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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.
  • Before starting, please ensure your email account is set to receive messages from ijsap@mcmaster.ca as notification emails can sometimes be sent to spam/junk folders.
  • 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 (.doc or .docx) document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses 12-point Calibri font; has 1 inch margins; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting a research article, case study, or reflective essay, the instructions inEnsuring a Blind Reviewhave been followed.
  • The manuscript is being submitted solely to IJSaP, and it represents new, unpublished findings or arguments
  • The number of words, excluding abstract (for research articles and case studies only) and references, is included at the end of anonymised version of the contribution; and this is less than the maximum for the section of the journal to which you are submitting.
  • Where the contribution includes reporting on research that you have undertaken with human participants, you have included a statement at the end of the text before the references that the research was successfully reviewed according to your institution’s research ethics committee guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Potential authors (both staff and students) with an idea for a contribution are strongly encouraged to send the editors (ijsap@mcmaster.ca) a brief (around 250 words) proposal for a research article, case study, opinion piece, reflective essay, or review before writing and submitting the article. This will help ensure that the proposed piece fits with the focus of the journal and encourages a conversation between potential authors and the editorial board. The proposal should outline the type (i.e. research article, opinion piece, etc.) as well as focus of the potential submission.

Please ensure your email account is set to receive messages from ijsap@mcmaster.ca as notification emails can sometimes be sent to spam/junk folders.

Criteria for Review – All Contributions

All submitted contributions (regardless of type) must meet the following broad criteria for inclusion:

  • Must be relevant to students as partners and explicitly discuss the implications of the work in terms of partnership
  • Must be quality submissions which address the interest to the journal’s intended audience
  • Must meet the formatting guidelines as outlined below in the Format and Style Guidelines
  • Must be clear, concise, complete, well written and accessible to an international readership
  • Must not have been previously published, nor is it currently in submission with another journal

Once submissions are determined to have met these criteria, they will be reviewed based on the criteria specific to the type of contribution as outlined below. The following sections give the details, guidelines, and criteria for the types of articles published in IJSaP.

Research Articles

These are papers that provide a clear rationale for the study situated within a body of published research, an overview of the research methodology used, an analysis of findings, and a discussion of those findings and their implications in relation to existing knowledge. As IJSaP is a multidisciplinary journal, we welcome a wide range of disciplinary or interdisciplinary approaches to research, including staff engaging students as co-researchers, and the use of participatory approaches. Theoretical and conceptual pieces, policy analyses, and critical literature reviews that provide new insights into students as partners are also welcome (between 4,000 and 6,000 words). Research articles should include an abstract (150 words).

Criteria for Review

  • Presents original ideas or results supported by evidence, argument and ethical research
  • Is supported by the citation of existing literature
  • Uses appropriate methodologies, designs and/or theories

Case Studies

These articles are brief, scholarly explorations of specific practices, examples or initiatives, including continuing and one-off projects. They discuss the context and rationale for the work, place the case study in the context of the relevant literature, analyze the implementation of the initiative, identify strengths and weaknesses, and offer critical analysis of impacts on students, staff, practice, and policy as appropriate. Case studies do not need to include a theoretical framework or make a significant original contribution to the field, however, purely descriptive case studies are not acceptable (a maximum of 3,000 words). Case studies should include an abstract (150 words).

Criteria for Review

  • Presents an analysis of the implementation of an initiative
  • Contextualizes the initiative through the citation of relevant literature
  • Identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the initiative
  • Critically analyses impacts on students, staff, practice, and policy as appropriate

Opinion Pieces

These are short and thought-provoking pieces, stating a position and supported by a persuasive argument (a maximum of 1,500 words).

Criteria for Review

  • Addresses a current issue or debate related to partnership in teaching and learning
  • Advances interesting, innovative, provocative, and/or critical ideas about partnership
  • The argument should be supported where appropriate by academic literature, experience and/or evidence

Reflective Essays

Complementing scholarly, research-supported articles and case studies, these reflective essays offer a different angle on student-staff pedagogical partnership. They capture in less formal, less finished presentations the lived experiences, surprises, insights, questions, uncertainties, and other in-process aspects of partnership. This section of IJSaP welcomes individual submissions as well as sets of (normally no more than three) themed or institution-specific essays (500 – 3,000 words).

Criteria for Review

  • Is written as an informal, first-person account of the lived experience of partnership
  • Offers analysis of that lived experience that illuminates the day-to-day practicalities of pedagogical partnership and/or insights gained into the potential of such collaboration in higher education
  • May include a small number of citations of existing literature
  • Further guidance on writing reflective pieces can be found here


These include critical reviews of a book, conference/symposium or resource, or reviews of several related works at once (a maximum of 750 words, or 1,250 words where comparing more than one item).

Criteria for Review

  • Moves beyond summary of the work reviewed
  • Situates the work reviewed within relevant literature, discourse, or personal reflection  about partnership
  • Considers the implications of the work for partnership more broadly, and raises questions or ideas for future research or development where appropriate

Other Submissions

The journal encourages innovation and creativity in forms of publication and will entertain proposals for other type of papers (e.g., research posters, interviews, conversations between participants involved in partnership dialogues) or types of submission (e.g., podcasts, videos, and animations). Please contact the editors (ijsap@mcmaster.ca) before submitting, if you wish to explore this opportunity.

Format and Style Guidelines

To achieve a 2-3 month turn-around time, it is necessary for authors to present manuscripts that meet the journal’s formatting expectations, that have complete and accurate references, and that include any tables or figures in a format acceptable to the journal. Submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter that indicates that the manuscript is being submitted solely to IJSaP, and that the manuscript represents new, unpublished findings or arguments. For further information, please see the Style Guide, as well as the Submission Instructions below.

  • Submissions are to be in English (UK, Canadian, or USA English used consistently throughout). 
  • References should be in format of the American Psychological Association (APA), as found in the Publication Manual of the APA, 6th Edition. Useful links on APA format can be found here.
  • The font is to be 12 point Calibri, double spaced with left justification.
  • The margins – top and bottom, left and right – are to be 1 inch.
  • First level headings should be capitalized. First-level subheadings should be bold, indented, with only the first letter capitalized. Second-level subheading should be italicized, indented and only the first letter capitalized.
  • The version submitted for review must be anonymised (i.e., excluding author(s) name(s) and institutional affiliation; references by author(s) should be listed as author (date) and exclude other information).
  • If a submission contains tables, graphs or figures they should be included in the manuscript where they should appear in a published version.
  • The final version of all accepted submissions should include a short biography (no more than 50 words) for each author, indicating who was a student at the time the work or initiative was undertaken.
  • The abstract (for research articles and case studies), biography(ies) and reference lists are excluded from the word counts.’

Submission Instructions

Contributions may be submitted at any time and following vetting and international peer review accepted pieces will be published in the next available issue.

To be able to submit an article, you must first create an account on this site (https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/user/register). **Be sure to tick the box next to 'Author' when creating your account. This will enable you to upload your submission and track its progress and allow your paper to pass through the various stages of review to publication.

If you already have an account, as an author, reviewer, or editor, please login (https://mulpress.mcmaster.ca/ijsap/login) using your existing account details. If you don't see an author section on your user home page after logging in, Click on 'Edit My Profile' and check the box next to Author under roles.


All submissions that involve research with human participants must have been successfully reviewed according to their institution’s research ethics committee guidelines. A statement to that effect should be included in a note at the end of the text before the references.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.