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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 Microsoft Word.
  • When available, the URLs to access references online are provided, including those for open access versions of the reference.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses). Illustrations and figures are included both in the text and submitted as independent files.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which are found in About the Journal.
  • When submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, to ensure a blind review process, please make sure to delete authors' names from the text, including using "Author" and year in references and endnotes.

Author Guidelines

Research papers

  • Article length should be 4000-7000 words, excluding abstract and references.
  • Include an abstract of approximately 150 words, in italics.
  • Add 3-5 keywords.
  • Language: English.
  • The article should be submitted with all text and headings as a Microsoft Word file, font size 12, Times New Roman. 
  • Use bold for your article title, with an initial capital letter for any proper nouns.
  • Please do not use more than three levels of section headings:
    • 1st in capital bold letters - centered,
    • 2nd in bold - left aligned,
    • 3rd in italic - left aligned.
    • Please do not number the sections.
  • All figures and tables are to be numbered using numerals in order of appearance.
  • Put figure and table captions below as: Figure 1. Data collection process.
  • Notes should be indicated by superscript numbers and presented as endnotes.
  • Diagrams, tables and other graphics should be included both in the text and submitted as separate files.
  • Please make sure you have the right to publish illustrations, if any.
  • Please use APA style (7th edition) for references. APA style 7th edition Reference Guide
  • Please add DOI (Digital Object Identifyer) numbers when available.
  • Max. three pages of Appendix.

PBL cases

  • PBL cases should be no more than 3000 words, excluding abstract and references.
  • Apart from article length, layout and referencing should follow the formal guidelines described above.

Editorial criteria for research papers

The editors are particularly interested in receiving high-quality original research articles, informed by robust empirical and theoretical underpinnings from the fields and disciplines related to problem-based learning in higher education. The journal is also interested in receiving articles that make an original practical or critical contribution to research theory, practice, knowledge, and understanding of contemporary themes, developments, and current thinking in problem-based learning in higher education.

Papers should in general contain the following:

  • A clear structure including a research question stating the ambition of the paper. A research question should be the start of departure whether it is a conceptual or an empirical paper.
  • Please address how the paper is going to bring significance to the literature within Problem-based learning – How can the PBL research community benefit from the paper. In this regard every paper needs to demonstrate an overview of the community and the literature – that is, to build upon the existing literature.
  • A section discussing “Implications for practice”. The ambition of the journal is not just to analyze variation in PBL but to use these variations to discuss the future of PBL as a pedagogy for promoting learning and development.

For further information on structure and content please visit the author guidelines.  

Editorial criteria for PBL Cases

  • PBL cases disseminate experiences and share PBL-practices, rather than presenting novel research findings. For more information see section further below.
  • PBL cases discuss experiences of a particular PBL design experiment, its implementation or orchestration of PBL, which is not necessarily innovative or new, but could follow a well-known pedagogical model (with perhaps smaller modifications and changes).
  • PBL cases are shorter than research papers (max 3000 words)
  • Layout and referencing should follow the regular author guidelines.

PBL cases should in general contain the following parts, not necessarily in the order given below:

  • An abstract/summary
    • Same requirements as for research papers.
  • Theoretical/Pedagogical framework:
    • Description and discussion of PBL interpretation (and other relevant theoretical frameworks) and how this guided the design of the particular PBL implementation.
  • A description of the context and implementation
    • Where did the PBL implementation take place, duration, number of students/teachers, etc. What activities were there for teachers and students.
  • Evaluation/analysis of of PBL implementation
    • How was the PBL implementation evaluated and/or its results assessed?
  • Results, reflections and recommendations
    • What were the experiences and results of the PBL implementation and what were in retrospect the reasons or causes for these results. What could have been done otherwise, what did you learn from the experiment, and how might this, more broadly, be useful to the wider (international) community of PBL researchers and practitioners.

Other than the length of the cases, the PBL-cases should follow the regular author guidelines. Also, the cases will only be reviewed by one reviewer, and mainly with the purpose of identifying whether the PBL case is understandable to others, encompass sufficiently rich descriptions, and whether there is a well-argued relation between pedagogical framework, concrete implementation and then the results and reflections.

Proofreading and language revision
As an open access journal we do not have the resources to provide copy-editing and language revisions for manuscripts and articles. Authors are therefore required to ensure the quality of the language in their article/manuscript. We encourage authors to have either a native English speaker proofreading the article or that authors (at their own expense) consult a professional proofreading and language revision service.

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