Guidelines for JALT authors
The Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching (JALT) has no author submission charges. It also does not have author processing charges (APCs) or any other charges to its authors. In fact, JALT prides itself to be completely free to its authors as well as its readers.
Submission preparation checklist
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
- The submission file is in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or RTF document file format.
- APA 7 referencing is used.
- The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
- Submission is according to Article Classification.
Contact Details for Submission
Authors are requested to submit their papers electronically by using the Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching website (https://journals.sfu.ca/jalt). This site will guide authors stepwise through the submission process (see above). Authors are requested to submit the text, tables, and artwork in electronic form.
Alternatively or in addition, authors are most welcome to email their submissions directly to the Editor-in-chief at: email@example.com.
During submission, you will be required to classify your work under one of the following sections as deemed appropriate according to the descriptions provided below.
Peer-reviewed articles: Research that addresses best academic practices (including, but not limited to, learning and teaching, instructional practices, curriculum design, assessment and measurement, educational policy, educational technology, and learning sciences) across a variety of disciplines; conundrums; applied techniques; and skills aimed at increasing the effectiveness of learning within the compounds of the higher education learning and teaching space. In addition to empirical research, JALT is also open to conceptual papers and literature reviews.
Interviews. JALT publishes interviews with educational thought leaders (and other people of public interest). Typically, the interviews are recorded, transcribed, and edited in co-operation with the interviewee. The educational thought leader (the interviewee) is the first author, subsequent authors are interviewers and colleagues involved in doing research for, and editing the, interview.
Educational Technology Reviews: A review of educational technology covering and evaluating what technology had been used and in what form (software/hardware) to enhance learning, the effectiveness and challenges of the aforementioned technology in the different learning and teaching environments, personal experience and user friendliness and navigation for both learners and teachers and the aesthetic value of the product.
Informed journalistic articles: these are articles that may be on the shorter side (1,000 to 3,000 words – though they could also be longer) that may not meet the rigorous standards of a peer-reviewed article and most likely, never intended to meet them in the first place. This section is open to experiential exercises, case studies, opinion pieces, and humourous pieces, amongst many other possibilities.
Book reviews: One of the important features of JALT is the review of current books that contribute to the literature of Higher and Adult Education. Book reviews are to cover and evaluate what the book is about, the expertise of the author, how well the book covers its topic and whether it breaks new ground, the author’s viewpoint, methodology, or perspective, the appropriateness of the evidence to the topical scope of the book, the intended audience and the arrangement of the book (chapters, illustrations) and the quality of the scholarly apparatus, such as notes and bibliographies.
While a universal template for book reviews may be regarded as stifling our book reviewers’ creativity, we offer a possible outline further below (that can also be regarded as a checklist) for book reviewers to consider as they prepare their review. We are open to alternative structures.
Review policy (for peer-reviewed submissions)
Academic articles that are submitted to JALT are double blind peer-reviewed by reviewers who are expert in the field and not part of the journal’s editorial staff. Neither does JALT guarantee manuscript acceptance nor very short peer review times. From paper submission to pre-publication of peer-reviewed articles, the average time is 15 weeks (after an article’s pre-publication, it will of course still be included in the semiannual issues – with the only difference being the pagination). Other contributed articles (such as interviews, ed-tech reviews, informed journalistic articles and book reviews) are not usually peer-reviewed (the time from paper submission to pre-publication is thus usually shorter, when compared to the peer-reviewed articles, with the average time being around eight weeks). Nevertheless, they may be peer-reviewed at the discretion of the editors.
The point of double blind peer review is to reduce bias during the review process. While anonymity of the authors ends upon publication of the work, anonymity of the reviewers’ identity in a double blind peer review process typically continues after publication.
In line with JALT’s double blind reviewing policy, authors should use separate pages for all identifying information (name, affiliation etc.). Please replace all references to the author in the main paper with "Author, 2003", "Author et al, 2006", etc. In the reference list, use the format "Author 2003 [details removed for peer review]".
To further facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): this should include the title, authors' names and affiliations, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Blinded manuscript (no author details): the main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.
Preparation of article submission and style guide
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Italics are not to be used for expressions of Latin origin, for example, in vivo, et al., per se. Use decimal points (not commas); use a space for thousands (10 000 and above). Proofreading is solely the authors’ responsibility.
Use of word processing software
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc.
When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns.
To avoid unnecessary errors, you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.
Peer-reviewed article structure
The following suggested structure is not cast in stone, but would normally be adhered to (with variations) for articles based on empirical research. Alternatively, this suggested structure can also be used as a checklist. Importantly, JALT is also open to conceptual papers and literature reviews.
Present purposes of the study and provide background for your work.
Present explicit international connections for relevant ideas and explain the theoretical underpinnings and key concepts of your paper, outlining linkages to relevant scholarly work in your field of research.
Methods / methodology (conceptual papers would not have this section)
Provide sufficient detail to allow the context of the work to be thoroughly understood and/or for the work to be reproduced. Provide sufficient detail for readers to understand how you engaged in your inquiry. Clear descriptions of your context and participants along with strategies used to collect and analyse data should be described. Ethical aspects also require discussion.
Analysis and discussion (conceptual papers may not have this section)
Results should be clear and concise.
Conclusions and recommendations
This section should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. Combining your results and discussion into a single section may be suitable. Returning to relevant literature from the introduction should show how your work connects with or interrupts already published literature.
For a peer-reviewed article template, please click here.
If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc.
The word limit for a research article is 8 000, excluding tables and references, and we ask that the word count should usually be between 3 000 and 8 000 words. Authors will be asked to enter the word count of their manuscript upon submission.
Please ensure that your references are APA (7th ed.) compliant, and that you have referenced your work thoroughly, or your paper will be returned to you for further editing.
Essential Title Page Information (all papers)
- Author names, designations and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' designations and affiliations below the names. Provide the e-mail address of each author.
- Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
- A concise and factual abstract is required (maximum length of 200 words). The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, references are normally avoided. Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.
- Concise, informative, and incorporating as many of the keywords as possible to bring your work to the top of searches; titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible. Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of six keywords, avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, "and", "of"). These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.
Abbreviations and acknowledgements
- Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.
- Collate acknowledgements at the end of the article. You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement, then this should be stated.
- Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
- Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
- Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
- Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
- Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
- Provide captions to illustrations separately.
- Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
- Submit each illustration as a separate file.
Electronic artwork should be created in a Microsoft Office application where possible (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and, if so, please supply 'as is' in the native document format. Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalised, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below): EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts. TIFF (or JPEG): Colour or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi. TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi. TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi. Please do not:
- supply files that are optimised for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
- supply files that are too low in resolution;
- submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.
Colour artwork, figure captions & tables
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution.
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.
Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid shading in table cells.
Revision time and international comprehensibility
Revision Time. Should authors be requested by the editors to revise their text, unless otherwise agreed, the first revised version should be submitted within 30 days or will be regarded as a new submission. Unless there is a different agreement between editors and authors, any further revisions should be submitted within 14 days or will be regarded as a new submission.
International Comprehensibility. Please note that every paper must be comprehensible to an international audience. National colloquialisms and idiomatic use of language should therefore be avoided to the extent possible. You are strongly advised to consult a recent copy of the journal to familiarise yourself with layout and conventions.
Book review structure
Heading and reviewer. Author(s), Title in full, Year of publication, Place, Publisher, date of publication, edition (where applicable). Followed by name of reviewer, designation and institutional affiliation.
Introduction. The review should begin with an introduction to the topic and an overview of the content of the book. What is your main point in presenting this review? Describe the background and qualifications of the author. Who is the author’s intended audience? What is the author’s aim? What is the author’s main thesis?
Organisation / structure & findings. What is the organisation / structure of the book? What are the main findings and conclusions? How accurate and current is the information presented? How well does the development of the author’s thesis book draw on supporting ideas, arguments, documentation, and/or evidence? Does the evidence support the conclusions?
Critical evaluation. How current is the information presented? How effective is the author’s method of developing the information? What is your assessment of the book’s strengths and weaknesses? How does it compare with comparable works? Does the book make a meaningful contribution to the literature? What are your overall comments and conclusions about the book? Why or why not would you recommend the book to others? What is your overall assessment of the book?
Citations and word count. When quoting from the book, add the page number in brackets immediately following the quote. The word count would normally be between 1,000 – 2,000 words, but longer reviews will also be considered.
The JALT website would have the answers to most questions. In addition, you are welcome to contact the Editor-in-chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All articles published by JALT are subject to rigorous ethical standards. JALT endorses the Code of Conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). This section on publication ethics includes the following subsections:
- Authorship and contributorship
- Complaints and appeals;
- Identification of and dealing with allegations of misconduct’
- Conflicts of interest / competing interests;
- Data sharing and reproducibility;
- Policy on ethical oversight;
- Intellectual property, republication and plagiarism policies; and
- Options for post-publication discussions and corrections.
Authorship and contributorship
Clear policies that allow for transparency around who contributed to the work and in what capacity are in place for requirements for authorship and contributorship as well as processes for managing potential disputes. Listing the authors tells readers who did the work and should ensure that the right people get the credit, and take responsibility, for the research. “All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed” (The Cope Report, 2003).
JALT subscribes to the guidance from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:
“Authorship credit should be based only on: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions (1), (2), and (3) must all be met. Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship.”
Thus, both ‘gift authorship’ (people are listed as authors but did not make a significant contribution to the research) and ‘ghost authorship’ (authors made a significant contribution, but are not listed as authors) should be avoided. Clerical or mechanical contributions or provision of financial support are not grounds for ascribing authorship but may instead be acknowledged in the Acknowledgements section at the bottom of the main text (before the References). Persons who contributed to the work (but who do not qualify as authors) should be named in the Acknowledgments, and what they did, should be described.
Complaints and appeals
JALT has a process for handling complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board or publisher. When submitting a complaint, as many details as necessary should be submitted via email (email@example.com). The Editor-in-chief follows the guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE), and decides on a course of action and provides feedback to the complainant. The complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and an investigation will be carried out. The duration needed to resolve the issue will depend on its severity.
In the case that an author feels strongly that an inappropriate decision was taken against them, JALT allows for an appeal.
An appeal against the rejection of a manuscript would only be considered if:
- The editors are convinced that the original decision was a serious mistake
- if a convincing case of bias in the process can be demonstrated
Authors who wish to make an appeal can email the Editor-in-chief at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Identification of and dealing with allegations of misconduct
Reasonable steps are taken by both the editorial team and peer reviewers in the identification and prevention of publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred. This include plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. In the event that we are made aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in our journal, we follow the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) guidelines with allegations. Specifically, allegations of misconduct pre-publication and post-publication are taken seriously, and they should be brought to the Editor-in-chief’s attention (email@example.com).
Conflicts of interest / competing interests
Conflict of interest occurs when an editor, author, or reviewer has financial or personal relationship that inappropriately influence their actions. Disclosure of relationships amongst all participants in the peer-review process is to be adhered to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Submitted manuscripts should include full disclosure of funding sources for the research and an explanation of any real or perceived conflicts of interest that may arise during the peer-review process should be included during submission. The editorial team of JALT uses information disclosed in conflict-of-interest and financial-interest statements for editorial decisions.
Examples where a conflict of interest may lead to the rejection of a submission include, but are not limited to: failure to disclose a conflict of interest; biases introduced when sponsors are directly involved in research; or a sponsor has asserted control over the authors’ right to publish.
Data sharing and reproducibility
JALT aims to publish high-quality research, which includes attaining community best practices in the sharing and archiving of research data. JALT’s policy for data sharing and reproducibility allows for the data to be appropriately archived and, where possible, widely accessible. This policy encourages authors to share and make the data underlying their published article publicly available under the condition where there is no violation against the protection of human subjects or other valid subject privacy concerns.
JALT further encourages the authors to include any data that was cited in their paper in the reference list, whether this has been created by the author or someone else. Finally, the authors will be encouraged to include a data availability statement. A data availability statement for data openly available in a public repository that issues datasets with DOIs could follow the following template:
The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name] at [doi], [reference number].
Policy on ethical oversight
Both authors and editors of JALT journal must adhere to the publishing ethics outlined herein at all times. The unethical practices may include, but are not limited to, violations of any of the ethical expectations outlined above, including, plagiarism, authorship falsification, falsification or fabrication of research, redundant or duplicate publication, peer review manipulation, failure to disclose conflicts of interest, violation of data protection, rights to privacy, child protection and/or medical testing on humans and animals. JALT journal follows closely to the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics’ (COPE) guidelines with allegations.
Intellectual property, republication and plagiarism policies
There are no costs whatsoever associated with publishing with JALT.
The editorial team of JALT allows and encourages authors to deposit both their pre- and post-prints in Open Access institutional archives or repositories. The primary benefit of pre- and post-print self-archiving is reaching a larger audience which enhances the visibility and impact of the research of our authors. Pre-prints are defined as the version of the paper before peer review and post-prints as being the version of the paper after peer-review, with revisions having been made. In other words, post-prints are the article as published. The JALT editorial team prefers that authors use the publisher-generated .pdf so as to reflect the professionally produced .pdf that fits with JALT’s own house-style.
The editor may select a specific paper that had been published (e.g. a “historic” paper) for republication to provide a better perspective of a series of papers published in one issue of JALT. This republication shall be clearly identified as such and the date and journal of the original publication shall be given, and the permission of the author(s) and the publisher shall be obtained. In the case of a publication being submitted that was originally published in another language, the title, date, and journal of the original publication must be identified by the authors, and the copyright must be obtained. The editor may accept such a translated publication to bring it to the attention of a wider audience.
All submitted papers will be screened for plagiarism via plagiarism software. The editorial team of the Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching (JALT) recognises that plagiarism is unacceptable and the following policy states the specific actions to be taken if plagiarism is identified in a submitted paper for publication in JALT. Plagiarism involves the use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
Papers must be original, unpublished, and not pending publication elsewhere. Any material taken verbatim from another source needs to be clearly identified as different from the present original text by use of quotation marks and identification of the source.
When plagiarism is identified, the Editor-in-chief and the Associate Editor responsible for the review of this paper will agree on measures according to the extent of plagiarism detected in the paper in agreement with the following guidelines. If the level of plagiarism is insignificant, a warning letter will be issued to the authors with the requirement to change the text and ensure proper citations. If the level of plagiarism is significant, this constitutes a severe case of plagiarism and the submitted article will be rejected and authors prohibited to submit further articles indefinitely. Additional steps may be taken in severe cases of plagiarism.
This policy also applies to self-plagiarism. If an author submits a manuscript to JALT with significant overlap with a manuscript submitted to another journal simultaneously, and this overlap is discovered during the review process or after the publications of both papers, the editor of the other journal is notified and the case is treated as a severe plagiarism case. If an author uses some of their previously published material to clarify the presentation of new results, the previously published material shall be identified and the difference to the present publication shall be mentioned.
Post-publication discussions, corrections and retractions
JALT allows debate post publication through letters to the Editor-in-chief (firstname.lastname@example.org). JALT has mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication.
When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the Editor-in-chief and cooperate with them to retract or correct the paper. Readers and reviewers are also requested to inform the JALT editorial team about any errors. JALT is always willing to publish corrections, clarifications, and apologies when needed.
The editorial team of JALT will consider retracting a publication if there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (e.g, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (e.g, of data) or falsification (e.g, image manipulation); it constitutes plagiarism; the findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (i.e, cases of redundant publication); it contains material or data without authorisation for use; copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy); it reports unethical research; it has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process; the author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers (COPE retraction guidelines, 2019).
While JALT has been fortunate thus far not to have to retract an article, if it should ever happen, then notices of retraction would have to be issued. They should be linked to the retracted article wherever possible (i.e, in all online versions); clearly identify the retracted article (e.g, by including the title and authors in the retraction heading or citing the retracted article); be clearly identified as a retraction (ie, distinct from other types of correction or comment); be published promptly to minimise harmful effects; be freely available to all readers (i.e, not behind access barriers or available only to subscribers); state who is retracting the article; state the reason(s) for retraction; and be objective, factual and avoid inflammatory language (COPE retraction guidelines, 2019).
Privacy and Confidentiality Statement
Our readers’ privacy is important to us. This Privacy and Confidentiality Statement applies to the online collection of personal information on the JALT website. The JALT website also may contain links to websites maintained by others to which this Statement does not apply. The JALT website is not directed at children under the age of 13.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of JALT and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
The reviewers also have rights to confidentiality which must be respected by the Editors. Confidentiality may have to be breached if dishonesty or fraud is alleged but otherwise must be honoured. The manuscripts must be reviewed while respecting authors’ confidentiality. Authors’ rights must not be violated by disclosing confidential details during a review of their manuscript. The manuscripts sent for peer review are privileged communication and are the private property of the authors. JALT reviewers and editorial team must respect the authors’ rights by avoiding publicly discussing the authors’ works or appropriating their ideas before the manuscripts are published.