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Special Issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, September 2024
01 Jan 2022 to 01 Apr 2022

Replication in Second Language Research
Special Issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, September 2024
Call for Proposals
Due April 1, 2022


Guest Editor: Kevin McManus (Penn State University, USA)

In 1993, Studies in Second Language Acquisition (SSLA) launched a new section of the journal titled Replication Studies, recognizing that “the way to more valid and reliable SLA research is through replication” (Valdman, 1993, p. 505). This innovation is as important today as it was in 1993, especially given that discussions of methodological rigor and transparency are changing how SLA research is designed, conducted, and disseminated. To highlight the role of replication studies in the growth and development of the discipline and to re-affirm the journal’s long-standing commitment to publishing replication studies, SSLA will publish a Special Issue consisting entirely of (close and approximate) replication studies in 2024.

As a research methodology, replication is used to verify, consolidate, and advance knowledge and understanding within empirical fields of study. A replication study works toward this goal by repeating a study’s methodology with or without changes followed by systematic comparison to better understand the nature, repeatability, and generalizability of its findings (Porte & McManus, 2019; Schmidt, 2009). In this way, replication helps assure the reliability, validity, and accuracy of our work precisely because it aims to systematically reconsider, refine, extend, and sometimes limit previous research findings. This is why replication has long been considered an essential part of the research process (Peterson & Panofsky, 2021; Porte, 2012). As a result, claims that replication studies are infrequent are majorly troubling (Marsden et al., 2018; Porte & Richards, 2012), indicative of an uncritical approach to how a field accumulates knowledge and builds theories. This is one reason why calls for replication are becoming more common across the social sciences (Plucker & Makel, 2021; Zwaan et al., 2018), and why resources are needed to support the conduct of replication studies in our field (Marsden et al., 2018; McManus, 2021; Porte & McManus, 2019).

This Special Issue responds to this need in the field of SLA. Proposals must include:

  1. 1. Study to be replicated and justification
  2. 2. Type of replication
  3. 3. What is being modified in the replication and why?
  4. 4. Design of replication study
  5. 5. Analysis of data
  6. 6. Impact

Successful proposals for this Special Issue will meet the following criteria:

  • Study to be replicated and justification. The study to be replicated should have had an impact on subsequent empirical and/or theoretical work in the field of SLA. A justification should be provided for why the study has been selected for replication.
  • Type of replication. The proposal should describe and motivate the approach to replication (exact, close, approximate, conceptual [Porte & McManus, 2019]). While all approaches to replication will be considered, preference will be given to close or approximate replication studies in which one or maximally two major variables have been modified.
  • Variable modification. The variable(s) selected for modification should be described and a rationale should be provided for why the variables were selected and how they will be modified.
  • Design and availability of materials. The design of the replication study should be described so that all major aspects of the methodology can be evaluated, including availability of the initial study’s materials.
  • Analysis. The proposal should describe how the data will be analyzed and to what extent the procedures for data preparation and analysis are similar/different from the initial study.
  • Other differences (if relevant). All differences with the initial study should be identified. In order to communicate similarities and differences between the initial study and the replication, authors are recommended to use Brandt et al.’s (2014) Replication Recipe as a guide (available from: https://osf.io/4jd46/).
  • Impact. Authors should make clear how the proposed replication has the potential to advance knowledge and understanding in the field of SLA.


Proposals should not exceed four pages, double spaced, size 12 font (excluding references). The name and email contact of the primary author should be provided along with names of contributing authors. Proposal submissions are due by email to ssla.journal@gmail.com by April 1, 2022.

Other manuscript and production deadlines are as follows:

  • April 1, 2022: Proposals due in SSLA office
  • April 22, 2022: Final decision reached
  • July 1, 2023 Submission of first-draft manuscripts to SSLA via ScholarOne (7,000 words, all inclusive)
  • July 1, 2024: All final manuscripts due, submitted via ScholarOne


Please feel free to distribute this announcement to interested colleagues. If any other questions arise, please feel free to contact the Guest Editor at kmcmanus@psu.edu or SSLA at ssla.journal@gmail.com.