Open Access Policy

International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (IJ-SoTL) is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of all articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

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Review Process

For the journal’s full review process, see the Review Process page.

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General Submission Rules

IJ-SoTL exists to help promote an evidence-based, collegial, public approach to teaching and learning that continuously builds a body of understanding and knowledge. Anyone from any program, discipline or field may submit an original manuscript to be considered for publication in IJ-SoTL provided the author owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article.

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to IJ-SoTL, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at IJ-SoTL. If you have concerns about the submission terms for IJ-SoTL, please contact the editors.

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Areas of Submission

Submissions in the following areas may be made at any time during the posted submission window.

  • Research articles (3,000 - 8,000 words) IJ-SoTL focuses upon original research about teaching and learning topics in higher/tertiary education. The results of the research are to be analyzed and evaluated for their meanings, implications, and applications for the improvement of student learning.
  • Essays (2,000 - 5,000 words) Essays on such topics as how SoTL can directly improve student learning outcomes; how SoTL has transformed an academic community/culture; the connections between SoTL and other forms of scholarship; how best to integrate SoTL into higher education; the problems and benefits of international collaboration in doing SoTL and applying the results to college teaching (classroom, online, or in combination)

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Format & Style Guidelines

  • Use APA format as found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th Edition, for headings, citations, references.
  • Before you begin, please be sure you have the following items:
    • Article Title
    • An abstract (separate from the article body 100-150 words)
    • Keywords for your article (4-6)
    • Article in one of the following formats: Microsoft Word or RTF
    • Brief biographical sketch for each author
  • Document Structure:
    • Introduction
    • Subsequent sections of the body of the article
    • References
    • Appendices (if any)
  • Do not include a title page or abstract. (Begin the document with the introduction; a title page, including the abstract, will be added to your paper by the editor.)
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editor.
  • The name(s) of the author(s) should not appear in the original submission of the manuscript.
  • All submissions are to be in English. Please avoid using colloquialisms and regional terminology that may be unknown to an international audience.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word, RTF, or PDF files are accepted).
  • Page size should be 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with left justified.
  • Use 12 point Verdana font for the body of the text.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.
  • The text of a manuscript should be divided in headings (not more than three levels deep).
  • Notes, citations, and suggested sources should be placed at the end of the submission in APA format.
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript.

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Additional Formatting Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be at least 2 em-spaces. Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below.

Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented).

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use formal English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides exist as well.

Colored text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.).

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. The use of color to emphasize text is discouraged.


Whenever possible, titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.

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Copyright & Licensing Terms

All articles published in IJ-SoTL are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Authors retain all copyrights without restrictions, and agree to the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license for their work as a condition of publication.

End users' rights under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license are outlined here. For all other purposes, permission must be obtained from the author.

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Plagiarism Policy

IJ-SoTL may use Similarity Check, a multi-publisher initiative, to selectively screen article submissions for originality. Similarity Check uses the iThenticate software, which checks submissions against millions of published research papers (the Similarity Check database), documents on the web, and other relevant sources. These submitted papers are not retained in the Similarity Check system after they have been checked.

Read more at Crossref's Similarity Check & Researchers page.

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Charges & Fees

IJ-SoTL levies no submission charges, or charges or fees for publication of accepted articles.

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