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Writing your article

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Are you new to academic writing, or do you provide support for those who are? We hope you will find our tips and information about how to get published useful.


Why not start here, and then browse our Preparation pages which will tell you all you need to know about choosing a journal and writing your article.

How to write a research paper


Tips on how to get published from people in the know – our journal editors

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Abstracts

Your abstract is what readers will use when they are deciding whether to read your article. For this reason your abstract is very important and you should spend time making sure that it is readable and that it contains a complete description of your research.

In approximately 100-200 words, you will need to summarize your findings and what the implications of those findings are.

  • The abstract must be accurate as a reflection of what is in your article.
  • The abstract must be self-contained, without abbreviations, footnotes, or incomplete references. It must make sense on its own.
  • It is a good idea to include keywords in your abstract, as this will help readers to find it. Key phrases need to make sense within the abstract. Try to keep to a maximum of three or four different keyword phrases, and avoid over-repetition of such phrases as this can look like an attempt to trick a search engine, which may result in a page being rejected.
  • Check that the abstract reads well.
  • Check the journal Information for Authors page page for specific requirements, such as word limits or whether a structured abstract with specific headings is required.

For papers reporting original research, state the primary objective and any hypothesis tested; describe the research design and your reasons for adopting that methodology; state the methods and procedures employed, state the main outcomes and results, and state the conclusions that might be drawn from these data and results, including their implications for further research or application/practice.

For review papers, state the primary objective of the review; the reasoning behind your literature selection; and the way you critically analyse the literature; state the main outcomes and results of your review; and state the conclusions that might be drawn, including their implications for further research or application/practice.

Read some more guidance on writing informative abstracts

Advice from Professor David Gillborn, Editor of Race Ethnicity and Education:
"A good abstract will tell you what the key issue that's addressed is, it'll give you an idea of the methods that have been used and the conclusions that have been arrived at. So that abstract ought to tell someone whether it's worth them spending part of their life reading this paper. If the abstract doesn't do that the chances are the paper will have further weaknesses".
Read more tips on how to get published from our Editors

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Acknowledgments

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In addition to acknowledgments required by funding and grant-awarding bodies, you should acknowledge all relevant external assistance with the publication of your work, with the exception of the journal’s editors and anonymous peer reviewers. In acknowledging the assistance of colleagues, it is expected that you will have obtained their permission to be named. Further information can be found on the Research Information Network website from their guidance on 'Acknowledgement of funders in journal articles' and from the Wellcome Trust website's guide on 'Research publication acknowledgement practice: guidance for authors'

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Anonymous peer review

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To ensure that article referees or peer reviewers do not know your identity (as author[s] of the manuscript being reviewed), you will need to make sure that you remove any information in your manuscript (including footnotes and acknowledgements) that could identify you, and disguise all references to personally identifiable information such as the research institution where your work was carried out.

If you are submitting your manuscript in hard-copy format, submit an extra title page which can be removed before it is sent to the reviewers. The first page that reviewers should see should not contain author names or affiliations but should contain only the title, abstract and keywords, with no acknowledgements, footnotes or any other information identifying the authors.

If you are submitting your manuscript via an online submission system, or as an email attachment, you should send two separate files, one with details of the author(s), and one without.

  • In text, you can replace any information that would identify the author(s) by substituting words such as: [name deleted to maintain the integrity of the review process].
  • Do not mention a grant awarded to a named person. (This information can be added later.)
  • Do not add any running headers or footers that would identify authors.
  • Refer to your own references in the third person. For example, write "Smith and Black (2007) have demonstrated", not "We have previously demonstrated (Smith & Black, 2007)".
  • Check that all identifiers have been removed from electronic files, for example, documents prepared using MicrosoftTM Word®. Personal or hidden information is stored in File Properties. These properties include Author, Manager, Company, and Last Saved By. Hidden information includes hidden text, revised text, comments, or field codes, and these can remain in a document even though you can't see them. If you entered your name or email address when you registered your software, this will be stored as part of the document. Information contained in custom fields that you add to the document, such as an "author" or "owner" field, is not automatically removed. You must edit or remove the custom field to remove that information. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Security tab. Select the Remove personal information from File properties on Save check box.
  • When you submit the final draft of the manuscript for publication, you will need to put back any references to yourself, your institution, grants awarded, etc.
  • Avoid or minimize self-citation. If it is necessary to cite your own work, delete the names of authors and other identifying information and place substitute words in brackets, such as: [name deleted to maintain the integrity of the review process]. In the reference list, you should delete the citation and add it before submitting your final draft.
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Article titles

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Your article title should be concise, accurate, and informative. Titles are often used by search engines and other information retrieval systems. The title should be specific and it should contain words that readers might be searching for.


This will make it more likely that people will find and read your article. The title must reflect the content of your article; if it does not, readers will be confused or disappointed. The title must also be comprehensible to the general reader outside your field. Where possible avoid abbreviations, formulae, and numbers. The following should also usually be omitted: "Investigation of..."; "Study of..."; More about..."; "...revisited".

Advice from Professor Mark Brundrett, Editor of Education 3-13:

"We would typically expect a strong title, a good title that really expressed what the article was about and made it clear to the reader exactly what the topic was, and it's amazing how often writers neglect to do that. It's quite understandable to some extent because writers are often passionate about the particular topic that they're interested in and they think of some wonderfully creative title for their topic. That's fine but the only problem is that unless the title says, very simply and clearly, what the article is about, it's quite difficult for the reader and certainly for the referee and the Editor to immediately judge what the item is focusing on. Now of course they'll find out as they read the article but it does mean that they've got to get into the piece itself before they really see what the topic is. Not only that, but in these days when electronic search engines have become so important, if the title doesn't explain the topic of the article very clearly then that item may well be missed and that's a great shame because it means the research isn't being disseminated widely and of course it also means potentially that the impact of that item, and of the journal, is far less than it otherwise would be. So as a headline if you like, it's important to have a really good, clear title that says precisely and simply what the article is about. It may be that you'll then have a colon after that initial simple title and then add something that is, as I've suggested, something slightly more creative, but I would suggest that the initial part of the title is extremely clear."

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Audience

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We've brought together tips from some of our journal editors on the importance of thinking about your audience.


Advice from Allan Luke, Editor of Pedagogies: An International Journal

“I would say this for any of the journals I’ve worked for and for all journals, which is don’t just send us the article. Sit, go to the library, look at back issues, go online, read some of the articles, get a feel for what the editorial orientation is, read the editorial statement, and paradigmatically go back and read what Gunther Kress has written there, what Courtney Cazden has written in the journal, and get a sense of some of the debates, some of the stylistic decisions, some of the key issues from the journal. I think there is nothing more irritating to us as editors, is when we get pieces from people who clearly are just scattering seeds to the wind and haven’t paid attention to who the audience is and who they are writing for.”

Advice from Professor Elspeth Broady, an Editor of the Language Learning Journal:
"When you're writing up your research it's all too easy to imagine that the readers out there are the people you work with and the people you're familiar with and the people who are familiar with your context. We're dealing ... with an international readership so writers do need to ask the question, 'when I'm writing up my research, will the terms that I'm using and the context I'm dealing with be understandable to people who might be half way round the world?'."

Advice from Professor David Gillborn, Editor of Race Ethnicity and Education:
"I often, with students and with authors, suggest that they think, 'Who's the person I want to read this? Who am I addressing?' Whether it's an activist group in the community, the leading researcher in your field, someone who you want to give you a job. Imagine who that person is and then imagine that you've walked into an elevator at a conference or wherever, that person is in the elevator and the doors shut. You've got ninety seconds with that person before they get out of the elevator. What do you want to tell them about your research?"

Advice from Professor Roger Slee, Editor of the International Journal of Inclusive Education:
"I've always felt that the readership has to be broad and general so you will see that papers are cast for specific segments within the readership and one of the tasks that I think I have is to try to make sure that the journal is moving around and touching the broad range and different constituencies of the readership. And the other element of that is that it's international and that has an impact when you're looking at papers and advising folk about how their writing can touch an international audience and be relevant."

"It's perhaps a bit of a hobby horse at the moment and that is that people are writing with the reader in mind, not A reader but THE readership in mind, so they are thinking about the clarity of the work they're doing and it's accessibility, I think that's really important."

"People are thinking about the assumptions that they make about what the reader already knows and so on. So in some cases it's important to make sure that you're describing in some detail, the methodology and approach so that there's something about the clarity of the expression and writing for the reader in that respect, something about explaining what often times seems obvious to you but isn't to others."

"A third element would be in relation to thinking about, as I mentioned before, the international audience. Each country has their own sets of acronyms and they just roll off the tongue and people ought to explain that kind of thing."

Advice from Professor Len Barton, Editor of Disability and Society:
"This is an academic journal but at the same time we don't want to lose our contacts with grass roots positions and therefore that is a very important audience and we want to think increasingly of ways in which we can make our work more accessible for them."

Read more tips on how to get published from our Editors

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Authors and affiliations

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Authorship
"Co-authors" are defined as any person who has made a significant scientific contribution to the work reported, and who shares responsibility and accountability for the results.


Where an article has been prepared jointly with two or more authors, Taylor & Francis require a corresponding author to be designated. The corresponding author warrants that:

  • she or he has been authorized by all named co-authors to act as an agent on their behalf;
  • she or he has been authorized by all named co-authors to sign the publishing assignment on their behalf;
  • all named co-authors have agreed the order of names given in the article.

Taylor & Francis do not require all co-authors named in an article to sign the warranties in the publishing licence required prior to publication, as the corresponding author warrants that she or he has been empowered by all named co-authors to sign. However, all named co-authors:

  • must have made a significant contribution to the work reported, in terms of research conception or design, and/or acquisition of data, and/or the analysis and interpretation of those data;
  • are responsible for drafting, writing, and revising the article, or checking and confirming the article prior to submission;
  • approve the final version of the article prior to submission;
  • are aware and approve that the final version of the article has been submitted;
  • accept responsibility and accountability for all content;
  • accept that if the article is found to be unsafe, in error, or in some way fraudulent, or in breach of warranties made, that responsibility is shared by all named co-authors;
  • agree the corresponding author is empowered to act on their behalf with respect to communication with the Journal’s editorial office on submission and during the peer review process, including the coordination of revisions required by peer reviewers, and preparation of a final revised version of the article;
  • agree the corresponding author is empowered to act on their behalf with respect to communication with the Journal’s publisher during the article production process, including checking, correcting, and approving the accuracy of all content in article proofs;
  • agree the corresponding author is empowered to act on their behalf with respect to communication with the Journal’s publisher regarding the published version of the article, the Version of Record, including its marketing (where appropriate).

No changes – neither the addition nor the removal of a co-author – can be made to the list of co-authors after the article is accepted, unless submitted in writing by all authors including the person being added or removed, with the reasons for addition or removal, and thereafter agreed by the editor of the journal.

If the designated corresponding author changes before the article is published (i.e. if a co-author becomes corresponding author), this change must be submitted in writing confirming that both authors consent to the change.

No changes can be made after publication, either online as a Latest Article, or allocated to an issue; instead, a corrigendum would be considered by the editor.

Affiliation
The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring all address, email, and telephone data are correct for all named co-authors. The affiliations of all named co-authors should be the affiliation where the research was conducted.

If any of the named co-authors moves affiliation during the peer review process, the new affiliation can be given as a footnote.
No changes to affiliation can be made after the article is accepted.

Acknowledgment
www.icmje.org/
Please also see our guidelines on publication ethics.

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Awareness of the literature

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We've brought together tips from some of our journal editors on the importance of being aware of the literature in your field.


Advice from Professor David Gillborn, Editor of Race Ethnicity and Education:
"You also need some awareness of what's gone before. Again, you can't review the whole of the relevant literature but you have to give the reader some help. Tell them how what you're doing relates to key work that's gone before and, if possible, how are you extending that work? So sometimes we'll get a really good interesting piece of research but it's written as if no one has ever considered these questions before. Now, if the person had actually added a section which says here's the work that had been done previously, it allows them to then show how they're building on that work."

"I think the strongest papers usually have one point to make and they make that point powerfully, with evidence, and they locate it within the field."

Advice from Professor Elspeth Broady, an Editor of the Language Learning Journal:
"I think a good paper is one that is both innovative and convincing, in other words it has something new to say, but is convincing in that it understands what else has already been said. It's important if we, for example, take a report of a piece of empirical research, that that research reflects a clear understanding of what has gone before and an extremely solid construction of a theoretical framework; solid and critical, in other words that the author has reviewed and thought carefully about how other people have framed the problem and that that is clearly informing the research that then is reported."

"We need to be looking at papers that are properly contextualized within a theoretical and a research framework. ... We are looking for papers that are both innovative and convincing in that they reflect a very good, solid command of the existing literature."

"The theoretical framework and the literature review needs to clearly influence any empirical study that's being reported."

"The literature review, and this is a very obvious thing, needs to take into consideration the current state of the literature. We sometimes have papers that come in that talk about recent research and then in brackets give the citations from the 1990s, and I'm afraid that provokes slightly angry comments from Editors. Literature reviews and discussions also need to demonstrate that the literature that's being considered, that the research that's being thought about, has been very carefully considered, and has been weighed in terms of its relevance to the research that's being reported. Again, sometimes what happens is that people will skim over a particular piece of literature that they wish to review, and they won't notice that for example it applies to first language learning and not second, and again that's the kind of thing that will cause Editors to say, 'there's something wrong here with this paper'."

Advice from Professor Stephen Ball, Editor of Journal of Education Policy:
"I think one of the key things for anybody who wants to be published in this journal, as in any journal, is to, you know, read it. Even if you don't bring yourself to actually read the papers from beginning to end then look through the issues, look through the sorts of things that are being published, look through the contents list, look for other papers that have been written around the area, in the field that you're trying to write about and then draw on those."

"[A] common mistake is people who want to publish papers in areas that we are interested in without ever referring to previous papers in the same area that we've published in the journal. Which is a silly thing to do really. If you want to publish a paper on issues around school choice in Australia, or wherever, ... we must have published over the 20-odd years of the journal, 20 to 30 papers on issues around school choice in different ways. To not refer to any of those in your submission to the journal is just foolish, really. But it's not simply foolish, it's also failing, I think, to engage in a scholarly process of cumulation of knowledge, cumulation of theoretical development, cumulation of understanding."

Advice from Professor Len Barton, Editor of Disability and Society:
"It's important that authors try to connect their ideas and their issue and their topic to something that is existing in the insights or interpretations available in the journal. It may be to challenge that or it may be to confirm it. It may be to re-examine it or to indicate why, after careful examination of some of the issues in the journal, the topic they're interested in is under-developed, even neglected, certainly not considered in the way they want to argue. Whichever way they want to engage with it, it's crucial that people take that time and thought to do that."

Read more tips on how to get published from our Editors

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Book reviews

Image: Awareness of the literature

Writing book reviews is often a good way to start academic writing. It will help you to get your name known in your field, and means that you can experience the publication process before you write a full-length article.


If this interests you, you will first need to find out which of our journals include book reviews. You can find the journals we publish using our subject listings and alphabetical listings. Visit the individual journal web pages and read the Aims & Scope to find out about the type of papers that the journal accepts. Then check the Editorial Board list to see if the journal has a book review editor.
You can then contact the book review editor of the journal and offer to write a review for them.

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Datasets

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If you use a subset of data from a publicly available database in your article, you are required to describe how the subset of data was selected and make the subset of data publicly available so that others can repeat the work.


Authors are required to include a description of the selection and use of all data sources, where possible including a linkout to the publicly accessible database URL to allow subsequent researchers to access these data to validate the research.

If the dataset is not publicly available, it is good practice to make it publicly available (via your website, institutional website, or on a related publicly accessible site) to facilitate subsequent researchers’ repeatability of the findings. Where it is not possible to make such datasets publicly available (for example, because they are commercially sensitive or are restricted by law), this should be made clear in the article and details of how to discuss the data with you (the author) should be made available.

For more information, please see http://www.datacite.org/whycitedata.


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English grammar

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Have you got a question about English grammar? Are you unsure whether to write "who" or "whom"? Do you confuse "lie" and "lay"? Do you struggle with reflexive verbs or English tenses?


Please send your questions to us and we will answer them on this page.
Please put "Grammar" in the subject line and send your question to authorqueries@tandf.co.uk

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Equations

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    In both displayed equations and in text, scalar variables must be in italics, with non-variable matter in upright type.


  • Displayed equations referred to in the text should be numbered serially ((1), (2), etc.) on the right-hand side of the page. Short expressions not referred to by any number will usually be incorporated in the text.
  • Mathematical equations should preferably be typewritten, with subscripts and superscripts clearly shown. It is helpful to identify unusual or ambiguous symbols in the margin when they first occur. Please ensure all symbols are described in the text. If equations are numbered, consecutive Arabic numbers in parentheses should be used. Equations may be referred to in the text as "equation (1)", "equations (2)-(4)". To simplify typesetting, please use: (1) the "exp" form of complex exponential functions; (2) fractional exponents instead of root signs; and (3) the solidus (/) to simplify fractions e.g. 3/4, exp x½. Other letters not marked will be set in roman type. Please supply reproducible artwork for equations containing ring formulae and other complex chemical structures. Schemes should also be numbered with consecutive Arabic numbers.
  • If you are submitting your manuscript as a Word-processed document, please ensure that equations are editable (i.e., not an image or locked). If using an equation editor, do not save the equations in non-editable format.
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Funding and research materials

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Taylor & Francis supports the drive towards openness and transparency in research. We will ask you to provide details of any funding received, and disclose the location of any underlying research materials.


If provided, this information will be included in the body of your article. This policy is aligned with the aims of policy makers and many major research funders, including the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK (RCUK).

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Geolocation information

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All authors are strongly encouraged to submit a Geolocation Information section as part of their manuscript, as a separate paragraph before the Acknowledgments and References sections. This will be used to help us index your article’s study area accurately on JournalMap, an online map used for searching and browsing research articles.

Indexing on JournalMap increases an article’s discoverability and can help to drive usage and citations. Coordinates given can define points or bounding boxes; they can indicate where the research was conducted or, for example, in the case of a taxonomic article, the locations where the specimens originated.

Geolocation Information must be formatted as follows:

Location reference (location type): coordinates

For example:

Geolocation Information

Specimen A (point): 40.4461ºN, 79.9821ºW; Study Area B (box): 20.446111ºN, 69.982222ºW to 21.463056ºN, 68.965833ºW

Multiple locations should be separated with a semicolon. The Geolocation Information section can include as many locations as is required.

  • The location reference should relate to the article body and clearly identify each location given. It can be any text which labels the locations comprehensibly.
  • The location type must be either "point" or "box", depending on the coordinates given, and must be surrounded by brackets. A point must only be a single set of coordinates, separated by a comma. A box must be two sets of coordinates, representing opposite corners of the location area, separated by "to".
  • The coordinates must be preceded by a colon, following the location type. Coordinate values should be given in geographic latitude and longitude (decimal degrees, WGS84 datum) unless that coordinate system is inappropriate (e.g. in polar regions). Coordinates should be given as latitude then longitude separated by a comma using two decimal numbers (e.g., 40.4461ºN, 79.9821ºW) or degrees, minutes, and seconds (e.g., 40°26′46″N, 79°58′56″W) depending on journal style. Use letters after the coordinate value to designate the hemisphere (i.e., "N" or "S" for latitude, and "E" or "W" for longitude) rather than negative signs for south latitudes and west longitudes. When using letters for hemisphere designation, do not include negative signs in front of the coordinate values. If a different coordinate system is used, please identify the coordinate system and provide all necessary parameters to enable transformation to another coordinate system.

Live article example

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2014.954019

Further information on how this information will be used to enable accurate indexing and discoverability of your article on JournalMap can be found at www.journalmap.org.


journalmap


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Journal styles

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Journal styles are a way of specifying how your article will look when it is published in print or online as a PDF. Each element of the article has a style associated with it, for example the article title, the author's name, the abstract, the article headings, and the references or notes.

When you are writing and formatting your article for submission you will find guidance on the journal style on the Instructions for Authors page for each journal.

The journal may have its own style or it may use one of the Taylor & Francis standard styles, but the Instructions for Authors page for the journal should provide you with enough information to help you format your article correctly.

If you do have any questions about journal style, please contact us at
authorqueries@tandf.co.uk

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Keywords

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It is essential that authors, editors, and publishers make every effort to ensure articles are found online, quickly and accurately, ideally within the top three hits. The key to this is the appropriate use of keywords.


Recent evidence suggests that a strong correlation exists between online hits and subsequent citations for journal articles. Search engines rank highly as starting points. Students are increasingly more likely to start their research by using Google ScholarTM, rather than by the traditional starting point of Abstracting and Indexing resources.

We know that the use of keywords helps to increase the chances of the article being located, and therefore cited.

Many search engines have their own algorithms for ranking sites, some by ranking the relevance of content and links to the site from other websites. Some search engines use metadata or "meta-tagging" to assess relevant content. Most search engines, however, scan a page for keyword phrases, which gives emphasis to phrases in headings and/or repeated phrases. The number of other sites that link to a web page also indicates how that page is valued.

Authors should know the key phrases for their subject area. Reference to an established common indexing standard in a particular discipline is a useful starting point - GeoRef, ERIC Thesaurus, PsycInfo, ChemWeb, and so on.

Keyword terms may differ from the actual text used in the title and abstract, but should accurately reflect what the article is about. Why not try searching for the keywords you have chosen, before you submit your article? This will help you see how useful they are.

At Taylor & Francis, we are continuously working to improve the search engine rankings for our journals. Our linking program extends to many Abstracting and Indexing databases, library sites, and through participation in CrossRefTM.

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Language

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We've brought together tips from some of our journal editors on the importance of thinking about language when you are writing your paper.


Advice from Professor Douglas Allford, an Editor of the Language Learning Journal:
"The language in which the piece is written has to be clear and to an acceptable standard, so it's always advisable to get a colleague to read through your final draft, or your first draft that you submit. This is particularly important if the prospective author is not a native English speaker - get a native English speaker to read through your draft."

Advice from Professor Roger Slee, Editor of the International Journal of Inclusive Education:
"Given the journal's mandate about wanting to eliminate, dismantle, various forms of exclusion from different groups, I guess a good article has to think very carefully about the language that it adopts and how it uses language, so that there are some ways of referring to different groups of people that are offensive and people have to think about that."

"It's always good to have somebody else read it before you send it off and get people to comment on expression and whether things are clear."

Advice from Professor Peter Jarvis, Co-editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education:
"We've got an international audience and it would take a long time to proofread everything when we're getting scripts in third and fourth languages as we frequently are, while we do try to tidy the English up I'm not going to say that everything is the Queen's English and I'm not saying I want it to be the Queen's English because more people in this world speak English as a second language every day than speak English as a first language. So consequently, you know, why should we expect the first language to be the more accurate one all the time? So I'm not that concerned with it. I am concerned that the meaning is what's transmitted and if our reviewers, or when I read the text, I don't feel the meaning is right then that's a different matter. If the English is not quite right I don't worry as much."

Advice from Professor Stephen Rowland, Editor in Chief of Teaching in Higher Education:
"We realised that if we were going to make the journal open to people who came from different disciplinary backgrounds, with different viewpoints, that that reflected even in the way we write. Sue earlier mentioned about how people might write articles in the first person, whereas other people write in the third person, and we welcome a diversity of ways of writing and we wanted to extend that diversity, right from the beginning."

Read more tips on how to get published from our Editors

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Mathematical scripts

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Special care should be taken with mathematical scripts, especially subscripts and superscripts and differentiation between the letter "ell" and the figure one, and the letter "oh" and the figure zero.


If your keyboard or PC does not have the characters you need, or when using longhand, it is important to differentiate between: K and k; X, x and x (multiplication); asterisks intended to appear when published as multiplication signs and those intended to remain as asterisks; etc.

Special symbols, and others used to stand for symbols not available in the character set of your PC, should be highlighted in the text and explained in the margin. In some cases it is helpful to supply annotated lists of symbols for the guidance of the sub-editor and the typesetter, and/or a Nomenclature section preceding the Introduction.

  • In both displayed equations and in text, scalar variables must be in italics, with non-variable matter in upright type.
  • For simple fractions in the text, the solidus "/" should be used instead of a horizontal line, care being taken to insert parentheses where necessary to avoid ambiguity. Exceptions are the proper fractions available as single type on keyboards and in character sets (e.g. ¼, ½, ¾).
  • The solidus is not generally used for units: m s-¹ not m/s, but note electrons/s, counts/channel, etc.
  • Displayed equations referred to in the text should be numbered serially ((1), (2), etc.) on the right-hand side of the page. Short expressions not referred to by any number will usually be incorporated in the text.
  • Symbols used to represent tensors, matrices, vectors and scalar variables should either be used as required from the character set of the application you are using or marked on hard-copy by underlining with a wavy underline for bold, a straight underline for italic and a straight red underline for sans serif.
  • The following styles are preferred: upright bold sans serif r for tensors, bold serif italic r for vectors, upright bold serif for matrices, and medium-face sloping serif r for scalar variables. In mathematical expressions, the use of "d" for differential should be made clear and coded in roman, not italic.
  • Typographical requirements must be clearly indicated at their first occurrence, e.g. Greek, Roman, script, sans serif, bold, italic. Authors will be charged for corrections at proof stage resulting from a failure to do so.
  • Braces, brackets and parentheses are used in the order { [( )] } , except where mathematical convention dictates otherwise (e.g. square brackets for commutators and anticommutators; braces for the exponent in exponentials).
  • For units and symbols, the SI system should be used. Where measurements are given in other systems, conversion factors or conversions should be inserted by the author.
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Methods

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We've brought together tips from some of our journal editors on reporting research methods.


Advice from Professor David Gillborn, Editor of Race Ethnicity and Education:
"If your paper covers any empirical research that you've done, whether it's a survey, interviews, participant observations, even if it's desk-based research that you've analysed previous work, you have to tell the reader something about your methods. It doesn't mean that the whole paper has to be devoted to that but you have to give the reader a sense of whether they can trust you. How did you decide your sample, what were the key questions you were looking at?" "Almost everything that's rejected from the journal has fallen foul on the basis that it hasn't discussed its methods appropriately, or it hasn't recognised that there is a relevant literature out there which needs to be addressed, or it hasn't been clear about what its key argument is."

Advice from Professor Roger Slee, Editor of the International Journal of Inclusive Education:
"People are thinking about the assumptions that they make about what the reader already knows and so on. So in some cases it's important to make sure that you're describing in some detail the methodology and approach so that there's something about the clarity of the expression and writing for the reader in that respect, something about explaining what oftentimes seems obvious to you but isn't to others."

Advice from Professor Peter Jarvis, Co-editor of the International Journal of Lifelong Education:
"I think that we're not too concerned whether it's a qualitative or quantitative research ... But once we get into the issue of qualitative research then our major concerns must be that the argument is good, the method is sound and the writing is up-to-date."

Advice from Professor Elspeth Broady, an Editor of the Language Learning Journal:
"It is important to give full details of the context in which you conducted the research so that others can understand exactly what you did."

Advice from Professor Stephen Ball, Editor of Journal of Education Policy:
"In terms of a good article we're interested in the new, we're interested in people doing things differently... we're interested in papers that attempt to be innovative, equally so in relation to research processes, research methods, research that attempts to do things differently."

Read more tips on how to get published from our Editors

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Sample copies

Image: Sample copies

Did you know that searchable sample copies are available online for all of our journals?

Simply use the alphabetical search function or browse by subject area at www.tandf.co.uk/journals.

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Search engine optimization

Image: Search engine optimization

It is essential that authors and editors make every effort to ensure their articles are found online, quickly and accurately, ideally within the top three hits. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a means of making your article more visible to anyone who might be looking for it.

You need to ensure that search engines index your article, so that it comes up in a good position in the list of results when a reader enters keywords into a search engine. This makes it more likely that people will read your article. A strong correlation exists between online hits and subsequent citations for journal articles. We know that many readers start their research by using academic search engines such as Google ScholarTM.

How do academic search engines work?
Many search engines have their own algorithms for ranking sites, some by ranking the relevance of content and links to the site from other websites. Some search engines use metadata or "meta-tagging" to assess relevant content. Most search engines, however, scan a page for keyword phrases, which gives emphasis to phrases in headings and/or repeated phrases. The number of other sites that link to a web page also indicates how that page is valued.

Please see the detailed guidelines provided by Google Scholar here.

What can I do as an author or editor?
We know that the use of keywords helps to increase the chances of the article being located, and therefore cited. Which words in your article are the most important? Put yourself in the position of a reader. Which words might they type in to a search engine if they were looking for something on your topic? Authors should know the key phrases for their subject area. Reference to an established common indexing standard in a particular discipline is a useful starting point - GeoRef, ERIC Thesaurus, PsycInfo, ChemWeb, and so on. There is further guidance on choosing keywords in this section of our Author Services site.

The title and abstract you provide are also very important for search engines. Some search engines will only index these two parts of your article. Your article title should be concise, accurate, and informative. The title should be specific and it should contain words that readers might be searching for. This will make it more likely that people will find and read your article. Remember that you are writing for people as well as search engines! And do not be tempted to over-optimize your article (as discussed in the first reference below). The title must reflect the content of your article; if it does not, readers will be confused or disappointed. The title must also be comprehensible to the general reader outside your field. Where possible avoid abbreviations, formulae, and numbers. The following should also usually be omitted: "Investigation of..."; "Study of..."; More about..."; "...revisited".

Think about how you can increase the number of people reading and citing your article (see our detailed guidance here), because the number of citations will influence where it appears in the rankings. Link to the article once it is published, for example, from your blog, via social networking sites, and from pages on your university website. (Tips on promoting your article can be found here).

Further reading

Beel, J. and Gipp, B. (2010) Academic search engine spam and Google Scholar's resilience against it, The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 13(3).

Beel, J., Gipp, B. and Wilde, E. (2010) academic search engine optimization (ASEO): optimizing scholarly literature for Google Scholar and Co., Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 41(2), pp. 176–190

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Special characters

Image: Templates

If your article contains special characters, accents, or diacritics and you are preparing your manuscript in Microsoft Word, we recommend the following procedure:

  • For European accents, Greek, Hebrew, or Cyrillic letters, or phonetic symbols: choose Times New Roman font from the dropdown menu in the "Insert symbol" window and insert the character you require.
  • For Asian languages such as Sanskrit, Korean, Chinese, or Japanese: choose Arial Unicode font from the dropdown menu in the Insert symbol” window and insert the character you require.
  • For transliterated Arabic: you may choose either Times New Roman or Arial Unicode (unless the Instructions for Authors specify a particular font). For ayns and hamzas choose Arial Unicode font from the dropdown menu in the "Insert symbol" window and then type the Unicode hexes directly into the "Character code" box. Use 02BF for ayn, and 02BE for hamza.
Please also see the Unicode character code chart.

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Tables

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You will need to send your original, editable files (e.g. in Microsoft Word or Excel). This will reduce the likelihood of errors being introduced during production of your article.


  • Non-editable files (e.g. JPEG or TIFF images, or images of text boxes in PowerPoint) are not suitable formats but can be included in addition to the editable files for reference. Please present table titles separately for each table, rather than including them as the first row of the table. Table notes should be separate from the titles and included underneath the table to which they apply.
  • Tables should present new information rather than duplicating what is in the text. Readers should be able to interpret the table without reference to the text.
  • Consider the size of each table and whether it will fit on a single journal page. If the table is cramped in a Microsoft Word document, where the default setting represents an A4 page (210 x 297 mm), it will be difficult to represent it clearly on a B5 journal page (176 x 250 mm). If this is the case, you could consider splitting the data into two or more tables.
  • When submitting multiple tables, consistency in presentation is advised where possible.
  • In most cases, all vertical lines and most horizontal lines (except at the head and foot of the table) will be removed. Look at other articles in the journal to see how tables are presented. Sample copies are available on our journals website.
  • Please note that color, shading, vertical rules, and other cell borders are not compatible with our publishing requirements. Where necessary please use notes, italics, or bold text for emphasis with accompanying footnotes explaining their significance. Where superscript notes are used, the letters should follow alphabetical order from the top left of the table to the bottom right. All statistical significance notes should be represented in the table, or deleted. Please also add notes explaining any acronyms or abbreviations in table titles or column headings.
  • When representing information numerically, use as many decimal places as is appropriate for your purposes. This number should be consistent throughout the column, or table if possible.
  • The text in your table will be copy-edited to match the style of the journal.
  • Refer to each table in the text.
  • If you are sending tables in a separate file, insert a note in the text indicating the preferred location for each table, e.g. [t]Table 1 near here[/t].
  • Tables will normally be placed at the top or bottom of a page in the journal.
  • Please ensure that tables, when not reproduced from another source, are as consistent with the rest of the text as possible, including capitalization and reference style. If tables are reproduced from another source, see our guidance here: http://journalauthors.tandf.co.uk/preparation/permission.asp
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Templates

Image: Templates

Word and LaTeX templates are available for many of our journals. Please check the Instructions for Authors page of the journal you are interested in to see if a template is provided.

There is no need to use the templates if you would prefer not to, and this will not affect whether your article is accepted.

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