Monday, 21 May 2012

Guidelines for book reviews

We are keen to encourage new or experienced writers to submit to the journal and contribute to the growing knowledge community in relation to enhancing the learner experience in higher education. To help authors develop papers ready for submission, detailed guidance for the various article types accepted by the journal are provided below. 

The journal is committed to publishing high quality research-informed articles. Therefore, in developing manuscripts, authors should:

• Explain differences in results that contradict other published results
• Ensure that new, innovative techniques for presenting information contain adequate comparison to currently-accepted approaches for presenting the same information

Here are some examples of content that should be avoided in manuscripts being submitted

• Subject matter outside of the scope of the Journal (refer to journal focus and scope)
• Significant technical content without substantive pedagogic information
• No insights provided as to how the derivations enhance classroom learning or apply to classroom learning
• Limited evidence of taking the student voice into account.
• Detailed written descriptions but insufficient supporting figures, tables, graphs, pictures, or diagrams

If authors are ensure whether or not their papers are appropriate for the journal, they are welcome to contact the journal for guidance.

Guidelines for book reviews

The Book Review Section is made possible because of the willingness of professionals to review books. We have a continual need for those interested in providing an occasional book review. If you would be willing to review a book for publication in the Book Review section of ELEHE, please contact the Book Review Editor, Dr Simon Sneddon.
A book review may cover only one book or monograph or several works. Its length should be between 500 and 1000 words. It should give readers an engaging, informative, and critical discussion of the work.

Try to avoid simply quoting from the publisher’s blurb, without comment, or merely listing the titles of chapters, unless this is the best way to describe the content succinctly. Your review should offer more than can be found by a reader stumbling across the book in a bookshop, or advertised on a website. Sometimes, two or more books on the same topic can be reviewed together; in general, comparisons of new books with the existing literature can be most helpful.

We want book reviews published in ELEHE to read well, to be authoritative, and to be useful. If you refer to other published work, give precise details in the conventional manner, listing such References at the end of your review.

The most important point in developing a book review is to address the Journal’s readership: international and interdisciplinary. Language should, therefore, be direct and unnecessary jargon and technical terms avoided. The review should consider:
• The intended audience for the book and who would find it useful;
• The background of the author;
• The main ideas and major objectives of the book and how effectively these are accomplished;
• The soundness of methods and information sources used;
• The context or impetus for the book - review research or policy, etc.;
• A comparison with other works on this subject;
• Constructive comments about the strength and weaknesses of the book;
• For edited books: dominant themes with reference to specific chapters as appropriate; and implications of the book for research, policy, practice, or theory.

Manuscript preparation for book reviews

The title of the book(s) reviewed should be typed in Times New Roman (boldface 14pt) and left-justified. The reviewer’s name should be typed in Times New Roman (italics 12pt) and also left-justified. The reviewer should supply a short (25-word) biography for inclusion in the Author section (footer of page 1). The reviewer’s email address should be supplied.

Manuscripts must be typed single spaced using 12 point characters. Only Times, Times Roman, Times New Roman and Symbol fonts are accepted for the text. Section and subsection titles should be typed in Arial or Helvetica fonts using 11 and 10 point characters, respectively. Paragraph spacing for these should be 12pt above and 8pt below the heading.

The text should be left-justified on an A4 page (21 cm x 29.7 cm); the left margin should be 4.5 cm and the right margin should be 2.5 cm. Paragraphs are separated by 6 points and with no indentation. The text of the papers should be written in one column.

Quotations of 20 words or less should be incorporated in the text with quotation marks. Longer quotations should be put in a new paragraph without quotation marks and using the Roman script in italics. All quotations should be attributed with Harvard referencing, for example, (Smith, 2000, 12). In longer quotations they should follow on a separate line, right-justified (see examples).

All authors are encouraged to conclude their paper with a section describing the practical applications of the book, i.e., answering the “so what?” question. What effect should the book have on the HE practitioner or the research community? Is there anything the community should be doing differently as a result of the book?

Please use Harvard-style references, inserting the name and year in the text thus (Cook and Davies, 2012). The list of references should be ordered alphabetically according to the first author surname. If there is no author, order alphabetically by title.

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.
  1. 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).
  2. When available, the URLs to access references online are provided, including those for open access versions of the reference. The URLs are ready to click.
  3. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  4. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the author guidelines.
  5. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a blind peer review have been followed.
  6. The submission is a Word document.
  7. There is clear articulation of how the article incoporates the student voice

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