In accordance with the DHET’s Research Outputs Policy implemented on 1 January 2016, at least 75% of contributions published in the IJTL emanate from multiple Higher Education Institutions.
The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd is the publisher as well as the copyright owner of the
journal articles. The IIE has a flexible and negotiable system when authors or their institutional libraries
approach us to use the article elsewhere, as long as the final edited version is utilised, and The IJTL is
Over and above The IIE repository, we do allow for archiving in other institutional repositories,
but this must be done by means of a formal written request sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peer Review Policy
The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning (The IJTL) uses a robust, multiple peer review process to ensure that the knowledge is tested and evaluated before publication of the new findings.
National and international academics with research experience and sound subject knowledge and academic writing acumen with the broad discipline of teaching and learning are invited to review articles.
Neither author nor reviewer information is ever associated with one another. The IJTL uses a panel of education experts per edition both from South Africa and abroad who themselves are well published and regarded to contribute to the double blind peer-review process and ensure fair and critical review of each article.
The reviewer reports are combined into a single report generated to supply comprehensive feedback. This is a double blind peer review process with a minimum of two reviewers per paper. If there is any conflict between reviewers, a third party reviewer is brought in.
Post-acceptance, all papers go through an extensive copy-editing process where references and citations are checked for accuracy.
Reviewers are thanked in each edition for their contribution and the use of their expertise. They are named but are not associated with the article that they reviewed so that anonymity is ensured between reviewer and author.
Before an article can be sent for its doubleblind peer-review, it must meet the following requirements:
a) the paper must fall within the scope of the IJTL – if it does not, the article is not sent for external
b) it is sufficiently and rigorously conceptualised and robust enough to meet the conventional
requirements of an academic publication within the demands of the discipline; e.g. philosophical,
sociological, and so on; and
c) the author has not published in the journal within a three-edition cycle. ‘Three-edition cycle’
means one and a half volumes. For example, if an author has published in volume 15 (1), the
author will not be able to publish in volume 15 (2), 16 (1) or 16 (2) – only in volume 17 (1).
If the article meets the above requirements, it goes through the double-blind peer-review process, in
which it is sent to at least two established researchers in that field either locally or abroad. This is to
ensure fair and critical review of each paper as well as to assess its suitability for publication in the IJTL.
Reviewers are given guidelines for review. In addition, to further reinforce the ‘blind’ nature of the
review as well as to avoid any conflicts of interest, reviewers who do not work for the same academic
institution as authors are recruited. The Managing Editor and the Journal Administrator are responsible
for communication with both authors and reviewers; it is up to them to ensure that the author and the
reviewer are never exposed to one another. The reviewers are asked, if they in any way feel that they
may know the author(s), have a vested interest in the paper or suspect any other conflict(s) of interest,
that they immediately inform the Managing Editor. If this happens, a new reviewer is found. If there is
a discrepancy between the findings of two reviewers, a third reviewer is found to review the article.
After review, the combined results of the reviewers yield a decision:
a) the article is either rejected, though guidelines are still provided to authors on how to rework
their article; or
b) the article is accepted, either subject to revisions or not.
At least half of the reviewers for each edition will not have reviewed articles for the preceding edition.
Reviewers are not remunerated.
Research Ethics and Ethical Malpractice Statement (incl. Plagiarism)
In this section, the ethical principles to which all authors must adhere are listed. Additionally, this
section contains the stance of the journal on matters such as plagiarism. Particular procedural points
that embody the IJTL’sstance are included.
There are three fundamental principles that guide ethical research. They are (1) respect for persons,
(2) beneficence and (3) justice. If these are principles are upheld during the research and reporting
process, the more technical aspects of this process become easier to address.
Respect for persons means that, where necessary (and necessity is determined by the rights of
participants), informed consent (and in the case of minors, informed consent from a parent or guardian)
was obtained and participants will have their dignity respected. Respect for persons includes respect
for intellectual property. Respect for intellectual property, as a matter of course. implies the complete
prohibition on plagiarism.
Beneficence is a more complex concept. In the context of academic article publication, it means that
the aim of the research needs to be for the benefit of those being researched, and if not for them
directly then for those who will follow them. That which is learnt from research must then be used to
improve the lives or experiences of those being researched. Where this is not a direct benefit (such as
to the subjects of the research), it should be possible for the research to be used to benefit others in
the future. Though research rarely directly benefits participants, it must, above all, neither directly nor
indirectly harm any of the participants. At the very least, the research must contribute to the growth of
the field, such as improving the quality of teaching or to contributing to the existing body of knowledge.
Justice in the academic publishing context requires fair, valid and reliable reporting on research, which
must be characterised by reasonableness, truthfulness and integrity. For research to be just, it must
promote the pursuit of knowledge that is in line with human rights and democratic principles. Research
reports should not be manipulated to provide answers that serve specific agendas characterised by
preconception and/or prejudice.
These simple principles suffice to guide the basic decisions that must be made when designing and
conducting research. These considerations should reflect in the academic writing of authors. Authors
must be able to demonstrate that their actions show respect for persons, and that they are beneficent
and just. Should it not be possible to account for all three of these principles, the article may be rejected.
Principle of ethics
Authors must adhere to both the ethical practices and the fundamental ethical principles of their
Principle of research freedom
The purpose of research is primarily to extend the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of humankind.
The freedoms enjoyed by researchers must only be used in accordance with the norms of ethical
principles and practices within the researcher’s respective discipline(s). Such limitations must not
undermine adherence to accepted ethical principles and practices.
Principle of professional responsibility
Researchers must seek to undertake research that is aligned at its core to the ethical and constitutional
principles of a democratic, human-rights-centred developmental society such as South Africa.
Plagiarism in all its forms must be actively avoided. The principle of intellectual property and, in the
case of research carried out in collaboration with a supervisor(s) (as opposed to simply under
supervision), joint data ownership and/or other researcher(s) must remain sacrosanct. Validating new
observations through reproduction of a research process must always explicitly identify the data or
finding to be confirmed. See the section ‘Retraction policy’ in this policy for more details.
Principle of accountability
Research freedom carries with it the responsibility of accountability. Authors are not only accountable
to the institution or to their employers or sponsors but also, especially on ethical grounds, to society at
Methods of collection and analysis, outputs and details of the data should be open to internal and
external scrutiny, where applicable and whenever necessary, upon request from the appropriate
Research Code of Ethics
Authors are required to:
a) familiarise themselves with ethics guidelines and observe such guidelines throughout their
b) accept that they are ethically accountable for honesty, objectivity (that is, avoiding undue bias),
and integrity of reporting on their research;
c) strive to conduct research of a high standard and report on it accordingly;
d) always clearly indicate the limitations of their research;
e) ensure that data is not falsified, misinterpreted, fabricated, misrepresented, or changed;
f) ensure that data is collected in a manner that will not affect their validity, and, if the validity may
be affected, declare the aspects of the project that might be the cause;
g) disclose research methodologies and processes in a transparent manner to uphold their
h) credit sources of information by accurately and appropriately referencing them and respecting
the copyright of all reference works and sources;
i) avoid placing the safety, security and integrity of participants at risk through any research that is
conducted or through the reporting thereof;
j) adhere to the conventions associated with the publication of academic articles, which includes
only submitting one article to one publisher at a time and always citing where papers have been
used before; and
k) uphold the integrity of academic research in all stages of the research process and the reporting
Research on Sensitive Topics
A sensitive topic for research is defined as one that generates any concern about sensitivity on any one
of the three dimensions as follows:
a) issues considered private, stressful, or sacred, such as sexuality or death;
b) issues that, if revealed, might cause stigmatisation or fear, such as youth studies that reveal illegal
c) issues that are related to the presence of a political or other threat where researchers may study
areas that are subject to controversy or social conflict.
Research with or on Vulnerable Groups
Any research project that will focus on a vulnerable group, or a group not able to give informed consent,
or any group that could perceive that there could be any pressure to participate, requires ethics
clearance even if the topic is not sensitive. It will be assumed that the author has taken all necessary
precautions to protect the vulnerable group involved, particularly when reporting on the relevant
research. Additionally, the author will be expected to explicitly state that all possible measures were
taken to protect the vulnerable group involved and that the necessary ethics clearance was obtained
from the institutionwith which the author is associated.
Retraction Policy (incl. Plagiarism)
Though The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning takes every step to avoid publishing
plagiarised work, it cannot be held accountable in the event of plagiarised work being published.
However, should it come to light after a work is published that it is plagiarised, either wholly or in part,
the work in question will be retracted publicly in the edition immediately following the discovery of the
plagiarism. Authors are required to submit with their article a fully marked-up similarity report
generated by software such as Turnitin, iThenticate or SafeAssign. A significant similarity index will be
grounds for rejection of an article if the similarity concerns are not addressed by the author.
Article Processing Charges
The journal does not charge any author or page fees. Submission and publication is at no cost. However, all articles are subject to the double blind peer-review process and are only published once accepted.
Open Access Policy
The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning (IJTL) is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, supporting the Budapest Open Access Initiative principles: “By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, is to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” Therefore, copyright remains with the author/s of the article/s.
Digital Preservation Policy
The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning (IJTL) utilises both the Portico and the PKP Preservation Network (PN) systems to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. Click here to view The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning (IJTL) in the Portico Keeper's Registry.
A copy of each issue is submitted via email to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA).
The publisher and the editorial team cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this journal. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or the editorial team.