Call for new JLS editor(s) for 2021–2024

As previously announced, the International Society of the Learning Sciences is searching for the new Editor(s) of Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS) for 2021–2024. We are extending the deadline for letters of intent to February 17, 2020. Please see the remainder of the updated request for proposals below. 

Applications will be welcomed either by an individual for the position of sole Editor or by a team for the position of Co-Editors. JLS is a leading international journal and as such applications are encouraged from members of ISLS from any nation. The position provides the person(s) chosen, as well as the host institution(s), with international visibility in the learning sciences. Letters of intent to apply are due February 17, 2020, and full proposals are due March 15, 2020, as described in the call below. You can download a PDF version of the call at:

1. Responsibilities of the Position of JLS Editor(s)

High Levels of Organization and Management

The successful applicant(s) should show evidence of being able to administer the flow of manuscripts submitted to JLS each year and to process them in an effective manner.


Editor(s) should:

  • Have a clear vision and demonstrate promise for innovative and creative leadership to ensure that JLS will continue to be a premier journal. This vision should be consistent with the vision of ISLS (see, and of JLS (see
  • Be committed to a diversity of methods of research and ensure that the review process remains international so as to reflect multiple perspectives and diversity.
  • Embrace the journal’s commitment to stimulating the international learning sciences community’s discourse through outreach and community engagement

Personal and Professional Qualifications

Editor(s) should:

  • Have the ability to work with an Editorial Board and reviewers to maintain the high quality of manuscripts published in JLS.
  • Have a strong commitment to maintaining the high quality of manuscripts that are published in the Journal.
  • Possess skills in computer technology to work within the online submission and review system, ScholarOne Manuscripts, which is maintained by Taylor & Francis.

Presence in the Learning Sciences

In order to sustain JLS’s role as an official publication of ISLS, Editors should have a strong history of scholarship in the learning sciences, and presence in ISLS, as evidenced by qualities such as:

  • Be active member(s) of ISLS with high visibility within the organization (e.g., attending and presenting at conferences regularly).
  • Be active participant(s) in the JLS editorial process such as service in the JLS editorial leadership or editorial board, or extensive experience with reviewing.
  • Be a respected scholar(s) in learning sciences, have a strong research record of publication in high-quality journals, and possess excellent writing and editing skills.

Journal Production and Responsibilities

  • Producing 5 issues of JLS per year (per volume) comprising 880 journal pages annually.
  • JLS’ editorial and review process is managed via an electronic submission and review system. Editors will need access to computer and network facilities that enable efficient and secure operation with this system (e.g., network firewall).
  • Solicit and nominate ISLS members for the Editorial Board when required.
  • Manage over 175 manuscripts each year.
  • Conduct extensive correspondence with authors, reviewers, and the Taylor & Francis publication and production staff.

Institutional Commitments

The editorial role requires a significant time commitment, so many institutions support this role through reduced course load, provision of personnel hours for journal or other tasks, committee-assignment release, or similar means of support.
If possible, obtain a written commitment of support from your institution, in which the type of institutional support that will be provided during your term as Editor-in-Chief is specified.

Taylor & Francis Commitments

Financial support (currently US$28,000) is provided by Taylor & Francis to cover editorial expenses, which may include: support for staff such as a graduate student assistant and/or an administrative aide; computer equipment and software; and travel.

2. Term of Office

The Editor(s) have a 5-year term. In these five years, the Editor(s) first transition into the role, then edit the journal for four volumes (four years) and finally participate in a transition period assisting the subsequent new Editor(s). The incoming JLS Editor(s) will begin the initial transition during the Summer of 2020, with the assistance of the current Editors. The current Editor(s) will work with the incoming Editor(s) through June 2021. The incoming Editor(s) will be fully responsible for volumes 30 (in 2021), 31, 32, and 33 and will be listed on the cover for these volumes (outgoing editors appear on the cover as Past Editors for volume 30). Issue 1 of volume 30 is due to the publisher by early December, 2020. Responsibilities as Editor(s) including transition into the role and assisting subsequent editors will be from May 2020 through June 2025.

3. Application Process and Deadlines

The application process involves an initial letter of intent, and if invited to submit, a subsequent full proposal.

Letter of intent is due Monday, February 17, 2020.

The letter of intent should be sent to Dr. Joseph Polman, Chair of the JLS Editor Search Committee at [email protected]. The letter of intent should:

  • Be no longer than 1 page.
  • Include full contact information including an email address.
  • The letter serves as a way of briefly introducing yourself and your qualifications for an Editor position for one of the flagship journals of ISLS, and a premier journal for the learning sciences community. For example, you may wish to indicate prior editorial experience, leadership positions, and related activities in the learning sciences community. You may also briefly indicate your reasons for being interested in the position.
  • (As attachment) Curriculum vitae for all Editor(s)

Letters of intent will be evaluated by the committee and invitations to submit a full proposal will be sent within two weeks

Full Application (proposal) is due Sunday March 15, 2020.

The complete proposal for JLS Editor should be submitted to Dr. Joseph Polman, Chair of the JLS Editor Search Committee at [email protected] in a single Adobe (.pdf) file.
The full application should include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Your vision for JLS (see below)
  2. Proposed management structure and procedures (see below)
  3. Curriculum vitae for all Editor(s)
  4. Names of three persons who may serve as professional references
  5. Institutional letter of support specifying any form(s) of support and duration.

If you are submitting a team application, please submit a joint application, but include letters of support and references for each team member.
In regards to vision and management structure applicants are requested to address, but are not limited, to the following:

A. Your vision for JLS

Each applicant should indicate very clearly the vision, innovation, and creative leadership that will be provided, thereby ensuring JLS continues to be a premier journal.

  • What will you do to further enhance the reputation beyond the status it already enjoys?
  • What is your view/vision of learning sciences research over the next five years?
  • How will this view/vision affect how you plan to manage JLS?
  • Are there aspects of JLS that you would wish to change and what new approaches are you considering that may move JLS forward? In the last few years, for instance, the journal initiated an annual best paper prize and annual reviewer recognition, and has developed stronger social media and web presences.
  • Outreach and community engagement
  • How will you pursue publishing a diversity of approaches to research, diversity in topics of research, and diversity in the authors published?
  • How will you ensure that the review process remains international, so as to reflect multiple perspectives and diversity?

B. Management structure and procedures

  • What management structure do you envisage for JLS?
  • How would you propose using the budget provided by Taylor & Francis funding and any commitments provided by your own institutions, especially with regard to staffing and editorial assistance?
  • How will you structure the relationship between the Editor(s) and Associate Editor(s)? Will you be the sole Editor and have support from Associate Editors?
  • If you are applying as a team, how will you manage the coordination between the co-editors? What will be the specific logistics of review and editorial decisions?
  • Please describe your proposed structure and procedures to minimize the time required for editorial review while maintaining the quality of the journal.
  • Please specify the names, institutions, departments, and specialties of any new Associate Editors you could approach to replace existing Associate Editors as they reach the end of their terms.

4. Additional information

Interested persons are encouraged to discuss the nature of this position informally with the Chair of the JLS Editor Search Committee, Dr. Joseph Polman, the current editors (Dr. Susan Yoon and Dr. Jan van Aalst) or past journal editors. Inquiries can also be sent to[email protected].
The search committee will evaluate the applications, and make a recommendation to the ISLS board. The ISLS board will vote to ratify this recommendation. Applications will be evaluated based on criteria that correspond to the components of the application:

  • Vision for JLS, proposed direction and foci, with respect to the future of learning sciences over the next five years; understanding of relevant cognate areas; commitment to publishing a diversity of styles of research with methodological pluralism
  • Evidence of potential for creative leadership/innovation to realize the vision outlined above
  • Evidence for ensuring that JLS is an international journal
  • Editor(s)’ personal and professional qualifications
  • Editor(s)’ scholarly and participation/service presence in LS/ISLS
  • Quality of Editorial Team (Editors and Associate Editors) in terms of scholarship, publication record, writing and editing skills
  • Management structure and procedures, including evidence / experience of working collaboratively / effectively with teams
  • Institutional commitment for supporting the JLS editorial and production process

A decision on this search will be announced by ISLS in May, 2020.

Journal of the Learning Sciences 2021-2024 Editor Search Committee

Joe Polman, University of Colorado Boulder (Chair), USA
Ming Ming Chiu, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Kris Gutiérrez, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Victor Lee, Stanford University, USA
Susan McKenney, University of Twente, Netherlands
Jan van Aalst, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Susan Yoon, University of Pennsylvania, USA

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