Manuscript Guidelines

Address and Format

URL address for submissions:

Communications about your manuscript should be sent through this MISQ ScholarOne Manuscripts website. All authors of a paper must be copied on any electronic communications with the senior editor or staff in the office of MISQ.

Authors should not indicate on their resume or website that a paper is under review at MISQ. (The reason we ask this is to maintain anonymity during the review process.)

“Manuscripts and associated materials should be submitted electronically to the MISQ ScholarOne Manuscripts URL listed above. (Sample cover letter/e-mail)

Papers must be submitted in Word. Before using other formats, please contact the review coordinator through ScholarOne Manuscripts.

All text in manuscripts should be in 12-point Times Roman font. Papers should be DOUBLE SPACED, left-justified only — the entire paper, including the abstract and the appendices. (Note: 1.5 is NOT double spaced.)

Figures, tables, and exhibits must be embedded in the body of the paper, either immediately after the reference in the text or as soon as possible thereafter. If you are not referring to a table, figure, or exhibit in the text, it should not be included. Tables, figures, and exhibits should be in Arial font.

Grammar and Style

Use of high-quality grammar and style is essential. Authors should employ the services of a professional editor if they need assistance with grammar and style.
The following guidelines should be noted:

  • When using citations in text, stress the point of what’s being cited, not who made the citation (for example, “…the Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team was arguably the best team in the nation (Smith and Jones 1997)” rather than “Smith and Jones (1997) argue that the Golden Gophers were the best…”).
  • Authors should limit the number of citations in the text. Only those that are essential should be included.
  • Authors should limit the use of footnotes. These can be distracting to a reader who may only have a short time to scan an article.

Content and Structure

The following information should also be provided:

Page 1:

  • Paper title.
  • Abstract.
  • Keywords: Select 5 to 10 words or phrases to be used for indexing, in consultation with a technical thesaurus, if helpful. These might include important terms from the title, their synonyms, or related words. Authors should use neither prepositions nor hyphens unless the hyphenated parts are always treated as a unit. Authors should use terms that are as specific as possible and whose meaning is generally known.

Page 2:

  • Paper title.
  • Beginning of paper.

Headings should be clearly delineated. Authors should show each heading’s level of importance as follows:

Separate line centered over text; bold, all caps.

First Subhead
Separate line centered over text; bold, upper/lower case.

Second Subhead
Separate line, flush left; bold, upper/lower case.

Third Subhead
On same line as beginning of text, flush left, bold, upper/lower case, followed by a colon.


Permissions to use reprinted material, adapted material, and material owned by other parties are the sole responsibility of the authors. Permission for the MIS Quarterly to use the material must be obtained in writing prior to publication and provided to the Managing Editor. Authors are responsible for payment of permission fees.

Refinement of Papers

Authors are strongly encouraged not to submit “hot-off-the-press” papers. Instead, they should present their papers at workshops and conferences first to obtain feedback from their colleagues. They should refine their paper based on this feedback before submitting their paper to the MIS Quarterly. The contributions of colleagues who provide feedback can be acknowledged on the second page of the paper.

MISQ References Format

Citation ordering and format should follow published MISQ articles. References must be complete, i.e., include, as appropriate, volume, number, month, publisher, city and state, editors, last name and initials of all authors, page numbers, etc. Below are some general directions:

  • Sequence: Entries should be ordered alphabetically (in text and Reference section) according to authors’ or editors’ last names, or the title of the work for items with no author or editor listed.
  • References in text: These must be included in Reference section and vice versa. References in text should be of the format (Jones et al. 1995; Smith 1996).
  • References to items in periodicals: Author, year, title, journal, volume, number, month, pages. For authors, last names are given first, even for multiple instances.
  • References to reports or proceedings: Author’s name and title of report (same style as above), report number, source, editor and/or publisher as appropriate, city and state/country of publisher OR full name of conference as appropriate, including date and pages.
  • References to books: Author’s name (same style as above), year, title, city, state/country, publisher, page, or chapter.
  • Use of et al.: Authors may not use “et al.” in the list of References. The names of all authors and editors must be listed. If you are using End Notes, please check your references to ensure that the settings are correct and that all authors are listed in the references.
  • Number of references: The number of references should be kept to a minimum. Even for MISQ Review papers, only essential references should be used.

A few examples are:

Ackoff, R. L. 1961. “Management Misinformation Systems,” Management Science (14:4), December, pp. 147-156.

Bonini, C. P. 1963. Simulation of Information and Decision Systems in the Firm, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Chenhall, R. H., and Romano, C. A. 1989. “Formal Planning and Control Presence and Impact on the Growth of Small Manufacturing Firms,” in Job Generation by the Small Business Sector in Australia, W. C. Dunlop and A. J. Williams (eds.), Newcastle: Institute of Industrial Economics, pp. 71-89.