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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, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines


The aim of The Journal of the Classic Theme (JCT) is to disseminate scholarly information to scholars and practitioners of open and distributed learning and teaching worldwide. Authors submit their manuscripts online by registering with this journal, logging in, clicking the New Submission link, and following the screen instructions through a five-step submission process. There are no article submission or access charges for publication in this open journal.

NOTE: An authentication email is sent automatically, which requires the registrant to validate his or her email address. Users cannot log in to JCT’s Web site until they validate their email addresses. Validation emails may be diverted to users' junk or trash folders. If you have trouble logging in to JCT’s site, please contact us at

Submission topics must relate to open or distributed learning and may be placed in the Research Article section or a Notes sections. Manuscripts, including all references, appendices, tables, and figures, must be between 4000 to 7000 words in length. Submissions that exceed this limit will not be accepted for review. Meta-analysis that include a large number of references may exceed this limit. Tables and figures are encouraged, and must be placed within the text.  Footnotes will not be accepted; however, endnotes can be included as appropriate. Supplemental files will not be accepted.  If you would like to provide supplemental information other than in an Appendix, you may provide a link for readers to an external website where this information is housed. APA style and referencing and double-blind peer review requirements are strictly enforced.

By submitting to JCT, the authors agree to the submission of their article to Turnitin for the sole purpose of detecting plagiarism.


A publishable paper should contain the following:

1. abstract (150-250 words, describing the research problem, the method, the basic findings, the conclusions, and the recommendations)

2. keywords

3. introduction (what is the problem?)

4. research method and/or theory used

5. if an application or experiment, a description of pool of subject, and how they were chosen;

6. analysis of research and how results impact theory and practice

7. conclusion

8. references


Manuscripts must conform to APA 6th edition standard for both referencing and style. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).

Follow the author-date method of citation in text. Ensure you provide page numbers for all direct quotes. Prepare an unnumbered reference list in alphabetical order by author. When there is more than one article by the same author(s), list the earliest paper first. References should include the names of all contributing authors. Ensure that all references are accurate and that any references cited in the text also appear in the reference section.

Below are some examples of the basic reference list format.

Citing an article in a paper periodical

Surname, A. A. (year). Article title. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), inclusive page numbers.

Example Grow, G. O. (1994). In defense of the staged self-directed learning model. Adult Education Quarterly, 44(2), 109-115.

Citing a book

Surname, A. A. (year). Title of book. Publisher location: Publisher Name.

Example Rogers, E. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

Citing online sources

Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (2000). Title of article. Title of periodical, volume number (issue number). DOI 10.1207/S15389286AJDE1604_2

Example Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(2). Retrieved from

For more information on citing sources, visit APA Style Help. Notes, if necessary, must appear at the end of the article (before reference list) as end notes. Use the end note feature provided by your word processor.


Refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010) for guidance on expression (including grammar and ways to reduce bias in language) and style (including punctuation, capitalization, headings, use of quotes, and italics, etc.).

Submissions in English. British, or American English spelling are acceptable, but usage must be consistent throughout. Please use spell check for all submissions.

To abbreviate the name of an organization or agency, use capitals and no periods (e.g., YWCA). For first occurrence, provide the full name with the abbreviation in parentheses, and use the abbreviation as required after that, for example, Simon Fraser University (SFU).


Manuscripts submitted for review and possible publication in JCT must be original material that has not been published nor submitted for review/publication elsewhere.

Publishing Previously Distributed Content

  1. Every article must maintain a high quality of scholarship, must not plagiarize the work of others, and must contribute to the field of open and distributed education scholarship.

    2. Articles published or under review by other peer review commercial or scholarly publishers are not eligible for publication in JCT. 

    3. Articles distributed as conference proceedings or self-published in blogs or institutional repositories should normally be revised substantially before review and possible publication by JCT. If your article is derived from a thesis or dissertation, please provide the name of the institution to which it was submitted, the date of submission, the author(s), and the supervisor. (The editor may ask to review in detail the publication/distribution history of any work to make this determination.)

    4. Articles that appeared in conference proceedings or were self-published should acknowledge this distribution history in a footnote.

    5. Authors submitting articles that were previously distributed should detail the rationale for review and publication by JCT in a note to the editor.

ESL/New Authors: If you are uncertain about whether your paper meets the standards required by a peer-reviewed journal, please consider seeking advice and assistance from AuthorAid at (mentoring service free-of-charge) or American Journal Experts at (fee-based editing, review, and translation service).



JCT features the following types of submission:

Research Articles

We accept for double-blind peer-review scholarly articles that feature theory, research, and/or best practice in open and distance learning (4000-7000 words, including references and abstract).


Shorter articles which are reviewed by the editors and sent for external and blind review; they may be featured as one of the following:

  • Research Notes - reports of proposed and ongoing research projects or completed projects that are missing critical components (e.g., theoretical basis).
  • Leadership Notes - relevant pieces focusing on leadership issues in distributed or learning.
  • Field Notes - shorter pieces describing innovative projects, applications, or interventions in distributed or open education programs.
  • Technical Notes - pieces which feature, compare, or critique technical tools, innovation, or applications

Book Reviews

One of the important features of International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning(JCT) is the review of current books that contribute to the literature of open and distributed education.  The aim of our Book Reviews is to engage distance educators worldwide in sharing their perceptions about new publications that contribute to the advancement of distance education theory, research, and or practice. While we normally invite specific reviews, we will consider unsolicited reviews.  (Please feel free to send unsolicited reviews to the Book Reviews Editor.)  While we do not have a universal template for a book review, we offer the following possible outline for you to consider as you prepare your review:

1.     Heading and Signature

Title in full, author, place, publisher, date of publication, edition, number of pages, and ISBN.  Followed by name of reviewer and institutional affiliation.

2.     Introduction

The review should begin with an introduction to the topic and an overview of the content of the book.  What is your main point in presenting this review?  Describe the background and qualifications of the author.  Who is the author’s intended audience?  What is the author’s purpose?  What is the author’s main thesis?

3.     Organization/Structure

What is the organization/structure of the book?  How accurate and current is the information presented?  How well does the development of the author’s thesis book draw on supporting ideas, arguments, documentation, and/or evidence?  Does the evidence support the conclusions?

4.     Assessment of significance to the field of distance education theory, research, and/or practice

How current is the information presented?  How effective is the author’s method of developing the information?    What is your assessment of the book’s major strengths and weaknesses?  How does it compare with other works on the same subject?  Does the book make a meaningful contribution to the literature of distance education theory, research, and/or best practice?

5.     Overall impression

What are your overall comments and conclusions about the book?  Why or why not would you recommend the book to others? What is your overall assessment of the book.

6.     Additional points re: mechanics

Provide support for your statements about the book in the form of examples. Are there any noteworthy statements or wording quotations you could cite to illustrate various points in your review?  When quoting from the book, add the page number in parentheses immediately following the quote.  Do not exceed 1000-1500 words.


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