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Author Guidelines

The HLRC editors will return to the author any submission that does not contain all required information or adhere to submission criteria. While the work may be submitted once updated, authors can avoid such a delay in the submission process by adhering to the Author Guidelines and instructions for ensuring a blind review. (See "Ensuring a Blind Review" instructions below.)

Focus and Scope

HLRC is an open access journal with an international focus. Its aim is to disseminate both high quality research and teaching best practices in tertiary education across cultures and disciplines. HLRC connects the ways research and best practice contribute to the public good and impact the communities that educators serve. Peer reviewed and published articles have encompassed the following topics (submissions are not limited to this list):

  • Research and best practices in digital teaching and learning
  • Results from international collaborations regarding teaching and learning
  • How tertiary education contributes to training in 21st-century, global workplace skills
  • Assessment of student learning
  • Continuous quality improvement of academic programs and support services
  • The role of tertiary education in promoting civic engagement and globally competent citizenship
  • Tertiary education in developing countries
  • The role of institutional, local, national, and international policy on tertiary education

Authors are invited to submit their original, unpublished contributions in English. Contributions include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods empirical research; brief reports of ongoing research and practice that do not rise to the level of a full empirical studies; case studies; critical literature reviews; essays; editorial pieces that address contemporary issues in tertiary education; and book reviews. There are no submission fees or processing charges.

In 2017 HLRC editors began publishing manuscripts as they are accepted. Published articles will be compiled in two separate issues per volume, one in June and one in December. The editors may also publish supplements to address specific topics of interest.

The HLRC has established a double-blind peer review process in order to ensure the quality of the research and the publication.

Review Process

Each paper will be submitted for a preliminary review in which editors ensure the paper complies with the submission guidelines, as well as the focus and scope of the journal, and does not have any identifying information in order to ensure a blind peer review process. All manuscripts will be submitted to a plagiarism detection service prior to peer review. HLRC editors strongly recommend that authors utilize a plagiarism detection service before submitting to HLRC.

After the initial editorial review, each paper will undergo a double-blind (authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other) peer-review process. Peer reviewers submit one of the following recommendations: accept submission, revise and resubmit, resubmit for review, resubmit elsewhere, or decline submission.

If the peer-review reports come back recommending accept submission, an academic editor will then copyedit the paper and conduct an editorial review in order to validate the data sources and fact-check the references. 

For manuscripts returned with a revise and resubmit peer-review recommendation, the author will have no more than 30 days to revise (based on reviewer and editorial input) and resubmit the manuscript. Revised manuscripts received within the required time frame will proceed to the copyediting stage. If the author does not resubmit within that period of time, the manuscript will be declined, and the author will have to submit the manuscript for a new review.

If at any point during the review or editorial process plagiarism, duplicitous or redundant publishing, academic dishonesty, or research misconduct is found, the submission will be summarily rejected and the author may be precluded from submitting manuscripts for a period of 1 year. For more information, please see the HLRC Ethics Statement.

Instructions for Submitting Manuscripts


HLRC accepts unpublished manuscripts on a rolling basis. There are no submission fees or processing charges of any kind. Manuscripts must be submitted through the online submission process. Contributors must first register as authors within the HLRC website. Authors must not submit the manuscript of any article that is still under consideration by another publisher (duplicate submission).

Although it is not necessary to complete the registration process, HLRC editors strongly recommend authors obtain a digital author identifier such as ORCID. ORCID is an open registry of unique researcher identifiers that serve as authority control to ensure author names are properly spelled and cited. These identifiers help libraries and search databases better organize their contents and search results. Individual authors and researchers may obtain an ORCID identifier free of charge, and you can always obtain an author identifier at a later time.


  1. Authors must submit manuscripts following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). For further guidance, please feel free to visit the Purdue OWL website
  2. Manuscripts should not exceed 40 pages of double-spaced typescript, including manuscript text, notes, references, tables, graphs, and appendices. In certain cases, guest editors for special issues may request longer manuscripts.  
  3. Use a 12 point font with Times Roman or Arial typeface; double space text; employ italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and place all illustrations, figures, and tables at the appropriate points within the text, rather than at the end. While the Publication Manual allows for two spaces, please use a single space after periods between sentences. 
  4. Include an abstract of 200 words or less, summarizing the main points of the article, as well as a list of keywords. The abstract must include objectives, method, results, conclusions, and implication for theory and/or practice. If the article is written by an author whose institution uses a primary language other than English, the author may choose to submit the abstract in that language as well.
  5. Illustrations must be professional quality and formatted for online and printed display. All illustrations must have captions, be typed, be single-spaced, and be placed at the appropriate location in the paper. Images should be limited in size to no more than ¼ page and be at least 300 dpi resolution.
  6. Tables, graphs, and charts must be editable, not inserted as images. Please create tables using the table feature within the chosen word processing program to ensure ease in copyediting.
  7. First person may be used sparingly and in accordance with the Publication Manual.
  8. Provide, where available, URLs, database call numbers, or digital object identifiers (DOIs) for references.
  9. Submit files in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format only. Do not submit files in PDF. Contact the HLRC editors if you have questions about specific formats not included here.

Authors may download manuscript formatting and layout instructions for research articles and research briefs, as well as a preformatted manuscript template.


  1. Submissions must be original, unpublished work and must not be under consideration by another journal.
  2. Topics must adhere to HLRC's focus and scope.
  3. Authors’ names and host institutions must not appear anywhere in the manuscript (including headers, footers, first page, and body text) in order to ensure a blind review.
  4. Manuscripts must have a clear introduction or background and include a literature review that puts in context previous research in the subject area.
  5. Papers must present the methodology used to conduct the research, such that another researcher can replicate the study.
  6. Authors must avoid drawing conclusions or making statements that cannot be supported by previous research (literature review) or the data obtained.
  7. If applicable, authors must present research results in a coherent, organized fashion, and also provide an appropriate data or results analysis.
  8. The conclusion must not merely repeat clichés, and it must summarize the main ideas and results obtained. 
  9. Authors must cite and attribute all sources according to the Publication Manual, and include a reference list at the end.
  10. If ethics review approval was required, authors must include information related to the approval in the methods section.
  11. The manuscript must be carefully proofread for grammar and spelling errors.

Ensuring a Blind Review

To ensure the blind review process, authors must remove all identifying information in the manuscript, including all self-references (e.g., citing and referencing other work by the authors), references to the authors’ institutions, grants given to named individuals, file property identification, and hidden information.

  1. Exclude author names and affiliations from the first page of manuscripts. Include only the title, abstract, and keywords.
  2. Replace any information in the text (title, abstract, running head, footnotes, main text, tables, figures references, etc.) that would identify the author(s).
    1. Substitute author(s)/Author(s) for names or substitute bracketed phrases such as [name deleted for peer review].
    2. Refer to author citations as “(Author, Year)” or substitute bracketed phrases such as [name deleted for peer review].
    3. Delete author references from the reference list.
    4. Exclude mention of any grants awarded to a named person.
  3. Ensure all identifiers have been removed from electronic files, including personal or hidden information (e.g., author, manager, company, and last saved by; hidden text; revised text; comments; field codes; custom fields; or information required when registering software).

For Microsoft Word documents, follow the instructions provided by Microsoft, “Remove hidden data and personal information by inspecting documents,” which “Applies To:  Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007, Office 2010, Word Starter 2010.”

After peer review is completed, authors of accepted manuscripts reinsert all identifying information (including citations/references) before submitting the final draft of the manuscript for copyediting.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published in an academic journal, nor is it before another journal for consideration. If it is before a journal for consideration, please provide an explanation in the Comments to the Editor.
  • The submission is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format only and is not in PDF.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • The manuscript has been thoroughly proofread, including grammar and spellchecking, and checking for plagiarism and academic integrity.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions for ensuring a blind review have been followed. (These instructions become available when authors initiate the manuscript upload process in the submission system.)
  • The submission adheres to the focus and scope of the journal: academic research related to all aspects concerning higher education policy and practices at the tertiary (university) level.
  • The author has read the Ethics Statement and observes the accepted international standards for ethics in academic publishing.

Invited Articles

Invited Articles are original research or reports on the comprehensive analysis of other already published materials on a problem or topic. HLRC directly request submission from particular authors. Peer review occurs  and such submissions must adhere the formatting standards in the Author Guidelines.


Articles submitted for publication in the Journal must be original research or a report on the comprehensive analysis of other already published materials on a problem or topic, and must adhere the formatting standards in the Author Guidelines.

Book Reviews

Book reviews must be limited to 10 pages maximum, double space, and include the book title, author name, discipline, date of publication and publishing house, along with the name, credentials and qualifications of the reviewer.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in the HLRC site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of the journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.