Instructions for Authors

Please note that due to the increasing popularity of the Research in Learning Technology, we are not currently accepting new submissions, while a backlog is processed.

We hope to re-open to new submissions shortly. 

ONLINE SUBMISSIONS After carefully reviewing the style guidelines below, submit manuscripts online by clicking on Submit Manuscript. Step-by-step instructions on how to submit your manuscript online are available during the submission process. 

Track the progress of your submission by logging into Research in Learning Technology’s website.

Please note that the submitting author will be the principal contact for editorial correspondence, throughout the peer review and proofreading process, if applicable.

To support our double-blind peer review process, be sure to remove identifying information from all documents, both metadata and text. Substitute "masked for review" for identifying text (such as the institution granting institutional approval) during the review process. Learn how to remove identifying metadata from Microsoft Word.

PLAGIARISM DETECTION To verify the originality of submitted content, RLT editors check all submissions for plagiarism using Similarity Check/Ithenticate, a plagiarism screening software that checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content.

Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting


LANGUAGE All articles should be written in English - British or American as long as consistency is observed. SI units should be used. Please subject the manuscript to professional language editing before submitting the final version if you are not a native speaker.

Articles should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of race, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout. Please ensure that writing is free from bias, for instance by using ‘s/he’, and by using non-racist language.

COMPETING INTERESTS Authors are responsible for disclosing all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interests. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such ‘participating investigators’ and their function or contribution should be described.

PUBLICATION FEE Publishing in Research in Learning Technology is free of charge. Colour illustrations are also free of charge, as is supplemental audio-visual or interactive material.

AUTHORSHIP Each of the manuscript’s authors should meet all three of the following criteria: (1) has made a substantial contribution to the design of the study, the collection of the data, or the analysis or interpretation of the data; (2) has drafted the manuscript or helped revise it, shaping its intellectual content; (3) has approved of the submitted manuscript. Each author should be able to take public responsibility for a portion of the paper’s content, and should be able to identify the co-authors who are responsible for the remaining material.

USE OF LLMs Large Language Model (LLM) tools such as ChatGPT will not be accepted as the main author for a proposal, because any attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, and AI tools cannot take such responsibility. 

Authors using LLM tools such as ChatGPT should set this out clearly in the acknowledgement section of the paper. (Adopted from Nature editorial policies).

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS Authors must ensure that their research is conducted in accordance with their institution's ethical guidelines and that appropriate clearance from the relevant committee is obtained prior to the work being submitted to Research in Learning Technology. Authors seeking further guidance should refer to Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research and the Framework for Ethical Learning Technology, which is widely applicable beyond Higher Education.

Manuscript Layout

Manuscripts should follow the traditional layout: Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, References. Insert running page numbers.

WORD LIMITS Please include a word count for your paper. The paper must be no more than 6000 words including tables, captions, and references. In some cases, the peer review process and redrafting may result in the published paper exceeding 6000 words, but if the paper is over the 6000 word limit on submission it will be desk rejected and not sent to review.

TITLE PAGE Organize the title page in the following way: 1) title of manuscript, 2) name of author(s), 3) name of department(s) and institution(s), 4) email addresses for all authors (listed by authors' initials), and 5) name and full postal and email address of the corresponding author who also acts as 'Guarantor' for all parts of the paper. Please observe that the journal adheres to a 'double blind' review process and thus the title page revealing the identity of the authors should be uploaded as a separate file.

The title should be informative and accurate and at the same time trigger the interest of the reader. A short running head will be derived from the title to appear on each page of the article.

ABSTRACT Articles must include an abstract of around 200 words providing sufficient information for a reader to be able to decide whether or not to proceed to the full text of the article. After the abstract, please give 3-5 keywords; avoid using the same words as in the title.

SECTION HEADINGS Please use headings styles to indicate section headings, but please avoid using numbered section headings. Use a maximum of three levels of heading. 

FIGURES Upon acceptance please supply figures/graphics/images in at least 300 dpi. 

If the figures/graphics/images have been taken from sources not copyrighted by the author, it is the author’s sole responsibility to secure the rights from the copyright holder to reproduce those figures/graphs/images for both worldwide print and web publication. All reproduction costs charged by the copyright holder must be borne by the author.

When figures/graphics/images are reproduced, a parenthesis should be added to the figure legend thus: (Reproduced with permission from xxx.)

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL Supplementary material may be added, and will be published in the form in which it is received.

REFERENCES SYSTEM References should follow the APA style and DOI numbers should be included where available. Examples:

Fenwick, T. (2016). Social media, professionalism and higher education: a sociomaterial consideration. Studies in Higher Education41(4), 664-677.

If there are more than three authors, list the first author, followed by et al.

Brech, F. M. et al. (2017). Engaging fans and the community in social media: Interaction with institutions of higher education on Facebook. Journal of Marketing for Higher education27(1), 112-130.

Krippendorff, K. (2013). Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. 3rd edn. Sage. 

Chapter in edited book
Hailu, M. F., & Sarubbi, M. (2021). Student resistance movements in higher education: an analysis of the depiction of Black Lives Matter student protests in news media. In, Haynes, C., Castillo-Montoya, M. & Hailu, M.F. & Stewart, S. (Eds.). Black Liberation in Higher Education. Routledge, 42-58.

Edited book
Cole, M., Engeström. Y. & Vasquez, O. (1997). Mind, Culture and Activity. Cambridge University Press.

Conference proceedings
Akbar, M.F. & Ozuem, W. (2019, April 9-10). Disruptive Innovation: The high end market perspective. In, 24th UK Academy for Information Systems International Conference, University of Oxford. Retrieved from

Das, S. (2022). Rapper AJ Tracey launches fund to help Black students at Oxford University. The Guardian, 16th October 2022,

Al-Imarah, A. (2019). Quality Assurance and Innovation: Case Studies of Massive Open Online Courses in UK Higher Education. Doctoral Thesis, University of Bath,

Blog Post
Shaw, L. (2022, 17th May). Stolen Time. The London Review of Books Blog.