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Advice to authors

What sort of papers does JFP publish?

JFP publishes a variety of different sorts of paper:

Regular papers constitute the main diet. They are usually in the range 20-40 pages, but can be shorter or longer. Each paper is submitted to an Editor and is refereed. A paper may go through one or more rounds of refereeing. Included in the regular papers are ones describing the experience of applying functional programming to real problems, which is described in more detail below.

Tools and Applications started in 2006. This category covers the development of software tools using functional programming and how they may be applied. Colin Runciman manages the refereeing and decision making.

Commercial Uses of Functional Programming started in 2007. This includes papers explaining and describing the direct use of functional programming in industrial or commercial situations. Lennart Augustsson manages the refereeing and decision making.

The Education track of JFP, handled by Shriram Krishnamurthi, solicits papers on innovations and experiences in functional programming education.
Papers can range from describing courses and approaches, to discussing pithy examples (such as pearls), and can include tutorials. The focus should always be on pedagogic aspects, especially reporting on experiences and lessons, rather than dwelling primarily on technical aspects.
Indeed, education track papers are not required to have any technical innovation at all.

Tutorial Papers present a topic of interest to the Functional Programming community in an illuminating and accessible manner. While a tutorial paper need not make an original scientific contribution, like research papers do, it usually presents (a sequence of) ideas in a novel and insightful way. In contrast to other contributions, timing plays an important role for tutorials. An ideal tutorial explains and summarizes a series of papers on an emergent research topic before textbooks for graduate students appear and pre-empt it. Indeed, authors of tutorials may wish to think of tutorial papers as extended and refined graduate textbook proposals. Finally, an effective tutorial needs serious attending to writing, all the way from the top-level organization down to the low-level details. A well-organised tutorial introduces the research topic gradually, starting from knowledge that all first-year PhD students ought to have. It presents the ideas in a coherent manner and probably ends with a survey of how the presented ideas relate to recent results. At the same time, the writing should be so engaging that the reader will find it hard to put the paper down.

Functional Pearls are short (typically 4-10 pages), well-rounded papers describing some clever programming idea. Ralf Hinze is the editor responsible for Functional Pearls. Similarly Theoretical Pearls handled by Robert Harper, are short papers that deal with a specific theoretical issue of relevance to functional programming.

Book reviews are solicited and edited by Simon Thompson.

Special issues of JFP have been a successful way of attracting a group of high-quality papers on a particular topic. We invite a Guest Editor or Editors to edit the issue, but one of the permanent Editors plays an "uncle" role. The Guest Editor writes and circulates an open Call for Papers, received submissions, and evaluates them with the help of referees. The Editors-in-Chief are open to proposals for Special Issues any time.

JFP encourages authors of workshop and conference papers to submit enhanced versions of the same work to JFP. Typically, the version submitted to JFP should contain additional discussion, examples, or proofs. Only if a workshop or conference paper is exceptionally well presented and complete is it suitable for journal publication without significant revision. If another publisher holds copyright on an earlier version of an article, the enhanced version must differ sufficiently so that the author can assign copyright to CUP.

Practice and experience papers

Research and papers on practice and experience sometimes receive less attention because they are perceived as possessing less academic content. So we want to remind potential authors that we have published a number of papers on this topic in the past, and have recently introduced three new categories: Education (started in 2003),Tools and Applications (started in 2006), and Commercial Uses of Functional Programming (started in 2007), which are described above. Authors are encouraged to submit papers in these categories, or on any topic related to the use of functional programming to solve real-world problems. Such papers don't have to make novel contributions to either functional programming or to the application area, but they do have to involve functional programming ideas in a central and critical way. An application may be of interest because of (rather than in spite of) being entirely straightforward, since others might hesitate to write a similar application in a functional language without evidence that it would be tractable.

Such papers should clearly summarise their contributions:
- Is there a new technique -- or is the point that the application is straightforward, and no new technique is required?
- Did it make a difference writing in a functional style -- or could the same application be written the same way in an imperative language?
- What lessons were learned?Were there any reusable programming techniques? And so on.

In general, the paper must give an account of the application area that would be regarded as well-informed, up to date, and accurate by an expert in that field.

These sorts of papers can be hard to get published in conferences, because they tend to be a little long, and because they may not report crisp new research results. JFP is delighted to publish them, provided they meet the criteria above. So write on!

How to submit a paper to JFP

Manuscripts for consideration for the Journal of Functional Programming should be submitted electronically, using the Manuscript Central System. This system will allow authors to benefit from faster review and earlier, online publication. The system will accept PDF files; most other files types will be automatically converted directly into PDF. Source files are required for any paper accepted for publication. Authors who are unable to submit online should contact the Editorial Office for assistance.

Authors may want to consult the guidelines we offer to JFP referees to get an idea of the criteria that will be applied by referees.

Submission of a paper is taken to imply that it has not been previously published and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors should inform the editor of any related papers submitted or published elsewhere. Upon acceptance of a paper, the author will be asked to transfer copyright to the publisher.

Following acceptance of the paper, your final submission should include both the PDF for the paper, and a directory containing all the LaTeX source files, including any supporting style files, figures, etc.

You are also encouraged to supply supporting material for your paper which JFP will make permanently accessible over the Web. (See Web-accessible accompanying material for your paper for more details.)

Electronic manuscripts

The publisher encourages submission of manuscripts written in LaTeX which can be used for direct typesetting. Authors can download LaTeX styles here (zip file). The site contains a README file that describes what is available, a user's guide, and a class file which must not be edited. Associated style files should also be supplied on acceptance even though they are in general use. In case of difficulties obtaining these files, there is a help-line available via e-mail. If you have trouble with JFP style, the publisher may be able to accept Plain TeX, or plain LaTeX or AMS TeX in article style.

On final acceptance of a paper, send the TeX source code to the editor by e-mail. Where possible, artwork and diagrams should be supplied as eps files rather than left in the TeX source. The publisher reserves the right to typeset any article by conventional means if the author's TeX code presents problems in production.

Layout of manuscripts

Manuscripts should begin with an abstract of not more than 300 words.
Please avoid footnotes whenever possible. Papers should conform to a good standard of English prose: please consult a style guide such as 'The Elements of Style' by Strunk and White, Macmillan, New York. It is encouraged to present programs in one of two styles: either with identifiers in italic and keywords in bold, or entirely in fixed-width teletype font. Do not begin a sentence with a symbol or identifier name.

Please supply Web URLs for the home page of each of the authors of the paper. These are used when generating the JFP bibliography and author index. People searching the JFP indexes will then be able to find their way to your home page easily.


The Harvard system of references should be used. Citations are by author's surname and year of publication, and may stand either as a noun phrase (e.g., "Curry (1933)") or as a parenthetical note (e.g., "(Curry 1933)"). List references at the end of the text in alphabetical order. A typical entry is: Curry, H. B. (1933) Apparent variables from the standpoint of mathematical logic, /Ann. of Math/., *34* (2): 381-404.
For LaTeX users, view theJFP Bibtex stylefor formats references in the appropriate style.


Illustrations should be supplied as ps or eps files, not as raw TeX files. They should be sized so as not to exceed the page width of the journal. Wherever possible they will be reproduced with the author's original lettering. If electronic files are not available, then figures should be supplied as hardcopy: originals of figures should not be sent until the paper has been accepted, and a list of captions should be attached separately.

Proof Reading

Please submit papers in their final form. Typographical or factual errors only may be changed at proof stage. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non-typographical errors. No page charge is made.

JFP's policy is to follow the spelling convention (American or British) of the author(s).

Copyright matters

On publication, authors must assign copyright of their paper to Cambridge University Press. Notwithstanding the assignment of copyright in their contribution, all contributors retain the following non-transferable rights:

* The right to (continue to) post the contribution on their personal or departmental web page, provided the first screen contains the statement that the paper has been accepted for publication in Journal of Functional Programming published by Cambridge University Press, together with the appropriate copyright notice. On publication the full bibliographical details (volume: issue number (date), page numbers) must be inserted after the journal title.

* The right to make hard copies of the contribution or an adapted version for their own purposes, including the right to make multiple copies for course use by their students, provided no sale is involved.

* The right to reproduce the paper or an adapted version of it in any volume of which they are editor or author. Permission will automatically be given to the publisher of such a volume, subject to normal acknowledgment.

Web-accessible accompanying material for your paper

For some (but not all) papers it may be useful to accompany the paper with source code, data, proofs, or other material, in web-readable form. Find out more about accompanying material here.


No paper offprints are provided but the corresponding author will be sent a freely-accessible link to a pdf of the published article.

Incremental Publishing and DOIs

The Journal of Functional Programming now publishes articles incrementally online as soon as author corrections have been completed and before they join a printed issue. A new reference has now been added to the first page of the article in the journal catchline. This is the DOI -- the Digital Object Identifier. This is a global publishers standard. A unique DOI number is created for each published item. It can be used for citation purposes instead of Volume, issue and page numbers. It therefore suits the early citation of articles which are published on the web before they have appeared in a printed issue.

© Cambridge University Press 2009.