Online Journal

All papers are to be submitted by email to

1. Types of Paper Published

RESEARCH PAPERS - These are original articles reporting cutting-edge research of international relevance; standard research papers should be between 4500 and 7000 words. The word count is inclusive of all parts of the paper: abstract, keywords, main text, acknowledgements, references, tables and figure legends.
REVIEWS - Reviews provide timely synthesis of topical themes in major areas of research in the field of inquiry-based science education with young children. They should also offer new insights or perspectives to guide future research efforts. Reviews should not exceed 8000 words inclusive of all parts of the paper, as above.
INQUIRY NOTES - These articles aim to bridge the gap between research and actual school practice. Contributions should occupy a maximum of four pages of the Journal (<4000 words), and will be subject to rapid peer review.

2. Use of wordprocessing software

Please save the file as MS Word document (*.doc/x). The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible.

3. Article structure

Title page
  • TITLE Concise and informative. Max. 15 words. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
  • AUTHOR NAMES AND AFFILIATIONS Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. Present the authors' affiliation addresses below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
  • CORRESPONDING AUTHOR Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.

Subdivision - numbered sections Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

A concise and factual abstract is required (maximum 150 words). The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 5 keywords, using British spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, "and", "of"). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

There should be enough information to allow another scientist to repeat your study. If you had a complicated research design, it may helpful to include a diagram, table or flowchart to explain the methods you used. Mention relevant ethical considerations.

Results should be clear and concise.

This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section. Implications for practice and future research are encouraged.

Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.) or funders.

Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

4. Images/Figures

Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
Submit each illustration as a separate file.

Electronic Formats
'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats:
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF or JPEG: Colour or grayscale photographs, line drawings;  minimum 300 dpi.
Please do not supply files that are too low in resolution.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

5. Tables

Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters. Avoid vertical rules. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.

6. References

Please follow the referencing style used by the American Psychological Association (APA Style). You are referred to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, ISBN 978-1-4338-0561-5. For a summary you can go to: (University of Southern Queensland)

Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference List
References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.


Reference to a journal publication:
Gatt, S., Tunnicliffe, S.D., Borg, K. & Lautier, K. (2007). Young Maltese Children’s Ideas about Plants. Journal of Biological Education, 41(3), 117-121.

Reference to a book:
Harlen, W. & Qualter, A. (2009). The Teaching of Science in Primary Schools. (5th ed.). New York Routledge.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Byrne, J. and Grace, M. (2004). Life processes and living things. In J. Sharp (Ed.), Developing Primary Science (pp. 83-94). Exeter (UK): Learning Matters Ltd.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

7. Submission checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult these Guidelines for Authors for further details of any item.

Ensure that the following items are present:

  • ☐ One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
  • E-mail address
  • Full postal address

All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:

  • ☐ Abstract (max. 150 words)
  • ☐ Keywords (up to 5)
  • ☐ All figure captions
  • ☐ All tables (including title, description)

Further considerations

  • ☐ Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
  • ☐ References are in the correct format for this journal
  • ☐ All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
  • ☐ Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)