Editorial Policy

Please note that the editorial policy also includes the mission statement, the diversity policy, and the “appendices” of terms of service, submission guidelines, and comment guidelines.


Editorial Team’s Role
An editorial team, consisting of editorial staff and guest content editors (who are chosen for each thematic journal issue based on expertise in given theme), manages and oversees all publication. Guest content editors will help ensure accuracy and soundness of argument in each article; articles given specific review by outside experts will be noted. If an author is interested in peer-review, he or she should make an explicit request. While Unbound cannot guarantee peer-review, we will do our best to accommodate the request and needs of the author.

Unbound editors reserve the right to edit and shorten submissions as necessary particularly with sermons. If we make significant alterations (as determined by the editing staff), we will consult with the writer or creator. Illustrations added by the editors will be distinguished from those chosen by the authors.

By submitting articles and proposed articles, reviews, and artistic material, you represent that all such material is original and unpublished, and submitted exclusively to us for publication, unless expressly stated otherwise. You also represent that you are the owner of all copyrights and other intellectual property rights to the material, and that the material does not violate or infringe another’s rights, including, but not limited to, privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, that it does not constitute copyright infringement, is not defamatory and is not a violation of law. Unless otherwise indicated, you grant to us, unto perpetuity, full reprint and re-publication rights of any item we publish, whether in written, digital or electronic format or any other media whether known now or in the future, and the right to post the article on our website. We reserve the right to accept or reject any article submitted. All contributors must follow the Submissions Guidelines and Terms of Service and Privacy Agreement and must sign a Contributor Agreement.

Board of Advisors’ Role
A body of advisors will assist the editors in determining issue themes, recommending writers or subjects for discussion/linkage between issues, stimulating and modeling online discussion, and reviewing cases where an editorial decision is challenged or where the editorial team seeks guidance. Beyond these specific tasks, the advisors are also to reflect on the direction, quality and tone of the journal as it speaks with its several audiences. To embody part of that interaction, advisors come from the academic community, congregational leadership, and program staff of the denomination. Normally two advisors will come from ACSWP itself; these advisors and the editor (and coordinator) will report to each ACSWP meeting. Staff will be drawn from several agencies of the General Assembly, with some focus on the Compassion, Peace, and Justice Ministries Area of the GAMC.

Advisors may also be contributors, bloggers and/or hosts of their own sites, with at least two thirds being members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Advisors will be invited to serve for renewable two year terms by the editors in consultation with both ACSWP and the leadership of Compassion, Peace, and Justice  and will normally participate in quarterly conference calls as well as on-line discussions of policy and review of articles as requested. ACSWP will seek to convene an annual meeting of the advisory board, possibly at General Assembly and Big Tent gatherings.

Publisher’s Role
ACSWP of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) publishes Unbound and is therefore referred to as the “Publisher.” ACSWP consists of twelve pastors and lay leaders elected from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

ACSWP provides two elected members as representatives on the advisory board. ACSWP is responsible for approving and amending the Unbound editorial policy (see “About Editorial Policy”); receiving periodic reports from the editorial team and advisory board; and, conducting an annual review of Unbound. ACSWP is in continuous dialogue with the staff of the editorial team, offering guidance and direction as it sees fit.

ACSWP has voted and approved this editorial policy and the publication of Unbound.

About Editorial Policy

Drawing on best practices, the editorial team (that is, the ACSWP Coordinator and Editor, and the Managing Editor) and the elected members of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, in consultation with experts in the GAMC, composed the present policy. The members of ACSWP, as the publisher, voted and approved the policy.

Any changes to the policy (i.e., all text except appendices) require majority vote approval by ACSWP. Changes to the appendices (which describe procedure rather than policy) can be made by the editorial team without approval from ACSWP, usually in consultation with Advisory Board members, and reported to both publisher and full Advisory Board.