Instructions for authors

Instructions for authors
The instructions for authors include information about the types of articles received for publication, how to write a research article and practice based article, Author guidelines, preparing a manuscript for submission to the Journal of Research in Open, Distance and eLearning and the online submission process. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the About section.
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Types of articles published by the Journal of Research in Open, Distance and eLearning 

Most articles published by the Journal of Research in Open, Distance and eLearning follow a specific format, as listed below:

  • Original research articlesfeature original research, theory, and/or best practice in open and distance and eLearning (approx. 3500 - 5500 words).
  • Invited articles: From thought leaders on their insights on new and emerging issues, innovation and developments in ODeL
  • Research notes: Short notes or reports of proposed and ongoing research projects or completed projects that are missing critical components e.g., a conceptual framework, incomplete analysis (approx. 2000 words).
  • Practitioner notes: Short notes by ODeL practitioners to share best practices, innovative interventions, processes and outcomes (approx. 2000 words).
  • Book and software notes: opinion pieces and reviews of recently published scholarly books or software of relevance to open and distance learning (approx. 1000 words).
  • Video presentations: Video presentations on research topics of interest.
  • Conference proceedings: Abstracts from conference proceedings


The submission process can be interrupted at any time; when users return to their journal’s personalised section, they can continue from where they left off.


Publication procedure  

On the acceptance of a manuscript for publication by the Editor-in-Chief, the editorial staff will work towards preparing the manuscript for online publication. The aim is towards a three-month turnaround time from acceptance to online publication. This is however dependent on the corresponding author’s responses during the final stages of editing.

The first stage is the language editing that is returned to the corresponding author for review. This will be the final opportunity for the author to make text changes to the manuscript. At a later stage, the editorial staff will send the author one set of galley proofs, at which time the author will have two working days to mark any typographical errors. It may not be possible to incorporate author corrections in the printed version of the manuscript in the event of the author failing to respond to the proofreading requests. Authors should visit their personalised home page frequently to assess the location or stage of the manuscript.


Publication, copyright and usage licence  

Authors submitting a manuscript to the Journal of Research in Open, Distance and eLearning grant the title owner African Virtual University an irrevocable licence and first right and perpetual subsequent right to:

  1. publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the article in any form or medium
  2. translate the article into other languages, create adaptations, summaries or extracts of the article or other derivative works based on the article and exercise all of the rights set forth in (1) above in such translations, adaptations, summaries, extracts and derivative works
  3. license others to do any or all of the above
  4. register the Digital Object Identifier for the published article. 

Ownership of copyright of the manuscript contents remains with the authors. The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the Journal of Research in Open, Distance and eLearning with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institutions’ websites or institutional repositories.

Articles are published online under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) usage licence.
In the event where a manuscript is not accepted for publication by the Editor-in-Chief, the authors will be free to submit the manuscript to any other publication for first publication.


Authorship and competing interest  

All co-authors (collaborators) share a degree of responsibility for articles they collaborate on. Hence, if an individual is unwilling to accept appropriate responsibility for a manuscript’s contents, the individual should not be a co-author.
A ‘co-author’ is defined as any person who has made a significant scientific contribution to the work reported and who shares responsibility and accountability for the results. We advise that authorship credit should follow and be based on:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. final approval of the version to be published.

JRODeL will seek reasons for any requests for changes in authorship; ensure changes are legitimate, justified and authorised by all authors.
Competing interest exist when an author’s interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by a personal or financial relationship with other people or organisations that can potentially prevent the authors from executing and publishing unbiased research. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests as well as any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment were they to become public after the publication of the manuscript.
Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read ‘The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.’ 

>> Read more on Responsible Research Publication: International Standards for Authors