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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, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point Times New Roman 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,.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines

General Guidelines

Please read the general guidelines thoroughly. Articles will be accepted in the following format:

  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx).
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman or similar font.
  • Margins should be 1.0 inch on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Include a title page with each author's name and contact information. (Please indicate the institutions and/or grant numbers of any financial support you have received for your research. Also indicate whether the research reported in the paper was the result of a for-pay consulting relationship.) If your submission is derived from a paper you have published elsewhere please make that evident on your title page as well.
  • Include an abstract of 175 or fewer words. The abstract should reflect the content and findings of the article and emphasize new and important aspects of or observations related to the study. In general, it should include information on the background or context of the study as well as the purpose(s), methods, results, conclusions, and policy and/or leadership recommendations.
  • Using the APA Style Manual, 6th edition, fully reference all prior work on the same subject and compare your paper to that work. In addition to referencing the work of other scholars, you should be certain to cite your own work when applicable.
  • Figures and Tables
    1. Please state the number of figures, tables, and illustrations accompanying your submission so that editorial staff and reviewers can verify their receipt.
    2. Where possible, supply figures in a format that can be edited so that we can regularize and edit spelling, the font and size of labels and legends, and the content and presentation of captions.
    3. Illustrations need to be of publishable quality as we do not have a dedicated graphics department.
    4. If you are submitting a figure as an image file (e.g., PNG or JPG), do not include the caption as part of the figure; instead, provide the captions with the Word file of the main text of your article.
  • We recommend short, effective titles that contain necessary and relevant information required for accurate electronic retrieval of the work. The title should be comprehensible to readers outside your field. Avoid specialist abbreviations if possible.
  • We publish a picture on the journal home page with each article. We encourage authors to submit their own digital photographs.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  • Where available, URLs for the references are provided.
  • Upon acceptance of the manuscript, all revisions must be made in 'Track Change Mode' when resubmitted.

 

Genre Specific Guidelines

In general the journal focuses on papers within the following five genres:

  • empirical studies;
  • concept papers grounded in empirical and scholarly literature;
  • policy briefs;
  • reflective essays on professional experience.
  • book Reviews

Genre guidelines governing submission are specific to the type of paper you are submitting.

Empirical Studies

We are interested in submissions of academic studies of educational leadership consistent with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs. For our purposes, quantitative studies seek to examine, compare, describe, or discover relationships among variables through the analysis of reliable and valid numerical data. Qualitative studies seek to explore institutions, people, and their practices, activities, cases, social or cultural themes, or experiences to find meanings shared by participants in a setting; such studies rely on observations, interviews, document analysis, focus groups, and related data sources useful in interpreting local meanings. Mixed methods studies incorporate a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase orchestrated to provide the broadest possible understanding of a phenomenon, problem, or case. Our reviewers will consider the following elements in making judgments about publishing empirical study submissions.

Quantitative Studies

  1. The introduction should state the research problem and justify its importance for an audience of school administrators, professors, other researchers, and policy makers. As a leadership and policy studies journal, we seek submissions for peer review that advocate for equity and social justice and focus on educational problems of impact on high-poverty, diverse learners. Readers should have a clear understanding early in the study of the key factors or variables causing or associated with the research problem and the posited relationship among those variables under study. These variables should constitute the set of factors measured during data collection. Additionally, these factors should be named in the research question(s).
  2. The introduction should provide the theoretical perspective of the researcher(s) on previously published scholarship about the research problem and its key factors, including mention of established or emerging theoretical models or policy concepts. Extended discussion of the literature should not take place in the introduction, though collections of referenced authors in parentheses can be used as signposts for the discussion of the literature. 
  3. The introduction should include a statement of purpose that explains for the audience what the researcher(s) aim to accomplish by conducting and publishing the study. Again, as a policy studies journal, we welcome submissions that logically and cogently advocate for underserved learners. To that end, the introduction should also include a carefully crafted research question(s) or hypothesis about the key factors in the context of learning communities made up of high-poverty, diverse learners. 
  4. Following the introduction, the discussion of relevant literature should make a theoretical argument for the importance of and relationships among the key variables and include current seminal empirical studies with a clear bearing on the research question and on the key factors, while engaging the readers in a critical analysis of these studies. A conceptual or theoretical framework should lead readers to a point of clarity about the logical reasons for selection of the research question(s) as the basis for data collection. We ask authors not to view the discussion of the literature in a quantitative report as they might traditionally view a full-blown review of the literature. Three critical elements we seek are currency, quality, and relevance of the studies discussed. Researcher(s) should assume the audience has non-expert knowledge of the topic and should therefore provide sufficient context for engaged readers to grasp the relevant meanings of concepts. 
  5. The methods section should fully explain the research design, i.e., everything connected with participants, interventions, instruments, chronology, and procedures for data collection and analysis. If human subjects are involved, readers should be provided with sufficient information to understand the nature of the population, sampling procedures employed if appropriate, criteria for inclusion and exclusion in the study, and any other information required to understand the study in its context. If a treatment is employed, it should be fully explained with attention to any ethical issues raised by the study. If instruments or surveys or other materials are employed, they should be fully explained. Planned statistical analyses should be described and explained with attention to how the analysis will answer the research question(s). Limitations and delimitations should be stated explicitly, using the terminology of threats to internal and external validity where appropriate. 
  6. The findings section should logically and sequentially address all research question(s) and/or hypotheses. Tables and Figures are used to contribute to the readability and comprehensibility of the report. Results of statistical tests or other analyses are explained and interpreted with sufficient background to make clear the connections between the results and the research questions. 
  7. The discussion section comments on conclusions drawn with regard to the research problem. The discussion should have a clear connection to the theoretical perspective and framework developed in the introduction and literature review. In this section researcher(s) should trace implications from the study with an eye toward alternative interpretations, make recommendations for action,. It is appropriate for reports published in JTLPS to argue for particular policy and leadership actions and strategies that are supported by findings as advocates for students. We encourage authors to be purposeful in taking a strong stance on the phenomena under study, when such a stance is supported by the study�s findings.

Qualitative Studies

  1. Like quantitative studies, the introduction to a qualitative study should state the research problem and justify its importance for an audience of school administrators, professors, other researchers, and policy makers. As a leadership and policy studies journal, we seek submissions for peer review that advocate for equity and social justice and focus on educational problems of impact on high-poverty, diverse learners. Unlike quantitative research, however, a research problem appropriate for qualitative study has not been theorized to the point that variables have been identified and defined; the need for the study derives from the need for clarity about the underlying concepts, practices, meanings, or variables involved in the problem. Alternatively, existing theory may be inaccurate, incomplete, or biased, and a need for exploration of such theory in practice invokes qualitative study.
  2. The introduction should provide readers with a clear sense of any theoretical lens researchers are using to view the concept or phenomenon under exploration, e.g. critical race theory, funds of knowledge, distributed leadership models, etc. Often, qualitative studies are written from a first-person point of view, and readers are provided with insight into the experiences of the researchers that led to the study. In light of this personal stance toward the audience, writers should provide multiple reasons for the significance of the study vis a vis its contribution to existing scholarship, its potential to improve practice, or its potential to improve policy.
  3. The statement of purpose should include information about the central concept or phenomenon under study, the participants in the study, and the research site or context. Unlike quantitative studies where at least two variables are identified with the intention of comparing or relating them, qualitative studies focus on one central concept or idea as it plays out in a setting with participants going about their ordinary lives. One main purpose of qualitative research is to identify and explore concepts, factors, or variables (themes) emerging from the qualitative data and to develop insights that explain what these themes mean in the lives of the participants.
  4. The introduction should conclude with the central question of the research followed by a limited set of subsidiary questions. The relationship between the central question and the chosen qualitative research strategy should be made explicit. For example, the ethnographic strategy is designed to explore meanings, beliefs, expectations, values, etc., of a group sharing a culture; the central question should focus on a group and shared culture. On the other hand, a phenomenological strategy is designed to produce a theory of the constituent parts of common individual experiences; the central question should focus on the individuals and the experience.
  5. The methods section should identify, define, and document a recognized qualitative inquiry strategy with a brief discussion of its history. Criteria for site selection and for purposeful sampling of participants should be clearly stated. Specific strategies for data collection should be mentioned with a rationale given for their use. Procedures and protocols for recording and organizing data during collection in the field should be described. Specific steps in data analysis should be described consistent with the qualitative strategy selected, including methods of coding. Elements in the research design that emerged during the fieldwork should be described. The role of the researcher should be thoroughly discussed, including personal experiences or connections with the site and/or participants. Checks implemented to ensure qualitative reliability and validity should be described.
  6. The write-up of the findings should be consistent with the qualitative strategy. For example, narrative inquiry should include the presentation of an analysis of stories told by individual participants with appropriate quotes and chronologies. An ethnographic study should provide a detailed, thick description of life in a group that shares a culture. Tables, matrices, figures, and diagrams may be helpful in communicating findings. Unlike quantitative studies, which are often written in the third-person point of view, the findings section in qualitative studies can be written from the first-person point of view. Interpretations from the researcher(s) are often made as data are presented to help the audience grasp meaning as experienced by the participants in the setting.
  7. The discussion section should be consistent with the qualitative strategy employed. For example, if the purpose of the study was to derive a grounded theory of a process or event from the fieldwork, the discussion should articulate this grounded theory and link it to previous scholarship. In almost all cases, the discussion should focus on recommendations to improve policy and/or practice as well as suggestions for future research directions.

Mixed Methods Studies

  1. The introduction to a mixed methods study should be consistent with the emphasis in the study. If the dominant phase of the study is quantitative, that is, if a central purpose is to explain the relationship between two or more variables using measurements and statistical analysis, while the qualitative phase is follow up to explore the meanings of concepts for participants, the introduction should read like a quantitative introduction. If the dominant phase of the study is qualitative, that is a concept or phenomenon is explored to identify its parts/factors, while the quantitative phase is follow up to test any hypothesis that emerged during the qualitative phase, then the qualitative introduction is appropriate. 
  2. The mixed methods purpose statement should appear early in the study as a significant signpost for the reader. Because the study will report on two different designs with distinct inquiry strategies and research questions, readers will need to know quite clearly the rationale for integrating two designs in the study of one research problem. Readers also should be given a general overview of the procedures that were followed during the course of the study, including the timing and weighting of the two designs. 
  3. The methods section should begin with an overview of the design of the mix, that is, a general framework specifying when, how, and why each phase of the study was done. This overview should include an announcement of the way in which the data sets will be integrated. For example, a sequential mixed methods study with a dominant qualitative phase implemented first could be employed to discern a grounded theory of the variables important in setting; the findings from this phase might be used to develop a survey implemented to discern how widespread a particular practice or behavior is. All of the elements of the methods section in the single-paradigm studies should appear in the methods section of a mixed methods study where there are two separate designs, which are connected in the end. 
  4. The findings section should present the data and its analysis in separate sections consistent with each paradigm. Visuals such as Tables and Figures should be displayed as appropriate for each paradigm. Integrated data analysis to show the convergences and tensions between the data sets should be presented. 
  5. The discussion section should clearly and explicitly explain the conclusions drawn from each of the separate designs as well as interpretations that emerge from mixing the findings. As with all other discussions, this discussion should focus on recommendations to improve policy and/or practice as well as suggestions for future research directions.

Transformative Concept Papers Grounded in Evidence from Scholarship, Policy, and Practice

JTLPS seeks to publish concept papers developing a perspective on an issue or problem facing the K-12 or community college systems that analyze, discuss, and document evidence and theoretical arguments that support one or more critical recommendations for action.  Such papers integrate and synthesize peer reviewed empirical studies, conceptual or theoretical or philosophical articles, policy briefs, legal or historical texts, or other papers of policy or practice germane to the selected topic. The expectation is that these papers will adhere to APA Guidelines (6th edition) and will be accessible to a wide audience of academics, professionals, and practitioners. Although we would be interested in seeing concept papers on a variety of topics of current interest, we have a special interest in concept papers related to STEM education for diverse students. We want to offer papers that emerge from deep and careful reading and thinking about influential and significant texts and present an original perspective on the topic grounded in evidence and scholarship.

Our reviewers will consider the following elements in making judgments about publishing submissions of transformative concept papers grounded in evidence from scholarship, policy, and practice.

  1. Coverage: We consider a topic to be covered if the scholarly literature discussed in the paper is relevant, up to date, broadly based, and representative of the authoritative voices that have written on the topic. Authors must explain explicitly the direct connections between the sources discussed in the review and the perspective on the topic under development. Although we expect authors to reference and discuss seminal works relevant to the topic regardless of the date of publication, we also expect authors to include the most up to date, cutting-edge literature with particular attention to current findings, conclusions, questions and challenges. A review that is broadly based includes references from across disciplines and research paradigms and arenas of policy and practice; the intent is to integrate sources in an innovative way that encourages our audience to push the boundaries from concept to action. 
  2. Original Perspective: We are very interested in concept papers that synthesize information and ideas in innovative and useful ways and point to and provoke future empirical study and/or action in policy and/or practice. While the concept paper is no place for unfounded opinions or biases, it is the place for reasoned and evidence-based argument, for taking a stance that acknowledges the strengths and limitations of available evidence, for careful judgments grounded in the views and evidence reported by other scholars, leaders, and policy analysts. Authors must accurately summarize the work of others as a way to report what others have said, but are obligated to compare and contrast, take issue or agree with what others have said, comment on the strength of the evidence. Consonant with the transformative purpose of the concept paper, our reviewers expect authors to enter the discussion as a full participant with a developed point of view. 
  3. Mixed Methods Perspective: We are especially interested in concept papers that attend explicitly to the methods researchers have implemented to study particular topics with commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of particular methodologies in regard to the topic. We encourage authors to search out any and all studies done using a mixed methodology and to comment on what and how the mixed methodology contributed to knowledge about the topic. If appropriate, authors may discuss insights into how the methods others have employed might be modified or combined to produce even more and better information. 
  4. Scholarly and Transformative Importance: We acknowledge that particular references within concept papers are more or less important for the topic at hand. We encourage authors to indicate their judgment of the level of importance of particular papers or studies or sources of information to enable our readers to access these sources as follow up to their reading of the literature review. Our interest is in publishing literature reviews that provoke thoughtful action, ranging from motivating future empirical studies to informing policy debates. 
  5. Rhetorical Effectiveness: JTLPS seeks to publish papers of the highest quality in terms of writing and documentation. We invite submissions that are unified, organized, coherent, ordered, complete, and conventional regarding the APA Style Manual. The concept paper must have an introduction with a clear statement of the thesis or controlling idea. When a reader finishes the introduction, the reader ought to have a solid idea of the case the review will make, the organization of the material, and the direction of thought. The review must have a system of headings that provides a reader with clear signals to the structure and coherence of the ideas embodied in the text such that the reader can skim the concept paper, identify the main ideas, and search for connections among them within the paragraphs. The concept paper must have transitional statements and elements within and across paragraphs and sections of the paper as well as periodic summaries for the aid of the reader. The paper must be made up of complete, purposeful paragraphs arranged to develop the thesis, which are made up of grammatically and syntactically correct sentences with accurate and conventional spelling. Unlike a policy brief, a concept paper must be thoroughly documented so that a reader can trace the thoughts and words of others back to the source with no possibility of confusion between the words and ideas of the sources and the words and ideas of the authors.

Reflective Essays on Professional Leadership and Policy Experiences

JTLPS is primarily interested in empirical studies, policy briefs, and concept papers, but we are also interested in publishing formal personal essays that give a voice to transformative educational leaders and policy makers with important stories to tell grounded in their personal experiences as professionals. We believe that even the highest quality empirical studies can never completely achieve their aims in the cauldron of living and breathing schools and communities without intelligent action, and action requires human beings to take the reins and follow a path to emancipation. To that end, we would like to publish reflective essays that provide our readers with insights into the lived experiences of leaders in the cauldron of real-world schools and colleges. Our reviewers will consider the following elements when making judgments about publishing submissions for reflective essays.

  1. Professional Significance: Authors of reflective essays have a powerful story to tell about a significant experience or set of experiences directly related to transformative educational leadership. Such significance does not always come from success, but may also come from failure to make a change. Regardless of the outcome of an initiative or a reform effort, the story is about the attempt to make the world more equitable and fair for diverse learners. 
  2. Voice: Authors of reflective essays may write in a highly formal style, or they may write in a more conversational style, but they always develop a recognizable voice that speaks directly to individual readers on a human level. It is this sense of the author�s presence in the essay that permits readers with the opportunity to apprehend what it is really like to be on the front line of change in an educational system with well documented inequities. 
  3. Ethical Stance: Authors of reflective essays are fair to all of the individuals they name in their story. There is never an ax to grind or an individual to smear, though there may be heroes and villains. Authors are fully aware of their obligation to avoid slander and libel, diligent in avoiding malicious, false statements of a defamatory nature. 
  4. High Quality Writing: JTLPS wants all of its published pieces to reflect the highest standards of writing, but the reflective essay opens the door for authors to showcase their special writing style or talent. We would like to publish essays that can be studied not just for their substance, but also for their elegance and beauty. We invite authors to polish their essays as pieces of literature, pleasing to read as well as powerful in impact. Our reviewers will point out particularly well written passages and will also highlight awkward passages during the review process as a way to support in regard to this element.

Policy Briefs

We are interested in publishing policy briefs that present the rationale for choosing a particular policy option related to a current policy debate in the K-12 or community college arena.  Our goal is to publish briefs that advocate for an immediate course of action likely to reduce inequities and enhance social justice for minority and high-poverty learners.  The audience for the brief may be administrators or legislators, but the purpose is to convince the audience of the urgency of the problem and the intensity of the need for the particular action outlined. Our reviewers will consider the following elements when evaluating book reviews for publication reccommendation.

  1. Introduction: The introduction should convince the target audience that an urgent problem exists. It should provide a succinct overview of the causes of the problem. It should include a map of where the argument will take the reader and explicitly state a thesis. 
  2. Policy Options: This section provides a brief overview of the policy options, including options that are currently in play if appropriate as well as options that others are proposing. 
  3. Recommendations: Authors should clearly and succinctly state their recommendations with an analysis of relevant evidence supporting the preferred option. Evidence should be drawn from research literature and other sources with in-text attributions, but the brief does not require APA-style documentation. Evidence should be analyzed and organized logically and succinctly. 
  4. Conclusion: The overall argument should be restated and summarized. Specific next steps or action should be detailed. 
  5. Reference List: Authors are not required to provide citations for all of the evidence consulted and/or discussed in the brief. However, well-chosen citations to sources of immediate importance to the audience can be provided along with annotations.

Book Review

We are interested in publishing book reviews that critical engage with and evaluate current literature pertaining to issues that prevail in the K-12 or community college arena.  Our goal is to publish book reviews that engage scholarly literature which focuses on an educational leader�s role in the enhancing social justice for minority and high-poverty learners.  The audience for the book may be administrators or educators, but the purpose is to inform the audience of the urgency of the problem, develop a theoretical framework for the particular problem, and/ or offer recommendations for how educational leaders can begin to develop solutions. Our reviewers will consider the following elements when evaluating book reviews for publication recommendation .

  1. Critical Evaluation: Review writers should explicitly detail the author�s treatment of the subject matter for the intended audience.
  2. Summary: Review writers must generate and report general conclusions briefly and succinctly, in a way that demonstrates understanding of both the data and the theoretical framework.
  3. Disciplinary Research Methods of Synthesis and Analysis: Book reviews must make relevant remarks about the book utilizing specific references and quotations that help to illustrate the method used by the author, to state the research problem, describe the research design, and analyze the findings (e.g. description, narration, exposition, argument)
  4. Style and Format: Writers of book reviews should closely adhere to the disciplinary expectations and conventions of American Psychological Association (APA) style and format.
  5. Grammar and Mechanics: Book Reviews should be free of grammatical errors and meet disciplinary expectations for grammar and mechanics. 

 Address any questions to jtlps@csus.edu.

Download the guidelines

Submitting Material

In line with our journal's mission, we seek submissions that address the preparation and development of P-20 educational leaders. Manuscripts will be accepted on an ongoing bases. Please submit your article using the form link below. Follow the form instructions carefully. You will be able to attach your document at the end of the form. 

For More Information

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program College of Education Sacramento State 6000 J Street Sacramento, California 95819-6079

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