Journal of Contract Management

As a professional association, NCMA believes the knowledge of our members is a powerful resource. Our members deserve the most useful, informative, and effective benefits. The Journal of Contract Management is one of them. NCMA's Journal of Contract Management (JCM) is a peer-reviewed, scholarly publication dedicated to sharing research and improving the contract management field, serving both the buying and selling communities in the public and private sectors.

The JCM covers a wide range of contracting topics aligned with NCMA’s Contract Management Standard™ Publication and Contract Management Body of Knowledge®. Its goal is to comprehensively cover the contract management discipline by publishing conceptual, empirical, and practical application manuscripts that demonstrate substantial conceptual development, appropriate methodology, proven best practices, and value-added topic areas.

We encourage you and your colleagues in contract management to contribute to your profession. Your knowledge and expertise will help develop a professional publication by linking scholarly research with practice.

Fall 2021 Edition Now Available!

The Fall 2021 Edition of the JCM includes four timely articles that push and expand upon the Contract Management Body of Knowledge®. A printed version of the JCM is available via the bookstore.

Download your free copy 




Submissions to the JCM are made through Scholastica, an online manuscript peer review system, at

How to Create an Account on Scholastica

If you do not already have an account with Scholastica, you will need to create an account to submit your manuscript. Go to and click "I need to sign up" at the bottom left.
Enter your information and click "Signup." You will receive an email with the subject line, "Confirmation Instructions." Click the link inside this email to confirm and activate your account.

Submitting a Manuscript to the Journal of Contract Management on Scholastica

Prior to submission, please ensure that you have followed all manuscript requirements listed below. Manuscripts not in compliance with the requirements below will be rejected and sent back to the author(s) for revision.  Once you have created an account, go to to submit your manuscript.

  1. Click “Submit Manuscript,” the red button in the top right corner, which will take you to the manuscript submission page.
  2. Complete all fields and browse to upload your manuscript file and any supporting files, and click “Continue to next step.”
  3. Confirm that the details of your submission are correct. Click the checkbox to indicate that you understand that you can make no further changes to the submission. Click “Submit Manuscript.”
  4. If your submission successfully went through, you will see a “Manuscript Submitted” pop-up box, along with an email confirming your submission.

For further details on submitting and managing your manuscript, read the Scholastica Author Guide.

Review Process

Each paper submitted is initially reviewed by the editors for appropriateness and fit, and ultimately to determine whether the manuscript has the potential to advance through the review process. Any manuscript that does not comply with the guidelines indicated below will be rejected. Papers that make it past this initial review will then participate in the double-blind peer review by at least two external reviewers to assess the papers’ suitability for the journal.

Manuscript Requirements

Prior to submission, please prepare your manuscript using the following guidelines:

Double-Blind Peer-Review: The JCM uses a double-blind peer-review process. Therefore, please ensure the anonymity of your manuscript. Ensure the authors(s) names do not appear anywhere on the manuscript. (Scholastica will ask for author names and contact information separately during the submission process.) If you refer to your own work in the manuscript, please make sure it is worded in such a way that you as the author(s) cannot be identified (e.g., use "previous research has found…", not "our previous research has found…". If the paper is accepted, you will have the opportunity to revise the final manuscript to reflect the authorship of your references.

Format: Manuscript files should be provided in Microsoft Word format, double-spaced, in 12-pitch font, Times New Roman.

Article length: Articles should be a maximum of 6,000 words in length, exclusive of references and appendices.

Article title: A title of not more than eight words should be provided.

Author details: All contributing authors’ names should be added to the submission (not within the manuscript itself). Correct e-mail addresses should be supplied for each author in their separate Scholastica author accounts.

Biographies and acknowledgments: Do not include these items within the manuscript, as it would compromise the double-blind peer review process. We will ask for author biographies and acknowledgments later in the process.

Structured abstract: Authors must supply a structured abstract in their submission, set out under 4-7 sub-headings:

  • Purpose (mandatory)
  • Design/methodology/approach (mandatory)
  • Findings (mandatory)
  • Research limitations/implications (if applicable)
  • Practical implications (if applicable)
  • Social implications (if applicable)
  • Originality/value (mandatory)

Maximum is 250 words in total (including keywords and article classification, see below).

Authors should avoid the use of personal pronouns within the structured abstract and body of the paper (e.g. "this paper investigates..." is correct; "I investigate..." is incorrect).

Keywords: Authors should provide appropriate and short keywords in the Scholastic submission that encapsulate the principal topics of the paper.

Article classification: At the top of the first page of the manuscript, authors must list the category that most closely describes their paper. Select the category from the list below:

  • Research paper. This category covers papers which report on any type of research undertaken by the author(s). The research may involve the construction or testing of a model or framework, action research, testing of data, market research or surveys, empirical, scientific or clinical research.
  • Viewpoint. Any paper, where content is dependent on the author's opinion and interpretation, should be included in this category; this also includes journalistic pieces.
  • Technical paper. Describes and evaluates technical products, processes or services.
  • Conceptual paper. These papers will not be based on research but will develop hypotheses. The papers are likely to be discursive and will cover philosophical discussions and comparative studies of others’ work and thinking.
  • Case study. Case studies describe actual interventions or experiences within organizations. They may well be subjective and will not generally report on research. A description of a legal case or a hypothetical case study used as a teaching exercise would also fit into this category.
  • Literature review. It is expected that all types of paper cite any relevant literature, so this category should only be used if the main purpose of the paper is to annotate and/or critique the literature in a particular subject area. It may be a selective bibliography providing advice on information sources or it may be comprehensive in that the paper's aim is to cover the main contributors to the development of a topic and explore their different views.
  • General review. This category covers those papers which provide an overview or historical examination of some concept, technique or phenomenon. The papers are likely to be more descriptive or instructional (“how to” papers) than discursive.

Headings: Headings must be concise, with a clear indication of the distinction between the hierarchy of headings. The preferred format is for first level headings to be presented in bold format and subsequent sub-headings to be presented in italics.

Notes/endnotes: Notes or endnotes must be identified in the text by consecutive numbers and listed at the end of the article.

Figures: All Figures (charts, diagrams, line drawings, web pages/screenshots, and photographic images) should be of high quality, legible, and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Figures created in MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, Illustrator should be supplied in their native formats. Figures that cannot be supplied as above are acceptable in .pdf or .jpeg format. Photographic images should be submitted electronically and of high quality.

Tables: Tables should be typed and included in a separate file to the main body of the article. The position of each table should be clearly labeled in the body text of the article with corresponding labels being clearly shown in the separate file.

References: References to other publications must be in Harvard or APA style and carefully checked for completeness, accuracy, and consistency.

Timeliness: Manuscripts must have been written within the past two years and must incorporate the latest legislative and regulatory updates.

Manuscript Evaluation Criteria

Manuscripts submitted for publication consideration in JCM are judged on the basis of their potential contribution to the advancement of the Contract Management Body of Knowledge. JCM will maintain a long-standing tradition of publishing manuscripts that:

  • Address “leading-edge” issues,
  • Build upon the existing literature base,
  • Contain high quality and thought-provoking information and theories,
  • Challenge or shift dominant conceptual and methodological paradigms,
  • Attempt to change perspectives and/or cause a phenomenon to be viewed in a different light, and
  • Extend the boundaries of the discipline.

At the most fundamental level, a JCM manuscript must meet the following criteria:

  • Focus on a substantive issue in the domain of contract management;
  • Demonstrate conceptual rigor; and
  • Provide evidence of methodological rigor, if an empirical piece.

Authors of empirical studies accepted for publication in JCM are required to report methodological information (e.g., sampling frame, scale reliabilities, and sample size) and results (e.g., correlations among variables and size of effects, in terms of beta coefficients or elasticities along with standard error) in a manner that would enable future researchers to use the study in subsequent meta-analytic studies.


Articles submitted to the journal should not have been published before in their current or substantially similar form, or be under consideration for publication with another journal. Authors submitting articles for publication warrant that the work is not an infringement of any existing copyright and will indemnify the publisher against any breach of such warranty. Authors will be expected to sign an NCMA publication copyright agreement.

Third-Party Copyright Permissions

Prior to manuscript submission, authors should clear permission to use any content that has not been created by them. Failure to do so may lead to lengthy delays in publication. JCM is unable to publish any article which has permissions pending. The rights we require are:

  1. Non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material in the article or book chapter.
  2. Print and electronic rights.
  3. Worldwide English language rights.
  4. To use the material for the life of the work (i.e. there should be no time restrictions on the re-use of material e.g. a one-year license).

When reproducing tables, figures or excerpts (of more than 250 words) from another source, it is expected that:

  1. Authors obtain the necessary written permission in advance from any third-party owners of copyright for the use in print and electronic formats of any of their text, illustrations, graphics, or other material, in their manuscript. Permission must also be cleared for any minor adaptations of any work not created by them.
  2. If an author adapts significantly any material, the author must inform the copyright holder of the original work.
  3. Authors obtain any proof of consent statements.
  4. Authors must always acknowledge the source in figure captions and refer to the source in the reference list.
  5. Authors should not assume that any content which is freely available on the web is free to use. Authors should check the website for details of the copyright holder to seek permission for re-use.
  6. Authors must ensure that all external permissions are granted (i.e., public release clearance, etc.) before the first submission.

Conflicts of Interest (Financial, Intellectual, and Others)

Authors of research manuscripts should disclose at the time of submission any financial arrangement they may have with a company whose product figures are used in the submitted manuscript or with a company making a competing product. Such information will be held in confidence while the manuscript is under review and will not influence the editorial decision. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the editors will usually discuss with the authors the manner in which such information is to be communicated to the reader. JCM expects that authors of such manuscripts will not have any financial interest in a company or its competitors. Our decision to exclude authors with conflicts of interest is simply another criterion designed to ensure that the manuscripts are of maximal credibility and interest to our readers.


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