Research in the Teaching of English
RTE is the flagship research journal of NCTE.
Write for Us: Submission Guidelines
Thank you for your interest in publishing in Research in the Teaching of English. Below you will find information about how to prepare your manuscript to submit to the journal and the criteria we used in evaluating and making decisions about accepting manuscripts for publication. We have also prepared a series of video recordings that you may find helpful including a video specifically about submissions guidelines. You can soon find those videos on our YouTube page. We encourage you to contact us with any questions. You can contact us at RTEEditors@gmail.com.
Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) is an archival, educational research journal of the highest standardsincorporating a broad range of epistemologies and ontologies that builds the research base and theoretical base for the fields of language arts education, literacy education, and literature education, in and out of classroom contexts, across the lifespan, inclusive of grades preschool through graduate education and in teacher education. RTE publishes scholarshipthat is grounded in the social sciences and in the humanities.
Among the areas appropriate for manuscripts submitted to RTE are:
- Critical perspectives on race/ethnicity, sexuality, class, religion, dis/ability in language, literacy, and literary education research and scholarship;
- Digital and social media practices and their relation to educational contexts;
- Discourse(s) and other semiotic forms (e.g., genre, media, modes of delivery) shaping literacy teaching and learning;
- English teacher education, professionalization, and professional development;
- Global, political, and economic forces shaping literacy, language arts, and literature teaching and learning;
- Social identity, power, and culture in the teaching and learning of English language arts;
- Language and literacy education policies;
- Multilingualism and World Englishes in literacy education practices and contexts;
- Social, ideological, and ethical values embedded in texts, textual practices, and teaching;
- Students’ literacy development over time and across contexts;
- Teaching and interpretation of literature, media, and culture;
- Writing and reading in PreK-12 and postsecondary school settings;
- Writing and reading in family, community, and other settings.
General Submission Guidelines
All submissions to RTE are required to:
_____ Be original work, that is previously unpublished; manuscripts that are slightly revised from previous publications are not acceptable.
_____ Be submitted only to RTE and is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication elsewhere.
_____ Conform to the requirements of the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Manual).
_____ Adhere to the Bias-Free Guidelines of the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020).
_____ Conform to NCTE’s Statement on Gender and Language.
_____ Conform to standards for appropriate referencing of other people’s ideas and writing; such standards can be found in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020), including referencing the original genesis of ideas and writings (and, as appropriate, not secondary sources and references).
_____ If the reported research involves people, the research must have had prior approval by the researcher’s institutional review board (Human Subject Review Board) and, if the manuscript is accepted for publication, evidence of such approval will need to be submitted. If the researcher’s institution does not have an Institutional Review Board, researchers must follow guidelines of ethical research practice, including obtaining participant consent and avoiding placing participants at risk. In all cases, manuscripts submitted to RTE reporting research involving people must have been conducted in manner respectful of those people and similarly written in respectful language.
_____ All persons who have a reasonable claim to authorship must be named in the manuscript as coauthors; the corresponding author must be authorized by all coauthors to act as an agent on their behalf in all matters pertaining to publication of the manuscript, and the order of names should be agreed by all authors.
Preparing Your Manuscript
- Articles should be no more than 10,000 words (including references, notes, and tables). Please include the word count at the end of your submitted manuscripts in parentheses.
- Supplemental materials may be submitted along with a manuscript. These materials will only appear online as separate items associated with your manuscript.
- Include an abstract no longer than 200 words and 4-5 keywords (not included in word count).
- Double space all text in the manuscript and format it in 12-pt font.
- Manuscripts must be masked, with no author identifying information included. If you refer to your own work in self-referential ways (e.g., “in my previous study”), please replace references with “Author” and the publication date.
- Manuscripts should be formatted in accordance with APA (7th edition). Unless submitted as supplemental materials, please include tables and figures in the text itself for ease of reading.
- Do not include a title page.
- The filename of a manuscript should include the corresponding author’s last name and manuscript tile (the first six words or fewer of the title)
- Do not include DOIs in the reference list.
- Submit your manuscript through the Editorial Manager system. (First-time users will be asked to register. If a paper has more than a single author, the person submitting the manuscript needs to identify as corresponding author and then add other authors. RTE does not accept manuscripts submitted by email).
- To respect reviewers’ time, RTE restricts submissions to one per author at any given time. We will return multiple, simultaneous submissions without review.
Increasingly, educational research manuscripts submitted to research journals such as Research in the Teaching of English (RTE), are including researcher “positionality statements.” While it is not a requirement that submitted manuscripts include a positionality statement, we—the editors of RTE—believe it will be helpful to authors to clarify our view of “positionality statements” including what a positionality statement is and best practices in the composition and use of positionality statements.
A positionality statement is one part of a more extensive process of reflexivity that all authors need to engage in while conceiving, designing, conducting, analyzing, and disseminating research. It is a “final product of a complex, ongoing process of reflexivity throughout the research” (Martin et al., 2022, p. v). Reflexivity begins by “identifying preconceptions brought into the project by the researcher, representing previous personal and professional experiences, pre-study beliefs about:
- how things are and what is to be investigated,
- motivation and qualifications for exploration of the field, and
- perspectives and theoretical foundations related to education and interests” (Malterud, 2001, p. 484).
A researcher can center reflexivity by recognizing, interrogating, and disrupting the power relationships they share with their participants (Holmes, 2020) and the privilege and biases that they have. By doing so, a researcher makes their positionality visible as a continued throughline in their research, rather than an afterthought at the end of the research process (Martin et al., 2022; Secules et al., 2021; van Wingerden, 2022). Hence, “reflexivity informs positionality” (Holmes, 2020, p. 2).
The purpose of stating one’s positionality is to aid readers to better understand and assess:
- a researcher’s grounding in ontology and epistemology,
- a researcher’s role in the research,
- extant explicit and implicit power relations between the researcher(s) and participant(s) and
- the credibility and integrity of the researcher’s methodology, results, and analysis (Holmes, 2020).
Thus, while drafting a positionality statement, a researcher should include only those items from a process of reflexivity that allow the readers to assess the items listed above and related aspects.
A positionality statement is not a checklist of a researcher’s possible identity markers but only those that are consequential (Sybing, 2022), functional, and relevant to the specific research topic under study. Positionality statements cannot be reduced to a formula, checklist, or template. Since a researcher’s positionality is never fixed or singularly defined at any given moment; it is always intersectional, situational, and contextual (cf., Holmes, 2020), positionality statements need to be thoughtfully written specific to the research study and reflect a process of reflexivity.
Even though inclusion of a positionality statement helps maintain a record of “… the extent to which certain identities have been represented in the permanent scientific record” (Roberts et al., 2020, p. 111), we recognize that a positionality statement might make some researchers vulnerable in particular ways or put them at a professional and personal risk (Martin et al., 2022). There are also circumstances in which a positionality statement could make participants in the research study vulnerable. In these and similar circumstances, a researcher’s decision not to include a positionality statement within their manuscript needs to be respected. Omission of a positionality statement will not in-and-of-itself put any report of a research study at a disadvantage during the review and publication process at RTE. However, it is expected that authors engage in a process of reflexivity that is made transparent.
Positionality Statement Examples
Brownell, C. J. (2021). Children’s rhetoric in an era of (im)migration: Examining critical literacies using a cultural rhetorics orientation in the elementary classroom. Research in the Teaching of English, 55(3), 265–288. https://doi.org/10.58680/rte202131186
Limerick, N. (2023). Linguistic registers and citizenship education: Divergent approaches to content, instruction, Kichwa use, and state relationships in Ecuador’s intercultural bilingual education. American Educational Research Journal, 60(2), 219–256. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312231152584
Martínez, R. A. (2017). ‘Are you gonna show this to white people?’: Chicana/o and Latina/o students’ counter-narratives on race, place, and representation. Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(1), 101–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2015.1121219
Player, G. (2021) “My color of my name”: Composing critical self-celebration with girls of color through a feminist of color writing pedagogy. Research in the Teaching of English, 55(3), 216–240. https://doi.org/10.58680/rte202131184
Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20(1), 43–63.
Holmes, A. G. D. (2020). Researcher positionality – A consideration of its influence and place in qualitative research – A new researcher guide. Shanlax International Journal of Education, 8(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.34293/education.v8i4.3232
Malterud, K. (2001). Qualitative research: Standards, challenges, and guidelines. The Lancet, 358, 483-488.
Martin, J. P., Desing, R., & Borrego, M. (2022). Positionality statements are just the tip of the iceberg: Moving towards a reflexive process. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 28(4), v–vii. https://doi.org/10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2022044277
Roberts, S. O., Bareket-Shavit, C., Dollins, F. A., Goldie, P. D., & Mortenson, E. (2020). Racial inequality in psychological research: Trends of the past and recommendations for the future. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(6), 1295-1309. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620927709
Secules, S., McCall, C., Mejia, J. A., Beebe, C., Masters, A. S., L. Sánchez-Peña, M. L., & Svyantek, M. (2021). Positionality practices and dimensions of impact on equity research: A collaborative inquiry and call to the community. Journal of Engineering Education, 110(1), 19–43.
Sybing, R. (2022). Dead reckoning: A framework for analyzing positionality statements in ethnographic research reporting. Written Communication, 39(4), 757–789. https://doi.org/10.1177/07410883221114152
van Wingerden, E. (2022). Unmastering research: Positionality and intercorporeal vulnerability in international studies. International Political Sociology, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/olac008
Authors must secure permission to reprint tables or figures used in or adapted from another source. Written permission from the copyright holder is required before RTE can publish the material. RTE editors reserve the right to make editorial changes in any manuscript accepted for publication to enhance clarity, conciseness, or style. Authors of accepted manuscripts will generally have five to ten days to respond to copy edits and page proofs. The editors’ decisions are final.
Initial Format Review. After a manuscript is submitted through the Editorial Manager system, it is reviewed to ensure that it has been appropriately masked, meets the word limit, and meets other submission requirements as noted earlier. Manuscripts that do not meet the submission requirements will be returned without further review.
Initial Content Review. After it is determined that the manuscript meets the initial format review, it is reviewed to determine if the content is appropriate with regard to: topic, originality, rigor, clarity of writing, format, and contribution to the field in terms of research, theory, and practice. If a manuscript does not meet the initial content review criteria, it is returned without further review.
Sending A Manuscript Out to Review. If a manuscript meets Initial Format Review and Initial Content Review, then it is sent out to up to four external reviewers. The RTE editorial team typically selects reviewers who have expertise in the topic area, theoretical framing, and methodology. Sometimes, the editorial team may decide that it would be helpful to have one of the reviewers who holds a different perspective. Please note that the editorial team takes into consideration the perspective of a reviewer when reviewer comments are interpreted. Once the reviews are received by the editorial team, the team reads the reviews and again reads the manuscript. The editorial team decides whether to accept the manuscript as is, accept the manuscript with revisions, ask that the manuscript be revised and resubmitted, or reject the manuscript. The editorial team writes a letter explaining its decision and, if appropriate, explains the needed revisions. The letter and all the reviews are sent to the corresponding author. It may be helpful to know that if the decision is “revise and resubmit,” the editorial team does indeed view the manuscript as having potential for publication in RTE; however, the editorial team is not ready at that time to commit to publication and wants to review the manuscript with revisions.
Revising a Manuscript. If the decision on a manuscript involves revisions (e.g., accept with revisions or revise and resubmit), the editorial team will provide a detailed letter describing the needed revisions and a deadline by which the manuscript must be returned or resubmitted. If the suggested revisions are unclear, an author may want to speak with the editorial team. If so, we encourage you to contact the editorial team via email or telephone.
Submitting a Revised Manuscript. When you return a revised manuscript, you need to include a letter detailing how you have responded to each of the requested revisions. After receiving your revised manuscript, the editorial team will decide if it needs to go out for review again, and if so, by how many reviewers. The editorial team may decide to use the original or new reviewers. Whether the revised manuscript is sent out to external reviewers or is only reviewed by the editorial team, the editorial team will make a decision whether to accept the manuscript, accept with further revisions, ask that the manuscript be revised and resubmitted, or reject the manuscript. The decisions will be accompanied by a detailed letter. Please note, it is not unusual for a manuscript to go through multiple rounds of revision.
- Sound and Clear Argumentation. Overarching the evaluation of a manuscript is the soundness and depth of the argument being made. As there are many different forms of argumentation, and since argumentation reflects diverse academic disciplines as well as diverse cultural contexts, there cannot be a single set of criteria for a sound argument, nor can criteria be enumerated nor represented by a formula. Nonetheless, a manuscript should present sound and clear argumentation even recognizing the diversity of ways in which argumentation is defined. For discussions of arguments in research and theorizing in the social sciences and in the humanities, we refer you to American Educational Research Association (2006, 2009), Eemeren et al. (2017), Olmos (2017), and Toulmin (2003), among others. The RTE editors have provided a series of videos on research-based argumentation. They can be found on the RTE YouTube channel by following this link.
- Contribution to the Field. Does the manuscript make a new and substantial contribution the field? Does the manuscript identify a research problem that is significant for the field of language arts, literacy, and/or literary education? Is the problem identified, or the approach to the problem that is taken, original? Do the findings or conclusions deliver new insights in relation to that problem?
- Theoretical Framing. Does the manuscript provide a clearly articulated, coherent, and appropriate theoretical framing that takes into account historical and social contexts? To the extent that the manuscript makes a theoretical contribution, how well is the theory that grounds the article extended, rebutted, or reconceived as a consequence of the analysis?
- Methodological Soundness. Does the manuscript clearly describe and employ a methodology consistent with the theoretical orientation that informs the investigation and the goals of the paper? How well is the methodology reasoned, warranted, and grounded in the research problem, theoretical framing, and in the historical and social contexts of the scholarship (as opposed to being simply followed)?
- Analysis & Interpretation. Does the analysis and interpretation reflect grounding in the research goals, the theoretical framing and methodology? How is the analysis and interpretation systematic? Is the analysis and interpretation attentive to alternative analyses and interpretations?
- Quality of Scholarly Context and the Contexts of the People’s Lives. Does the manuscript attend to the scholarly conversations (i.e., related research) that contextualize the theorizing and/or research reported in the manuscript? Does the representation of the contextualizing scholarly conversations include those that have been historically marginalized?
- Quality of Writing. Is the writing clear, fluent, and engaging? Does the writing reflect attention to how language socially positions social groups and individuals?
- Practical Implications. If the manuscript includes practical implications of the research/findings, are the applications appropriately warranted?
American Educational Research Association. (2006). Standards for reporting on empirical social science research in AERA publications. Educational Researcher, 35, 6, 33-40.
American Educational Research Association. (2009). Standards for reporting on humanities-oriented research in AERA publications. Educational Researcher, 38, 6, 481-486.
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publications manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). http//doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
van Eemeren, F. H.; Snoeck Henkemans, A. F. (2017). Argumentation: analysis and evaluation (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Olmos, P. (Ed.). (2017). Narration as argument. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Toulmin, S. E. (2003). The uses of argument. New York: Cambridge University Press.
This document approved by the RTE Editors on April 6, 2022.