Submissions

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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission describes a project or a self-reflection that is action learning or action research in nature, as defined in the Action Learning / Action Research Submission section of the Author Guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is 1.5 or double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and the location for all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, however the actual illustrations are provided in separate files each file named according to author and illustration.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

    Do not submit a pdf

    Do not provide information about the author's name in the main body of the paper

    Provide author information on a separate file

Author Guidelines

Action Learning / Action Research Submission

The ALARj specialises in publishing articles that describe action learning and action research theory, practices and case studies. 

We do not accept manuscripts that describe projects that do not overtly refer to action learning and/or action research in the methodology and methods sections in an informed manner. 

We accept that action learning and action research has become a broad field over the last thirty years and is not defined by any one discipline or sector of activity. 

While established in education, health and community development for example, we also encourage accounts that explore the application of action learning and action research in say, information technology, mathematics, environmental sciences and organisational change - to name but a few. 

We also welcome contributions from established and emerging variants of the action learning and action research field, such as: participatory action research, Indigenous methodologies, appreciative inquiry, grounded theory, co-design and action science.

We welcome contributions from academic as well as corporate, consultancy, community, government and philanthropic organisations. We welcome a variety of writing styles, however expect standards of paper structure, English language use and formal academic referencing that are consistent with any high standard of journal publication (see further requirements below). 

The Action Learning and Action Research Association Board sees its charter as both encouraging innovation while also protecting the principles that determine excellence in the practice across all disciplines, variants and sectors. These principles are: 

  • A balanced use and account of structured reflection (thinking) and structured action (doing)
  • At least one, if not several cycles of reflection and action 
  • A central concern with applied ethics
  • A central concern with the articulation of the implementation of theory (both action learning and action research theory and the theory associated with the field of action) in or from action (practice) 
  • An evidence-based account of strengths and limitations of the action learning / action research discussion or initiative 
  • Discussion and/or implementation that is based in collaboration
  • Content that informs the action learning and/or action research field
  • The articulation of the learning and/or research questions that drive the initiative 

All submissions must adhere to these principles for them to be considered belonging to the field of action learning or action research. 

If these requirements require further explanation , please either research the the nature of Action Learning and/or Action Research before submitting, or make contact with ALAR Association..

Criteria

Reviewers of submissions will use the following criteria to evaluate the submitted papers.  Authors are not required to meet all criteria, as we recognise action learning and action research writing reflects different aspects of the field. Reviewers assign a score for each criteria (1-5) and the total score determines if the paper should advance to editorial review (at least 23 out of 55).

Criterion 1: How well are the paper and its focus both aimed at and/or grounded in the world of practice? 

Criterion 2: How well is the paper and/or its subject explicitly and actively participative: research with, for and by people rather than on people?

Criterion 3: How well does the paper and / or its subject draw on a wide range of ways of knowing (including intuitive, experiential, presentational as well as conceptual) and link these appropriately to form theory of and in practices (praxis)?

Criterion 4: How well does the paper address questions that are of significance to the flourishing of human community and the more-than-human world as related to the foreseeable future? 

Criterion 5: How well does the paper consider the ethics of research practice for this and multiple generations?

Criterion 6: How well does the paper and/or its subject aim to leave some lasting capacity amongst those involved, encompassing first, second and third person perspectives?

Criterion 7: How well does the paper and its subject offer critical insights into and critical reflections on the research and inquiry process?

Criterion 8: How well does the paper openly acknowledge there are culturally distinctive approaches to Action Research and Action Learning and seek to make explicit their own assumptions about non-Western/ Indigenous and Western approaches to Action Research and Action Learning?

Criterion 9: How well does the paper engage the context of research with systemic thinking and practices? 

Criterion 10: How well does the paper and/or its subject progress AR and AL in the field (research, community, business, education or otherwise)?

Criterion 11: How well is the paper written?

Submission guidelines for articles

Journal submissions must be original and unpublished work suitable for an international audience and not under review by any other publisher or journal. No payment is associated with submissions. Copyright of published works is shared by Action Learning, Action Research Association Ltd (ALARA) and the author(s). Check the Copyright guidelines for more information.

An abstract or article outline (approx 500 words) can be emailed with a view to developing a full article through a mentoring process. One of our reviewers will be invited to work with you to shape your article.

Journal articles may use either Australian/UK or USA English spelling and Harvard style referencing (or APA). See the Imperial College London Referencing Harvard Style manual (https://alarassociation.org/sites/default/files/ALtd_Docs/Pubs/ImperialCollegeLondonReferencingHarvardStyle2017-09.pdf - 286 Kb) for more information. It is preferred that footnotes not be used unless especially necessary.

Submissions should contain:

  • 1 ½ or double-spacing in all manuscripts, including references, notes, abstracts, quotations, figures and tables
  • double quotation marks within single quotation marks to set off material that in the original source was enclosed in single quotation marks. Do not use quotation marks to enclose block quotations (any quotations of 40 or more words)
  • Harvard style referencing is preferred (APA style will also be accepted)
  • maximum of 8000 words for peer reviewed articles and 3000 words for other journal items (including tables and figures)
  • an abstract of 100-150 words
  • minimal use of headings (up to 3 levels is OK)
  • any images or diagrams should only be used to add value to the article and be independent from the document as either jpgs or gifs and inserted as image files into the page where possible. If using MS Word drawing tools, please 'group' your diagrams and images and anchor them to the page, or attach at the end of the document with a note in-text as to its position in the article. If you are using photos of others you must have them give permission for the photos to be published. You should have written permission in these instances and forward such permission to the Editor
  • On a cover sheet, please include contact information including full name, affiliation, email address, small photo (.jpeg) and brief, biographical note of up to 100 words

Peer reviewed submissions

Those preferring blind peer review, must indicate so when emailing submission. All contributions for review should fit the following structure (only include those sections that are appropriate to your article):

  • Title (concise and extended as required)
  • Abstract (100-150 words)
  • Body of Article - eg. introduction, background, literature review, main argument or research
  • question, research methodology, research results, discussion, conclusions and future work (see formatting template)
  • Useful links (if referring to weblinks, include these in full)
  • Acknowledgements (up 100 words)
  • Reference list (Harvard style)
  • Appendices (use sparingly)
  • Biographical notes of authors (up to 100 words)
  • Optional small photo image of author(s) (.jpeg/.jpg - no larger than 150 pixels)

The review process can take about 4 weeks or more depending on the revisions to be made. All correspondence will be directed to the lead author unless otherwise requested. Please ensure your email address is correct.

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