JLS Resources

Reviewers Explain the Review Process at JLS

Both reviewing and making use of reviews are important aspects of being an academic. In this video series we interviewed experienced learning scientists about their reviewing. If you’re a new reviewer view these videos to learn about the reviewing culture at JLS. If you’re already experienced, pick up a few new ideas.

Topics include why scholars decide to review, how they approach the task, the key issues that go into their recommendations, communicating with authors, and tips for new reviewers.

Meet the JLS Reviewers

Preparing your manuscript

  • NEW! Changes to APA style: From May 2020, all new manuscripts are required to follow APA style 7th edition. There are many changes to referencing and style. View this video from Scribbr to get up to speed.
  • NEW! The structured abstract: Almost all manuscripts that eventually are accepted need substantial work in framing the argument and clarifying the contribution to the field. We introduced the structured abstract to encourage authors to think more deeply about these aspects of their article, especially the background and contribution components:
    • Background: This should make clear why the study was done–e.g., the problem it addresses–and why this is relevant to the learning sciences. A new study should build onto the existing learning-sciences literature, establish new directions, and so on. It’s crucial for new authors to be aware of the current developments and debates in the field.
    • Contribution: This is not a statement of what has been discovered empirically (which is summarised in the “Findings” component), but rather why these findings matter to the field. What is newsworthy about the study? Why are future studies likely to refer to this one? When an article is newsworthy it can be picked up by the media, as happened in Time Magazine when Manu Kapur and Katerine Bielaczyc published an article in JLS in 2012. (View the news article). On 04/14/2020 the JLS article had 136 Web of science citations and an Altmetric score of 36. The JLS editors can help to nominate an article for attention by news media if it is newsworthy.

After your article is published

JLS uses two strategies to promote your newly published article. The strategies are:

  • video iconVideo Introductions: A video intro is a 3 minute video to summarize the key contributions of your article. Ideally it has a mix of you speaking and graphics displaying content. Contact us if you’d like JLS to edit your video. See the video below for example. Video introductions can greatly enhance the visibility of your paper.
  • webinar iconWebinars: A webinar is an online seminar in which you discuss your article with interested audiences. Usually, the author invites a panel to respond to the paper, and the audience interacts with the author and the panel. Email the JLS Web outreach coordinator if you would like to share a video or host a webinar.
    • April 4, 2018: “How does political identity shape how learners engage with climate science?”
      Author: Elizabeth Walsh. Panel members: Joe Henderson, Asli Sezen-Barrie, and Veronica Cassone McGowan.
      FULL VIDEO
    • April 24, 2018: “When form follows fantasy: Lessons for learning scientists from modernist architecture and urban planning.”
      Author: D. Kevin O’Neill. Panel members: Rogers Hall, Brian Smith, and Josh Radinsky.
      TEASER | FULL VIDEO
    • July 13, 2018: “Why Ideology Matters for Learning: A Case of Ideological Convergence in an Engineering Ethics Classroom Discussion on Drone Warfare”
      Authors: Thomas M. Philip, Ayush Gupta, Chandra Turpen. Panel members: Philip Bell, Miwa Takeuchi, Donna Riley, Flávio S Azevedo.
      FULL VIDEO
    • August 16, 2018: “Co-Organizing the Collective Journey of Inquiry with Idea Thread Mapper”
      Authors: Jianwei Zhang, Mei-Hwa Chen. Panel members: Keith Sawyer, Kate Bielaczyc, Carol Chan, Teo Chew Lee.
      FULL VIDEO
    • May 8, 2019: “Designing Educational Video Games to Be Objects-to-Think-With”
      Author: Nathan Holbert. Panel members: Matthew Berland and Cynthia D’Angelo.
      FULL VIDEO
    • Nov 13, 2019: “Teacher–Student Dialogue During Classroom Teaching: Does It Really Impact on Student Outcomes?”
      Authors: Christine Howe, Sara Hennessy, Neil Mercer. Panel members: Antonia Larrain and Christa Asterhan.
      ARTICLE INTRO | FULL VIDEO