The guidelines on this page are intended to aid authors in formatting and submitting their work in a manner consistent with the journal's policies.


Who May Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in TxDLA Journal of Digital Learning provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. However, all authors must be current members of the Texas Digital Learning Association at the time of publication. See the TxDLA Membership page for more information on membership fees.

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General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic). Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to TxDLA Journal of Digital Learning, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at TxDLA Journal of Digital Learning.

If you have concerns about the submission terms for TxDLA Journal of Digital Learning, please contact the editors.

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General Terms and Conditions of Use

As a condition of publication in the Journal, all authors agree to the following terms.

  • First publication rights to original work accepted for publication is granted to the Journal and copyright for all work published in the journal is retained by the author(s).
  • Works published in the journal will be distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). By granting a CC-BY license in their work, authors retain copyright ownership of the work, but they give explicit permission for others to download, reuse, reprint, modify, distribute, and/or copy the work, as long as the original source and author(s) are properly cited (i.e. a complete bibliographic citation and link to the journal's website). No permission is required from the author(s) or the publishers for such use. According to the terms of the CC-BY license, any reuse or redistribution must indicate the original CC-BY license terms of the work.
    • Exceptions to the application of the CC-BY license may be granted at the editor's discretion if reasonable extenuating circumstances exist. Such exceptions must be granted in writing by the editors of the Journal; in the absence of a written exception, the CC-BY license will be applied to all published works.
  • Authors may enter into separate, additional contractual agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the published version of the work, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the journal.
  • Authors are permitted to post their work online in institutional/disciplinary repositories or on their own websites. Pre-print versions posted online should include a citation and link to the final published version in the Journal as soon as the issue is available.

Adapted from the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communications CC BY license agreement

Users of the SFA ScholarWorks website and/or software agree not to misuse the SFA ScholarWorks service or software in any way.

The failure of SFA ScholarWorks to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between SFA ScholarWorks and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.


General Submission Requirements for all Manuscripts

All submissions to TxDLA JDL must be made using the online submission form. Submissions to TxDLA JDL must comply with ALL items on the following list of general requirements as well as the list of additional requirements corresponding to the specific type of the manuscript. Non-compliant submissions will be returned to authors for revision before any further consideration.

  • The manuscript must be original; meaning, the manuscript must not have been previously published and is not currently under consideration for publication by another journal.
  • All authors listed on the submission meet the requirements for authorship outlined in the journal's policies.
  • Written consent has been obtained from all individuals or institutions named in the acknowledgments section.
  • All manuscripts adhere to the APA format, The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).
  • Manuscript files must be in Microsoft Word file format (.doc or .docx).
  • The text is double-spaced and uses a 12-point font.
  • Manuscripts are expected to be free of grammatical and typographical errors.
  • The topic must relate to distance learning and/or digital learning.
  • By submitting to TxDLA JDL, the authors agree to the submission of their article to "Turnitin" for the sole purpose of detecting plagiarism.
  • Tables and figures are encouraged, and they should be placed within the text, not at the end.
  • All requirements specific to a certain type of submission (e.g. Research Articles, Practitioner Articles, etc.) have been satisfied. See the guidelines by submission type below.
  • Spelling and grammar checks have been performed.
  • If you need assistance or advice in ensuring that your paper meets the required standards for a peer-reviewed journal, you can go to http://www.authoraid.info/en/, a free mentoring service.

Format and Length

Microsoft Word is the required format for submission of text documents. Paper copies are not accepted. Please refer to the individual section policies below for appropriate submission length.


All manuscripts must be submitted in APA format (adequate margins, single column, font size no smaller than size 12). All copy, including references and captions, must be typed double-spaced. The first page of the manuscript [text] must bear the title of the paper. Author names or other individually identifiable information should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).

Citation Style

In general, the APA format should be followed in completing the author/date parenthetical citation format. Consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).


Submissions should be organized according to the guidelines in the section policies below.

Figures and Tables

All tables should be in Word table (.doc or .docx) file. Do not use tabs. Figures and tables should be clearly labeled, with appropriate captions listed APA style.


The accuracy and completeness of the references are the responsibility of the author. Failure to submit accurate and properly formatted references may delay review and publication.


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Additional Submission Requirements per each Specific Type of Manuscript

The journal welcomes original research papers, practitioner articles, reviews of products, and reviews of books. Submissions to TxDLA JDL must comply with the General Submission Requirements mentioned above, as well as the requirements for the appropriate specific type of manuscript mentioned below.

Research Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Research articles include original findings resulting from standard research techniques and appropriate analyses utilizing quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods paradigms. Topics must relate to digital learning, online and hybrid instruction, virtual simulations, or other technology supported teaching and learning environments or methodologies. Research articles presenting action-based research, case studies, policy analyses, and program evaluation will also be considered.

  • All research involving human participants or human subjects must have been pre-approved by the authors' institutional review board (IRB) or equivalent committee(s) and that board must be named by the authors and the IRB approval number included in the cover letter.
  • A cover letter must be submitted separately that addresses the appropriateness of the submission for publication in the TxDLA-JDL. The cover letter must include the title of the article, the names of any and all authors and co-authors, the name of the Institutional Review Board which approved the study, and the IRB approval number assigned to the study. The cover letter should be a separate Word document (.doc or .docx), and must be uploaded separately from the manuscript to preserve the blind review process.
  • Research articles, including all references, tables, and figures, should be 3,500-5,000 words and must not exceed 7,000 words. Tables and figures are encouraged, and should be placed within the text, not at the end. By submitting to TxDLA-JDL, the authors agree to the submission of their article to "Turnitin" for the sole purpose of detecting plagiarism.
  • The submission must be properly prepared for blind review, with no individually identifiable information/references to the authors included in the manuscript, filenames, or properties of the files. Acknowledgments (including financial support) should not be included in the manuscript; they may be listed separately during the submission process.
  • All research article submissions must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The structure of the abstract should mirror the required sections outlined below (excluding the literature review section).
  • Guidance for manuscript style should be derived from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2010).
  • Research articles should include the following primary sections (subordinate sections will vary by paper):
    • Abstract (150-250 words, describing the research problem, the method, the basic findings, the conclusions, and the recommendations)
    • Keywords
    • Introduction (Problem)
    • Literature Review
    • Methods (including description of sampling)
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusion
    • References



Practitioner Articles

Practitioner articles highlight observations, best practices, and useful approaches to situations encountered during real-life experiences of digital and distance learning practitioners. Practitioner articles do not require IRB approval, however, they must be presented in the context of sound literature and follow the outline prescribed below. Practitioner articles are not subjected to the blind peer review process, however, they will be reviewed by the Editorial staff.

  • Practitioner articles should be 1250 - 3,000 words and must not exceed 5,000 words.
  • Practitioner articles should include the following sections:
    • Title
    • Main Topic. (one sentence)
    • Target Audience. (one sentence identifying who will be interested in the article).
    • Keywords
    • Overview of the topic.
    • Summary of Related Literature. (Typically 3-5 articles within the past five years).
    • Main Body (up to five points of interest that may include scenarios, problems, strategies, methods, solutions, implementations, observations, etc.)
    • Supporting material (charts, photos, or graphs)
    • Conclusion & Recommendations
    • References of works cited
    • Author's Bio
      A paragraph of an additional 50-75 words mentioning the name and current institutional affiliation of the author, plus any credentials, experience, or expertise of the author that lend credibility to the article.



Product Reviews

Product Reviews provide a forum for the objective description and critical evaluation of the quality, effectiveness and value of new developments in the features and functions of technologies, platforms, tools, hardware, and software product related to digital learning. Authors are expected to have credentials, experience, or expertise that lend credibility to the review.

        Product Reviews should be no longer than 500-1,000 words, not counting the author's bio.

  • Product Reviews should include the following sections:
    • Title of the Review
    • Target Audience. (one sentence identifying who will be interested in the review).
    • Keywords
    • Name of the item being reviewed (including version numbers and/or date of release)
    • Company name and website address of the specific product or company

o   Review
Product reviews may address descriptions of the features, potential or proven uses and user groups of the product, an evaluation of key attributes, pros and cons from the author's perspective, and other narrative of value to the reader. Concepts such as accessibility, effectiveness in improving student learning or teaching efficiency, price versus value, functionality, integrations, compatibility, each-of-use, and usefulness of documentation, help, or support, may be of interest. Supporting material such as charts, photos, or graphs may be included.

    • Conclusion & Recommendations
    • References of works cited
    • Product name, publication/corporate information, pricing information
    • Author's Bio.
      A paragraph of an additional 50-75 words mentioning the name and current institutional affiliation of the author, plus any credentials, experience, or expertise of the author that lend credibility to the article.



Book Reviews

Book Reviews provide a forum for expert commentary on recent literature on distance learning. Discussion should focus on how the book could impact the field of digital learning and its community of practitioners.

        Book Reviews should not exceed 1,000-1,500 words, not counting the author's bio.

  • Book Reviews should include the following sections:

o   Heading
Citation information for book reviewed including: title in full, author, place, publisher, date of publication, edition, number of pages, and ISBN. Followed by name of reviewer and institutional affiliation.

o   Descriptive Summary
This section should be brief. Provide a synopsis of the book being reviewed including the book author's background and qualifications, intended audience, and purpose of the book. Provide a concise summary and overview of the book's content, topics, and themes.

o   Critical Review
This should be the main section of your manuscript. What are your thoughts about the book? Considerations might include the following: Is the book current, accurate, thorough, balanced, fair, innovative, useful, inspirational, practical, etc.? Does the author support the information with research or other valid evidence? Is the evidence convincing. Do the ideas presenting in the book align or conflict with other research or evidence from your own perspective and experience? Has the book had or is it likely to have a meaningful impact on the field or literature of distance learning?

o   Overall impression
What is your overall opinion of the book? Would you recommend the book to others? Why or why not?


o   Author's Bio.
A paragraph of an additional 50-75 words mentioning the name and current institutional affiliation of the author, plus any credentials, experience, or expertise of the author that lend credibility to the article.