Structured abstract and article history

JLS will have a new lay-out that the publisher has already implemented for some other journals. This change applies to all new accepted articles.

The biggest change is the introduction of structured abstracts for regular and special issue articles (not Reports and Reflections). From now the structured abstract should be less than 200 words and have the following elements: Background, Methods, Findings, and Contribution. We hope that structured abstracts will help bring out the significance of the paper. “Background” can help to link the article to previous work in the field of the learning sciences and beyond it. “Contribution” goes beyond a conclusion based on empirical findings to what the article adds to the literature (i.e., why would future research refer to the findings? What are the implications).

For Reports and Reflection submissions we do not require a structured abstracts because these vary a lot in approach and are usually not empirical; the same for introductions to, and discussions of, special issues.

The second big change is that along with the abstract the article history is published: that is, the date the first version was received, and the date the final version was accepted by the editor. The editorial team will strive to keep the time to acceptance as short as possible, but authors also have na important role to play. Decision letters already ask for revised manuscripts to be submitted within the following timeline: 3 months for revise and resubmit decisions; 2 months for major revision; and 1 month for minor revision.

The first article using this new format has already been published. Example

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JLS Outstanding Paper (2022): Utilizing dance resources for learning and engagement in STEM

This paper authored by Folashadé Solomon, Dionne Champion, Mariah Steele and Tracey Wright received the Outstanding Paper Award from the Journal of the Learning Sciences. As the selection panel comments, “By employing culturally responsive pedagogy, the authors established a connection between the learning of physics and dance education, thereby promoting access and equity…The meticulous analysis provided insights into how dance, as an embodied form of knowledge, facilitated a transformation in the black girls’ relationship with physics.”