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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published partially or completely, nor has it been submitted for consideration to another journal (otherwise an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in an editable format, such as OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF.
  • References must be accompanied by their corresponding DOI, where available.
  • The manuscript is submitted in its optimal condition, to the best of the author(s)'s knowledge, so that no substantial amendments will need to be done after the manuscript has been accepted for publication, other than those suggested by reviewers or deemed necessary by the editors.
  • The participants in my study were duly informed of all the details of the study and the possible risks, and voluntarily provided me with duly signed informed consent to participate in the study, when applicable. 
  • When applicable, there is a note in my Method section stating that to collect these data authors complied with all the applicable legal obligations for their countries, including the gathering of approval from institutional review boards (IRB), informing participants of the details and risks of the study and securing participants' consent.
  • 12-point font is used; italics are used rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are duly labeled within the text at the appropriate place.
  • Proper names of people or institutions that might reveal the author's identity have been erased or replaced by a pseudonym (in the case of an institution), or by the word "Author" (in the case of citations and references), in order to ensure a blind review.
  • The abstract does not exceed 200 words and follows the structure proposed by the APA for that type of article.

Author Guidelines

Íkala uses the Open Journal System (OJS) publishing platform in line with international standards for scientific journals, so as to ensure a transparent editorial process for authors, editors, and reviewers.

To make this possible, Íkala asks its authors to follow certain guidelines when registering and submitting their manuscripts for review. These guidelines are provided below:

  1. Register as an author here. Fill in the requested metadata as completely as possible, including a mailing address and one institutional e-mail, if possible.
  2. Make sure that your submission is original and has not been published or submitted for publication before. Submissions having been completely or partially published, or which are in the process of being published somewhere else, will be declined regardless of the publication channel used.
  3. Also, make sure that your manuscript meets the highest standards of academic excellence, advances theoretical knowledge, addresses current and cutting-edge topics in applied linguistics; and contributes to or stimulates current debates in the field, offering new and original interpretations on any of the topics mentioned above, as these will be the criteria used for their selection.
  4. In the case of Empirical Studies, it is mandatory to upload an IRB authorisation form or the actual informed consents secured from the participants. All informed consents must comply with the standards of this instrument (Refer to the Ethics section for more details on this). Additionally, you should include in your Method section a note stating informed consents were secured from all participants. 
  5. When submitting a paper for review, please keep in mind that receiving your submission does not imply its acceptance and that accepted papers are not necessarily published in the upcoming issue. Íkala publishes papers in order of acceptance for publication.
  6. Ensure that your submission is between 8,000-8,500 words, including the abstracts and references, all following APA (2019, 7thed.) guidelines. For literature reviews, a word count of about 11,000 words with no less than 50 reference entries is deemed acceptable. Book Reviews should be 2,500-3,000 words, and address scientific publications that fall within the scope of Íkala, appeared within the last two years. Special issues may establish varying specifications, according to the aim of the issue.
  7. Submit the abstract and five keywords in English, Spanish, and French or Portuguese, depending on the language in which the article is written. Abstracts must be accurate, coherent and concise, and reflect the paper’s content. They should not exceed 200 words —this length may vary in special issues. For how to structure abstracts and manuscripts, depending on the type of article, please refer to the APA Manual. For help with the selection of keywords, refer to Unesco's Thesaurus.
  8. Insert abstracts and keywords in the three languages in the metadata of the submission, along with the references.
  9. Check that your manuscript does not contain any proper names of individuals or institutions, which may reveal the identity of the authors. Replace these with "author," or a pseudonym, in the case of the institutions. 
  10. Remember that the Director/Editor is responsible not only for verifying that all abstracts follow the norms but also for judging the pertinence of all submissions, including Empirical Studies, Literature Reviews, Theoretical Articles, Methodological Articles, Case Studies, and Book Reviews.
  11. Be aware that after a first preliminary reading, submissions that are deemed unsuitable, because they are beyond the scope of the journal, have serious methodological flaws, and so on,  will be declined. Submissions conforming to Author guidelines stated by Íkalawill undergo a double-blind peer-review process.

Editorial process

In the reviewing and publishing process, Íkala will follow the steps below:

1. Íkala will conduct a preliminary reading of any new submission to check compliance with Author guidelines and editorial standards. This may take up to 2 weeks, depending on the volume of new submissions to check. If your paper is not deemed acceptable for review, you will receive an email stating so. If your paper is deemed acceptable for review, you will be notified the peer-review process has started. Íkala will take up to four weeks to find two external reviewers. In case those external reviewers cannot be found, the submission will be declined and notice will be sent to the author(s).

2. Reviewers who accept the request will be given three weeks to complete their review.

3. If and when both external reviewers do not commit to conducting the review, the submission will be declined and notice will be sent to the author. If one of the external reviewers chosen states s/he is unavailable to conduct the review, the journal shall look for a third and even a fourth reviewer to accomplish an external review of the submission.

4. When one of the reviewers fails to complete the review or when there are conflicting reviews, the manuscript will be sent to a third reviewer. Nonetheless, the final decision could also be made by the Director-Editor based on the available review and her objective criteria.

5. Reviewers will provide comments to help authors strengthen their submission. Authors are expected to follow reviewers’ suggestions and resubmit a revised version of their manuscript along with a letter explaining the modifications made within three weeks so that their manuscript undergoes a second review.

6. Once a submission is accepted in its second revision, it will be sent for copyediting, after which authors may be asked to make some further revisions, including grammar, syntax, lexical, APA norms, or to complete/clarify any given passage, etc. No substantial amendments should be introduced after your manuscript has been accepted for publication, other than those suggested or deemed necessary by the editors.

7. Should the submission be an outcome of a research project, authors must specify the name and code of the project, the institution where the project was carried out and the funding sources. Should it be the result of a thesis, seminar or conference presentation, the name of the institution or the title, venue and date of the event must be specified.

8. The Editorial Board is responsible for the journal’s policies and serves as a consultant to the Director/Editor, who also reserves the right to decline submissions, which do not conform to the aforementioned author guidelines.

9. All submissions published in Íkala have free online access, under Creative Commons’ license CC BY-NC-SA.

Publishing Ethics and Malpractice Statement

When you submit a manuscript for publication in Íkala, you agree you have not submitted it, as a whole or in part, previously or simultaneously, for consideration in another journal. Also, you agree your work is original, any significant third-party contribution is properly acknowledged, and all the authors have their corresponding authorship attribution.

In the spirit of honest advance in knowledge, Íkala strives to ensure that any material published strictly follows the ethical guidelines widely accepted in the field of scientific publications, including Ethics in Research (please see the Code of Ethics in Research at Universidad de Antioquia here) Therefore, redundant or partial publication practices are deemed non-acceptable. Editors shall reserve the right to reject any manuscript submitted for peer-reviewing by authors or institutions that have been detected to have incurred in such a malpractice before. The same applies to any work that uses data from the same database without justified reason, and fails to include transparent cross-references to those previous publications. When such an event is detected, prompt notice will be issued to the affected publications and/or editors.

In the same line, plagiarism and self-plagiarism are not tolerated at Íkala. Therefore, authors are urged to treat references and citations with extreme care, so that proper attribution is given to any work that has served as a reference for the authors' own work. There are well-defined procedures to cope with this malpractice in the publishing sector. (See here). On the other hand, since recurring self-citation reflects some lack of objectivity, authors are encouraged to limit self-citations to up to 8-10 percent of a manuscript. 

As a member of CrossRef, Íkala can now use CrossCheck, a similitude checker and plagiarism detection service powered by iThenticate. All manuscripts approved for publication in Íkala will undergo this screening for originality. Thus, Íkala expects to avoid misconducts such as plagiarism, multiple submission, redundant or duplicate publication, and to ensure transparency and value added in its published material.

When encountering any issue in this regard, Ikala will follow the protocol below:

A low and medium percentage of similarity will be treated pedagogically: the submission shall be sent back to authors for revision. A higher percentage shall give cause for rejection and the refusal to consider any further submission by the author or authors involved.

No Article Processing Charges

In line with the Budapest Open Access Initiative, Íkala believes scientific and academic knowledge must be of public domain. To ensure this, we adhere to Open Access policies, providing free access to all readers, and accepting articles strictly on the basis of their academic quality. Also, in line with DOAJ's best practices for reputable open access journals , Íkala does not levy any charges for reviewing, copyediting, design and/or publication or any other task required to publish and have the article reach its audience.

Rate of acceptance

Based on the average of submissions received and articles published in 2019, our rate of acceptance was 13.5 percent.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any third party.