Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning: Editorial Policies

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Focus and Scope

Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly articles and essays that make marked contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education. The Journal aims to provide a stimulating and challenging forum for contributors to describe, theorise and reflect on their teaching and learning practice, and is particularly interested in contributions that have relevance to the South African educational context. 

Contributions that are critical, well-researched and come at relevant problems and issues from theoretical, practice-based or analytical angles are welcomed, as well as contributions that focus on innovative and reflective approaches to teaching and learning.

All submissions must have a clear issue or problem that is addressing, and must make reference to the relevant literature. Where applicable methodology, results and evaluation of findings must be clearly discussed and related to the wider field or literature. Submissions relating local studies should make clear the applicability to a wider context and readership.


Section Policies


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Book Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

When articles are submitted for consideration they are screened initially by a sub-group of editors (assigned this task on a revolving basis). Articles are then either rejected if they do meet the minimum criteria for consideration, or sent to peer reviewers. The peer review process is double blind, and we assign a minimum of two peer reviewers per paper. If there is a significant disagreement in terms of their feedback, and the editors feel unable to resolve this in their feedback to the author, a third review will be sought. The reviewers are generally asked to return their feedback within 4 weeks, wither via uploading it on the OJS system, or sending their report via email on a peer review form (attached). Reviewer guidelines are given as follows on both our online system and the email form:

If you are able to provide us with a report, please indicate whether the submission falls into one of the following four categories:


revise and resubmit

accept with corrections or minor revisions

accept as is

If the paper falls into the middle two categories, please provide the author with suggestions for how the paper can be improved or revised. You may provide as much detail here as as you are able to. Please try to phrase your suggestions as constructively as possible to support the authors in revising their paper and improving it.

If the paper falls into the first or last category, please provide the main reasons for your decision to inform the editors and author.

Peer reviewers are suggested by the editors who are assigned to manage papers, and are all specialists in the field of research referenced in the paper. They are all encouraged to register online to make the process smoother, but some chose to stay outside of the system, which is why we also offer the email option, after which the managing editor uploads the review for editors and authors to view. Referees in the past have been both South Africa and internationally-based academics. 


Publication Frequency

This journal publishes one volume, with two issues per year.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Editorial Board

Managing Editor: Dr Sherran Clarence, Rhodes University (

Editor-in-Chief: Prof Vivienne Bozalek, University of the Western Cape (


Associate Editors

Prof Brenda Leibowitz, University of Johannesburg (

Prof Cecilia Jacobs, Stellenbosch University (

Prof Chris Winberg, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (

Prof James Garraway, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (

Prof Moragh Paxton, University of Cape Town (

Prof Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, University of Cape Town (

Prof Dick Ng'ambi, University of Cape Town (

Prof Melanie Walker, University of the Free State (

Prof Denise Wood, Central Queensland University, Australia (

Prof Lucia Thesen, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Dr Kasturi Behari-Leak, University of Cape Town, South Africa (


Editorial Advisory Board

Prof Ronelle Louise Carolissen, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (

Prof David Gosling, Plymouth University, UK, United Kingdom (

Prof Deborah Murdoch-Eaton, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom (

Prof Suellen Butler Shay, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Dr Yusuf Mohamed Sayed, University of Sussex (

Dr Lis Lange, University of the Free State (

Dr Jerome Albert Slamat, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (

Dr Lew Zipin, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia (

Dr Nwabisa Josephine Bangeni, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (

Prof Simon Barrie, The University of Sydney, Australia (

Dr Michalinos Zembylas, Open University of Cyprus, Cyprus 

Prof Cynthia N.T. Sikakana, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Prof Nan Yeld, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Dr Maureen Bell, University of Wollongong, Australia (

Prof Alan Amory, University of Johannesburg, South Africa (

Prof Gina Wisker, University of Brighton, United Kingdom (

Prof Susan Camille van Schalkwyk, Centre for Health Professions Education Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Stellenbosch University, South Africa (

Prof Marie Brennan, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia (

Dr Mary R Lea, Open University, UK, United Kingdom (

Ms Nasima Badsha, Chief Executive, Cape Higher Education Consortium, South Africa (

Prof Peter Smagorinsky, The University of Georgia, United States (

Prof Carolin Kreber, The University of Edinburgh (

Prof Gustavo E. Fischman, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Arizona State University, United States (

Dr Paul Ashwin, Lancaster University, United Kingdom (

Prof Alejandra Boni, GEDCE-DPI- Universitat Politecnica Valencia, Spain (

Ms Judy Favish, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Dr Matete Madiba, University of Pretoria, South Africa (

Dr Clever Ndebele, Universty of Venda, South Africa (

Ms Elize Archer, Centre of Health Professions Education Univerisity of Stellenbosch, South Africa (

Prof Jenni Case, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Prof Wendy Ruth Kilfoil, University of Pretoria, South Africa (

Prof Chrissie Boughey, Rhodes University, South Africa (

Dr Lynn Quinn, Rhodes University (

Prof Sioux McKenna, Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning Rhodes University, South Africa (

Prof Wendy Vilma Woodward, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (

Prof Jeff Jawitz, University of Cape Town, South Africa (

Prof Terence Edward Volbrecht, Semi-retired, Australia (

Dr Jo-Anne Elizabeth Vorster, Rhodes University (


Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

Our publication ethics and publication malpractice statement has been shaped by the Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011).  A similar statement by PsychOpen has also been helpful in preparing this document (PsychOpen,

Editors' responsibilities

Publication decisions: Editors are collectively responsible for deciding which of the papers submitted to the journal will be published. Our editors evaluate manuscripts without regard to the authors' race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy. Decisions on publication are ultimately based on the paper’s contribution to the field, its originality and clarity, and the its relevance to the journal's aims and scope. Current legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism are also considered.

Confidentiality: The editors and editorial staff undertake to not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: Unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted paper will not be used by the editor or the members of the editorial board for their own research purposes without the author's explicit written consent.

Reviewers' responsibilities

Contribution to editorial decisions: The peer-reviewing process assists the editor and the editorial board in making editorial decisions and in many cases reviewer feedback is useful to the author/s also in revising and improving the paper.

Promptness: Any selected peer reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that responding within the journal’s preferred 4-week peer review period will be impossible should notify the editor timeously and withdraw from the review process.

Confidentiality: Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shared or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor/s.

Standards of objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. Papers should be fairly evaluated in respect of their fit with the journal, their contribution to the field/area of research, and the way in which the author has expressed and substantiated their argument.

Acknowledgement of sources: Reviewers must identify instances where published work referred to in the paper has not been cited in the reference section (mismatch between in-text references and the reference list). They should also indicate instances where they believe observations or arguments derived from other publications are not accompanied by the relevant source or reference. Reviewers should notify the editor of any notable similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper or papers of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflict of interest: Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must not be used for personal advantage, and should be kept confidential. Reviewers approached to review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest arising from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors or institutions associated with the manuscripts should remove themselves from the review process.

Authors' duties

Reporting standards: Authors of original research papers should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an clear discussion of its significance. Relevant data should be represented accurately and appropriately in the paper. A paper should contain sufficient detail and references to permit readers to access works referenced in the paper, and draw on the work in theor own research if desired. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements are unethical and unacceptable.

Data access and retention: Authors should ensure accessibility of raw data to other competent professionals for at least ten years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release.

Originality, plagiarism and acknowledgement of sources: Authors will submit only entirely original works, and will cite or quote the work and/or words of others in an apppropriate manner and in line with the journal’s published guidelines. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work should also be cited.

Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication: Submitting the same paper to more than one journal simultaneously constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable. Authors submitting an original paper to the journal should not have the paper under consideration with any other journal at that time. Authors may only withdraw their paper if the paper is: rejected before or after peer review, or if authors notify the editor of their intention to withdraw as soon as a decision on the manuscript is communicated by the editors, including where such a decision indicates the need for revisions. Manuscripts which have been published as copyrighted material elsewhere cannot be submitted. In addition, manuscripts under review by the journal should not be resubmitted to copyrighted publications. However, by submitting a manuscript, the author/s retain the rights to the published material. In case of publication they permit the use of their work under a CC-BY license [], which allows others, with appropriate attribution, to ‘copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format’ and to ‘remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercial’.

Authorship of the paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All authors who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author ensures that all contributing co-authors are included in the author list. The corresponding author will also verify that all co-authors have approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All communication will be conducted between the editor/s and corresponding author only, except where co-authors request otherwise.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest: All authors should include in their submission a clear statement disclosing any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that may be interpreted as influencing the research included in the manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed, including where relevant project or funding reference numbers.

Fundamental errors in published works: If an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, the author is obliged to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and to cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper in form of an erratum. Authors should take care to review their own manuscripts carefully during the production process to avoid such errors bein published.



Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). (2011, March 7). Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from

PsychOpen (n.d). Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement. Retrieved from (accessed 27 January 2016).


Journal indexing

CriSTaL is currently indexed on the Norwegian List (Level 1); African Journals Online (AJOL, full-text); Sabinet (full-text); K-Hub, Infobase, WorldCat, Sherpa/Romeo, Ulrichsweb, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

ISSN: 2310-7103
AJOL African Journals Online