Monday, 21 May 2012

Guidelines for critical case studies

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 critical case studies

We welcome 3-4000 word critical case studies of institutional practice out of which original conceptualisations of enhancing the student experience can be considered (the 'what' questions). Examples of topics might include: Widening access; international students; globalisation; service users group (please note that these are only examples)

Papers submitted under this section should include an abstract of 100-150 words.

Critical Case study content should include the following points:
• An introduction and the aim and background of the case which should include identification of the problem, situation or the case studied and how the information was gathered
• A discussion of the strengths, and factors that contributed to its success
• A consideration of the weaknesses of the case, and factors that contributed to a failure
• Consideration of the external threats and opportunities and how they compare with the factors that contribute to success or failure
• A description of the key issues that emerge from the analysis
• A summary of conclusions and their implications for practice, along with recommendations emerging from the work

Manuscript preparation for critical case studies

The title of the critical case study should be typed in Times New Roman (boldface 14pt) and left-justified. The author’s name should be typed in Times New Roman (italics 12pt) and also left-justified. The author should supply a short (25-word) biography for inclusion in the Author section (footer of page 1). The principal author’s email address should be supplied. A 100-150 word abstract is required.

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.

Figures and tables
Figures and tables should be used sparingly, as appropriate. If used, they should be left-justified, numbered consecutively throughout the text, and each should have a caption underneath it. Care should be taken that the lettering is not too small. All figures and tables should be included in the electronic versions of the full paper. Figures and tables should be boxed.

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 findings from their critical case study i.e., answering the “so what?” question. What effect should your work have on the HE practitioner or the research community? Is there anything the HE practitioner or community should be doing differently as a result of your Case study? Have you identified areas for future research? If so, please state them here.

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.

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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