Written by: Jennifer Friberg, SoTL Scholar-Mentor at ISU
While I was at ISSOTL, I attended a panel discussion on the evolution SoTL research publishing. Editors in attendance represented the following journals:
- Canadian Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Journal of Excellence in College Teaching
- Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology
- College Teaching
- Teaching and Learning Inquiry
Panelists discussed the changing face of publishing for each of their journals. Most have segued to an open access format successfully; several indicated a strong preference for inter-disciplinary SoTL work to be submitted for review. Looking towards the future, editors recognized a need to increase the involvement of researchers from around the globe through recruitment of SoTL work from other countries, publishing in languages other than English, and increased collaborations with international SoTL colleagues.
All panelists agreed that they have maintained a strong emphasis on providing thorough, but constructive reviews of all submitted manuscripts, indicating a distinct preference for reviewers to treat submitting authors professionally and supportively. Attendees asked questions related to how researchers could maximize their success in having work accepted by these journals for publication. Editor responses centered on a few main themes which can be best summarized as follows:
- Think of ways your SoTL work can appeal to a broad readership. While your research might be in one discipline, there are ways to write your manuscript to be inclusive and applicable to other fields of study. Broad disciplinary appeal adds to publishability.
- Carefully consider the evidence you present in your study in data-based SoTL work. While data can be quantitative , qualitative or a mix of the two, data should clearly provide evidence for readers to consider which provides novel insights into teaching and/or learning.
- Share your work with peers prior to submitting to a journal for consideration. Provide them with the mission and specific criteria for publication for the journal you plan to target for publication. Request feedback and consider making improvements to maximize the flow, content, and style based on feedback you receive.
In 2011, Patricia Rogers published the following recommendations for authors titled: What Makes a Great Article for IJ-SoTL. Those seeking to publish their SoTL research might find this article helpful, as well!