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Social Marketing Quarterly

Social Marketing Quarterly

Published in Association with FHI360
Published in Association with ESMA
Published in Association with iSMA
Published in Association with AASM
Published in Association with SMANA

eISSN: 15394093 | ISSN: 15245004 | Current volume: 27 | Current issue: 4 Frequency: Quarterly

Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) is a scholarly, internationally circulated journal focused exclusively on the theoretical, research and practical issues confronting both academics and practitioners. SMQ targets social marketers, communicators and social science professionals who use marketing principles, strategies and techniques to benefit society. SMQ contains research, case studies, conference notices, essays, editorials, interviews, book reviews and other relevant news regarding the efforts of social marketers to protect the environment and increase health, safety and financial well-being.

SMQ publishes original work and fosters a cooperative exploration of ideas and practices that promote innovative strategies. Sections include: Applications, Theory and Review, Case Studies, Training Initiatives, Book Reviews, Notes from the Field, Resources, Commentary and Looking Ahead. SMQ frequently publishes special issues pertaining to current topics of interest and relevance to the social marketing community.

Submit Papers in these Areas

SMQ accepts various types of manuscripts. We invite you to submit papers that address aspects of social
marketing in any of the following areas:

• Research
• Theory
• Case studies of best practices
• Environmental Issues
• Leadership and management
• Impact of Technology
• Evaluation
• Program sustainability

Articles should be submitted via the Manuscript Central online submission system at For more information, and for full submission guidelines, please click here.

SMQ’s editorial board is directly responsible for the quality of reviews that the journal provides to submitting authors. Appointing members to the editorial board is not a decision that the editorial team takes lightly. With limited exceptions at the discretion of the editorial team, all editorial board members must meet the following criteria.

  1. Demonstrated expertise and leadership in social marketing, either in academic or professional settings.
  2. Unique subject-matter expertise of a topic not overrepresented on the editorial board.
  3. History of publishing about social marketing in peer-reviewed publications.

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

Aims and Scope

Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) is a scholarly, internationally circulated journal that covers theoretical, research and practical issues confronting social marketers. As one of only two journals exclusively focused on social marketing issues, SMQ targets social marketers and other professionals interested in contributing to social marketing theory and practice. SMQ consists of research studies, case studies, conference notices, essays, editorials, book reviews, and other relevant news regarding social marketing efforts around the world. This comprehensive approach makes it an invaluable resource for practitioners, academics, program developers, policy makers, and administrators.

SMQ publishes original work and fosters a cooperative exploration of ideas and practices in order to build bridges among various disciplines so that innovative change strategies and alliances are created. Manuscripts are submitted to a double-blind peer-review process. Sections include Applications, Theory and Review, Training Initiatives, Book Reviews, Notes from the Field, Resources, and Looking Ahead.

Sameer Deshpande Associate Professor, Social Marketing, Griffith University, Australia
Managing Editor
Tina Robinette Communications Specialist, FHI 360, USA
Associate Editor
Judith A. McDivitt Retired, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Advisory Board
Lynne Doner Elucidate Change, USA
Philip Kotler Kellogg School of Management, USA
James H. Lindenberger University of South Florida, USA
Carol A. Bryant University of South Florida, USA
Editorial Board
Lynda Bardfield Creative Conscience, USA
Michael Basil University of Lethbridge, Canada
Jay M. Bernhardt The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Andy Bhanot Project Concern International
Brian J. Biroscak Community Health Center, Inc.
Rebecca Brookes Upstream Social Marketing, USA
Amelia Burke-Garcia NORC, University of Chicago, USA
Brian A. Day Environmental Communication & Training, Inc., USA
James W. Dearing Michigan State University, USA
Timo Dietrich Griffith University and The University of Queensland, Australia
Robert Donovan University of Western Australia, Australia
Doug Evans The George Washington University, USA
Giuseppe Fattori University of Bologna, Italy
Jeff French Strategic Social Marketing Ltd, UK
Fred Fridinger Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Rob Gould One Degrees Strategies, LLC, USA
Mahmooda Kahliq Pasha University of South Florida College of Public Health, USA
Jay Kassirer Cullbridge Marketing and Communications, Canada
Punam Keller Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, USA
Houda Khayame Open University (Milton Keynes), UK
Krzysztof Kubacki Auckland  University of Technology, New Zealand
François Lagarde Fondation Lucie et Andre Chagnon, Canada
Shiraz Latiff Hummingbird International, Sri Lanka
Nancy R. Lee University of Washington and Social Marketing Services, Inc., USA
R. Craig Lefebvre RTI International, USA
Terry Long Self-employed
William Madway Social Marketing & Advocacy Campaign Strategies, USA
Tait J. Martin Taproot Creative, USA
Ryan J. A. McAndrew Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Doug McKenzie-Mohr McKenzie-Mohr & Associates Inc., Canada
Rowena Merritt The University of Kent, UK
Susan E. Middlestadt Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington, USA
Peter Mitchell Marketing for Change Co., USA
Clare Naidoo LiveMoya, South Africa
Mike Newton-Ward UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, USA
Glen Nowak Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, USA
Norm O’Reilly University of Guelph, College of Business and Economics, Canada
Ronne Ostby Fors Marsh Group, USA
Claudia Parvanta University of South Florida College of Public Health, USA
Brenda Pulley REAP Consulting, USA
Anne Quito FHI 360, USA
Sridhar Samu Great Lakes Institute of Management, India
Darcy Sawatzki Evoke Kyne, USA
Jenny Scott Context Research, Canada
Fiona Spotswood University of Bristol, UK
Joe Starinchak U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USA
John Strand Independent Consultant, USA
L. Suzanne Suggs Universita della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
Jennifer J. Tabanico Action Research, USA
Alan Tapp UWE-Bristol, UK
V. Dao Truong North-West University, USA and National Economics University, Vietnam
Dave Ward Kitsap County, Department of Community Development, USA
Jennifer Wayman Hager Sharp Inc., USA
Mark A. Weber Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Nedra Kline Weinreich Weinreich Communications, Israel
Livingston A. White The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica
Executive Editor
Todd Phillips Director, Social Marketing and Communication, FHI 360, USA
Founding Editors
Carol A. Bryant University of South Florida, USA
James H. Lindenberger University of South Florida, USA
  • Agricultural Engineering Abstracts
  • Business Source Premier
  • CABI: Abstracts on Hygiene and Communicable Diseases
  • CABI: CAB Abstracts
  • CABI: Dairy Science Abstracts
  • CABI: Global Health
  • EBSCO: Business Source Complete
  • EBSCO: Sales & Marketing Source
  • EBSCOhost: Current Abstracts
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Environment Abstracts
  • Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Abstracts
  • Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Abstracts (in CAB Abstracts Database)
  • ProQuest Central
  • ProQuest Public Health
  • PsycINFO
  • Public Affairs Index
  • Social Sciences Index Full Text
  • This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    This Journal recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site,, to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    We now offer you a choice to rapidly share your manuscript with the readers. You are welcome to post your preprint at Advance within 72 hours and simultaneously submit your manuscript for double-blind peer review in Social Marketing Quarterly. Posting your research on Advance will not reduce or enhance the chances to get your article accepted in SMQ. However, if SMQ rejects your article, please remember that other journals may not entertain preprint publications.

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    1.2 Article types

    1.3 Writing your paper

    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    2.2 Authorship

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    2.4 Funding

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

    3. Publishing polices

    3.1 Publication ethics

    3.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    4. Preparing your manuscript

    4.1 Formatting

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    4.3 Supplementary material

    4.4 Reference style

    4.5 English language editing services

    5. Submitting your manuscript

    5.1 ORCID

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    5.3 Permissions

    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    6.2 Online First publication

    6.3 Access to your published article

    6.4 Promoting your article

    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?


    1.1 Aims & Scope
    Before submitting your manuscript to SMQ, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope:

    1.2 Article types
    SMQ accepts several types of manuscripts. We invite you to submit papers that address aspects of social marketing in any of the following areas:

    • Research Articles, including case studies, conceptual articles, empirical articles, and review articles – manuscripts that present original research, examine practice-based case studies, test existing theories with empirical evidence or propose new theories, or review existing social marketing literature to highlight gaps.
    • Editorials – brief notes written by the editors or guest editors to provide key updates on the journal or thoughts and analysis of important current issues related to theory and practice.
    • Notes from the Field – roughly 3,000-word notes written by leading social marketers describing new advances or trends in social marketing or questioning existing paradigms in the field.
    • Book Reviews – reviews examining the strengths and weaknesses of recently published books for social marketers, including textbooks for graduate students.

    Following are examples of articles that showcase the quality that we look for in SMQ’s published research, organized by article type:

    General Author Guidance – Sameer Deshpande, Guidance to Authors Submitting to the Social Marketing Quarterly (

    Case Study – Brian Biroscak, Applying Systems Science to Evaluate a Community-Based Social Marketing Innovation: A Case Study (

    Empirical Article – Doug McKenzie-Mohr, Choosing Effective Behavior Change Tools (

    Review Article – Timothy Edgar, Where is the Toothpaste? A Systematic Review of the Use of the Product Strategy in Social Marketing (

    Editorial – Lynne Doner Lotenberg, What Can Social Marketers Learn from the Accomplishments of Behavioral Economics? (

    Notes from the Field – Michael Rothschild, Separating Products and Behaviors (

    SMQ has a strict word limit of 8,000 for all articles, inclusive of abstract, keywords, references, and all other items. Notes from the Field are typically no more than 3,000 words and editorials are typically no more than 2,000 words, again, inclusive of all items. There is no limit to the number of references an author may include.

    1.3 Writing your paper
    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, review this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.


    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    SMQ adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy for all research articles. The identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

    Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. An editorial decision is generally reached within 6 weeks of submission.

    Notes from the Field, editorials, and book reviews are reviewed exclusively by both co-editors. In certain cases, additional reviewers from the editorial board are included in this review.

    The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternate members of the Board; the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.

    2.2 Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data
    2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
    3. Approved the version to be published
    4. Participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.


    Authors should meet the conditions for all of the points above. When a large, multi-center group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

    Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Funding

    SMQ requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of SMQ to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles. Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

    For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

    2.6 Research ethics and participant consent

    Research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

    All authors must receive the necessary permissions (Institutional Review Board or Ethics Committee approvals) required by their sponsoring institution before submitting their research. Authors should indicate in their manuscript the steps they have taken to ensure the protection of human or animal subjects.

    Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    SMQ and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Managing Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor’s publishing agreement 

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    SMQ offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at SAGE please visit SAGE Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting
    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. Word templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    SMQ has a strict word limit of 8,000 for all articles, inclusive of abstract, keywords, references, and all other items. Notes from the Field and editorials are typically no more than 3,000 words, again, inclusive of all items.

    All files should be submitted in Microsoft Word—except figures and artwork, which should be submitted as separate, high-resolution (minimum 300dpi) files. Tables should be editable, include captions, and be placed after the reference list. All pages should be numbered and double spaced, and all text should be in Times New Roman 12-point type.

    SMQ adheres to American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, 7th Edition for style, references, and bias-free language. For more information on APA style, view this guide.

    Submissions should not include identifying information; please attach a separate title page with all author information. Tables should be placed after the reference list, include captions, and be in an editable format.

    All research manuscripts must contain an abstract of no more than 500 words. Typically, SMQ research manuscripts follow this format:

    • Abstract
      • SMQ now requires structured abstracts. For instructions for abstract formatting, please see this guide.
    • An introduction that answers who (or to/for whom), what, where, when, why and how
    • Background and literature – do not define social marketing unless your manuscript focuses on definitionsMethod
    • Findings
    • Discussion, including the strengths and limitations of the study
    • Conclusion
    • Up to five key words

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines. 

    Figures supplied in color will appear in color online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For specifically requested color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal can host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images, etc.) alongside the full text of the article. For more information, please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    SMQ adheres to APA reference style, 7th Edition. View the APA guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.


    5. Submitting your manuscript

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    SMQ is hosted on SAGE Track, a web-based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to log in and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year, it is likely that you will have an account. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online, please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    We encourage all authors to read Co-editor Sameer Deshpande’s editorial providing guidance to submitting authors to ensure that your manuscript is within the scope of SMQ.

    5.1 ORCID

    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.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID 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. Your ORCID iD will become 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.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage, please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage, all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

    7. Further information


    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the SMQ editorial office as follows:

    Managing Editor Tina Robinette,, 202-464-3974 ext.13974


    Only members of these affiliate societies qualify for this discount: Australian Association of Social Marketing (AASM), European Social Marketing Association (ESMA), International Social Marketing Association (iSMA)

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