Guidelines for Authors

May 2023


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 within a Community of Practices approach. Contributors come together under the leadership of the co-editors to share their proposals, research interests and plans with each other, and discuss and respond to each other’s research and writing as it develops. Later contributors exchange incomplete 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?

Finalising Your Writing for Publication

We encourage writers to write in an “I” voice and to ground your research in your practices. The final versions of your articles will be 5,000 and 8,000 words, excluding References and Appendices. Other genres of writing will vary in length and be negotiated case by case.

For in-text citations and references, the LDJ follows the APA style of formatting. As you finalise your writing, it helps to be familiar with basic APA referencing guidelines as explained in the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual (2020).

From LDJ6 onwards the LDJ is assigning a DOI to each text published in an issue of the LDJ. This means that you will need to provide DOIs for every reference in your reference list (unless the work in question does not have a DOI). This webpage provides an APA explanation about DOIs. To check whether a publication has been assigned a DOI or not, use the “Search Metadata” option on this webpage:

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 drafts will need to include:

  1. Title
  2. Author(s)
  3. Affiliation(s) & contact email address
  4. Abstract in English
  5. Abstract in Japanese
  6. Keywords in English
  7. Keywords in Japanese
  8. Text (can be multimodal)
  9. Author bio(s)
  10. References (following the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, 2020).

Other features such as an abstract and keywords in a third language other than English and Japanese may be required for particular issues of the LDJ.