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.

Cabell's Journalytics Inclusion

We are proud that the Journal of Contract Management has been accepted for inclusion in Cabell's Journalytics via a rigorous review and acceptance process. Inclusion demonstrates the integrity of the Journal's practices and the quality of its content. 

Cabell's Journalytics

New! Volume 18 (2023-2024)

The newest volume of the JCM, Volume 18 (2023-2024), includes five timely articles that push and expand upon the Contract Management Body of Knowledge®.

Download your free copy 

Previous Volumes

Volume 17 (Fall 2022)      Volume 16 (Fall 2021)      Volume 15 (Fall 2020)      Volume 14 (Spring 2017)

For any volume prior to 2017, please contact memberservices@ncmahq.


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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Journal Policies 

Duties of Authors

Reporting standards

Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work. The manuscript should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective, and comprehensive, while editorial opinion or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.

Data access and retention

Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the manuscript for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality, plagiarism, and acknowledgement of sources

Authors will submit only entirely original works and will appropriately cite or quote the work and/or words of others. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from "passing off" another's paper as the author's own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another's paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.

Multiple, duplicate, redundant or concurrent submission/publication

Papers describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration a manuscript that has already been published in another journal. Submission of a manuscript concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and unacceptable.

The publication of some kinds of articles (such as translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.

Authorship of the manuscript

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author ensures that all contributing co-authors and no uninvolved persons are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. 

All persons who made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (such as technical help, writing and editing assistance, general support) but who do not meet the criteria for authorship must not be listed as an author, but should be acknowledged in the "Acknowledgements" section after their written permission to be named as been obtained. 

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

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.

Acknowledgement of sources

Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately (from conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties) must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Authors should not use information obtained while providing confidential services, such as reviewing manuscripts or grant applications, unless they have obtained the explicit written permission of the author(s) of the work involved in these services.

Fundamental errors in published works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum.

Duties of the Editors

Publication decisions

Editors evaluate submitted manuscripts exclusively based on their merit (importance, originality, validity, clarity) and relevance to the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy, or institutional affiliation. Decisions to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism will also be considered. 


Editors and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Editors and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted manuscript for their own research purposes without the authors’ explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors because of handling the manuscript will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the manuscript.


The editors ensure that all submitted manuscripts being considered for publication undergo peer-review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.

Involvement and cooperation in investigations

Editor/publisher will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised about a submitted manuscript or published paper. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior will be investigated, even if it is discovered years after publication. Editor/publisher will follow COPE Flowcharts when dealing with cases of suspected misconduct. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.

Archival Policy

JCM is archived by the National Contract Management Association and back issues are available upon request. Once published, the contents are never changed.

Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions

Reviewers assist editors in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their manuscripts. 


Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editor and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.


Any manuscripts received for review are treated as confidential documents. They must not be disclosed to or discussed with others except if authorized by the editor. This also applies to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.

Acknowledgement of sources

Reviewers should identify cases in which relevant published work referred to in the paper has not been cited in the reference section. Any statement that is an observation, derivation, or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Any invited reviewer who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer-review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.