Guide for Authors

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The Journal of Second Language Writing is devoted to publishing theoretically grounded reports of research and discussions that represent a significant contribution to current understandings of central issues in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction. Some areas of interest are personal characteristics and attitudes of L2 writers, features of L2 writers' texts, L2 writers' composing processes, readers' responses to L2 writing, assessment/evaluation of L2 writing, contexts (cultural, social, political, institutional) for L2 writing, and any other topic clearly relevant to L2 writing theory, research, and instruction. Manuscripts should take care to emphasize the pedagogical implications of the work.


NOTE: We have updated the blinding policy for this journal you should avoid the use of Author and instead cite your own work like normal alongside other references. See the Citations section below for more information.

Contact details for submission

Authors are requested to submit their papers electronically by using the Journal of Second Language Writing online submission and review web site ( ). This site will guide authors stepwise through the submission process. The Publisher and Editors are not able to consider submissions that do not follow these procedures.

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication.

Researchers submitting manuscripts to the Journal of Second Language Writing are expected to obtain the necessary approval from local research ethics boards (or their equivalent) and informed consent from participants to participate in this research (where applicable). Evidence of compliance with these processes may be requested before publication.

Declaration of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in two places: 1. A summary declaration of interest statement in the title page file (if double-blind) or the manuscript file (if single-blind). If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. This summary statement will be ultimately published if the article is accepted. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Declaration of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in both places and that the information matches. More information.

Multiple submissions

Due to the volume of manuscripts received, we cannot accept simultaneous multiple submissions from the same author. Please do not submit a new manuscript to JSLW while another paper is still under consideration or review. Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described

• has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information)
• is not under consideration for publication elsewhere,
• has been approved for publication by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out
• will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder.
To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Article transfer service

This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights

As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing

Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Elsevier Researcher Academy

Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.


The journal accepts work written in the English, with one exception: the editors strongly recommend that qualitative data collected in another language be shared in its original form in addition to an English translation. While the editors do not consider minor language errors when evaluating the quality of a manuscript, authors who feel their manuscript may require editing for clarity may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop.

Submission Categories

The Journal of Second Language Writing accepts submissions in the following categories:

• Full-length articles
• Short Communication
• Forum

Full-length Articles

Manuscripts for full-length articles should be 7,500 to 10,000 words in length, including references, tables, figures, and appendices. We will desk-reject any initial submissions that exceed 10,000 words. Note that including research data in a non-English language does not count towards this word limit. Additional materials not included in the print version of the article can be uploaded as ‘Supplemental files’, where applicable. Please give a word count at the end of your article.

Short Communication

Short Communications should be accessible and relevant to our diverse international readership. We encourage short communications that bring attention to under-represented contexts of L2 writing and that, in doing so, contribute to building broad understanding of second language writing.

Submissions to this section should be 3,500-4,500 words in length, including references, tables, figures, and appendices. Short communication pieces should have fewer references than a full-length research article?no more than 15.

Journal of Second Language Writing accepts short communications in the following categories:

• Research Reports: The journal welcomes short reports on preliminary research findings or on smaller aspects of a larger study.

• Research into Practice: The journal welcomes reports focused on translating research findings into practice, which may include pedagogical, administrative, or other areas of practice. Manuscripts should provide clear details of the context and implementation of a particular practice and examine this in light of existing L2 scholarship.

• Conference Reports: The journal welcomes short reports on second language writing conferences (apart from the Symposium on Second Language Writing, on which we already publish an annual report), which may be proposed by individual authors within three months of the conference or invited by the editors. Interested authors should send a 200-word abstract about the proposed conference report to the editors for their approval before submitting the manuscript.


Submissions to the Forum section respond to an article recently published in the JSLW. Forum manuscripts should be 2,500-3,500 words in length, including references, tables, and figures.

Book Reviews

Journal of Second Language Writing publishes reviews of recent authored and edited publications focusing on different aspects of second and foreign language writing, including research, professional development, classroom approaches, and occasionally teaching texts. These publications concern not just writing in English as an L2, but also writing in other languages. Reviews can be commissioned by the book review editor(s), and also inquiries can be sent to the editors by potential authors who may have identified a book of interest to them. The journal seeks reviews that include a concise descriptive and evaluative summary of the contents (about one-third of the review) and a discussion of the significance of the work in the context of current L2 writing theory, research and/or practice, with references to other related work as appropriate (about two-thirds of the review). Reviews that discuss several books that contribute to an aspect of second language writing theory, research, and practice are also possible. Reviews of individual books are generally 1500 -2500 words in length. Reviews of multiple texts can be longer, up to 3500 words. Reviewers should make sure that there are no conflicts of interest between reviewers and authors. In all cases, reviewers should contact the book review editor(s) concerning their proposed book of interest before submitting a review. We ask that reviewers submit book review drafts to the book review editor(s), who will help with editing and revising. After revising, reviewers can submit their reviews to the online website at:

Disciplinary Dialogues

Contributions to this section are invited by the section editors. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


Submission to this journal is completely online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. Make sure that you do not include identifiers in the file names (e.g. name of author and/or institution).

If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.

Here is a list of what you will need to submit your manuscript in Editorial Manager at
• Files to be uploaded separately: title page (manuscript title, author names and affiliations, manuscript (without identifiers)
• Up to 6 keywords
• Word count (including references, tables, figures and appendices)
• Title
• Abstract (200 words or fewer)
• Author information
• Funding sources

Optional: Data in Brief (see below), Comments for Editorial Office.

Formatting and references

All manuscripts should be prepared according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition). This means they should be double-spaced, include a running head with page numbers, and include properly formatted section headers. To make it easier on our reviewers, we have one exception to APA formatting requirements: figures and the tables should be placed near the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the end of the manuscript.

Reference entries should similarly follow APA 7th edition, which means that active DOI hyperlinks are required for sources that have DOIs.

Tables and Figures

Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables and Figures should be formatted per APA guidelines, including numbering and labeling, and should be referenced in text. For review purposes, tables and figures should be placed next to the relevant text in the article.


Up to 6 keywords are required in Editorial Manager upon submission. Avoid general and plural terms and multiple concepts (e.g., "and," "of"). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field should be included. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.


Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field at their first occurrence in the article: both in the abstract (if applicable) and in the main text after it. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.


Citations may be given of lexical material from languages other than English; however, citations from languages not employing a Roman alphabet must be given in a Romanized transliteration or in a transcription which uses standard symbols available in the International Phonetic Alphabet. The Charis SIL IPA font is preferred for the presentation of IPA symbols (for more information, please visit:

To ensure that all identifying features have been removed from the paper, please omit all references to the author's name in the text and in the reference list. Any self-references (in-text and in the reference list) should be replaced with "Author."


Papers accepted for publication will have the opportunity to add an Acknowledgements section at the end of the article before the references. Acknowledgements should not be included in initial manuscript submissions as they may compromise the blind review process.

Peer review

This journal operates a double blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by one of the editors for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to at least two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The handling editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The handling editor?s decision is final. More information on types of peer review.

Your Paper Your Way Service

As part of the Your Paper Your Way service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately.

Double anonymized review

This journal uses double anonymized review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Blinded manuscript: While the main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should cite the author?s work as normal alongside other work, it should not include any information that allows readers to identify the author, such as self-referential mentions of one?s work.

Data references

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

References in a special issue

Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.


Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Citations may be given of lexical material from languages other than English; however, citations from languages not employing a Roman alphabet must be given in a Romanized transliteration or in a transcription which uses standard symbols available in the International Phonetic Alphabet. The Charis SIL IPA font is preferred for the presentation of IPA symbols (for more information, please visit: ).

Citations to your own work should be included like all other citations. For example, if you are citing your own work, do not use Author (e.g., Author, XXXX). Instead, indicate your actual name and the date of publication to cite that study. Also, avoid any self-referential mentions when citing your own work (e.g., Elsewhere, I have argued that). If desired, you can add self-referential mentions in after the review process has been completed. This approach will keep the review process blind while allowing reviewers to better assess what literature you are reviewing. If you feel the traditional use of Author?s would make more sense in your case, email the editors to request an exception to this policy before submitting your manuscript.

Accepted Submissions

File format

Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). See also the section on Electronic artwork.

Graphical abstract

Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 x 1328 pixels (h x w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 x 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or Microsoft Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.

Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration Services to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements.

Formatting of funding sources

List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.


Electronic artwork

General points
•Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
•Preferred fonts: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier.
•Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
•Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
•Indicate per figure if it is a single, 1.5 or 2-column fitting image.
•For Word submissions only, you may still provide figures and their captions, and tables within a single file at the revision stage.
•Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be provided in separate source files.

A detailed Guide on Electronic Artwork is available.

You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.


Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
•EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
•TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
•TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
•TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
Please do not:
•Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.
•Supply files that are too low in resolution.
•Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color Artwork

Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or Microsoft Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork

Supplementary material

Elsevier accepts supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please ensure that data is provided in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at:

IRIS database

Journal of Second Language Writing encourages authors to consider uploading their data collection materials to the IRIS database. IRIS is an online repository for data collection materials used for second language research. This includes data elicitation instruments such as interview and observation schedules, language tests and stimuli, pictures, questionnaires, software scripts, url links, word lists, teaching intervention activities, amongst many other types of materials used to elicit data. Please see for more information and to upload. Any questions, or the materials themselves, may be sent to When your article has been formally accepted for publication, your instrument(s) can be uploaded to the IRIS database with an 'in press' reference. The IRIS team will add page numbers to the reference once they are available.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Mendeley Data
This journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. During the submission process, after uploading your manuscript, you will have the opportunity to upload your relevant datasets directly to Mendeley Data. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online.

For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.

Data in Brief
You have the option of converting any or all parts of your supplementary or additional raw data into a data article published in Data in Brief. A data article is a new kind of article that ensures that your data are actively reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and made publicly available to all upon publication (watch this video describing the benefits of publishing your data in Data in Brief). You are encouraged to submit your data article for Data in Brief as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of your manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your data article will automatically be transferred over to Data in Brief where it will be editorially reviewed, published open access and linked to your research article on ScienceDirect. Please note an open access fee is payable for publication in Data in Brief. Full details can be found on the Data in Brief website. Please use this template to write your Data in Brief data article.

Data statement
To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.

If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.

We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail or, alternatively, 25 free paper offprints. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use. Additional paper offprints can be ordered by the authors. An order form with prices will be sent to the corresponding author.


The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.

Additional Information
Authors are entitled to a 30% discount on Elsevier books (excluding major reference works).

Fast Electronic Publication
Once the article has been proofed by the author, it will be published immediately on the journal's 'Articles in Press' section online, thus making it available to subscribers to read and cite. For more information, visit: .

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published