Submission Guidelines

Reading in a Foreign Language (RFL) seeks submissions of previously unpublished manuscripts on any topic related to the area of foreign or second language reading. Articles should be written so that they are accessible to a broad audience of language educators, including those individuals who may not be familiar with the particular subject matter addressed in the article. Manuscripts are being solicited in these three major categories: articles, discussion forum, and reviews. Submission guidelines, general publication policies, general guidelines for reporting on both quantitative and qualitative research are provided below.


Discussion Forum
Submission Guidelines
General Publication Policies
Guidelines for Reporting on Research



Articles should report original research or present an original framework that links previous research, educational theory, and teaching practices. Full-length articles should be no more than 8,500 words in length, excluding appendices. Additionally, each submission should include an abstract of no more than 150 words, and a list of five to seven keywords for index and search purposes. We encourage articles that take advantage of the electronic format by including hypermedia links to multimedia material both within and outside the article. All article manuscripts submitted to RFL go through a two-step review process.

Step 1: Internal review. The editors of the journal first review each manuscript to see if it meets the basic requirements for articles published in the journal (i.e., that it reports on original research or presents an original framework linking previous research, educational theory, and teaching practices), and that it is of sufficient quality to merit external review. Note that RFL now follows the guidelines of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Manuscripts submitted to RFL must conform to APA format. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements are not sent out for further review. This internal review takes about 1–2 weeks.

Step 2: External review. Submissions that meet the requirements above are then sent out for blind peer review from two to three experts in the field, either from the journal’s editorial board or from a larger list of reviewers. This second review process takes 2–3 months. Following the external review, the authors are sent copies of the external reviewers’ comments and are notified as to the decision (accept as it is, accept pending changes, revise and resubmit, or reject).

Discussion Forum

The Discussion Forum contents are meant to be constructive and professional exchanges about an area of foreign language reading discussed in articles previously published in RFL. Authors may submit short articles, usually no more than 4,000 words. The author or authors of the article under discussion are invited to respond to the issues raised in those comments.


The Journal welcomes reviews of recent publications and resources focusing on a variety of aspects of reading, including research, professional development, classroom approaches, teaching texts, and computer mediated materials. Reviewers should give a clear and succinct description and provide the reader with the means of evaluating the relevance of the material to the targeted field of theory and practice. Reviews should normally include references to published theory and relevant research, and reviews providing a critical or evaluative overview of several publications that have made a distinct contribution to the field of reading research and practice are particularly welcome. Reviews of individual books or reading instructional software are generally 1,200–1,600 words in length. Reviews of multiple texts can be longer. Reviews should include the name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, URL (if applicable), and a short biographical statement (maximum 50 words) of the reviewer(s). The following information should be included in a table at the beginning of the review:

Publication date
Publisher city and country
Number of pages

Contact Jing Zhou ( if you are interested in having material reviewed or in serving as a reviewer.


RFL has three features, Readings on L2 Reading: Publications in Other Venues, which first appeared in the October 2005 issue, RFL Revisited: Past Articles Today, which first appeared in the October 2006 issue, and New Directions in Reading Research.

Readings on L2 Reading: Publications in Other Venues, which appears once a year in the October issue, offers an archive of articles published in other venues during the previous year. It serves as a valuable tool to readers of RFL. Articles may treat any topic within the scope of RFL and second language reading. Articles are organized by topic. This feature includes titles of the articles as well as brief summaries. Two additional sections include a list of books, volumes, and dissertations that treat second language reading. For more information, please contact the editor of this feature, Dr. Shenika Harris, an assistant professor of Spanish at Lindenwood University. RFL readers are requested to send to Dr. Harris relevant information on appropriate articles such as author(s), journal, date of publication, and, if possible, a brief summary. Please send to

RFL Revisited: Past Articles Today brings previous RFL articles that remain relevant and reprises them in current issues. We ask the author to comment on the article as well as to have others comment on it. Note that RFL does not accept unsolicited submissions for this feature.

New Directions in Reading Research is an opportunity for contributors to comment on emerging or future directions in research in foreign language reading. Articles are limited to 5000 words excluding references and acceptance is at the editors’ discretion. Intending authors should contact the editors in advance. Unsolicited contributions will not be considered.

back to top

Submission Guidelines

Please list the names, institutions, e-mail addresses of all authors, and also include a brief biographical statement (maximum 50 words, in sentence format) for each author. (This information will be removed when the articles are distributed for blind review.) Authors must accompany their submission with a statement that the manuscripts has not been published elsewhere or is not being considered for publication elsewhere.

Submissions may be submitted in the following formats: (a) Microsoft Word documents and (b) RTF documents. If a different format is required in order to better handle foreign language fonts, please consult with the editors. Submissions (and related files) are accepted through the OJS editorial management system. Please visit to begin or visit more detailed instructions here.

Please check the General Publication Policies below for additional guidelines.

General publication policies

The following policies apply to all articles, reviews, and commentaries:

1. All submissions must conform to the requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th edition). Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references and citations, which must be in APA format. Manuscripts may be rejected if they do not meet the APA requirements

2. Manuscripts that have already been published elsewhere or are being considered for publication elsewhere are not eligible to be considered for publication in RFL. It is the responsibility of the author to inform the editor of the existence of any similar work that is already published or under consideration for publication elsewhere.

3. Authors of accepted manuscripts will assign to RFL the permanent right to electronically distribute the article.

4. The editors of RFL reserve the right to make editorial changes in any manuscript accepted for publication for the sake of style or clarity. Authors will be consulted only if the changes are substantial.

5. Articles are copyrighted by their respective authors, but if published after electronic appearance, RFL will be acknowledged as the initial locus of publication.

6. The views expressed in RFL do not necessarily represent the views of the National Foreign Language Resource Center, the University of Hawai‘i College of Arts, Languages, and Literature, or the University of Hawai‘i Department of Second Language Studies.

7. RFL expects authors to adhere to ethical standards for research involving human subjects. Manuscript contributors will provide a statement to RFL stating that:

1) They have adhered to the human subject review established by their institution.


2) If their institution does not have an institutional review process, or if the institutional review process does not include the following procedures, contributors must meet the following standards.

Research Standards

A. Participants have been informed that they are research subjects and the results of the study will be presented for publication.
B. Participants have been informed that participation is voluntary and that they may withdraw their participation at any time.
C. Participants have been informed of the purpose of the research and provided a general outline of the project.
D. Participants have been informed how their confidentiality will be maintained.
E. Participants have been informed of any potential risks.

RFL Guidelines for reporting on research

Research should generally include the following sections:

An Abstract (no more than 150 words)

Five to seven keywords for index and search purposes

An Introduction:

  1. stating the research issue(s) to be investigated
  2. presenting the underlying theoretical framework discussing how the research fits with previous research
  3. presenting a description of the methodological tradition in which the study was conducted for qualitative research
  4. defining the variables
  5. stating the research hypotheses or questions

Method section:

  1. describing the participants or subjects and research site
  2. presenting a detailed description of data collection and analysis procedures
  3. describing the apparatus or materials used
  4. explaining the procedures and summarizing the steps employed in the research

Results section:

  • presenting graphs and tables that help to explain the results
  1. For quantitative research, presenting descriptive and inferential statistics used to analyze the data, including the following: (a) the reliability of the instruments used, (b) the statistic used, (c) statistical significance,  (d) answers to the research questions, (e) effect size indicators of the results obtained, and (f) how all statistical assumptions were used.  Note that it is not appropriate to carry out multiple independent significance tests (e.g., t-test, ANOVA) as this increases the likelihood of Type I error.  Some adjustment for the experimentwise alpha level (e.g., Bonferroni adjustment) must be made. (See: 
  2. For qualitative research, data should reflect prolonged engagement, persistent observation, and triangulation, with “thick description”

Discussion section:

  1. presenting an evaluation and interpretation of the results
  2. for statistical studies, effect sizes must be discussed along with statistical significance claims
  3. causal inferences should be cautiously made, and not based solely on correlational approaches
  4. results of the study should not be overly interpreted or generalized
  5. linking the results obtained in the study to original hypotheses or research questions
  6. presenting the implications of the study


  1. including a summary, any limitations, and general implications of the study
  2. proposing suggestions for further research

References in APA format

Appendices of instrument(s) used


Reading in a Foreign Language is published by the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

We would like to invite you to check out RFL’s sister journal, Language Learning & Technology, which seeks to disseminate research to foreign and second language educators in the US and around the world on issues related to technology and language education. LLT articles are published throughout the year as they become ready. In addition, Special Issues are published 1 to 2 times a year. LLT is available free of charge to all readers and subscribers. Both RFL and LLT are published by the NFLRC.