Higher Learning Research Communications

Submission Requirements

Please follow submission directions carefully; if you do not complete all required information, your manuscript will not be submitted. Please attend carefully to the cover letter requirements. Each submission must contain a cover letter. The cover letter, at a minimum, must include how the manuscript aligns with the focus of the journal and the contribution it makes to existing knowledge in the field. Please clearly state the purpose of the paper and its expected contribution. Manuscripts that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned.

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to the Higher Learning Research Communication Journal.

Formatting Requirements

Before you begin, if you are submitting a "Research Article" or a "Research Brief", please be sure to read these Manuscript Formatting Guidelines.

  • Do not include title page, but please be sure to include the abstract.
  • Do not include headers or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word or RTF files are accepted). Please include tables and figures where they would be in the manuscript; do not place them at the end.
  • Page size should be standard letter size.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body - 12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available.
    2. Footnotes - 10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript. Manuscripts that are not properly edited run a higher risk of rejection at the editor desk review. Reviewers spend valuable time providing comprehensive reviews, and this is greatly complicated by manuscripts that are not carefully edited and proofread prior to submission. Special note to authors for whom English is not the first language: It is critical that you have your manuscript reviewed and carefully edited by someone who has experience with writing in academic English for scientific publication. This includes copyediting as well as translation that impacts meaning. The HLRC does not have the resources to do this level of copyediting, and this responsibility falls upon the authors.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.

Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. Create a tabbed indent of at least 5 spaces.

Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations, theorems, propositions, special remarks, etc. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below.

Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented). Where possible, it should also be right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin).

Language and Grammar

All submissions must be in English. We will also publish the study abstract in your native language, but this should be written once the manuscript is approved for publication.

Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use proper, standard English grammar. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (now in its fourth edition) is the "standard" guide, but other excellent guides (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press) exist as well.

Article Length

Because this journal publishes electronically, page limits are not as relevant as they are in the world of print publications. We are happy, therefore, to let authors take advantage of this greater "bandwidth" to include material that they might otherwise have to cut to get into a print journal. However, authors should exercise some discretion with respect to length.

Colored Text

Set the font color to black for the majority of the text. We encourage authors to take advantage of the ability to use color in the production of figures, maps, etc., however, you need to appreciate that this will cause some of your readers problems when they print the document on a black & white printer. For this reason, you are advised to avoid the use of colors in situations where their translation to black and white would render the material illegible or incomprehensible.

Ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized Text

Use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it. Do not use color to emphasize text.

Font Size

The main body of text should be set in 12pt. Avoid the use of fonts smaller than 8pt.

Foreign Terms

Set foreign terms in italics rather than underlining them.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text using bold text consistent with American Psychological Assocation (APA) style. There should be space above and below headings.


Set titles of books, movies, etc. in italics.


Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. Footnotes should be in 10 pt. Times or closest comparable font available, they should be single spaced, and there should be a footnote separator rule (line). Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation. Excessively long footnotes are probably better handled in an appendix. All footnotes should be left and right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin), unless this creates awkward spacing.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in your choice.

Symbols and notation in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will not only enhance the clarity of the manuscript, but it will also help ensure that it displays correctly on the reader's screen and prints correctly on a printer. When proofing your document under PDF, pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation that are drawn from other than standard fonts.


It is the author's obligation to provide complete references with the necessary information. After the last sentence of your submission, please insert a line break— not a page break— and begin your references on the same page, if possible. References should appear right after the end of the document and beginning on the last page. References should have margins that are both left and right- justified. You may choose not to right-justify the margin of one or more references if the spacing looks too awkward. References must be constructed consistent with the requirements of the most current edition of the American Psychological Association style guide. Per the latest edition of the APA Style Guide, digital object identifiers (DOI) must be included where available. Please make sure you include these as part of the references. If you would like a resource that you can use to find DOI, please visit https://doi.crossref.org/simpleTextQuery.