TESL-EJ Tips for Authors

Important Note

TESL-EJ does not charge a fee for publication. If you decide to submit to another journal and not TESL-EJ, you should be aware of the rise of predatory journals charging large fees for publication without appropriate quality control. The blog http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/ keeps an up-to-date list of such predatory publishers. Read before you submit to another journal, especially if they are asking for a fee.

Tips for Submission of Full-Length Articles

The Editors of TESL-EJ are happy to receive so many submissions. The interest in the journal is enormous, and growing. If you wish to submit a full-length manuscript to the journal, you will increase your chances of being published if you keep the following in mind:

The Abstract: The potential of your article will be judged on the quality of your abstract. Spend time with it and make sure it is an excellent representation of your work before you submit it. It should be 200 words or less. Overly long abstracts will be rejected without reading them. The editors expect that the abstract will clearly state:

  • the problem and/or the purpose of the study
  • the research methodology
  • the findings
  • implications of the study

Your abstract should appear at the top of your manuscript, underneath the title. You will also be asked to submit the abstract, along with other personal data in the “metadata” section of the submission process.

The Title: The title should be descriptive, not overly long, and should capture the essence of your research in an interesting way.

General structure: Your article should clearly specify your research question or hypothesis, the number and type of subjects, your research methodology, and your conclusions, including implications for classroom practice or curriculum change. It should mention how generalizable the results are, as well as directions for future research.

The Literature Review: The Literature review need only deal with the background that it relevant to your paper. It should provide the readers with sufficient information to your research question and why there is a need for the study. It should help the reader make good sense of your findings even if the reader is not a specialist in your area of research.

Formatting and Technical Issues: It goes without saying that the manuscript should be free of errors in spelling and grammar. Format your references with second and subsequent lines indented. Do not use spaces or tabs to indent lines. Use the ruler margin controls for this.

Blinding: Your abstract should not contain your name nor your affiliation or explicit reference to any of your related publication. Be sure that your have removed your personal information from the “properties” section of MS Word. See http://tinyurl.com/tesl-ej-reminfo for further details.

Originality: Make sure your submission contributes something new to the field. If you want to challenge an existing theory, offer new research data, or propose a new idea–we want to hear about it. However, if you merely want to show that an existing idea is correct, or to replicate a research project, with results that are the same as found in the original, we hope you’ll do some additional research or thinking before sending it to us.

Surveys: Surveys are a legitimate way to test hypotheses. However, they are limited in what they can do. If you conduct a learner survey, measure your results against some established data or theories: learners are not always the best judges of their own experiences. If you conduct a survey of peers or professionals, be sure that the number of people surveyed is large enough to be statistically significant. And, be sure that you do the appropriate statistical tests.

Classroom Research: We welcome classroom research. However, submissions that merely describe a pedagogical procedure aren’t enough. Please situate your procedure within the current research, and provide experimental procedures and outcomes. Case studies Case studies are a legitimate form of research. However, both the choice of subject and the approach should add a new perspective to our understanding of English language learning.

“Think pieces”:  Research doesn’t necessarily require subjects, surveys, or experiments. But, it does require that an idea is put into a context that will be familiar with readers. Submissions that serve only to put forward an opinion, without substantial grounding in the current research and theory, are unlikely to be accepted for publication.

Commercial Products: Most commercial products, such as software or textbooks, are best evaluated through reviews. (Contact our Media Review Editor or Book Review Editor for more information.) In some circumstances, a commercial product may be evaluated as part of a larger research project. In that case, if the writer is involved with the commercial product used in the research, the strictest application of research principles must be applied in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

Number of submissions: Please submit only one proposal at a time for consideration.

What we don’t publish: As an academic, peer-reviewed journal, there are certain things we don’t accept. These include: press releases, product announcements, conference announcements, or advertising.

Maggie Sokolik, Editor in Chief, TESL-EJ