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ALARj Submission Guidelines

Journal submissions must be original and unpublished work suitable for an international audience and not under review by any other publisher or journal. No payment is associated with submissions. Copyright of published works remains with the author(s) shared with Action Learning, Action Research Association Ltd (ALARA). Please see the copyright page for more information.

The ALARj aims to include high-quality, thought-provoking articles about Action Learning and Action Research. Authors must ensure their submitted articles meet these expectations of quality to increase the article's likelihood of being accepted for publication.

While the ALARj promotes established practice and related discourse, new and first-time authors are also encouraged to submit articles (inclusion of these articles will be limited). ALARj also encourages unconventional approaches to reflecting on practice including poetry, artworks and other forms of creative expression that can in some instances progress the field more appropriately than academic forms of writing. An abstract or article outline (approx. 500 words) can be emailed to the Editor at editor [at] with a view to developing a full article. If a reviewer is available, we will invite that reviewer to work with the author in a mentoring process to shape the article. This assistance is entirely dependent on the availability of a reviewer.

Reviewers use the follow criteria as appropriate to the paper's content. Authors are not required to meet all criteria, as we recognise action learning and action research writing reflects different aspects of the field. Reviewers assign a score for each criteria (1-5) and the total score determines if the paper should advance to editorial review (at least 23 out of 55).

  1. How well are the paper and its focus both aimed at and/or grounded in the world of practice?
  2. How well are the paper and/or its subject explicitly and actively participative: research with, for and by people rather than on people?
  3. How well do the paper and/or its subject draw on a wide range of ways of knowing (including intuitive, experiential, presentational as well as conceptual) and link these appropriately to form theory of and in practices (praxis)?
  4. How well does the paper address questions that are of significance to the flourishing of human community and the more-than- human world as related to the foreseeable future?
  5. How well does the paper consider the ethics of research practice for this and multiple generations?
  6. How well does the paper and/or its subject aim to leave some lasting capacity amongst those involved, encompassing first, second and third person perspectives?
  7. How well do the paper and its subject offer critical insights into and critical reflections on the research and inquiry process?
  8. How well does the paper openly acknowledge there are culturally distinctive approaches to Action Research and Action Learning and seek to make explicit their own assumptions about non-Western/ Indigenous and Western approaches to Action Research and Action Learning?
  9. How well does the paper engage the context of research with systemic thinking and practices?
  10. How well do the paper and/or its subject progress AR and AL in the field (research, community, business, education or otherwise)?
  11. How well is the paper written?


Journal articles may use either Australian/UK or USA English spelling and should use Harvard style referencing. See the Imperial College London Referencing Harvard Style manual (286 Kb) for more information. It is preferred that footnotes not be used unless especially necessary. Please do not use endnotes.

Submissions should contain:

  • 1 ½ or double-spacing in all manuscripts, including references, notes, abstracts, quotations, figures and tables
  • Double quotation marks within single quotation marks to set off material that in the original source was enclosed in single quotation marks. Do not use quotation marks to enclose block quotations (any quotations of 40 or more words)
  • Harvard style referencing is preferred (any other style will not be accepted - the paper will be returned for revision)
  • Maximum of 8000 words for peer reviewed articles and 3000 words for other journal items (including tables and figures)
  • An abstract of 100-150 words
  • Minimal use of headings (up to 3 levels is acceptable)
  • For any images or diagrams, see instructions below
  • On a cover sheet, please include contact information including full name, affiliation, email address, small photo (.jpeg/.jpg - no larger than 150 pixels) and brief biographical note of up to 100 words. This biographical note should describe the Action Learning / Action Research experience of the author(s)
  • The whole content must be thoroughly proofread before submission

Images, Diagrams, Photographs and Tables

The ALARj is published in an A5 format (15 x 21 cm), and appears in colour in its online form and in black and white in its printed form. All images, photographs and tables must comply with the following.

  • Any images, diagrams, photographs and tables should only be used to add value to the article.
  • 'Group' all entities within each single image prepared with MS Word drawing tools and anchor them to the page.
  • Ensure all images, diagrams, photographs and tables have sufficient internal contrast to be clear when printed in colour and in black and white.
  • Ensure all images, diagrams, photographs and tables are clear when sized at 10 x 14 cm or a smaller size, as appropriate to the image, photograph or table.
  • All text within images, diagrams and tables must be equivalent to Arial 8 pt or Calibri 9 pt or larger when the image is sized at 10 x 14 cm or the desired smaller size.
  • The author(s) must gain the permission of any people in photographs before publishing. The author should have written permission in these instances and forward such permission to the Editor.
  • Submit all images, diagrams, photographs and non-standard Word tables as separate files, as well as including them in the article (Note: the location may change slightly for editing reasons).
  • Files of the images, diagrams and photographs should be jpg / jpeg format and small (under 150 Kb).

Structure of Content

All contributions for review should fit the following structure (only include those sections that are appropriate to your article):

  • Title (concise and extended as required)
  • Abstract (100-150 words)
  • Body of Article – e.g. introduction, background, literature review, main argument or research question, research methodology, research results, discussion, conclusions and future work (see formatting template)
  • Useful links (if referring to weblinks, include these in full)
  • Acknowledgements (up 100 words)
  • Reference list
  • Cover note as described above with biographical notes of authors and optional small photo image of author(s)

Appendices should only be included if the information they contain significantly expands on, and adds value to, the content of the article.

Peer reviewed submissions

Peer review can be either transparent or blind. A transparent review involves the reviewers knowing the identity of the author/s, and the author/s knowing the identity of the reviewers so that a dialogue can ensue. A blind review preserves the anonymity of both the author/s and reviewers. A blind peer review is the more conventional approach and preferred by academic institutions. Author/s preferring blind peer review must indicate so when emailing their submission. Blind reviews also require the author/s to strip any identifying information about themselves from their text.

The review process is managed through an international panel of established practitioners and scholars. The process can take about 3 months or more depending on the revisions required. All correspondence will be directed to the lead author unless otherwise requested. Please ensure your email address is correct.

Authors are reminded that all those involved in the review and publication of the ALARj are volunteers, with other work commitments. The turnaround time for a review is highly flexible, depending on other commitments of reviewers (and editorial team). Authors can email the editor at editor [at] if they have questions about the progress of their article.

Making your submission

Submissions are uploaded to our Open Journal System (OJS) editing and publication site. Go to

A full set of instructions on using the ALARj website for Authors is available here (580 Kb).

At the top of the page, you need to "Register" as an "author" then upload your paper. The Managing Editor will be automatically alerted once this is done. The Managing Editor then assigns an ALARA reviewer to your paper, or two reviewers if the voluntary capacity is available.

The reviewers use the OJS system to send you feedback within a 2-3 month period (as a general guide). You will receive emails at each stage of the process with feedback, and if needed, instructions included in the email about how to make revisions and resubmit. On resubmission, your paper is given final approval, then edited and formatted for publication.

The journal is published electronically on the OJS website, and to ALARA members via the members section on the ALARA website.

If you or your organisation wants to become an ALARA member, go to our Membership page.

EBSCO and Informit also publish the journal commercially for worldwide access. Printed or electronic versions can be purchased by emailing admin [at]

By submitting a paper for publication by ALARA, the author(s) are agreeing to ALARA's guidelines on copyright and authors' copies.