Editorial Policies

Editorial Policies

Peer review policy
JPP operates a strictly blind peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and, the author’s name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. Should an article/manuscript be considered suitable for review, it is reviewed by two reviewers.

Editorial procedure
All articles/manuscripts are initially reviewed by the Editor. Only those articles/manuscripts that meet the standards of the journal, and fit within its aims and scope, will be sent to expert reviewers. Authors of articles/manuscripts can expect a decision normally within three working days as to whether or not their article/manuscript will be sent to the reviewers or instead be rejected at this stage. Should the decision be to ‘desk reject’ it at this stage, authors can be assured of a supportive response which offers feedback that is constructive and helpful in nature.

If an article/manuscript is sent to the reviewers, all references to the author name and institution are removed from the article/manuscript. JPP recognises that authors are keen to get a decision as soon as possible, and reviewers are asked to return their decisions to the Editor within four weeks so that the decision can be sent to authors within that timeframe.

At that stage, authors get one of the four standard decisions, that is, ‘accept, as is’, ‘conditional accept, but minor changes are required’, ‘conditional accept, but major changes are required’ or ‘reject’. JPP recognises that authors, and the Journal, are keen to ensure that any article/manuscript accepted for publication is the best that it can be and so authors can be assured of comprehensive, constructive comments from the reviewers and the Editor. Authors whose work has been considered by JPP regularly praise this, and also the fast turnaround time, as two of the strengths of this particular journal.

When revisions have been satisfactorily completed, the Editor explains the next steps in the publication process, including when the article/manuscript is likely to appear in print, hard copy (it will appear in Online First within a very short timescale and long before it appears in print, hard copy).

Criteria used in the review
The emphasis is very much on research. This is taken to mean that the study described within the article/manuscript should make a contribution to the body of knowledge (‘fill’ a ‘gap’ in this body of knowledge) about an aspect of the learning and teaching in all of degree education, regardless of discipline, and regardless of context/country. Examples of the kinds of topic which affect us all, regardless of where/what we teach, are assessment, induction, personal development planning, the use of technologies, etcetera. Articles/manuscripts should not be ‘a description of what we do/did with our own students’, as this is a study which makes a contribution to the knowledge of the authors rather than making a contribution to the body of knowledge. It should instead address a common and particular problem, a challenge, an issue identified in the literature, and so report a piece of research which has shed some light on that problem, challenge, issue. It should fill this particular gap in our knowledge by making its contribution to practice and the theory or theories underlying this.

A description of such a piece of research normally comprises the following. A review of the literature is followed by the identification of the problem, challenge or issue and this is normally expressed in terms of research questions or similar. A section describing the suitably rigorous research methods used to address these then follows, and the findings/results presented after that. A discussion of the findings/results concludes the piece of research, and it is here that it is evident that there is a contribution to knowledge, because the findings/results are discussed in light of the literature. Rather than simply ‘here are the results’, given the aims and scope of Active Learning in Higher Education, although not a requirement, the article/manuscript usually ends with something that the reader can take from that work and use, in some way, in their own context.

Authorship
All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

Acknowledgements
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

Funding
JPP requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the JPP Author Guidelines to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Declaration of conflicting interests
JPP encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the JPP Author Guidelines.