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Published in Association with Feminist Inquiry in Social Work
Feminist Inquiry in Social Work

eISSN: 15523020 | ISSN: 08861099 | Current volume: 39 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly

In 1986, the founding editors created Affilia as a dedicated space for feminist voices, underrepresented in mainstream social work journals, and the topical and methodological challenges that these marginalized voices raised for the field and the discipline. Articulating innovative feminist voices and perspectives has steadfastly remained the substance of the scholarship published in the journal.

The mission of Affilia is to give voice to the myriad ways that feminist praxis manifests in social work. As such, Affilia is a living record of feminist social work and inquiry. Realization of its mission to provide an alternative space necessarily shifts as the material conditions and ideas change over time. Consideration of whose voices and perspectives—what identities, from which social, geographical, and theoretical locations—should be included in the forged space of Affilia is, therefore, subject to ongoing review, reexamination, and renewal. Affilia’s editorial board embraces its responsibility to continually trouble its own views and assumptions.

Contemporary feminisms are grounded in critical, intersectional analysis of lived experiences of individuals and groups located in the context of complex structures, systems, and discourses of power and privilege. Affilia seeks exceptional scholarship—ground-breaking, thought-provoking works that challenge taken-for-granted knowledges, raise new questions, generate innovative theories and methodologies, reflect feminist social work’s global diversity, and illuminate alternative pathways for social work theory, research, practice, and teaching.

See the latest winner of the Affilia Award for Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work here.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work is dedicated to the discussion and development of critical feminist values, theories, and knowledge as they relate to social work and social welfare research, education, and practice. The intent of Affilia is to bring insight and knowledge to the task of eliminating discrimination and oppression, especially with respect to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, and disability.

Margaret (Meg) F. Gibson Renison University College, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Sharvari Karandikar Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Mery Diaz New York City College of Technology, New York, NY, USA
Associate Editor
Salina Abji Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Janet L. Finn University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA
Nicole Moulding University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Editorial Assistant
Bridget Livingstone Comox, BC, Canada
Editorial Board
Lindsay B. Gezinski University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Ramona Beltrán University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, Denver, CO, USA
Xiaobei Chen Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Sam Harrell Seattle University, Seattle, WA, USA
Kelly Jackson Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Kalei Kanuha University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Reshawna L. Chapple University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA
Sandra M. Leotti University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA
Gita Mehrotra Portland State University, Portland, OR
Gina E. Miranda Samuels University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Nicole Moulding University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Sarah Mountz University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY, USA
Antonia R. G. Alvarez Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA
Nadine Shaanta Murshid University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
Quenette L. Walton University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Houston, TX, USA
Charmaine C. Williams University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Consulting Editors
Ben Anderson-Nathe Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA
Samira Bano Ali University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
Stephanie Begun University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sandra Butler University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA
Cyndirela Chadambuka University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Candace Christensen University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, USA
Carol Cleaveland George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
Molly Driessen Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island
Marta Graça University de Coimbra Instituto, Jurídico, Portugal
Vern Harner University of Washington, Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington
Jane Hereth University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jocelyn Hermoso San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California
Ran Hu Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Sid Jordan Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA
Lisa Young Larance Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Sandra Leotti University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA
Kathryn Libal University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT, USA
Jessica Lidell University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
Maria Liegghio York University, Toronto, ON, CA, Canada
Rebecca A. Matthew University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Mahasin Saleh Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
Sunny Sinha Marywood University, Scranton, PA, USA
Eliana Suarez Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, CA, Canada
Emma Tseris University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Miriam Valdovinos University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
Jijian Voronka Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, CA, Canada
Corinne Warrener Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Sarah Wendt Flinders University, Australia
Tina Wilson University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Carole Zufferey University of South Australia, Magill, SA, Australia
Book Review Editor
Barbara L. Simon Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Corporate Board
Sara Goodkind, Co-President University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Jennifer Zelnick, Treasurer Touro College, New York, NY, USA
Mimi Kim, Co-President California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA
Yoosun Park University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Fariyal Ross-Sheriff Howard University, Washington DC, USA
Barbara Levy Simon, Secretary Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Karen F. Wyche The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
Founding Editor
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  • Call for Papers: Special Topic: Critical Feminist Inquiry in Social Work

    Affilia’s mission is to give voice to myriad ways in which feminist praxis manifests in social work. Articulating innovative feminist voices and perspectives has steadfastly remained the substance of the scholarship published in the journal. In keeping with this vision, Affilia seeks exceptional scholarship—ground-breaking, thought-provoking works that challenge taken-for-granted knowledges, raise new questions, generate innovative theories and methodologies, reflect feminist social work’s global diversity, and illuminate alternative pathways for social work theory, research, practice, and teaching

    Affilia publishes a wide range of writings and analysis, including empirical research, conceptual papers, short-form essays on topics of current interest, and critical book reviews.

    Affilia seeks to bring insight and knowledge to the task of eliminating discrimination and oppression. To this end, the journal is dedicated to the discussion and development of feminist practices, theories, and knowledges, and the articulation of their relationship to social work and social welfare research, education, policy, and practice. All manuscripts submitted to Affilia should indicate their engagement with the above goals, whether in critique, extension, or opposition.

    Affilia publishes original work. Please review guidelines on prior publication to see whether your manuscript is appropriate. 

    Sage offers Open Access options. Please see here for more.

    Submission Categories

    Empirical Articles

    Affilia invites original empirical manuscripts that are informed by a range of quantitative and qualitative methodological traditions including (but not limited to): statistical analysis using descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental and/or experimental methods; and content or narrative analysis, grounded theory, phenomenology, discourse analysis, historical analysis, case studies, ethnographies, participatory action research and/or arts-based methods.

    In general, a submission should include:

    • A manuscript consisting of no more than 30 pages (double-spaced) inclusive of figures, tables, and references; exclusive of abstract;
    • A title of no more than 20 words;
    • An abstract of no more than 200 words that describes the research study, methods, and key contributions to feminist social work;
    • Verification that all research that involved human subjects underwent an institutional ethical review (e.g. human subjects or ethics review);
    • A literature review, methods section, results, discussion of analysis and/or findings, and discussion of key implications and contributions. We recognize that qualitative manuscripts often integrate results and discussion in a “findings” section and that other methods may also lead to some variation in sections. The methods section should provide details about the research design, data collection, and data analysis steps.
    • Engagement with feminist theories in one or more of its sections (e.g., literature review, methods, results, discussion, implications).

    Conceptual Articles

    Affilia welcomes conceptual (theoretical and/or perspective) articles of relevance to feminist social work. Such scholarship will provide new theoretical insights, advance existing perspectives or views on theories or practices, introduce new concepts, or explicate alternative perspectives. Conceptual articles may also take the form of position papers that examine current issues, recent developments, or future directions relevant to the social work profession. Submissions in this category should offer a unique and compelling contribution to social work research, teaching, and/or practice. They should not simply summarize existing literature and perspectives.

    In general, a submission should include:

    • A manuscript consisting of no more than 30 pages (double-spaced) inclusive of figures, tables, and references; exclusive of abstract;
    • A title of no more than 20 words;
    • An abstract of no more than 200 words that describes the article’s main points and key contributions to feminist social work.
    • An introduction, background section, clear purpose or aim (“roadmap”), methodology (if applicable), key arguments with support literature, and a discussion of key implications and contributions. (Affilia does not require these particular section headings but authors are encouraged to write theoretical, conceptual, or perspective articles that are conceptually clear and logically coherent.)

    In Brief

    In Brief is a space for practitioners, educators, and researchers to raise and discuss pressing issues of the day or to report on new developments and innovations in a less prescribed format than a full-length manuscript. We welcome pieces focused on proposed or recently implemented policies of relevance for feminist social work, as well as reflexive commentary on experiences in social work academia. Other In Brief pieces may focus on teaching, methods, or practice. The In Brief format is intended for short commentaries or opinion pieces on current issues of relevance to feminist social work, not for reporting the outcomes of empirical or conceptual projects. Manuscripts will undergo the same process of anonymous peer-review as empirical and conceptual manuscripts. 

    In general, a submission should include:

    • A manuscript consisting of no more than 10 pages (double-spaced) inclusive of figures, tables, and references; exclusive of abstract;
    • A title of no more than 20 words;
    • An abstract of no more than 100 words that describes the content and key contributions to feminist social work

    Book Reviews

    Book Reviews

    Affilia publishes reviews of recent books of relevance to critical feminisms, social work, social welfare policy, intersectionality, gender, sexuality, and gender identity studies. If you are interested in suggesting a book for review or in reviewing a book for Affilia, please email the book review editor, Dr. Barbara Levy Simon Affilia does not accept unsolicited book reviews. When you have completed your book review, one that Dr. Simon has already authorized, please submit it directly to the book review editor (

    In general, book reviews are:

    • 600 – 900 words in length
    •  offer a critical analysis of the book (not a summary).
    •  written in language and a writing style accessible to Affilia’s diverse readership
    •  double-spaced with 1-inch margins and prepared using a standard serif font (preferably Times New Roman); 12-point.
    •  infused with a reference style specified in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

    1) Title Page must include the following:

    • Full title of book that is being reviewed
    • Name of the book’s author(s) or editor(s), year of publication, publishing company, number of pages in the book, ISBN number, and cost of one format (paperback or cloth)
    • Each author’s complete name, institutional affiliation(s,), and email address

    2) Key Words. Identify a short list of terms that is pertinent.

    3) Main Document. Begin the book review text on a new page headed by the full title of the book you are reviewing, the name of the author(s) or editor(s) of the book, year of publication in parentheses, publisher’s name, number of pages in the book, and cost of one format of the book (paperback or cloth), and ISBN number.

    Quotations from the book under review: If you include a quotation from the book you are reviewing, please identity in parentheses the page number from which you took the quotation (12).

    Electronic Submission:

    All book reviews must be submitted first by email to the book review editor, Barbara Levy Simon ( Once she returns your book review to you with edits, finalize the document and submit it electronically to

    Authors will be required to set up an online account on the Sage Track system powered by ScholarOne.

    Examples of conflicts of interest with potential reviewers include (but are not limited to):

    • The book reviewer is a contributor to the book that is being reviewed.
    • The reviewer has collaborated with any of the authors within the past two years.

    Manuscript Preparation

    Manuscripts should be formatted according to the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Manual) (e.g., 1-inch margins; double-spaced text; 12-point). Use Times New Roman font. You can download a template for a 7th edition APA-formatted manuscript here

    Manuscript components should be submitted in the following sequence: title page, abstract, main document, references, appendices, tables, and figures. 

    Please review the bias-free language updates from the 7th edition APA Manual, including the use of singular they

    Manuscript Components

    Title Page must include the following:

    • Full article title
    • Acknowledgments and credits
    • Each author’s complete name and institutional affiliation(s)
    • Grant numbers and/or funding information
    • Corresponding author (name, address, phone/fax, e-mail)

    Main Document: Begin article text on a new page headed by the full article title.

    Headings and Subheadings: Subheadings should indicate the organization of the content of the manuscript. See the table below for 7th edition APA heading levels. 



    Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading


    Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading


    Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading


    Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Begins on same level and

    continues as a regular paragraph.


    Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Begins on same level and

    continues as a regular paragraph.


    Citations: For each in-text citation there must be a corresponding citation in the reference list, and for each reference list citation there must be a corresponding in-text citation. In-text citations come after quotation marks and before punctuation. 

    Block Quotes: Format quotations that are 40 words or more as a block quote (start a new line and indent the entire quote 0.5 inch; do not use quotation marks; type the attribution in parentheses after the punctuation). 

    Footnotes: If explanatory notes are required for your manuscript, insert a footnote (number formatted in superscript) following all punctuation marks except for a  dash ( — ), in which case, the footnote should appear before the dash. If a footnote appears in a sentence in parentheses, the footnote number should be inserted within the parentheses. Authors are encouraged to use footnotes only when absolutely necessary. 

    References: References should follow 7th edition APA standards, including double-spaced text and hanging indent formatting. The following website has some citation information:

    Tables: Tables should only be used when necessary to efficiently present information. Tables should be added at the end of the manuscript, numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text. Each table must have a brief explanatory title. The body of the table should be single-spaced. All columns should have a separate heading, and all abbreviations should be explained. The approximate location of the table should be noted in the main document with the notation [Table X here]. For a quick reference, see

    Figures: Figures should be added at the end of the manuscript, numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text and must include figure captions. Figures will appear in the published article in the order in which they are numbered initially. Figures should be in grayscale and their resolution should be 300dpi at the time of submission. The approximate location of the figure should be noted in the main document with the notation [Figure X here]. For a quick reference, see

    Submission Instructions

    Electronic Submission: All manuscripts must be submitted electronically to Authors will be required to set up an online account on the Sage Track system powered by ScholarOne.

    Anonymous Review: Please ensure that the manuscript is masked for anonymous peer-review in the text and reference section. This includes all references to manuscript authors’ names and academic institutions. Please use “(Author)” to indicate that you are referencing your own work. Put self-references at the beginning of the reference list (to prevent clues based on the spelling of your last name). 

    Cover Letter: Please include a cover letter in your submission indicating that the manuscript being submitted is for exclusive consideration of Affilia and has not been simultaneously submitted elsewhere. Feel free to include any other brief, relevant information.

    Principles for Critical Feminist Inquiry in Social Work

    Developed by Sara Goodkind, Mimi Kim, Jennifer Zelnick, Laina Y. Bay-Cheng, Elizabeth Beck, Ramona Beltrán, Mery Diaz, Margaret F. Gibson, Kalei Kanuha, Sam Harrell, Nicole Moulding, Sarah Mountz, Tina K. Sacks, Barbara Simon, Shweta Singh, Jessica Toft, and Quenette L. Walton

    Through collective discussion, the editorial board of Affilia developed the following critical feminist principles for research and praxis, which we have divided heuristically into three areas – conceptual, epistemological, and political – though there is much overlap. We offer these in the spirit of ongoing dialogue and with recognition that this emergent work requires continual reflection and adaptation.


    Adopt a Holistic Worldview: One important part of holistic thinking is to eliminate false dichotomies (e.g., man/woman, nature/nurture). Binary frameworks lead us to see things as opposite when their constructed meanings are in fact interdependent. The decentering of binary assumptions presents evolving opportunities to query and understand complex gendered realities.

    Embrace Complexity and Intersectionality: There are no simple explanations for social phenomena nor easy answers to the complex challenges we face. Our work should be emergent, generative, and raise critical questions. An intersectional perspective reminds us not only that we all have multiple facets of our identities but also that social categories have developed meaning in relation to each other.

    Provide Context: In social work, we teach the person-in-environment framework, but then too often focus on individual-level interventions. Attention to historical, social, and political context enables us to situate the question or problem – and its solutions – in social structures and institutions.

    Honor the Value of Relationships, Trust, Authenticity, and Connection: Despite Western-dominated emphases on individualism, we recognize that none of us is independent but rather are interdependent. We must engage with authenticity if we want to promote equity and healing in response to hierarchy and oppression. Our work for social change must not only be collaborative but also intergenerational.

    Emphasize Praxis: Praxis is a core feminist tenet in which theory and practice are understood as inextricably linked. Our theories about how the world works, whether articulated or not, undergird our actions; therefore, being intentional about the theories on which we base our practice is important. Praxis means that we do not develop knowledge for “knowledge’s sake” but in the service of action.


    Question Certainties and Assumptions: We too often begin research and practice by doing things the way they have always been done or accepting as given the terms of our engagement. By challenging foundational, often unspoken beliefs that ground our practice, we can open up new possibilities for envisioning and enacting structures and supports relevant for meeting the abolitionist call.

    Reframe Questions, Problems, Dilemmas, and Goals: Through the process of challenging our unexamined assumptions, we can create space for reframing the questions we ask, the problems we seek to address, and the aims of our research or praxis. We recognize how “problems” are socially constructed and how reframing them can suggest entirely different approaches to addressing them.

    Challenge Positivism by Recognizing Partiality of Perspective, Importance of Positionality, and Necessity of Reflexivity: Feminists have long demonstrated the importance of positionality and the partiality of all perspectives, particularly those of dominant groups, which are often represented as objective or universal. We must be transparent and reflexive in analyzing the impact of who we are on the work we do. We are all always learning and must meet new ideas with openness and humility.

    Interrogate Dominant Models of Academic Knowledge Generation: We make space for nondominant research paradigms and methods. Collins (2019) states: “The methodologies that we choose to use to analyze our worlds shape the truths that we find” (p. 290). We encourage the use of methodologies that challenge norms and center the perspectives, praxis, and embodied knowledge of marginalized people.

    Center the Voices and Perspectives of Subjugated and Minoritized People: The elevation of counter-narratives in knowledge production (particularly those of racialized people and people from the Global South) highlight the epistemological value of lived experience and embodiment. A goal of feminist scholarship is to make space for those who have long been excluded from the conversation.


    Recognize that the Personal is (Still) Political: This feminist adage retains relevance today, particularly amidst the neoliberal rhetoric that suggests that we are each solely responsible for our well-being. Consciousness raising is part of the empowerment process, whereby people understand the social roots of their challenges and work together to change their social conditions and structures.

    Acknowledge and Address Power and Power Differentials: We must name social work’s complicity in past and ongoing oppression and acknowledge the power we wield as social workers, though we do not always feel powerful. This is not to minimize real differences in power and experiences but rather to recognize that we are not separate or different in any fundamental way from those we seek to help.

    Commit to Liberation: Feminist inquiry leads not only to the elucidation of visible and obscured dynamics of oppression but also to strategies to dismantle systems that give rise to and reproduce inequities and injustices. Thus, our liberation will require carefully cultivated solidarity and collective action that targets all of our structures and institutions.

    Reimagine Justice and Care: Despite social work’s foundational tenet of social justice, critical feminism asks more deeply how justice is defined. It takes into account a world rooted in injustice. Transformative justice and abolition have emerged from the work of prison abolitionist feminists of color. We challenge social work to re-examine its charity-based and medicalized role in care work and the continued white-supremacist and ableist underpinnings of a feminized field.

    Take a Stand: We refuse to accept as “feminist” ideas, policies, and actions that are in fact antithetical to our liberatory goals. We can take pleasure in politics, despite its difficulties and dilemmas, because it offers opportunities to engage, learn, and grow, and ultimately to make the world better.

    Excerpted and adapted from:

    Goodkind, S., Kim, M. E., Zelnick, J., Bay-Cheng, L. Y., Beltrán, R., Diaz, M., Gibson, M. F., Kanuha, K., Harrell, S., Moulding, N., Mountz, S., Sacks, T. K., Simon, B., Toft, J., & Walton, Q. L. (2021). Critical feminisms: Principles and practices for feminist inquiry in social work. Affilia, 36(4), 481-487

    Manuscript Publication

    Permissions: The author(s) are responsible for securing permission to reproduce all copyrighted figures or materials before they are published in Affilia. Authors are required to submit written permission to reprint, from the original publisher, any quoted material of 300 words or more from a single source (journal article or book); any quoted material from a newspaper (especially The New York Times), a poem, or a song (even a phrase); and any table or figure reproduced from another work. A copy of the written permission must be included with the manuscript submission.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: Is my submission appropriate for Affilia?

    Answer: Consult Affilia’s Aims and Scope page. If you are still unsure, please contact the editor with specific questions about your topic:

    Question: I am having trouble submitting my manuscript on ScholarOne. Who can I contact?

    Answer: ScholarOne has a free technical support line: 1-888-503-1050. You may also contact the Affilia editorial assistant at

    Question: I submitted my manuscript. When will I be notified of the decision? 

    Answer: If your manuscript is not selected for review, you should receive an email within 1-3 weeks. If your manuscript is selected for review, it will be assigned reviewers and a decision is typically made within several weeks, depending on the availability of reviewers. Manuscripts may go through several rounds of review before a final decision is made. The status of your manuscript should be visible to you in ScholarOne. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, it will go through a final round of edits with Sage before being published on the Online First section of Affilia with a doi number. The manuscript will later be batched for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal.

    Question: English is not my first language. Where can I seek writing support?

    Answer: Please see the following resource offered by Sage:

    Question: How do I go about resubmitting a manuscript that was not accepted for review?

    Answer: All decisions are final; however, you are encouraged to consider submitting other work.

    Question: I am a new scholar/recent graduate and would like to get experience. How can I get involved with the journal?

    Answer: Contact the Editors-in-Chief with your areas of expertise in content, methods, and theory in order to be considered as a guest reviewer or to complete a book review.

    Question: I am committed to the study of gender, critical feminism and social work and would like to get involved in the journal in a long-term capacity. How can I be considered for a position with Affilia?

    Answer: The journal typically puts out an annual call for applications for the position of Consulting Editor and Editorial Board Member. Check the website for details or contact the Editors-in-Chief at 


    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID

    ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    We encourage all authors and co-authors to link their ORCIDs to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. We collect ORCID iDs during the manuscript submission process and your ORCID iD then becomes part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.


    Affilia may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    Visit the Sage Journals and Preprints page for more details about preprints.

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