Authors have often asked what types of articles are suitable for publication in FCR. The following categories are to guide potential authors as to the kinds of articles that FCR publishes. The categories are not intended to limit authors but instead provide a general idea about the kinds of articles that FCR considers. Category descriptions include the type of article in the category, requirements specific to each category, and an example of the background of the members of the editorial staff or board who are likely to review that type of article for publication.
1. Perspectives: Informed and thoughtful opinions regarding previous issues or other relevant areas of interest. Perspectives articles cover important themes and ideas in FCR s area of interest, even if controversial. They should be thought provoking. Some examples include commentary on the rights of children, divorce reform, the role of the family court judge, ethics in family law practice, family law legal education, and foster care reform. Authors can have any professional background. These articles are maximum 10–15 pages double-spaced and do not require copious footnotes. The editor and associate editor in chief generally review these articles.
2. Legal Articles: This category includes the kinds of articles typically found in law reviews, covering topics like child representation, divorce, and custody. Authors will typically be judges, lawyers or legal academics. The majority of the citations in this category of articles consist of statutes, case law, court rules, and other law review articles. Any social science references are not fundamental and the article is judged by law review criteria. Legal topics covered should not be limited to a single jurisdiction, but can use a single jurisdiction to illustrate a problem that many other jurisdictions also encounter. Lawyers and the editor review these articles.
3. Mixed Law and Social Science Articles: These include articles where legal analysis is heavily reliant on social science materials to defend, challenge, or propose modifications to existing law and related public policy. These articles are not heavily methodological and generally rely upon multiple research studies. FCR anticipates they be written by lawyers and/or social scientists alone or working together. Again, a national or international scope on whatever problem is being addressed is preferred. Lawyers and social scientists review these articles according to their expertise.
4. Empirical Research: This category of articles includes original empirical research or reviews of empirical research that furthers public policy and interdisciplinary dialogue in FCR ʼs areas of interest. Examples of articles in this category include reviews of research on domestic violence, child abuse, supervised visitation, mediation, and empirically focused pieces on the impact of divorce on children. These articles are written mainly by researchers in social science, psychology, alternative dispute resolution, and other relevant fields. Articles in this category should describe the public policy implications of the research that is being discussed and should generally contain a review of relevant literature. This category of article is primarily reviewed by social science experts with assistance from lawyers to assess practical and policy implications of the research and the validity of any legal discussion.
5. Practice Innovations: This category of articles includes discussion of clinical and court-based programs that represent important innovations in family law or dispute resolution practice but do not necessarily have evaluation data to confirm their effectiveness. The practice innovation described in the article should have important innovative features that other practitioners, family courts, and communities could replicate. Articles on Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, Family Treatment Courts, programs for self-represented litigants, and other innovations in court services would fit into this category. These articles should provide good descriptive information about program design and operation as well as available data on program evaluation. Articles should include a disclaimer describing any limitations of validating research, as well as plans for future research. Lawyers, court administrators, social science experts, or a combination of these experts review this category depending on the subject matter of the proposed innovation.
6. Book Reviews: These reviews are critical examinations of important topics and not simply summaries of recently published books. FCR selects books to review based on its criteria concerning the significance of the book to its field. Book reviews do not go through the peer editorial process and the editor chooses the book reviewers. This category is subject to FCRʼs existing policy on book reviews. Book review policy (PDF).