Research Article Author Guidelines

Analytics accepts research articles that use all forms of empirical research designed to expand opportunities for diverse learners. The journal does not favor any particular research method and only requires research methods to be fully described and rigorously applied. Analytics publishes detailed research reports of up to 30,000 words (approximately 100 double spaced manuscript pages, including references).

In submitting manuscripts, it is important for authors to realize that the journal aim—to advance multidisciplinary research at the intersection of educational measurement, massive data analysis, digital learning ecologies, and ethical philosophy —is best achieved when research is attentive to these areas.

Formatting References

References should be formatted using APA style. For instructions on formatting references, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition.

Formatting Text

Please adhere to the following guidelines for formatting article text.

  • Upload article submissions in the Microsoft Word document file format.
  • Provide URLs for the references where available.
  • Double space text and use a 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Use italics instead of underlining (except for URL addresses).
  • Place figures and tables at the end of the document. Use the phrase "Insert Table (or Figure) X here." to indicate their placement in the document.
  • Follow the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review for submissions to a peer-reviewed section of the journal.

The following titles should be used for the main section headings, and the issues below should be addressed for the corresponding sections.

Structured Abstract

The structured abstract (between 500 and 750 words) is categorized by subheadings to include background, literature review, research questions, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions. The abstract should present a comprehensive overview of the study.


The background section positions the multidisciplinary study and explains its significance.

This section includes information on

  • The study’s focus
  • The study’s relevance to readers of the Journal of Writing Analytics
  • The research question or problem statement that the study addresses

The background section concludes with a brief overview of the significance of the study.

Literature Review

The literature positions the reported research in the context of work by other researchers, identifies needed advances, and establishes justification for the present study.

Research Questions

The research questions should be framed in terms of needed work identified in the literature review. They should also align the needed work with the chosen research methodology.

Research Methodology

The research methodology section consists of a comprehensive description of how the study was executed. The section should be written so that others should be able to replicate the study. The structure typically includes information on design, sequence, collection, sampling plan, and empirical method. When describing data collection, authors should provide information about the following aspects, as appropriate for the study.

  • Research design: Authors should provide a description of the general study design and position the study within known and developing programs of research.
  • Sampling Plan:
    • The method for securing the sampling plan should be described.
    • Authors should include a statement indicating that the study was approved by a Research Ethics committee or that it was exempt from approval.
    • The number of participants should be disclosed, along with their demographic information and other relevant characteristics.
    • Authors should use power analysis to support inferences from the study sample to the general population at hand.
    • Attrition should be reported.
  • Instruments: Authors should identify the empirical methods used in the study and the aims of these methods. They should describe the kind of information collected, with qualification established as necessary to aid later discussion.
  • Procedures: Authors should provide a step-by-step description of how data were collected.
  • Data analysis: Authors should describe how the data were analyzed and provide justification for the analytic methods used.


The results section should provide evidence that the research questions have been addressed. Results should be reported according to standards identified by the American Psychological Association in terms of sample size, disaggregation by sub-group, descriptive and inferential statistics, and effect size. Foundational categories of evidence related to fairness, validity, and reliability are essential.


Because of the complex reporting involved in writing analytics, this section allows authors to discuss the interpretation, use, and consequences of the results. Encouraged here is attention to claims, warrants, and qualifications regarding the evidence presented. 


The conclusion section provides justification that the results have answered the research questions with any attendant qualifications. Special attention should be paid to applications, especially to groups of diverse learners. Special attention should also be paid to fairness as a category of evidence.

Directions for Further Research

Authors should conclude the manuscript with directions for further research intended to advance the body of knowledge and program of research reported in the study.

Reviewers’ Expectations

See the Reviewer Guidelines for the review criteria used by reviewers of research articles.