FPA Publications Editorial Policy
The mission of the Journal of Financial Planning and related publications is to expand the body of knowledge in the financial planning profession through our editorial content. Content includes columns, monthly feature articles, essays and letters to the editor, one-on-one interviews, and the core of the publication, peer-reviewed technical articles.
The objective of this editorial policy statement is to outline the Journal of Financial Planning’s approach to development and use of content in it and all related publications.
Editorial Topics and Content Sources
- The Journal of Financial Planning welcomes suggestions for editorial topics and potential content sources from all segments of the financial services industry, including individual practitioners and financial planning firms, the academic community, allied professionals, financial product manufacturers, advertisers, and public relations and advertising agencies.
- The final selection of those sources, topics and their treatment will be determined by the Journal’s editorial staff, with input from its advisory boards and volunteer editors.
- Interviews with the Journal staff are on the record. The Journal staff uses an online service to record audio and transcribe interviews, whether virtual or in-person, for use in the Journal of Financial Planning. Transcripts will be edited for length and clarity and used in articles as discussed between the reporter or editor and the interview subject(s).
- The Journal of Financial Planning welcomes content contributions from all segments of the financial services industry.
- All submissions are evaluated by editorial staff and, when appropriate, an editorial review board. Submissions are evaluated based on a list of criteria, including objectivity, applicability to Journal readership, quality of writing, and level of discussion.
- Journal editors—and in the case of peer-reviewed articles, members of the editorial review board—will make every reasonable effort to check facts, quotes, figures, and statements. But ultimate accountability and accuracy of the work rests with the work’s author(s).
- The Journal’s editors and its editorial review board evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
- The decision to publish a submission remains wholly with the Journal editorial staff. When peer review is part of the submission process, the reviewers’ evaluations drive the decision of whether to publish.
- Journal editors reserve the right to reject a submitted work without a formal review by the editorial review board should the editors deem the work inappropriate for the Journal’s audience, repetitive of previous content, not of adequate depth, not well written, similarly published or under consideration elsewhere, too narrow in focus, or which otherwise does not fit the Journal’s needs.
- Contributing writers assign copyright to the Journal of Financial Planning.
Objectivity and Disclosure
- Journal of Financial Planning editorial content does not compare, rank, recommend, or otherwise promote specific products or services. For example, if an article discusses the concepts of a particular type of mutual fund, it can mention specific funds only if the purpose is to illustrate how this type of fund works.
- Journal editorial content may advocate a particular approach or solution for a financial planning issue, but it may not promote a specific firm, product, or service. For example, an author may submit a work that discusses the broad concepts and applicability of software they have developed for sale. But an author may not promote or recommend their own software in their submission. It must be clear to the reader, either through brief mention in the author’s bio or briefly in the text of the article, that the author has a direct financial interest in that particular product, approach, or service in order for the reader to recognize a potential bias in the work.
- Journal editorial content is intended to benefit all financial planners. The Journal does not accept articles that discuss a proprietary product or service that can be purchased only from the author.
- In the case of peer-reviewed technical articles, the concepts, approach, findings, and support materials must be accessible, transparent, and in sufficient depth that the study and findings may be replicated by other researchers to determine the validity (or lack thereof) of the work (in essence, no “black boxes”).
- All authors submitting work for consideration of publication—from letters to the editor, to essays, to technical content—must reveal up front any substantive financial or other conflicts of interest that might affect the objectivity of their work. Such potential conflicts will be taken into consideration when determining suitability for publication, and will be appropriately disclosed to the reader if the work is published.
- Traditionally, Journal columnists have been given more latitude than authors of contributed technical articles to mention specific products, where appropriate. But the final decision to allow mention of a specific product or service within the column remains the discretion of the editorial staff.
- The Journal does not profile specific firms.
- Technical submissions published in the Journal of Financial Planning’s Contributions section have been reviewed and approved by the authors prior to printing.
- Journal editors reserve the right to make final editorial decisions as long as they do not change any original meaning or intent in the article.
Author and Participant Opinions
- The Journal welcomes submissions expressing an opinion, but the submission must provide a broad appeal to Journal readership. While an essay may advocate a particular viewpoint, it may not promote or criticize a firm’s specific product or service.
- The opinions and recommendations of any authors of Journal content are strictly those of the authors and are not endorsed or refuted by the Journal of Financial Planning or the Financial Planning Association.
- The opinions and recommendations of anyone interviewed for an article or contributing to Journal content through online message posts or letters to the editor are strictly those of these participants and are not endorsed refuted by the Journal of Financial Planning or the Financial Planning Association.
Opinions and Challenges of Content
- Criticism of Journal of Financial Planning content may be published in the Journal as a letter to the editor or as a follow-up technical paper. The criticism must be of sufficient quality, focused on the presentation and findings of the previously published work, and cannot be personal, defamatory, or excessively offensive.
- If the content of a published article in the Journal of Financial Planning is found to be or challenged to be materially or factually in error, such that the underlying premise or conclusions of the article are in question, there are three possible ways to address the challenge: (1) the person challenging the article submits a letter to the editor (to which the original author may respond), (2) the person challenging the article submits a technical manuscript written as a response to the article being challenged, or (3) convincing evidence may be later published as a correction.
- Any challenges submitted as technical manuscripts will go through the Journal’s peer-review process. Publication is not guaranteed.
- A challenge to any Journal technical article may, if appropriate, be brought before an ad hoc appeals committee of financial planners, academics, or other experts in order to assess and resolve the challenge. A report of the committee’s findings will be made public. If a retraction is deemed necessary by the committee, a retraction statement will be published in the Journal. Notification of retraction will be posted on the Journal Web site as a link associated with that article.
Advertisements and Advertisers
- The Journal of Financial Planning does not allow advertising to influence editorial content and decisions. The Journal reserves the right to request changes in an advertisement if there is an error or to reject advertising if deemed inappropriate.
- Advertorials must be clearly distinguished from editorial copy in a way that will be determined by the Journal’s editorial and advertising staff and communicated to the advertiser.
- If an advertiser’s company is mentioned in a Journal article, or if an employee or principal of that company is the author of a Journal article, an advertisement from that company must be placed at least two pages before or after the article.
Reprints and Linking
- Anyone wishing to use Journal content, whether through reprints or electronic sharing, must seek permission to reprint or permission to link.
- The Journal flag/nameplate and logo are protected by trademark law and may not be reproduced with written permission from the Journal of Financial Planning.
Relationship to the Financial Planning Association
- While the Journal of Financial Planning considers submissions and editorial direction from the Financial Planning Association, the Journal is not required to publish FPA submissions or abide by FPA recommendations.