs. Policy studies on a broad range of issues using a broad range of methodologies are welcome. The tone and style of the manuscript should be scholarly, but also easily understood and of interest to those who do not do research on the specified topic. Manuscripts should be no longer than 7,000 words. Details regarding suitable submissions for this section of the journal can be found in the following editorial: Kimberly S. Van Haitsma, K.S, Williamson, J.B., & Pruchno, R. (2011). Practice Concepts and Policy Studies: The New Divide, The Gerontologist, 51(6), 731-733.

f. On Film and Digital Media. Please refer to the editorial "Launching 'On Film and Digital Media."

g. Letters to the Editor. Letters related to content in recent issues are published as space permits. Letters should reference the original article (if applicable) and be no more than 900 words. Letters are subject to review, editing, and rebuttal.

h. Guest Editorials. Upon occasion, the Editor-in-Chief will invite guest editorials. Unsolicited editorials are not accepted.

The Gerontologist does not publish obituaries, speeches, announcements of programs, or new product information.

5. Book Reviews

Book reviews are published in essay form. Reviews are prepared at the request of the Book Review Editor and are not guaranteed acceptance prior to submission. Unsolicited book review essays are not accepted. Books for review should be sent to Judith G. Gonyea, PhD, Book Review Editor, Social Research Department, School of Social Work, Boston University, 264 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02115.

6. Copyright

Authors of accepted manuscripts must licence copyright to The Gerontological Society of America. However, authors have unlimited rights to republish their articles in volumes they write or edit and to duplicate the material for their own use in classroom activities. When articles are republished or duplicated under these circumstances, a citation to the previous publication in The Gerontologist is required.

7. Licenses, Offprints and Submissions

It is a condition of publication in The Gerontologist that authors grant an exclusive license to The Gerontological Society of America. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. As part of the license agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that The Gerontologist is acknowledged as the original place of publication and Oxford University Press as the Publisher.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals, authors will be invited to complete an online copyright license to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication, you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

Information about the Creative Commons license can be found at

Authors will receive electronic access to their paper free of charge. Printed offprints may be purchased in multiples of 50. Authors may purchase offprints through the author services site where they sign their online license forms.

8. Permissions for Illustrations and Figures

Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see Guidelines for Authors at Information on permissions contacts for a number of main galleries and museums can also be provided. Should you require copies of this, please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department.

9. Funding

The following rules should be followed:

• The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’

• The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘National Institutes of Health’, not ‘NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number xxxx]’

• Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]’

• Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)

• Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].’

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled Funding. This should appear before the Acknowledgements section.

10. Language Editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for correct usage of American English. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. If you would like information about one such service, please click here. There are other specialist language editing companies that offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

11. Advance Access

Advance Access allows for papers to be published online soon after they have been accepted for publication--reducing the time between submission and publication. Articles posted for Advance Access have been copyedited and typeset but not yet paginated for inclusion in a specific issue of the journal. Appearance in Advance Access constitutes official publication, with full-text functionality, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier). The final manuscript is then paginated into an issue, at which point it is removed from the Advance Access page. Both versions of the paper continue to be accessible and citable.

12. Authors Self-Archiving/Advance Access Policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.

13. Open Access

The Gerontologist authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement.

As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.
Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in The Gerontologist can use the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) for their articles.

All other authors may use the following Creative Commons licences:
•Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)
•Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges vary according to which Creative Commons licence you select. The open access charges are as follows.

Charges for CC-BY:
•Regular charge: £2125/ $3400 / €2763
•List B Developing country charge*: £1063/ $1700 / €1382
•List A Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

Charges for CC-BY-NC/CC-BY-NC-ND:
•Regular charge: £1875/ $3000 / €2438
•List B Developing country charge*: £938/ $1500 / €1219
•List A Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

14. Ethics

The Gerontologist expects that authors will observe high standards with respect to publication ethics. For example, the following practices are unacceptable: (1) falsification or fabrication of data, (2) plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors' own work, in whole or in part without proper citation, (3) misappropriation of the work of others such as omission of qualified authors or of information regarding financial support. Allegations of unethical conduct will be discussed initially with the corresponding author. In the event of continued dispute the matter will be referred to the author's institution and funding agencies for investigation and adjudication.

Oxford Journals, publisher of The Gerontologist, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the journal strives to adhere to the COPE code of conduct and guidelines. For further information see

15. New Professionals/New Reviewers

For those interested in participating in the review process for The Gerontologist, we provide an opportunity for novice reviewers. Novice reviewers are added as a third reviewer to manuscripts that we send out for peer review. These reviews are given full consideration in the editorial decision. This process gives new professionals an opportunity not only to review a manuscript, but also to experience the review process, editorial decisions, and manuscript revision process. We also hope this experience is useful in helping novice reviewers to learn how to publish in The Gerontologist. After individuals successfully complete two or more reviews, novice reviewers will become regular reviewers. All reviewers are asked to return their reviews within two weeks.

In addition to this opportunity, we also allow individuals to serve as a mentor to new professionals interested in the review process for The Gerontologist. The current review form allows for this designation so that all invited reviews can be completed with a reviewer-in-training, if interested.

For additional information, please contact the Managing Editor at


OUP offers pre-submission language editing through Oxford Language Editing, a service for researchers all over the world. Language editing, particularly if English is not your first language, can be used to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by the journal editors and reviewers. Visit to find out more about the freelance editors available and the different services offered. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.