Guidelines for Authors

The Learner Development Journal (LDJ) seeks to publish new research on questions and puzzles about learner development in context, as well as reviews or recent work and interviews with other researchers and practitioners in the field of learner development.

Each issue of the LDJ is on a special theme with a Call for Proposals going out about 18 months before expected publication.

Developing Your Research and Writing

A major principle of the LDJ is exploratory and collaborative research and writing. Contributors come together under the leadership of the co-editors to share their research plans with each other. Later they exchange first drafts of their writing, respond to each other’s writing, and develop their writing further. Authors also get feedback from members of the LDJ Review Network (here authors can choose open or blind review), as well as from the issue editors, as their work moves towards completion.

As you develop your writing, you will be asked to keep these questions in mind:

1. Interest: Do you catch the reader’s interest?

2. Audience: Do you address peers (teacher-researchers and researchers) interested in learner development issues?

3. Context: How can you create a clear picture of particular learners or particular groups of learners with reference to the learner development issue(s) that you wish to focus on?

4. Voice: How can you communicate to the reader your own sense of “voice”? How can you include other voices (e.g., learners, colleagues, cited work) about the issue(s) you wish to explore?

5. Problematising stance: In what ways can you raise interesting and relevant questions about the issue(s) you wish to focus on, without being descriptive and distant?

6. Specific and clear focus: How can you develop a specific focus of inquiry, and how can you address and explore this with clarity throughout?

7. Reflective sense of learning: How can you construct and reflect on a process of your own learning, as well as that of the participants involved in the research about the issue(s) that is/are focused on?

8. Multi-perspectives: Can you examine the question(s)/ puzzle(s) /issue(s) that you wish to focus on from alternative perspectives, rather than from (a single) conventional viewpoint(s)?

9. Knots: Can you avoid easy answers and try to unravel knots that the writer encounters in the practice, theory, and inquiry?

10. Criticality: By the end, has your paper drawn out key issues, re-framed these, and raised new questions for the reader to take away and consider?

Finalizing Your Writing for Publication

Final versions of research papers will be around 8,000 words, including References, Tables and Figures, but not including Appendixes. Other genres of writing will vary in length and be negotiated case by case.

The LDJ follows the APA style of formatting, so you should aim to follow the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual  as you finalise your writing.

You will need to provide an abstract and keywords for your writing in English and Japanese (the editors can help find a Japanese translator where needed). You will also be requested to provide a short bio of 75 words and your email contact details.

Final versions of research papers will be around 4,000 to 6,000 words, including References, Tables, Figures, and Appendixes. Other genres of writing will vary in length and can be negotiated case by case.

Final drafts must include:

  1. Title
  2. Author(s)
  3. Affiliation(s)
  4. Abstract in English
  5. Abstract in Japanese
  6. Keywords in English
  7. Keywords in Japanese
  8. TEXT
  9. References (following the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual )
  10. Author bio(s)