This encyclopedia utilizes a blend of traditional and new approaches to editing and publishing. Contributing authors should leverage diverse expertise to create a resource that is of the greatest possible value to the field.
As a peer-reviewed volume, the encyclopedia is designed to ensure the publication of articles of the highest quality and practical use to the field. As an open encyclopedia, the educational technology community should continually suggest improvements to existing articles in the form of revisions, updates, and supplements. And as a living resource, editors and authors should seek to continuously improve content, processes, and user experiences.
The encyclopedia includes the following contribution types. More detailed descriptions of each content type are available in their individual sections below:
- Encyclopedia Articles
- Additional Resources as supplements to existing articles
- Micro-Revisions of existing articles
- Major Updates of existing articles
- Translations of existing articles
Articles comprise the primary content of the encyclopedia. All articles address a suitable topic, are peer-reviewed prior to publication, and strictly follow targeted stylistic and other guidelines.
Like any encyclopedia, this volume seeks to summarize concepts, events, and other topics pertinent to educational technology in a manner that is readily consumable and allows a reader to gain a general understanding.
Any concept, model, theory, framework, debate, or issue related to educational technology may be a suitable topic. Topics need not strictly be unique to “educational technology,” per se, but should be topics of importance to educational technology professionals that are specifically written for their needs, interests, and use. For example, “Feminism” and “Accessibility” may not be universally considered to be educational technology topics, because they originated in other fields and are discussed at length in a variety of fields. However, they are nonetheless of deep interest to educational technology professionals, so they would be suitable topics for the encyclopedia.
To assist in topic selection, a public list of potential topics with committed authors is available here. If you would like to write a particular article, feel free to let the editors know that you will be working on it, and they would be happy to mark this on the public list for others to see. This will help to encourage collaboration and to reduce the duplication of efforts. If a topic is missing, you may contact the editors to suggest listing it, and you may also submit article submissions for unlisted topics.
The encyclopedia should not be used to stake a claim for particular terms that may have multiple meanings. Rather, article titles and contents should disambiguate terms when necessary. For instance, if there are two theoretical models that use the same name or abbreviation (e.g., “The Triple E Framework”), then disambiguating language should be used in the title and link of the article (e.g., “The Triple E Framework (Kolb)” and “triple_e_kolb”).
Additionally, care should be taken in the writing of articles to ensure that global perspectives are represented and that local uses of terms are not treated as universal (e.g., “content management system” may mean different things in different countries). The Editorial Board can assist authors in navigating these realities in a variety of ways, such as encouraging broader treatment of terms in the articles themselves or proposing the authorship of separate, localized definitions with appropriate cross-references.
We seek to be swift in our review and publishing process with a goal of 1 month from initial submission to final decision and (if accepted) publication. All submissions will go through a first round of editorial review and a second round of peer review. If not accepted, articles may be returned to authors with guidance on how to effectively improve the article for resubmission and be considered for additional rounds of peer review.
All submitted articles will be reviewed by at least two reviewers, representing the perspectives of both researchers and practitioners.
Stylistic and Formatting Information
In general, articles should be as simply formatted as possible, and authors should use the provided template when composing their submissions in Google Docs. Submissions should also generally be formatted according to APA 7 requirements. For an overview of these requirements, see the APA 7 Job Aid (Kimmons, 2018).
The intended audience for articles should be researchers, practitioners, and the general public. Technical language should be defined as necessary.
It may be appropriate to consider contextual information and diverse applications within articles (e.g., application in K-12 vs. higher education), but articles should not be limited to a singular context (e.g., "Open Educational Resources" would be an appropriate article, but "Open Educational Resources in Higher Education" would not). All articles should be written for the educational technology context.
All titles should only include the topic, not the context. For instance, an article on “Feminism” is implied to mean “Feminism in Educational Technology,” but the title would only be “Feminism.” Subtitles and lengthy titles (e.g., those with semicolons) should be avoided.
Tone and Writing Style
Articles should be written in a professional and factual tone. They should generally be written in third-person language and should avoid personal anecdotes in favor of references to primary sources (e.g., foundational theoretical papers). In addition, all articles should be written at a reading level suitable for a general adult audience (e.g., 10th grade English).
Furthermore, encyclopedia articles are a type of academic writing, which is very different from other forms of writing (e.g., creative, technical). For a brief introduction to some of the expectations and norms of academic writing, please see The 5 C Guidelines of Academic Writing (Kimmons, 2018).
Articles should be 600 to 1,000 words in length (excluding citations). Articles significantly longer than 1,000 words will generally not be reviewed but should rather be broken into multiple articles to further narrow their scope. If submissions exceed the word limit, authors should provide a justification to the editor.
All articles should utilize the provided template and should have the following structure:
- Typically only 1-3 words (e.g., “Blended Learning”), but no more than 8 in total length
- Focused on the topic with no contextual modifiers or verbs (e.g, “Blended Learning” rather than “Blended Learning in K-12” or “What is Blended Learning?”)
- 150-200 words in length
- The first sentence should succinctly define the term or topic, generally starting with the term followed by an “is” statement (e.g., “Blended learning is…”), thereby helping with search engine optimization
- Should contain less than three citations, representing the most foundational work on the topic
- 3-5 in total
- Including abbreviations, synonyms, and related concepts
- Explanation/Lengthier Definition
- 450-800 words in length
- Should expand upon the Definition/Abstract without restating it
- Should provide limited (but necessary) treatment of controversies or different understandings, with different understandings generally being addressed in separate (disambiguating) articles
- Related Terms
- List any other published articles in the encyclopedia that are directly related to this topic (normally 1-5 in total)
- Should include all citations included in the article
- The article should reference any foundational work on the topic (e.g., theoretical articles) as well as the most recent work related to the topic
- Author self-citations are allowed but should generally be used only if they are the best possible citations for the claims being made
- List any additional contributors to the article that are not included in the author list
- Additional Resources
- List any additional links, media, or files that may be helpful for readers, such as supporting documents (e.g., lesson plans, rubrics), explanatory aids (e.g., instructional videos), or project websites
The visual layout of each encyclopedia article
All submissions should be written in clean, clear, and precise English. It is the submitting author's responsibility to ensure that submissions are free of errors.
In-text citations should be used extensively to provide evidence for claims and should follow APA 7 requirements. Author self-citations are allowed but should only be used if they are the best possible citations for the claims being made.
Images, Charts, and Tables
Data, images, charts, and tables should not be included unless they serve a foundational illustrative purpose (e.g., the visual PICRAT matrix is appropriate to include in the PICRAT article, because it is necessary for illustrating the model). Stock photography, clipart, and other visuals focused on aesthetics should not be included.
Any images should include appropriate alt text descriptions, which may be added in Google Docs by right-clicking on the image and choosing “Alt text.”
Included images should also be openly licensed either as a public domain or appropriate Creative Commons work. If the image is an original work, it will be assumed that the work is released under the same license as the article unless it is explicitly stated that it is released under another license. If authors have questions about licensing, they are welcome to contact the Editorial Board.
Blocks of text should not be included in tables unless the text represents information that is tabular in nature. If a list will do, please use a list.
Whenever possible, tables should also include a heading row that provides appropriate labels for information in columns.
When using text in tables, do not use returns or tabs in the text to provide separation. Rather, use new rows, columns, and cells for required separation. See Tables 1 and 2 for examples. If cells are blank, this means they should generally be merged with other cells to improve meaning.
In addition, most visual APA table formatting requirements (e.g., border sizing) may be ignored for new submissions because styling of tables will be overwritten by the publishing system.
Poor example of text in a table that does not use proper cell separation
P I C
R A T
Good example of text in a table that uses proper cell separation
Videos and Interactive Media
Videos and interactive media should generally not be included in the body of the article but may be included as additional resources.
Authors should seek to write their articles in a way that will be as accessible as possible to an international audience. Following APA 7, American spellings of English words are generally preferable to British spellings, but this might vary based on the context and scope of the article.
Headings and Styles
Articles should use the built-in styles feature of Google Docs for identifying headings, and authors should not manually apply visual formatting changes to headings (e.g., bolding, italicizing). If authors do not use the built-in heading styles, it is difficult for editors to programmatically tag headings in a way that makes them accessible and usable.
Furthermore, authors should ensure that their articles do not skip heading levels, that all headings are nested properly (e.g., a Heading 2 only comes after a Heading 1), and that headings in subsections are only included if there are at least two subsections (e.g., do not include a Heading 2 heading under a Heading 1 unless there are at least two Heading 2s). Examples of a correct heading structure and an incorrect heading structure follow:
Correct Structure Example
- Heading 1
- Heading 2
- Heading 2
- Heading 1
- Heading 2
- Heading 2
- Heading 2
Incorrect Structure Example
- Heading 1
- Heading 2 (Explanation: Only one Heading 2 under the Heading 1)
- Heading 1
- Heading 3 (Explanation: Skipped Heading 2)
Pre-Publication Author Support
A designated member of the Editorial Board may serve as the primary contact person for interested authors or others seeking clarifying information about the encyclopedia. This includes potential authors who would like help in identifying potential collaborators (e.g., a classroom teacher looking for a scholar to serve as a co-author). To assist in these efforts, the Editorial Board may utilize a variety of strategies and tools to connect prospective authors to one another, including Twitter, Slack, Google Docs, etc.
Graphics and Styling
Beyond generic APA 7 formatting required of all submissions, the Editorial Board will also utilize the efforts of graphic designers and other professionals to make all visual content elements follow the EdTechnica Style Guide. This provides a sense of unity and an important level of production quality to all materials published in the encyclopedia.
Custom typography should not be used in encyclopedia articles, and all text should be represented as text as much as possible rather than as part of an image (e.g., figure captions should be cropped from images and provided as blocks of text).
Any text that is included in images, such as labels on charts, should generally utilize Arial or another san-serif font.
Content should effectively use whitespace, and color should only be used as a uniform accent in figures and other elements.
The color palette for encyclopedia visuals
A figure example of PICRAT that uses appropriate style guide colors
A figure example of Bloom’s Taxonomy that uses appropriate style guide colors
We encourage all new article submissions to (a) be co-written by at least two authors, (b) represent multiple institutions, (c) include both a researcher and practitioner perspective when relevant, and (d) provide an insider (or emic) perspective of experts on the topic, as opposed to outsider critiques (e.g., the article on Behaviorism should not be written from a Constructivist lens). Prior to peer review, a designated Editorial Board member will conduct an initial review of the article and determine whether the authorship plan is appropriate for the proposed article. In some cases, single authorship might be appropriate, but such exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Our co-authorship guidelines are intended to serve at least three guiding purposes:
- Helping to ensure that articles represent a wealth of perspectives,
- Helping to bridge theory-practice and researcher-practitioner divides, and
- Encouraging under-represented authors to contribute, such as authors from marginalized communities.
Researcher authors should have a significant track record of scholarship directly related to the topic of the article, as evidenced by peer-reviewed journal article publications, citations, and so forth. Whenever possible, they should represent expertise in theoretical work associated with the topic and not just the application of the topic.
Practitioner authors should have experience and expertise relevant to the topic. Some examples include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Classroom teachers with applied experiences directly related to the topic,
- Designers of training materials, projects, or solutions directly related to the topic,
- Administrators and managers of projects directly related to the topic.
Hybrid authors, or those representing both researcher and practitioner expertise, are welcome, but articles should still seek to include at least two authors.
Authors should seek to represent at least two institutions (e.g., two teacher educators at the same university would not be appropriate) and whenever possible should provide perspectival diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, ability, and nation of origin.
Authors with commercial conflicts of interest may not contribute articles. For instance, employees of or teacher ambassadors for a commercial educational technology company may not submit articles about the company's products.
Authorship order should be determined by the authors themselves and should reflect relative scholarly contribution to the article and follow the APA 7 guidelines for authorship and acknowledgment. Consultants and others involved in the authorship process may be identified as an acknowledgment, even if their contributions do not merit full authorship consideration.
All articles should be written from an insider (or emic) perspective rather than an outsider (or etic) perspective (Williams & Kimmons, 2022). This should be discernible both in the tone and content of the article and also in representation among authors, especially when articles focus on social groups or topics. For example, an article on “Constructivism” should be primarily authored by professionals who engage in constructivist work, an article on “Feminism” should be primarily authored by women, an article on “Social Justice” should be primarily authored by traditionally marginalized groups of individuals, and so forth. A good rule of thumb is that all articles should be written by members of the communities being represented and should represent them in ways that they would represent themselves and would embrace.
If you have questions about whether your authorship plan will meet our requirements, please consider how well your plan addresses the three guiding purposes above. If you are a practitioner wishing to find a scholar to co-author with, please consider searching for your topic on Google Scholar to find someone with a track record in your area. Additionally, if you would like assistance in connecting with other prospective authors to collaborate with you, please consider reaching out to the Editorial Board or posting a request to Twitter using the #edtechnica and #edtech hashtags.
Corporate Branding and Marketing
This encyclopedia is not a marketing tool. Proposed topics should not focus on a specific brand of technology but should instead be focused on the type. For example, an article on "Interactive Whiteboards" would be appropriate, but an article on "Promethean Boards" or "SmartBoards" would not. Similarly, an article on "Tablets" would be appropriate, but an article on "iPads" or "Galaxy Tabs" would not, and an article on "Social Networking Sites" would be appropriate, but an article on "Twitter" or "Facebook" would not. Within articles, specific brands may be mentioned as examples, but care should be taken to make treatment broadly applicable and inclusive of different brand options. Comparisons between products can be made in articles, but care should be taken to make these comparisons as objective as possible.
Articles should generally represent original works and should not be copied or reprinted from other sources. Remixes or adaptations of previously published works are allowed if the following conditions are met:
- The new article must be released under the same copyright license as the rest of the encyclopedia; so, the license under which the original content was released must be consulted to see if this is permissible.
- The article must follow all other encyclopedia guidelines to ensure fit with the volume (e.g., length, tone, structure).
Original Research and Theoretical Work
Original (unpublished) research and original (unpublished) theoretical work should not be proposed in articles. An encyclopedia is a secondary source, not a primary source.
All articles will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and will be made publicly available on the internet. Authors retain the copyright of their works, but they must agree to release their articles under this open license to be included in the volume. This license allows anyone to share, remix, or reuse the article provided that they cite the original author. Please note that the encyclopedia only uses the base CC BY license and does not add additional stipulations on use (e.g., non-commercial, share-alike, no-derivatives). This is intended to allow for the greatest possible use of encyclopedia articles in the field. Please consult the Creative Commons site for more information about licenses.
Access to Usage Data and Analytics
Usage data and analytics will be collected on all articles. Editorial Board members will have access to view data for the entire volume, and article authors will have access to view data for their chapters. Additionally, Review Board members or others can request access to view analytics for the volume by asking the site administrator to grant data analyst permissions. These data can be used for research or other purposes that benefit the field, and access may be granted by requesting permission from email@example.com. For more information on available data, please see Analytics and Metrics.
Requests for Articles
In addition to a revolving open call for submissions, anyone viewing the encyclopedia (including students) may submit a request for an article topic and suggest potential authors or resources. A current list of desired and planned articles may be found on the Article Planning Sheet. A designated Editorial Board member will manage these requests and invite appropriate authors to write articles of interest to the community. To request a term or topic, please email the editors.
All published articles in the encyclopedia will have the capacity to collect focused suggestions and corrections from the general public in the form of micro-revisions. Article authors will be notified when micro-revisions are suggested, and they will have the ability to accept or reject these suggestions as appropriate. Article authors and Editorial Board members will also be provided with a dashboard to track suggested revisions. Anyone making suggested edits that are rejected by article authors may request a review by a designee of the Editorial Board to ensure that legitimate, contradictory viewpoints are accounted for. However, in most cases, such edits should be submitted as Major Updates, which will undergo peer review and editorial scrutiny.
If the editor or original author chooses to update the article with micro-revisions, then individuals who suggest the revisions may be added to the Acknowledgments section in the article, but this is not required.
All published articles will have a form where the general public can submit URLs and brief descriptions of resources related to the topic of the article. These might include links to explanatory videos, lesson plans, tools, products, or anything else that could be useful to a reader learning about the topic. Article authors will be notified when artifacts are submitted, and they will have the ability to accept or reject the resource as appropriate as well as to organize resources on the article page. Article authors and Editorial Board members will also be provided with a dashboard to track submitted artifacts and their current status.
When determining whether to include a submitted resource, authors and editors should follow the provided rubric (see Table 3). When considering the rubric, any resource scoring 8 or more points should definitely included, and any resource scoring 5-7 points may be included at the evaluator’s discretion. Any resource scoring less than 5 points should not be included. Additionally, anyone submitting suggested artifacts that are rejected by article authors may request a review by a designee of the Editorial Board, who may override the authors’ decision.
Rubric for Additional Resource Inclusion
|Do Not Include
|Longevity||The resource link may stop working in the next two years.||The resource link points to a reputable site and will probably continue to work for the next two years.||The resource link points to a reputable site and uses a persistent link (e.g., DOI).|
|Accuracy||The resource includes information that is highly inaccurate.||The resource includes information that is generally accurate.||The resource includes information that is highly accurate.|
|Practicality||The resource is not of practical value to researchers or practitioners.||The resource is of practical value to researchers or practitioners.||The resource is of practical value to researchers and practitioners.|
|Accessibility||The resource is in an inaccessible format.||The resource is in a generally accessible format but has some errors.||The resource is in an accessible format.|
|Commercial Incentive||Inclusion of the resource would serve primarily commercial goals.||Inclusion of the resource may provide commercial incentive to someone, but this is not the primary reason for its inclusion.||Inclusion of the resource would not provide commercial incentive to anyone.|
|Overall Score||0 - 4 points||5 - 7 points||8 - 10 points|
Usability and Accessibility
The platform the encyclopedia is hosted on and all articles should be designed with a mobile-first mindset to ensure compatibility and usability across all devices. In addition, the Editorial Board should conduct annual checks of all articles in the encyclopedia using standard (e.g., WebAIM Wave) or customized tools to ensure that all materials are usable and accessible. In cases of poor usability or accessibility, the Editorial Board should work with article authors to make required changes.
All published articles will provide the opportunity for anyone to submit a major update to the article. Though micro-revisions will tend to be grammatical or factual in nature, major updates will consist of robust content changes to articles deemed necessary due to changes of definitions, new ideations, or other factors. All major updates will be managed by a member of the Editorial Board who will first decide whether the suggested update constitutes a micro-revision or a major update. Major updates should substantially improve the content of the article by updating contextual information, clarifying misconceptions, or correcting content mistakes, while still adhering to other stylistic guidelines of the encyclopedia (e.g., word length). Grammatical, spelling, type editing, and stylistic updates do not constitute a major update, but because what constitutes a major update is somewhat fluid, this determination is left to the Editorial Board designee to make an informed judgment call. The guiding principle for this determination should be whether the suggested edit is sufficient enough to merit authorship credit: suggestions meriting authorship credit on the final article are considered major updates, while suggestions not meriting authorship credit would be considered micro-revisions.
In the case of major updates, a member of the Editorial Board will initiate a new round of reviews that includes the original authors as reviewers (except in cases where a conflict of interest might be expected) and an equal number of anonymous reviewers with relevant expertise. Based on their reviews, the editor will determine to either (a) update the original article to reflect the major update, (b) update the article with parts of the major update as micro-revisions, or (c) reject the major update. If the editor chooses to update the original article as a major update, then revising authors will be added to the end of the author list for the article.
The encyclopedia has a perpetual open call for translations of existing chapters into any language.
Though the primary language of the encyclopedia is English, translations of articles are welcome and can be published alongside their English versions. Since articles are openly-licensed, prospective translators have permission to conduct and submit translations for inclusion without seeking permission. Translators of accepted translations will be listed as additional authors on articles so that they receive credit as contributing authors.
Translations do not need to undergo an additional process of formal peer review, but the Editorial Board or a designated committee should rely upon professionals with expertise in the second language to ensure that translations are of sufficient quality to publish.
Cross-Referencing and Indexing
All articles will be indexed by Google Scholar and search engines.
All articles will also provide cross-references to other articles in the volume of interest (e.g., “Copyright” would cross-reference “Open Educational Resources”).
All published articles will provide an end-of-article survey for readers to rate the quality of the article and to provide feedback. The Editorial Board should use these ratings and suggestions to work with article editors on improving article quality. The editor may also choose to invite either the original authors or a revising author to submit a major revision of targeted articles to improve quality. Original authors may make such revisions directly to articles, but revising authors’ submissions will need to undergo the peer review process outlined for major revisions.
The Editorial Board should make goals related to article quality (e.g., 90% of articles should have a quality rating of 4.0 or above) and should engage in efforts to continuously improve them. This includes reaching out to authors of articles with dated materials or articles that have not been updated in at least two years to ensure that contents are up-to-date. Any major updates to articles will be accompanied by an updated publication date, which may be included in curriculum vitaes and resumes.