Author Guidelines

The following information is intended to help authors better understand TIA's audience and help them prepare manuscripts for submission. Questions this page answers include:

  • Who are TIA's authors?
  • Who are TIA's audiences?
  • What types of manuscripts does TIA publish?
  • What are the manuscript word limits?
  • What are TIA's style guidelines? (or What do I need to know before I submit a manuscript?)
  • Does TIA accept queries?

    Who are TIA's authors?

     

    Authors who submit manuscripts to TIA come from all sectors of higher education, including those from the full range of institution types, for-profit and nonprofit entities, and consulting firms, and they represent a diverse array of disciplinary backgrounds and job positions. While many authors are affiliated with centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) and consider educational development their professional home, others are in positions external to CTLs but similarly aligned with the values of TIA and the POD Network. Both new and seasoned authors successfully publish in the journal. You do not need to be a member of the POD Network to publish in TIA.

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    Who are TIA's audiences?

    The audience for TIA is as eclectic as its authors. While the primary audience tends toward educational development professionals in and affiliated with CTLs, the full audience includes national and international readers as well as faculty, staff, administrators and other individuals and entities focused on instructional, professional, and organizational development in higher education. It is important that authors submitting manuscripts to TIA clearly and intentionally contextualize their work for this audience.

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    What types of manuscripts does TIA publish?

    TIA currently welcomes submissions in the following categories:

    • Practice & Analysis:
      • A piece written in the first person by one or more authors that describes and deeply analyzes an educational development practice or issue while also meaningfully engaging with relevant literature. In these articles, the author does not need to argue for or against a practice or issue, but might instead articulate pressing questions, illuminate the lived experience related to that practice or issue, or offer tentative assertions that stem from one’s experience or practice. Essay must have implications beyond the individual’s experience.
    • Persuasive Essay:
      • A piece written in the first person by one or more authors that advocates for or against common practices, beliefs, and ideologies in educational development, while also meaningfully engaging with relevant evidence. Evidence may come from a range of data sources, such as, but not limited to, personal experience, statistics, and/or literature. Essay should not be an opinion piece and must have implications beyond the individual’s experience.
    • Commentaries:
      • A short reader response to an article or topic featured in the most recently published TIA issue. 
    • Conversations:
      • In this article type, authors with differing perspectives and relevant experience would converse about an issue in educational development, edit the discussion, and provide the transcript for publication. Authors might use an article, current issue/crisis in the field, or policy as a starting off point for their discussion. Such conversations would not need to resolve an issue/question, but they are an interesting and helpful way to explore some of the controversies or choices or tensions in our work.
    • Theoretical / Conceptual:
      • Drawing on meta analyses or meta syntheses of educational development literature or and/or other bodies of scholarship, authors could advance grounded theory or new theoretical or conceptual frameworks within the field. 
    • Practice: 
      • A piece written in the first person by one or more authors that describes and deeply analyzes an educational development practice or issue while also meaningfully engaging with relevant literature. The practice must have implications beyond the authors' experience.
    • Research Studies:
      • An article that reports the results of original empirical research. A research article is typically situated within a specific body of literature and offers a contribution to that literature. In a research article, authors describe their methods (i.e., qualitative, quantitative, or mixed) and findings. Authors also typically analyze their data, and offer the limitations and implications of their study.

    Regardless of type, submissions to To Improve the Academy must meet the following conditions. Manuscripts:

    • must be the submitting authors' original work and not be duplicative in part or whole of any previously published work.
    • may not be submitted to another journal, nor be under consideration, in review, or in-press, nor already published in any form elsewhere.
    • must cite all sources and acknowledge all significant contributions, including the use of any artificial intelligence (AI); no AI may be a listed author since attribution of authorship carries with it accountability for the work, and AI tools cannot take such responsibility.
    • must not contain language that is defamatory, libelous, obscene, fraudulent, or illegal.

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    What are the manuscript word limits?

     

    TIA word limits vary according to the type of submission:
Submission Type Word Count
Practice & Analysis  ~1,500 words
Persuaive Essays  ~ 1,500 words
Commentaries  ~ 500 - 750 words
Conversations  ~ 4,000 words
Theoretical / Conceptual  Up to 7,500 words
Practice  Up to 7,500 words
Research Studies  Up to 7,500 words
  • Word count is inclusive of all sections of the Manuscript, excluding references. Author Information does not count toward word limits. In some unique cases, for example with special issues, word limits may be adjusted up or down, and this will be made clear in the call for manuscripts.

    Manuscripts may vary in length up to the maximum word limit. Shorter manuscripts, which may be characteristic of certain types of articles, receive equal consideration to longer ones.

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    What are TIA's style guidelines? (or What do I need to know before I submit a manuscript?)

    TIA's style guidelines are intended to help ensure the integrity of the anonymous peer-review process, to establish a consistent expectation for reviewers, and to ultimately speed up the final publication process. Authors should closely adhere to word limits and these style guidelines to avoid having their manuscript returned during the primary editor’s pre-review process.

    Each submission should include the following:

    1. A fully anonymized manuscript file (named Manuscript). Detailed information about the contents of the Manuscript file are described below. To simplify the document formatting process, we provide an Word template.
    2. Signed Author Agreement forms from each author. All agreements must be included with the submission.

    Note: If your submission is accepted for publication, we will request an author information file (named author_information). This file includes at least three sections in this order: author list, biography, and acknowledgements (if appropriate). Detailed information about the contents of the author_information file are described below. To simplify the document formatting process, we provide an Word template.

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    Does TIA accept queries?

    Yes, TIA accepts queries. This is one of several initiatives at TIA to make the journal and educational development scholarship more inclusive and equitable. We hope that by first offering feedback at the proposal stage, authors will have useful insights to determine how best to use their resources and to guide the development of their manuscripts- whether that be submitting to TIA with reasonable confidence in the manuscript’s alignment with TIA’s focus or having the flexibility to quickly find another venue for their work.

    Please submit a 150-300 word proposal or summary of your manuscript. Be sure to address the following in your submission: (a) What is the topic/ what is the manuscript (or potential manuscript) about? (b) How does this topic relate to the field of educational development? (c) How does this manuscript contribute to our understanding of the field?

    Within a few weeks, a member of the TIA editorial team will provide feedback on whether the proposed manuscript aligns with the aims and scope of the journal. We therefore encourage you to read TIA’s aims and scope as you prepare your query.

    Note that this feedback is not a guarantee of acceptance. Completed manuscripts that align with TIA’s aims and scope must ultimately go through the double-anonymized peer-review process in order to receive a publication decision.

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    Manuscript

    The manuscript file (click to download template) should include five main sections in this order: title, abstract, keyword(s), body text, references. The title, abstract, and keyword(s) should be on the first page. The body text should begin on a new page. Figures and tables should be placed in-text where they are first introduced. Optional appendices containing supplementary materials should come after the references. To aid the review process, page numbers should be added to the footer, right-justified. Specific style guidelines for each section of the manuscript follows:

    Title

    • The title should be on a line by itself, left-justified, and sentence case.
    • No author or institutional information should be included on the title page.

    Abstract

    • This section should immediately follow the title.
    • The word “Abstract” should be bolded and left-justified on a line by itself.
    • The text of the abstract should be left-justified (not bolded or italicized).
    • The abstract should be between 100-250 words.

    Example:

    Abstract

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

    Keywords

    • This section should immediately follow the abstract and should include 3-4 keywords.
    • The word Keywords should be bolded, left-justified, and followed by a colon and comma-separated keywords.
    • The comma-separated keywords should be lowercase, except when proper nouns or acronyms.
    • Do not add any punctuation at the end of the keyword list.

    Example:

    Keywords: lorem ipsum, quis nostrud, officia deserunt

    Body Text

    • Start the body of the manuscript at the top of page 2.
    • Left-justify text.
    • Do not add paragraph indentations.
    • Section labels, lists, quotes, citations, and other manuscript elements should adhere to the most current APA style guide.
    • Depending on methodology, 1st or 3rd person is appropriate. In most instances, active voice is preferred for reader engagement. 

    Tables, Figures, Images

    • Place all tables, figures, and images within the body of the manuscript following the location where they are first mentioned.
    • Format all tables, figures and images according to the most recent APA style guide.

    References

    • In most cases, this will be the last section of your manuscript. Start the section on a new page and label it References.
    • Ensure that every reference is cited in the body of the manuscript and all in-text citations are in the references.
    • You do not need to anonymize references to your own work unless the accompanying text identifies it as yours; e.g. “In our previous work…” or “In an earlier study, we found…”
    • Use the most current APA style guide to format in-text citations and references.

    Appendices

    • Place all supplementary materials (e.g. survey instruments; additional data) in appendices.
    • Label and title each appendix (e.g. Appendix A . Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.; Appendix B . Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.) and place them at the end of the manuscript.


    If accepted: Author Information

    The author_information file (click to download template) should include six sections in this order: 

    1. Author List
    2. ORCiDs (optional)
    3. Biography
    4. Acknowledgements (optional)
    5. Conflict of Interest Statement
    6. Data Availability Statement (for research manuscripts only)

    Specific style guidelines for each section follows:

    Author List

    • Author name(s) should be left-justified, italicized, and comma-separated. For multi-author manuscripts, the last name in the list should be connected with “and”. If preferred, include middle initials punctuated with periods.
    • The corresponding author should be noted with an asterisk (*) and contact information should be provided for this author below the author list.
    • Do not include professional titles or affiliations. These should only appear in the Biography section (see below).
    • There is no predefined order for author names. You may alphabetize them by last name, list them according to contribution, or adopt some other organizing scheme.

    Example:

    Leisha E. Williams, José Escobar-Vega*, and Muhammad Ahmad

    *Corresponding author. Email: jev3e5@institution.org

    ORCiDs

    • ORCiDs provides a persistent digital identifier that you own and control, and that distinguishes you from every other researcher. To learn more, visit orcid.org. Though not required, we strongly encourage all authors to share their ORCiDs.
    • List each author's ORCiD on a separate line.

    Example:

    Leisha E. Williams: xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
    José Escobar-Vega: xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
    Muhammad Ahmad: xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx

    Biography

    • This section should be labeled Biography (or Biographies when multiple authors) and come immediately after the author list.
    • Each biography should be between 50-75 words.
    • Begin each biography with the author’s name, followed immediately by their professional title and affiliation.
    • Each author’s name should be bolded.

    Example:

    Leisha E. Williams is Professor of X at University Y. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

    Acknowledgments (optional)

    • When present, this section should be labeled Acknowledgements and come after the biography(-ies) section. 
    • Acknowledgements name individuals or groups that contributed to the work but who are not authors.

    Conflict of Interest Statement 

    • All submissions should include a Conflict of Interest Statement following the Acknowledgements section.
    • When conflicts of interest exist, authors should include a brief statement describing the conflict. If there is no conflict of interest, authors should state “The authors have no conflict of interest”. See Avoiding & Disclosing Conflicts of Interest for examples.

    Data Availability Statement (for research manuscripts only)

    • All submissions that include data should have a Data Availability statement that comes after the Conflict of Interest statement. 
    • Authors can choose one of the following statements to include in this section:

      • The data reported in this manuscript are publicly available at [provide name and weblink].
      • The data reported in this manuscript are available in the article’s Supplemental Materials. Note: Data included in the manuscript is subject to the journal’s word count limit.
      • The data reported in this manuscript are available on request by contacting the corresponding author.
    • See Ensuring Data Access to understand reasons for making your data available.

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