Prospective authors are invited to submit manuscripts for possible publication in JIR. JIR publishes original material highlighting faculty research relevant to best practices in post-secondary teaching, learning and assessment. As is the nature of refereed journals, acceptance and publication of original manuscripts is a competitive process.

Submit your manuscript for publication consideration via the following link:

Submit to Journal of Instructional Research


JIR publishes only original manuscripts (i.e., manuscripts under review with another publication, previously published, or revised versions of previously published manuscript are not acceptable). In addition, copyright policies are as follows:

  • Authors hold sole copyright for papers posted on the JIR website during public review (See Review Guidelines for information on the public review process).
  • Authors and JIR will hold joint copyright for manuscripts accepted for publication.
  • Authors are required to acquire necessary permissions for copyrighted images; it is the author's responsibility to determine whether or not permissions are needed for images. In addition, authors are responsible for all permission fees associated with copyrighted materials.
  • Trademark use must be credited to owner or permissions must be obtained for use.

Types of Submissions

  • Theoretical
  • Empirical research
  • Critical reflection
  • Case Study
  • Innovative methodologies and applications

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Manuscript Preparation

JIR hosts a range of research strategies; most common formats include theoretical, empirical, critical reflection, case study, and classroom innovation. Submissions should clearly highlight the significance and implications of the investigation to post-secondary teaching and learning; all manuscripts should be formatted according to APA Style. The American Psychological Association (2001) provides the following general guidelines for communicating your scholarly work:

  • Present the problem, question or issue early in the manuscript.
  • Show how the issue is grounded, shaped, and directed by theory.
  • Connect the issue to previous work in a literature review that is pertinent and informative but not exhaustive.
  • State explicitly the hypotheses under investigation or the target of the theoretical review.
  • Keep the conclusions within the boundaries of the findings and/or scope of the theory.
  • Demonstrate how the study or scholarly approach has helped to address the original issue.
  • Identify and discuss what theoretical or practical implications can be drawn from this work.

Suggestions for effective manuscript submissions:

  • Title - Titles should not exceed 15 words and should provide a clear introduction to the point of your manuscript.
  • Abstract - The abstract provides a short summary (150-250 words) of your work that provides the key information for readers to determine their interest in reading the complete article. The abstract should be "accurate, self-contained, nonevaluative, coherent, and readable" (Calfee & Valencia, 2001).
  • Body - Information should be organized and sub-titled to facilitate flow and understanding of key issues. Authors should use APA Style guidelines to organize and present information in a manner that is easily communicated to readers. JIR has no length requirements for manuscripts; authors are encouraged to be direct and concise to maintain a focus on key issues.
  • References - Carefully select references to ensure that citations are current and relevant; prioritize credible, published sources that have proven pertinent and valuable to the relevant investigations.  
  • Tables, Figures, Appendices & Graphics - When necessary, include supporting documents to illustrate the findings, relevance or utilization of materials. Prioritize supplements that promote easy, efficient integration of suggestions, findings or techniques into classroom (such as rubrics, assignments, etc.) applications.

To facilitate the masked portion of the manuscript review process, author's name and other identifying information should only appear on the title page; the remainder of the manuscript should be written in a more generalized fashion that does not directly divulge authorship or institutional affiliation.

Manuscript (including citations and references) must strictly follow APA style as dictated by the 6th Edition of the American Psychological Association Publication Manual (

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Review Process

JIR utilizes a two-stage review process that includes both public review with interactive discussion and traditional masked peer review.

  • Manuscripts receive a desk review by the Editor to determine fit and relevance for JIR. Manuscripts that pass desk review will be posted on the journal's website for interactive public review.
  • During the one-month interactive review stage, manuscripts are publicly available for review by the journal's peer review board as well as scholars in the broader academic community. All comments, replies and suggestions are publicly posted along with the paper during the public review stage. To ensure a permanent, documented record of review and authors' publication precedence, the title and abstract of each discussion paper will remain permanently as a public archive on the JIR website at the conclusion of the public review period. At the author's request, the entire manuscript (with corresponding comments) can be permanently archived on the JIR website.
  • Following public review, authors have the opportunity to revise their papers based on the feedback obtained during the public review discussion.
  • Revised papers are subjected to a traditional masked peer review to determine final acceptance for publication. Participate in the public review process does not guarantee publication; publication decisions will be based on the combined information gleaned from both the public and private review stages.
  • Designated reviewers from the Peer Review Board will be assigned to review the discussion paper and provide feedback; reviewers may elect to sign their public comments or remain anonymous.

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Review Criteria

The following dimensions will be utilized to evaluate manuscript submissions:

  • Relevance - Relevance highlights the impact of the paper for influencing best practices in post-secondary instruction.
  • Significance - Significance refers to the value, importance and worth of the manuscript within the context of higher education.
  • Originality - Originality refers to the level of innovation in practice, approach, technique or purposeful self-reflection.
  • Methodology - Methodology emphasizes appropriate methods of inquiry and theoretical interpretation.
  • Generalizability - Generalizability examines the extent to which findings and conclusions have implications across a range of academic disciplines or student populations.
  • Theoretical grounding - Theoretical grounding refers to the ability to quality of the literature review and the ability to ground manuscript within relevant literature/theory.
  • Clarity - Clarity evaluates the ability to communicate information in a clear, cohesive fashion.

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Review Outcomes

Utilizing feedback from the two-stage public and masked review process, the Editor will make a final publication decision. The review process will take approximately 12-16 weeks. Decisions categories include:

  • Reject - Rejected manuscripts will not be published and authors will not have the opportunity to resubmit a revised version of the manuscript to JIR.
  • Revise and Resubmit - Manuscripts receiving a revise-and-resubmit decision have value, but need significant revisions prior to receiving additional consideration for publication.
  • Accept Pending Revisions - A manuscript accepted-pending-revisions meets all the major requirements for publication but needs revisions in substantive, mechanical or methodological issues.
  • Accept - Accepted manuscripts will be published in the current form with no further modifications required.

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All correspondence concerning manuscripts should be directed to the Editor of JIR. The Editor will direct all correspondence to the lead author; the lead author is responsible for sharing communications with other authors. Beyond communication concerning the review, manuscripts accepted for publication will require additional correspondence to complete copyediting and typesetting.


  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
  • Calfee, R. & Valencia, R. (2001). APA Guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, DC: APA.

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