Information for Authors

The Review of Religious Research (RRR) journal aims to publish manuscripts meeting these six scope criteria: (1) reports empirical research; (2) attends to religiosity and spirituality topics; (3) identifies religious groups and their adherents; (4) engages in interdisciplinary social science research practices; (5) describes methods and analytical techniques; and (6) applies research with relevance for practitioners. These criteria are explained further in the journal Aims & Scope. The RRR Information for Authors is also available as a PDF download.

Empirical Research

Manuscripts meet the empirical social science research scope criteria by reporting on observable behaviors, actions, orientations, and more of social groups. The goal is to understand and analyze rather than seeking to propagate a religion, proselytize, evangelize, or in other ways directly represent a religious view. Valuing the goal of replicability and peer review, empirical research typically includes a methods section that explains how data were collected, why, using what procedures, under which conditions, and toward what types of analysis. 

Sage Publishing

Review of Religious Research is excited to announce that the journal is now published by SAGE. SAGE is one of the largest independent scholarly publishers and has a strong track-record of partnering with hundreds of scholarly professional societies and associations to publish their journals. Important in this publishing partnership, RRA is encouraged that SAGE celebrates the social and behavioral sciences and endeavors to support quality research that transforms society and fosters understanding of people, groups, and cultures. Read the SAGE story.

Additionally, the SAGE founder – Sara Miller McCune – embodied a focus on research methods within the organization through the Little Green Book series, which many regard as the premier reference set of how to tips on conducting quality social science research. Read the SAGE methods story. In this context, the RRR will be at home in continuing to publish high-quality social science research that engages in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods analyses.

Sage Manuscript Guidelines

SAGE Publishing disseminates high-quality research and engaged scholarship globally, and we are committed to diversity and inclusion in publishing. We encourage submissions from a diverse range of authors from across all countries and backgrounds. Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Review of Religious Research will be reviewed.

Authors are advised to review the SAGE Manuscript Submission Guidelines, as well as the SAGE Peer Review process overview. SAGE is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. SAGE recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journalsformulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Review the RRR Call for Papers and Aims and Scope for more information about the journal. Additional details and information about how to submit manuscripts in the ScholarOne™ The manuscripts system can be accessed here:

Please contact the Editor-In-Chief with questions: Patricia Snell Herzog, PhD

Ethics & Responsibility

SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the work we publish. The value of academic publishing relies on everyone involved behaving ethically. The following points are only intended to give a broad overview and are not exhaustive. Authors are encouraged to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) website.


Authors should ensure that:

  • their work is original and written by them
  • their work has not been previously published and has been submitted only to the journal
  • where material is taken from other sources (including their own published writing) the source is clearly cited and that where appropriate permission is obtained
  • their work does not infringe on any rights of others, including privacy rights and intellectual property rights
  • their data is true and not manipulated
  • their data is their own or that they have permission to use data reproduced in their paper
  • any real or apparent conflicting or competing interest is clearly stated on submission of their paper (this would include funding assistance)
  • they adhere to all research ethics guidelines of their discipline, particularly where human or animal subjects are involved
  • they contact the Editor to identify and correct any material errors upon discovery, whether prior or subsequent to publication of their work
  • authorship of the paper is accurately represented, including ensuring that all individuals credited as authors participated in the actual authorship of the work and that all who participated are credited and have given consent for publication

Above all, authors should be transparent. For example, if an author is not sure whether her paper is original (for instance, whether it might constitute duplicate publication), she should inform the journal’s editor. If the editor decides it is appropriate to publish, the paper itself should state clearly any potential overlap.

For more information, please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

Manuscript Types

Original Research Articles

Original research articles present scholarly and methodologically rigorous empirical analysis. Sections: Introduction, Literature Review (typically labeled by topical headings), Data and Methods, Results, Discussion (including limitations, implications, conclusions). Before submitting a manuscript, authors should read the journal’s Aims & Scope for more information. Maximum 10,000 words, 40 double-spaced manuscript pages, including references.

Research Notes

Research notes are similar to original research articles in presenting scholarly and methodologically rigorous empirical analysis. Notes are briefer than articles and typically provide less theoretical framing and literature reviewing than articles. The focus is on the study design and results. Sections: Introduction, Data and Methods, Results, Discussion (including limitations). Maximum 7,500 words, 30 double-spaced pages, including references.

Review Articles

Review articles provide a comprehensive summary of relevant existing studies, including a synthesis of their relevant theory, methods, and findings on topic(s) of interest to the journal (see Aims & Scope). Sections: Introduction, Background, Data and Methods (describe sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria), Results, Discussion (limitations, implications, conclusions). Maximum 10,000 words, 40 double-spaced pages, including references.

Applied Research Abstracts

Applied research abstracts briefly present the results of an applied study. Sections: Background, Purpose, Methods, Results, Conclusions, and Implications. Applied abstracts are 350-550 words and should include a footnote explaining to readers how to access the report, data, or additional information on the study.

Contexts of Religious Research

Contexts include award announcements, memoriams, commentaries about the process of conducting research (e.g., applications of research methods to topics relevant to the journal), profiles of denominational research organizations, or invited addresses from the Religious Research Association. It is rare that a manuscript of this type would be unsolicited; authors should consult the editor before submitting this type of manuscript. Max 1,000 words.

Book Reviews

Book reviews provide a summary of a scholarly book that identifies the purpose and central themes, highlights important claims or contributions, and offers critical evaluation of the theories, methods, approach, or limitations (about 800 words). If you would like to review a book for the journal, contact the Book Review Editor, David Eagle, PhD

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Title (10-15 words)

Titles are typically around 10-15 words. Ensure the main key phrase for the topic is in the manuscript title. Make sure the title is descriptive, unambiguous, accurate and reads well. People search on key phrases not just single words e.g., ‘faith-based organizations’ not only ‘organization.’ Also include the topic as close to the start as possible. If authors are using a ‘creative’ title, make this a subtitle to a more descriptive title. A descriptive title is also good for making an article more searchable journal databases: Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar.

Abstract (150-200 words)

Abstracts should further describe the contents of the manuscript. Begin the abstract by stating the central purpose or aim of the paper. Next, describe the objective and approach of this particular study. The majority of the abstract should summarize the methodological design. Name whether the data were collected through a survey, interview, experiment, ethnography, or other mode. Provide an overview of the sample size and characteristics. It is common to use the notation n=x to indicate the sample (n) equals size (x). Specify that the analysis techniques were quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, or some other type. Briefly state the primary results. Interpret the contributions for theory, research, and/or practice. The readership of RRR is particularly interested in applications for practice, especially for the applied practitioner sets in the Aims & Scope.

File Uploads

Upload a title page with only the de-identified title of the manuscript. Remove author names from the title page. Upload the main document and ensure it is de-identified to remove all author names. Optionally, additional files can be uploaded, including: tables, figures, images, research data, and/or supplementary files.

Open Research Data Policy

If authors upload any ‘Research Data’ file(s), please be aware that if the manuscript is accepted, the files will be published on the Figshare repository platform with a CC BY license, permitting unrestricted use of the data. A link to the data on the Figshare repository will be placed alongside the article on SAGE Journals. Authors are encouraged to include a data accessibility statement in the manuscript file if uploading research data, or if choosing to host research data elsewhere. For more information on SAGE research data policies and FAQs, visit the SAGE author gateway.

Supplementary Material

If uploading a supplementary material file, refer to the guidelines on the SAGE author gateway.


Enter appropriate keywords for the manuscript. Keywords may be used by the journal to match the paper to appropriate reviewers, and if the paper is accepted for publication can help readers find the article online.

Authors need to select at least one keyword (and can add up to 5) from the following lists: Relevant Topics, Religious Groups, Methods & Analysis, and Disciplinary Affiliation. If relevant, authors can also select keywords from the Applied Practitioners list. Please review the journal Aims & Scope for a full description of each of these keyword sets.

Countries of Data Collection

Select at least one country in which the data were collected that are reported in the manuscript. Multiple countries can be selected up to 5 entries. If there is no specific geographic area relevant to the manuscript, enter: No Specific Geography.

Authors & Institutions

List all author names and ensure that the full First and Last (Family, Surname) Names are spelled correctly, and if applicable a Middle Name or initial is included. Check that hyphenations and abbreviations are listed exactly as each contributing author wants. To bring the widest audience possible to the manuscript, it is important to aid search engines in author disambiguation. Represent each author’s institutional affiliations and include contact information for the corresponding author. The corresponding author is responsible for confirming that all author names and affiliations are listed correctly before submitting the manuscript.

Why Authorship Matters

Authorship confers credit and has important academic, social, and financial implications. Authorship also implies responsibility and accountability for published work.

The following recommendations are intended to ensure that contributors who have made substantive intellectual contributions to a paper or manuscript are given credit as authors, but also that contributors credited as authors understand their role in taking responsibility and being accountable for what is published.

Because authorship does not communicate what contributions qualified an individual to be an author, some publishers now request and publish information about the contributions of each person named as having participated in a submitted study, at least for original research. Such policies remove much of the ambiguity surrounding contributions but leave unresolved the question of the quantity and quality of contribution that qualify an individual for authorship.

The following criteria for authorship are provided as a combination of existing authorship criteria developed by Sage Publishing, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), Nature Research journal, and BioMed Central.

Authorship Criteria

Authorship should be based on the following 4 criteria:

  1. Made substantial contributions to the concept or design or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Provided final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. In addition to being accountable for the self-contributed work, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work.

All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. 

Submission for publication is taken to mean that all the listed authors have agreed to all of the contents, including the author list and author contribution statements. 

Corresponding Author

The corresponding author is the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the publisher during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the publisher’s administrative requirements are properly completed. The corresponding author should be available throughout the process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the publisher for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication. 

Corresponding authors are responsible for ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors, and that all authors receive the submission and all substantive correspondence with editors, as well as the full reviews, verifying that all data, figures, materials (including reagents), and code, even those developed or provided by other authors, comply with the transparency and reproducibility standards of both the field and the publisher.

This responsibility includes but is not limited to: (i) ensuring that original data/original figures/materials/code upon which the submission is based are preserved following best practices in the field so that they are retrievable for reanalysis; (ii) confirming that data/figures/materials/code presentation accurately reflects the original; and (iii) foreseeing and minimizing obstacles to the sharing of data/materials/code described in the work. The corresponding author should be responsible for managing these requirements across the author group and ensuring that the entire author group is fully aware of and in compliance with best practices in the discipline of publication.

 Author contribution statements

Transparency of author contributions is encouraged by publishing author contribution statements. Authors should include a statement of responsibility in the manuscript that specifies the contribution of every author. Author contribution statements are included in the published paper. The level of detail varies; some disciplines produce manuscripts that comprise discrete efforts readily articulated in detail, whereas other fields operate as group efforts at all stages.

Non-Author Contributors

Contributors who meet fewer than all 4 of the above criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading.

Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. “Clinical Investigators” or “Participating Investigators”), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” “provided and cared for study patients”, “participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript”).

Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, authors are advised to ask for explicit permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.

Funders (required: yes, no)

If there are funders to report, add the name of the funder and enter the grant or award number.

Number of Figures, Tables, Words

Authors need to enter the number of figures, number of tables, and number of words. The word count needs to include all the words in the manuscript, including references, table and figure captions, and all the text in the main body. Refer to word count maximums for each type of manuscript and ensure the manuscript is edited to fit within these guidelines before submitting.

Previous Submission

Indicate whether the manuscript has been submitted previously to this journal: no, yes. If yes, enter the manuscript ID of the previous submission.


Authors will need to confirm that:

  • the manuscript has been submitted solely to this journal and is not published, in press, or submitted elsewhere. Authors should disclose any prior posting, publication or distribution of all or part of the manuscript to the Editor. For more information on prior publication, please visit this page.
  • authors have checked the manuscript submission guidelines and complied with any specific policy requirements specified.
  • authors have prepared (a) a complete text minus the title page, acknowledgements, and any running headers of author names, to allow blinded review and (b) a separate title page with author information.

Conflicts of Interest

Declare whether there are any potential or perceived conflicts of interest. Please visit this page for more information about identifying these. Report no, yes. If yes, explain.

Special Issue

Select whether this manuscript is a candidate for a special issue: no, yes. If yes, provide the name of the special issue in which this manuscript was invited.

Submission Fee

Confirm that at least one author is either a member of the Religious Research Association or has paid the submission fee to the Religious Research Association. Authors who are not members of the association are required to pay a manuscript processing fee before their manuscript undergoes peer-review. The submission fee includes a year of free membership to the RRA.

Supplementary Materials

Some funders require, and SAGE strongly recommends, that authors provide a statement on how any underlying research materials related to the paper (data, samples, models) can be accessed.

Preprint Identifier

If this paper was posted to a preprints server, enter its DOI (this will not be passed to reviewers).

Cover Letter

Authors must submit a cover letter with their submission that includes the following information:

  1. A statement confirming that all the authors have read the final version of the manuscript and agreed to submit it to the journal. (Do not submit unless this is true.)
  2. A statement confirming that the manuscript has not been published previously and that it is not currently being reviewed for publication by another journal. (Do not submit unless true.)
  3. A statement explaining how the manuscript fits into the journal’s Aims & Scope. This statement should also briefly identify at least one of the empirical research methods and analysis listed in the Aims & Scope, or specify one that is not listed.
  4. The full name, institution, and email address of at least one author of the manuscript who is currently a member of the Religious Research Association, OR; A statement acknowledging the authors agree to pay the fee for the manuscript to be peer-reviewed (if it is initially assessed to be potentially suitable for publication), if no author of the manuscript is a member of the Religious Research Association. The fee is not waived for any other reason.

Sample Letter 1

Dear Editor:

All the authors have read the final version of the manuscript and agreed to submit it to Review of Religious Research. The manuscript has not been published previously, and it is not currently being reviewed for publication by another journal.

The authors think the manuscript fits within the topical areas of Religious Leaders and Religion & Civics because it investigates the ways that people in faith-based organizations draw upon religious language in volunteer recruitment efforts. This is an empirical research study that utilized surveys to collect data for the quantitative analysis and in-depth interviews to inform the qualitative analysis.

[Name of Corresponding Author] of the [Affiliated University or Organization] ( is the corresponding author of the manuscript and a current member of the Religious Research Association.


[Name of Corresponding Author]

Sample Letter 2

Dear Editor:

All the authors have read the final version of the manuscript and agreed to submit it to Review of Religious Research. The manuscript has not been published previously, and it is not currently being reviewed for publication by another journal.

The authors think the manuscript fits within the topic area of Religious Beliefs because it reviews how scholars attend to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religious texts in published research. Although the manuscript does not appear to fit into any of the methods listed in the Aims & Scope, the authors think the manuscript is consistent with the Aims & Scope because the study employs bibliometric techniques to inform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of existing publications.

As none of the authors currently belong to the Religious Research Association, [Name of Corresponding Author] agrees to pay the fee for the manuscript to be peer-reviewed if it is initially assessed to be potentially suitable for publication via the Religious Research Association website (payment will be confirmed with the RRA before proceeding with peer review).


[Name of Corresponding Author]