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For Contributors

"Thanks for your editing--it was awesome. I have found your review process to be quite exceptional. I think the comments made by you and the reviewers have helped to produce a much better paper. I am very grateful and appreciative. Thank you so much for your help." Dr Mike Papadimitriou, Science Department Chair, Caney Creek High School, Conroe, Texas, USA

"I think this [the Research Design Advisory Service] is a terrific idea, and would certainly use such a service." Dr Claudia Coen, USA

"The content of SER is wonderful. I very much appreciate the articles and your perspective towards the teaching of science."†Sidney Jackson, Nautilus Middle School, Florida

Reasons for Contributing

There are many good reasons for contributing to The Science Education Review (SER), and these include:

1. Professional recognition for your accomplishment.
2. Professional development. Preparing a manuscript for publication is itself a learning experience.
3. Professional sharing. Publication will help other educators.

Advisory Service

One reason for SER declining to publish a research-based manuscript is that the methodology employed is inappropriate for answering the research question(s). To help prevent this situation, and to also allow researchers to benefit from the perspectives of others, we offer an Advisory Service. You may submit, to, a description of the context of your study, your research question(s), and the proposed methodology. These are then forwarded to members of our Editorial Review Board, accompanied by an invitation to provide feedback. The feedback might reinforce the appropriateness of the proposed methodology, identify concerns, offer suggestions for improvement, and/or suggest a novel approach that may not have been previously considered.

The charge for this service is 150 AUD (Australian dollars). You are encouraged to include, in your manuscript, appropriate acknowledgement of the contribution made by a reviewer(s). In addition to reviewing research designs, we can also provide reviews of other types of work, such as a research or assessment instrument or a course outline (that includes, for example, content, resources, and assessment) for a teacher education course.

Testimonials. "I believe that the best in anything can be achieved by many minds working together. Initially, I read a lot of research that had been contributed to The Science Education Review (SER), and this inspired me to make a worthwhile study in the area of elementary science education. I was also given an opportunity to observe elementary science education in Japan, so I decided to compare elementary science education in the Philippines (my country) with that in Japan.

However, I was so uncertain about the process to adopt, as there were many factors to consider. In addition, I was scared that my time would be wasted if I pursued something that was unrealistic, unreasonable, or whatever. I therefore decided to avail myself of the Research Design Advisory Service (RDAS) of SER. My proposal was read by numerous experts in the United States, Japan, Australia, and other countries, and I received many comments which were of the utmost importance in the successful design of my study. On the basis of those comments, I redirected my focus to smaller concerns into which I could dig deeper. I now have a clear vision as to how best to conduct my research.

The RDAS is a big help for any researcher who wants to conduct research of the highest quality. To the people behind the RADS, you will always be a part of my success. Thank you very much or, as they say in Japanese, Doomo Arigatoo Gozaimashita." Sheila Oyao, The Phillipines

“Peter, I'm impressed! The Research Design Advisory Service got Sheila 12(!) reviews in a very short time. Keep up the good work!” David Fortus, Michigan State University, MI, USA

“A colleague and I were interested in developing an instrument for illuminating student actions in the science classroom. This research was born out of research previously completed. Because we had only minimal experience developing instruments and wanted to be sure that our idea and methodology for developing the instrument were timely and considered valid, we turned to the Advisory Service of The Science Education Review. In less than 2 weeks, we received five reviews. These have allowed us to validate our initial assumptions about the timeliness and appropriateness of our instrument, while focusing us on related science education literature capable of informing our work. We are appreciative that this service exists and believe that our research has only benefited from the input we received from the reviewers. Thank-you, SER!” Todd Campbell, Utah State University-Ephraim, Ephraim, UT, USA

Guidelines for Submitted Manuscripts

SER publishes peer-reviewed research and other articles for primary and/or high school science educators, focussing on the education part of science education rather than science content proper. Suitable manuscript types include position, opinion, theoretical, and review papers, reflections on practice, and empirical research reports. Your manuscript should not have been previously published, nor simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere.Articles need to be written in English and sent, as a Word document (.doc format, please) attachment, to Please keep formatting simple and include an abstract,your name, position, and e-mail address. Unless requested otherwise, and to facilitate communication with interested readers, your e-mail address will be included in the published article.

Please also send an accompanying statement identifying your manuscript by title and acknowledging that no copyright release for your contribution is required, or that you have a written copyright release for any copyright material that may appear in it. This needs to include your handwritten signature (e.g., scanned in electronically, or by scanning the document containing the signed statement as a PDF).

Author charge. Would you also please indicate if you wish to pay our optional author charge. All authors are strongly encouraged to reap the additional benefits associated with doing so. Articles for which the author charge has been paid are made available as open access documents (please click here for exemplars), offered to Google Scholar for indexing, and individually promoted via email to all science educators on our mailing list. With relevant keywords and ERIC descriptors also added to your article as metadata, online searchers can readily find and freely retrieve it. In short, the process helps to maximise exposure of your work to readers across the globe. The author charge is 110 AUD per page, capped at 3000 AUD. (To convert currency from Australian dollars [AUD], click The Universal Currency Indicator.) Paying the author charge will appeal to particularly those who can access appropriate funding support, so where possible authors are encouraged to apply for author-charge publication funding as part of their initial project grant application. Furthermore, the more authors who choose to pay the author charge, the further our subscription rates can fall, thus benefiting the entire science education community and, in particular, those educators in developing countries where funds for journal subscriptions are typically scarce.

Published articles become the copyright of SER. However, as author of a published article, you automatically retain the right to reproduce your work elsewhere, such as in the newsletter or journal of your regional Science Teachers' Association.

Please use APA style†for referencing, headings, and tables. Examples of APA style follow, and may also be found in previous issues of The Science Education Review and by clicking here.

In-Text Citations

  • Baird and Isaacs (1990) found . . .
  • . . . has been reported (Welch, Cutmore, & Adams, 1994).
  • Several studies (Gascoyne, 1996; Peters, 2001; Travers, 1998) . . . (i.e., alphabetical order)
  • ". . . the values and assumptions inherent to science" (Lederman, 1992, p. 331) (i.e., a quote needs a page number.)
  • . . . has been clarified (W. G. Rush, personal communication, May 5, 2002).
  • Baxendale (1991) states: “A major aim of science education must be to help students to become good at ‘scientific thought’” ( ¶ 5 ) (representing the paragraph number in an electronic source that does not have page numbers).

Reference List

  • Fensham, P., Gunstone, R., & White, R. (Eds.). (1994). The content of science: A constructivist approach to itís teaching and learning. London: Falmer Press.
  • Sewell, A., & Smith, W. D. (2002b). Working scientifically with energy and change. Thornlie, Western Australia: Education Directions Publications.
  • National Research Council. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington, DC: Author.
  • Van Den Akker, J. (1998). The science curriculum: Between ideals and outcomes. In B. J. Frazer & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 421-447). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Ornstein, A. (2002). Teaching history with a timeline. The Science Teacher, 69(3), 69-70.
  • Basili, P. A., & Sandford, P. J. (1991). Conceptual change strategies and cooperative group work in chemistry. Jounal of Research in Science Teaching, 28, 293-304.
  • Sokolowski, T. J. (2002). West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center. Retrieved November 15, 2002, from .
  • Benchmarks On-Line. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2003, from .

The Manuscript Review Process

Criteria. The primary criteria used when reviewing contributions for SER are the quality of the paper and its potential value to primary or high school educators. In the case of a formal research paper, for example, quality includes the quality of the literature review, significance of the research question, thoroughness and appropriateness of the methodology, clarity of the results, and whether the conclusions and implications are supported by the data. Otherwise, SER does not wish to specify review criteria dogmatically. The door needs to be left open for research and writing that pushes conventional envelopes by establishing new ways of doing things. Such contributions may in turn promote beneficial change in the field of science education.

Reviewers. If a manuscript does not address the target audience (primary and high school educators) or the focus of SER (the education side of science education, as opposed to science content proper), it is returned to the author without review and, where possible, with suggestions for where it might be better submitted. Each manuscript is typically forwarded to 6 reviewers, each of whom has expressed an interest and expertise in the area. The reviews are not blind. Blind reviews are not infallible, as references in an article can readily identify an author, and leaders in particular fields are well-known to experienced reviewers. Rather than viewing their principal role as one of sorting out articles to be published from those to be rejected, reviewers are asked to provide feedback aimed at enhancing the work of authors. Feedback should be critically constructive and creative, helping authors to further develop and improve their ideas and/or writing and to share their work via publication.

Review interchange. A mix in the experience of the reviewers assigned to a manuscript is sought. To facilitate making the review process a more fulfilling and rewarding experience for reviewers than can otherwise be the case, reviewer feedback is interchanged (anonymously) between reviewers who have reviewed the same manuscript. By allowing early career and more senior science educators to potentially learn from one another, this mechanism also contributes to the professional development of reviewers.

Feedback to authors. The author receives one of the following responses, together with supporting commentary, from each reviewer: Publish, Publish With Minor Changes, Publish After Major Revision, or Not Recommended for Publication in Present Form. Variability in reviews is not uncommon, and this is often due to differences in the theoretical perspectives of reviewers. Indeed, this difference may also be the cause of what at first glance might appear rather harsh reviewer feedback. The author is asked to respond globally to the reviews by advising the Editor what he or she thinks about the reviews and/or wishes to do next (e.g., modify the manuscript or withdraw it).

Manuscript assessment. If the author indicates a willingness to proceed, the typically revised manuscript is subsequently assessed for publication. Because we need to work within a budget, which presently provides for the publication of 40-odd pages per issue, there are more limited opportunities to publish lengthier (> 4000 words, say) manuscripts and no guarantee that we can publish all work recommended by reviewers. To assist an author whose manuscript is considered meritorious yet unfortunately cannot be a free publishing priority for us, provision is made for the author to have his or her manuscript published by paying our author charge (please see above), which contributes to the costs of publication and archiving.

Revision and editing of manuscript. When revising a manuscript the author is asked to provide a commentary as to how he or she has responded to the reviewer suggestions. The Editor, whose role it is to promote scholarship in the broadest sense, then works with the author, providing encouragement and suggestions, rather than stipulations. The author is invited to accept only those suggestions with which he or she agrees, and to provide a rationale for ignoring specific suggestions for change. After all, the work is that of the author, and nobody else, and the author must feel comfortable with it. Revisions are a fact of life in publishing, and it is often easier to see problems in other's work than in one's own, but rest assured that reviewers have also undoubtedly been asked to consider revisions of their own work. More than one revision, in consultation with the Editor, may be required. In the case of manuscripts requiring excessive editorial work, an editorial fee may be suggested.