Manuscript Content Guidelines

The Cybersecurity Skills Journal (CSJ) is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal published by the National CyberWatch Center Digital Press. The goal of CSJ is to stimulate professional discussion and advance the interdisciplinary field of cybersecurity through the publication of scholarly works of value and interest to the profession. CSJ seeks to integrate and expand the methods, processes, and evidence of effective practices which underlie skilled performance. CSJ focuses on valued, measured results; considers the larger system context of people’s performance; and provides valid and reliable measures of effectiveness.

Types of Manuscripts Invited. CSJ emphasizes original work from the following communities of research and practice: process improvement; organizational design and alignment; analysis, evaluation, and measurement; performance management; instructional systems; and management of organizational performance. CSJ will consider literature reviews, experimental studies, survey research, and case studies with a scholarly base. CSJ encourages prospective authors to submit abstracts for consideration before developing a complete manuscript.

An article should be primarily directed towards one of the three audiences of the journal: practitioners, instructors, and researchers and align with the content guidelines below.

Practice. These articles should offer evidence-based guidance to practitioners in the form of techniques, tactics, procedures or tools that demonstrate substantial effectiveness in preventing, mitigating, or resolving cybersecurity risk, threats, or vulnerabilities. A CSJ practice article sufficiently documents the practice such that a reader can follow the procedural guidance to execute the actions necessary for effective application. CSJ prefers practice articles that document a digital asset which can be downloaded by readers to support implementation of the practice.

Instructional design. In CSJ, instructional design articles should provide guidance to instructors as though you were “training the trainer” with the article. In other words, might there be observations or conclusions an instructor should be making about the learner as they proceed with each step to ensure their proficiency in understanding both the concepts involved and the procedure being applied. Some considerations might be:

  • What conceptual understanding is a prerequisite for each step?
  • What misunderstandings (confusion) or misconceptions (confidently held, but mistaken assumptions) may prevent a learner from fully comprehending or performing each step?
  • How would you recommend assessing correct or incorrect understanding of prerequisite or instructed conceptual understanding?
  • If incorrect understanding has occurred with students in the past, or you can imagine lack of prerequisite knowledge, confusion or mistakes that could occur, what additional instructional devices might you recommend should be applied to remediate learning?
  • Are there conditions at any step that might suggest an alternative process or a decision on an approach that might be more effective or less effective at that stage?
  • If the procedure needs to be altered on some conditions, under what situations might these conditions arise?
  • What errors might be expected during the application of the principles and techniques in hands-on practice? How might these errors be detected or manifested? What remediation might be appropriate for each error?
  • How might the understanding and skilled application of the concepts and techniques you are developing through your instruction be further tested in simulations of real-world events, such as in designing an interactive competition?
  • What research is needed to adequately answer any of the above questions or to further improve your instructional design?
  • How might the processes and procedures taught through your instructional design be used to improve cybersecurity practices in the workplace?
  • Are there executable files (e.g., LMS packages, test questions, procedural guides) that have been or could be developed to assist with implementing your instructional design?

Research. These articles should provide evidence from the literature to clearly establish the severity and urgency of the problem being addressed by the practice that was empirically analyzed. The method of designing, implementing and/or evaluating the practice should be clearly specified, with discussion of the Population, Intervention, Comparative measurement, and Outcomes (PICO) achieved in an empirical analysis of effectiveness. Results should be reported with sufficient detail that a reader of the article can determine practice standardized effects, coefficient of determination, or variance explained. Discussion should conclude the article by summarizing the contribution made to cybersecurity practice, any limitations of the study design, and the implications for future research.

Length. Although there is no fixed length, average articles (including tables and figures) are approximately 5,000 to 12,000 words. If you wish to submit a longer manuscript, discuss it with the CSJ editor prior to submission.

Please refer to our Author Guidelines document for complete information on submitting your ideas to CSJ. Our Publication Guidelines document has additional details on formatting and other requirements for accepted manuscripts.

Version 2.4. January, 2020