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Studies in Second Language Acquisition, a leading publication in the field of second language acquisition, is a refereed journal devoted to problems and issues in non-primary and heritage language acquisition. Theoretically-driven essays as well as theoretically-motivated empirical studies in any area related to second or heritage language acquisition and use or the interface of acquisition and use with pedagogy are acceptable.

Types of manuscripts

Research Article. These manuscripts may be essays or empirical studies, either of which must be motivated by current theoretical issues in second and subsequent language acquisition or heritage language acquisition. Maximum length is 11,000 words all-inclusive (i.e., abstract, text, tables, figures, references, notes, and appendices intended for publication).

Research Report. These manuscripts are shorter empirical studies motivated by current theoretical issues in second and subsequent language acquisition or heritage language acquisition. Very often, these are narrowly focused studies or they present part of the results of a larger project in progress. The background and motivation sections are generally shorter than research articles. Maximum length is 6,000 words all-inclusive (i.e., abstract, text, tables, figures, references, notes, and appendices intended for publication).

Replication Study. These manuscripts are shorter empirical studies motivated by a previously published study. The background and motivation sections will necessarily be shorter compared to research articles as the maximum length is 6,000 words all-inclusive (i.e., abstract, text, tables, figures, references, notes, and appendices intended for publication).

State-of-the-Scholarship Article. These manuscripts are essays that review the extant research on a particular theme or theoretical issue, offering a summary of findings and making critical observations on the research to date. Manuscripts in this category typically fall within the 11,000-word limit.

Critical Commentary. These manuscripts are shorter essays (i.e., non-empirical) motivated by current theory and issues in second and subsequent language acquisition or heritage language acquisition, including methodological issues in research design and issues related to the context of learning. Maximum length is 6,000 words all-inclusive (i.e., abstract, text, tables, figures, references, notes, and appendices intended for publication).

Methods Forum. Recognizing the need to discuss and advance SLA research methods, these manuscripts seek to advance methodological understanding, training, and practices in the field. Submissions can be conceptual or empirical; we also encourage articles introducing novel techniques. All research paradigms, epistemologies, ontologies, and theoretical frameworks relevant to SLA are welcome. The target length is up to 11,000 words although longer manuscripts will be considered with justification.

All manuscripts in all categories are peer reviewed and subject to the same high standards for publication in SSLA. All submissions are double-blind peer reviewed.

Policy on prior publication. When authors submit manuscripts to this journal, these manuscripts should not be under consideration, accepted for publication or in press within a different journal, book or similar entity, unless explicit permission or agreement has been sought from all entities involved. However, deposition of a preprint on the author’s personal website, in an institutional repository, or in a preprint archive shall not be viewed as prior or duplicate publication. Authors should follow the Cambridge University Press Preprint Policy regarding preprint archives and maintaining the version of record. 

Format. All SSLA submissions must conform to the requirements of the latest Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). These requirements include formatting, headings, language use, presentation of data, citations, references, and all other aspects of manuscript preparation. Where we depart from APA on initial submission is that we ask that all figures and tables be embedded directly in place in the manuscript text rather than as separate files. At a minimum, manuscripts should be formatted as follows:

·         Double spaced

·         Times New Roman size 12 font

·         All figures and tables embedded

Abstract/Keywords. A guide to writing an effective abstract/selecting keywords for discovery can be found here.

Blinding. When referring to one’s own previous work, authors should cite their own work as if citing the work of others; the wording should not indicate in any way that the author also authored the previous work. Rather than “In our previous work (Plonsky & Oswald, 2017), we found….”, the reference should say “Plonsky and Oswald (2017) found…" This includes published work as well as work that is in press or in FirstView.

Permissions. If your article contains any material in which you do not own copyright, including figures, charts, tables, photographs or excerpts of text, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder to reuse that material. Guidance on requesting permissions can be found here.

Competing interests declaration in Title Page. All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their title page document (the title page that includes author details). This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.

If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

Ethics and transparency. Authors should check the journal's publishing ethics policies while preparing their materials.