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Language Testing

Language Testing

eISSN: 14770946 | ISSN: 02655322 | Current volume: 41 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

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Language Testing is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes original research on foreign, second, additional, and bi-/multi-/trans-lingual (henceforth collectively called L2) language testing, assessment, and evaluation. Since 1984 it has featured high impact L2 testing papers covering theoretical issues, empirical studies, and reviews. The journal's scope encompasses the testing, assessment, and evaluation of spoken and signed languages being learned as L2s by children and adults, and the use of tests as research and evaluation tools that are used to provide information on the language knowledge and language performance abilities of L2 learners. Many articles also contribute to methodological innovation and the practical improvement of L2 testing internationally. In addition, the journal publishes submissions that deal with L2 testing policy issues, including the use of tests for making high-stakes decisions about L2 learners in fields as diverse as education, employment, and international mobility.

The journal welcomes the submission of papers that deal with ethical and philosophical issues in L2 testing, as well as issues centering on L2 test design, validation, and technical matters. Also of concern is research into the washback and impact of L2 language test use, the consequences of testing on L2 learner groups, and ground-breaking uses of assessments for L2 learning. Additionally, the journal wishes to publish replication studies that help to embed and extend knowledge of generalisable findings in the field. Language Testing is committed to encouraging interdisciplinary research, and is keen to receive submissions which draw on current theory and methodology from different areas within second language acquisition, applied linguistics, educational measurement, psycholinguistics, general education, psychology, cognitive science, language policy, and other relevant subdisciplines that interface with language testing and assessment. Authors are encouraged to adhere to Open Science Initiatives.

Language Testing is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes original research on foreign, second, additional, and bi-/multi-/trans-lingual (henceforth collectively called L2) language testing, assessment, and evaluation. The journal's scope encompasses the testing of L2s being learned by children and adults, and the use of tests as research and evaluation tools that are used to provide information on the knowledge and performance abilities of L2 learners.

In addition, the journal publishes submissions that deal with L2 testing policy issues, including the use of tests for making high-stakes decisions about L2 learners in fields as diverse as education, employment, and international mobility. The journal welcomes the submission of papers that deal with ethical and philosophical issues in L2 testing, as well as issues centering on L2 test design, validation, and technical matters. Primary studies, replication studies, and secondary analyses of pre-existing data are welcome. Authors are encouraged to adhere to Open Science Initiatives.

Talia Isaacs University College London, UK
Xun Yan University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Associate Editor
Ruslan Suvorov Western University, Canada
Book Review Editor
Benjamin Kremmel University of Innsbruck, Austria
Test Reviews Editor
Ute Knoch The University of Melbourne, Australia
Editorial Board
Vahid Aryadoust Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Khaled Barkaoui York University, Canada
Aaron Olaf Batty Keio University, Fujisawa, Japan
Tineke Brunfaut Lancaster University, UK
Dylan Burton University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Carol Chapelle Iowa State University, USA
Inn-Chull Choi Korea University, South Korea
Jason Fan The University of Melbourne, Australia
Anthony Green University of Bedfordshire, UK
Luke Harding Lancaster University, UK
Franz Holzknecht University of Teacher Education in Special Needs, Switzerland
Becky Huang Ohio State University, USA
Bimali Indrarathne General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka
Dan Isbell University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa, USA
Noriko Iwashita University of Queensland, Australia
Okim Kang University of Northern Arizona, USA
Rie Koizumi Seisen University, Japan
Daniel Lam University of Glasgow, UK
Salomé Villa Larenas Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile
Hongli Li Georgia State University, USA
Zhi Li University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Susy MacQueen Australian National University, Australia
Stuart McLean Kindai University, Japan
Fumiyo Nakatsuhara University of Bedfordshire, UK
Lia Plakans University of Iowa, USA
Yasuyo Sawaki Waseda University, Japan
Jamie Schissel University of North Carolina, USA
Sun-young Shin Indiana University Bloomington, USA
Jonathan Trace Keio University, Japan
Stefanie Wind University of Alabama, USA
Paula Winke Michigan State University, USA
Jin Yan Shanghai Jiaotong University, China
Soo Jung Youn Daegu National University of Education, South Korea
Guoxing Yu University of Bristol, UK
Past Editors of Language Testing
  • Academic Search Premier
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  • International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Language Testing

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Language Testing will be reviewed. Please note that this journal only publishes manuscripts in English.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal unless the author chooses the Sage Choice open access option (please see section 3.3 for further information).

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Language Testing may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Notes
      2.4 Acknowledgements
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Funding
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
      3.4 Guidance for authors with multiple institutional affiliations
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Cover letter
      4.2 Title page
      4.3 Abstract
      4.4 Formatting
      4.5 Length
      4.6 Statistical reporting
      4.7 Anonymizing your manuscript
      4.8 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.9 Supplementary material
      4.10 Video abstracts
      4.11 Open Science Badges
      4.12 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Language Testing, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Language Testing accepts the following article types:

    • Original Manuscript [9,000 words]: Original articles focus on the testing and assessment of language for a range of purposes, whether educational or professional, in second or foreign language, bilingual, and/or multilingual situations. Equal preference is given to empirically based and theoretical articles.
    • Systematic Review [12,000 words]: Articles that employ rigorous systematic methods to conduct quantitative and qualitative research syntheses, including scoping reviews, meta-analyses, bibliometric reviews, and methodological syntheses. Guidelines for systematic reviews can be found here.
    • Brief Report [4,000 words]: Brief reports provide a concise format for the reporting of technically significant research of interest to the language assessment community. More information about the content and format of brief reports is available at this link.
    • Registered Report [5,000 words]: Empirical articles in the form of research proposals  which are peer-reviewed prior to data collection. Authors may then carry out the study with in-principle acceptance for the final published manuscript. More information about the content, format, and workflow of registered reports is available at this link.
    • Book Review [1,500 words]: Reviews of books or edited volumes concerning language testing or other topics of interest to the language assessment community. Book reviews are commissioned by the book reviews editor.
    • Test Review [4,000 words]: Reviews of commercially or locally produced language tests. Test reviews are commissioned by the test reviews editor.
    • Viewpoint [4,000 words]: Position papers on key topics from authors with invited rejoinders. Our aim is to choose timely topics and publish these through an expedited process, ensuring that the journal remains responsive to current issues and debates in the field. Viewpoint writers are encouraged to contact one of the Co-Editors to ensure content fit in advance of submission.
    • Letter to the Editor [1,500 words]: Commissioned rejoinders to viewpoint pieces to be published in dedicated sections of issues.
    • Obituary [750 words]

    In addition, Language Testing periodically sends calls to welcome ideas and suggestions from potential guest editor for special issue proposals on topical themes. Calls will be sent out on listservs and Twitter.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Submitting a manuscript based on a dissertation or thesis

    Language Testing encourages authors to submit papers based on their dissertations or theses. Authors should submit a cover letter stating that their paper is based on a dissertation or thesis and provide the APA citation to the dissertation or thesis, and the paper should cite the original dissertation or thesis as well. More tips and information is available at this link.

    1.3.2 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy


    Language Testing is a fully peer reviewed international journal that publishes original research and review articles on Language Testing and assessment. Peer review ensures the publication of only the highest quality articles through a fair and objective process. Together with the editors, the referees play a vitally important role in maintaining the exceptionally high standards of the journal.

    Review Procedures

    All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the editors and only those papers that meet the standards of the journal, and fit within its aims and scope, are sent out for peer review. Manuscripts approved for external review will normally be sent to three reviewers. All manuscripts are sent anonymously to ensure unbiased consideration by the referees. Submissions are normally reviewed within 2 months of submission, although due to the rigorous anonymize peer review system this sometimes takes longer. Authors should expect a decision on a submission within 3 months.

    Please note that, due to a limited reviewer pool and with rare exceptions (e.g., special issue editors), the editorial team reserves the right not to process more than two unique manuscripts by the same author in any given year, regardless of authorship position.

    Commissioned Papers

    From time to time the editors may commission papers for Language Testing, normally for anniversary or special issues. Commissioned papers are sent for review by two or three external reviewers, and the reviews evaluated by the editors in the same way as for all other submissions. A commission therefore does not imply that the submission will be published.

    Book and Test Reviews

    Book and Test Reviews are commissioned by the book and test review editor respectively. Reviews represent the professional view of the expert in question, and publication is dependent upon review by the relevant editor. Book reviews are not normally subject to the multiple-anonymize peer review system that is operated for all other submissions. Test reviews are subject to the normal double anonymize peer review process.

    Selection of Reviewers and Timelines

    The editors of Language Testing select reviewers from the Editorial Board and the Language Testing community on the grounds of their expertise to judge the suitability for publication of the submission concerned. All reviewers are qualified and experienced academics with the highest possible reputation in their field, including, in many cases, a history of publishing in Language Testing.

    Reviewer Guidelines

    Reviewers are asked to judge the suitability of submissions on the following criteria:

    • Published articles, empirical or theoretical, must be original and must make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of language testing.
    • An article should relate reported findings or proposed theoretical contribution to existing knowledge. This is generally to be accomplished through a competent and critical review of the relevant literature.
    • Research articles, whether quantitative or qualitative in approach, should be based on new data collected and analysed in a rigorous and well-designed investigation. Secondary analyses may be used to support theoretical contributions.

    Decision Making

    Reviewers make recommend that a submission be (a) rejected, (b) revised and resubmitted, (c) accepted for publication with minor amendments, or (d) accepted for publication forthwith. In the case of (c) the editors may ask one or more of the reviewers to ‘sign off’ on amendments, or undertake this task themselves. When manuscripts are revised and resubmitted the editors make every attempt to ask the original reviewers to consider the manuscript again and evaluate it against the specific recommendations made in the first review. If for any reason a reviewer declines to take part in a second review, the editors will attempt to find a replacement reviewer.

    The final decision to publish or reject remains with the editors.

    Conflict of Interest

    If one of the editors, colleague or a student of an editor submits a manuscript to Language Testing, the co-editor steers the manuscript through the review process and keeps the names of the reviewers from the other. No editor takes any decisions or responsibility for the review process of their own work, or the work of a close colleague, student, or friend.

    If a reviewer recognizes the author of a paper as a colleague, student, or friend, they refuse to take part in the review process.

    Feedback to Reviewers

    Under normal circumstances, anonymous copies of all reviews are circulated to the reviewers within one month of a decision being taken on a manuscript, together with an indication of the decision made. This maintains an open and transparent process, and helps newer reviewers to understand the review process.

    Feedback to Authors

    Authors are provided with a decision on their manuscript together with anonymous copies of the reviews, usually within two weeks of a decision being made. Where manuscripts are accepted for publication subject to amendments, a timeline for making the amendments is agreed.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Language Testing is trialling the application of CRediT author contribution statements to increase transparency in reporting the role that named authors on manuscripts have played in contributing to the study. The CRediT taxonomy is being applied in international journals in many fields to standardize reporting about each author's respective contribution to research and dissemination in disciplines where this practice is already commonplace. We are happy to be one of Sage's first social science/educational journals to participate in this scheme.

    At submission stage for both single-authored and multi-authored works, the submitting author will need to select the roles that each named author on the manuscript played from a list of 14 standardised roles. Here is an example of what this could look like for an empirical study that generates new data. Note that the roles are alphabetized and do not necessarily follow the order that would be expected in the research process.

    Author1: Formal analysis (i.e., data analysis), Investigation (includes data collection), Methodology, Project administration, Resources (e.g., instrument development), Writing—first draft

    Author2: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Supervision, Writing—review & editing

    The CRediT statement should not replace the Acknowledgements section. People who are not named authors but contributed to research or dissemination in some way can still be acknowledged in the Acknowledgments section as before.

    Please refer to the CRediT Gateway page for more information about the scheme. Please report any feedback or questions that you may have about CRediT to the Editorial Assistant in the first instance.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Notes

    Language Testing requires authors to manually enter Notes at the end of their manuscript as Notes (do not use Footnotes or Endnotes). Notes are optional, and should be economically used and as brief as possible. In text where you want to reference a Note, add in a superscript number. The Notes section should have the notes numerically listed. The Notes should appear at the end of the article, prior to the References.

    2.4 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    During initial manuscript submission, any acknowledgements should appear at the bottom of the title page. After a manuscript is accepted for publication and authors are asked by the editor to un-anonymize the manuscript to prepare it for publication, authors should move the acknowledgements from the title page to the main manuscript: After un-anonymizing, the acknowledgments should appear at the end of the article after any notes and before the references.

    2.4.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    In the field of language testing, test providers and other organizations (e.g., government) often fund research on the development, validation, and use of assessments. This work may be done in-house or through colleagues external to the organization and may involve formal or informal agreements, knowledge exchange, and collaboration/partnership between different parties. In the interest of transparency in research conduct and dissemination and in line with practices in other fields, Language Testing mandatorily requires an explicit declaration of Conflicts of Interest for submitting authors for all article types on the manuscript submission system. Note that declaring a Conflict of Interest does not imply a lack of integrity. Conflicts of Interest are considered inevitable given the connections among scholarship, language assessment research, and test construction and validation. Conflicts of Interest are a recognition that authors have researched or intend to disseminate something in which they have (or could be perceived to have) a stake.  The purpose of a Conflicts of Interest statement is to allow readers to make up their own minds about any potential bias. Such transparency is to be encouraged. 

    All listed authors on a given manuscript must disclose competing interests that are ongoing or have occurred within the past five years. Revealing Conflicts of Interest outside of this timespan (e.g., consultancy) is at the authors' discretion. Competing interests include relationships, affiliations, funding sources, and any other financial or non-financial interests that are in any way (or could be perceived to be) relevant to the content of the manuscript, even if indirectly. For example, employees at a given organization conducting research on their own test should explicitly divulge this in their conflict-of-interest statement, even if this is implied through their listed institutional affiliation(s). An author reviewing or critiquing a test should disclose all paid and unpaid (including advisory) positions over the past five years that relate in some way to that test or test provider, its market competitors, or an assessment context or domain that could have a stake in the way that the test is portrayed. For example, framing a test in a certain way could potentially affect uptake of a test at the author's institution.  

    Some examples of financial Conflicts of Interest include but are not limited to: paid employment, grants, receiving payment for consultancy or advisory activities, ownership of stocks/shares, and planned or awarded patents. Some examples of non-financial conflicts of interest include but are not limited to: relationships with organizations (e.g., corporations, charities, etc.), membership of a government, board, or lobby/advocacy group, personal relationships that may affect objectivity, and personal beliefs or experiences that may affect objectivity if relevant to the article.   

    If in doubt about a potential Conflict of Interest, it is always better to declare than withhold it. In addition to writing a Conflict of Interest statement on the manuscript submission system, please flag any potential Conflicts of Interest to the Editors in your cover letter (see Section 4.1 for information about cover letters). Please review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway for further information.  

    Language Testing Editors’ Conflict of Interest declarations, 2022-23

    2.6 Funding

    Language Testing requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. In the online submission system, you will be asked, “Is there funding to report for this submission?” and you must click “Yes” or “No.” If you select “Yes,” you will be prompted to enter information on the funder (name of the funder; grant/award number). You may report multiple funders. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Language Testing and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Language Testing offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

    3.4 Guidance for authors with multiple institutional affiliations

    Some authors of submissions to Language Testing have multiple institutional affiliations. In cases where authors are salaried part-time or full-time employees of a non-academic institution, authors submitting to Language Testing should declare this as a primary or secondary institutional affiliation. This excludes contract-based work conducted as part of a consultancy agreement or advisory work.

    A common scenario is that an author of an article to be submitted to Language Testing is employed by an assessment organization as an employee. The assessment organization may be a company or a not-for-profit organization or charity and may be in the public or private sector. The author also holds an affiliation with an academic institution as a regular or honorary member. Authors in such a position should list affiliation with the assessment organization in which they are employed as either a primary or secondary affiliation. If the author also chooses to list their affiliation with the academic institution, the order in which they would like institutional affiliations to appear is at their discretion, pending agreement by their affiliated institutions. In some cases, this choice may depend on requirements for accessing institutional agreements for open access funding. In summary, authors employed by an assessment organization should not withhold listing this as their primary or secondary affiliation. Authors employed at schools or other types of institutions or who are self-employed and have a second affiliation should follow these same principles. In the event of authors wanting to withhold institutional information for reasons of personal safety, to minimize reputational damage, or for any other serious reason, this should be explicitly stated in the covering letter to the Editors that accompanies the first (initial) submission. However, in the vast majority of scenarios, the expectation is that places of formal employment will be declared as detailed above.

    Note that if a given author is affiliated with multiple academic institutions and is not formally employed by any non-academic institution, it is at the author's discretion as to which and how many academic affiliations they list. Any looser affiliations (e.g., contract-based consultancies) should not be listed as an institutional affiliation. Instead, they can be declared as a conflict-of-interest in the relevant section.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Cover letter

    Cover letters addressed to the Editors are now a requirement for all articles submitted to Language Testing. Please see the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), Section 12.11 (“Writing a Cover Letter”) to complement the points below:.

    • For the initial submission of your manuscript, please list the full title and institutional affiliation(s) of all named authors (see Section 3.4 on guidance for authors with multiple affiliations).
    • If the manuscript has been published as a pre-print, please acknowledge this in the cover letter, providing the full reference, including the DOI.
    • In the case of primary and secondary research studies, please confirm that the study has received ethics approval from the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board, specifying which organization granted the approval. If no ethics approval was obtained, this must be indicated and justified.
    • Please bring any other open science practices to the Editor’s attention if relevant (see Section 4.11, “Open Science Badges.” for examples of possible initiatives).
    • If the manuscript presents work that is part of larger project (e.g., research grant), please explicitly state this, clarifying which aspects of the project are and are not covered in the manuscript. Please provide a link to any project websites if available. Please see dedicated guidance about submitting manuscripts based on unpublished dissertations/theses in Section 1.3.1.
    • You must disclose if any manuscripts based on a related study are under consideration for publication concurrently or have been published previously. In the case of previous related publications, please provide full references and DOI or URL together with a clear account of how the project discussed in manuscript under consideration in Language Testing relates to those other outputs and how and why it is novel. If any previous or concurrent publications draw on the same dataset, please declare this, stating how the data have been analyzed and presented differently to address distinct research questions.If any previous or concurrent publications use very similar methods and apply them to a different dataset, please provide details of these outputs. If any previous or concurrent publications use very similar methods and apply them to a different dataset, please provide details of these outputs. 
    • Please bring to the Editor's attention any Conflicts of Interest in your cover letter, which you will also need to disclose in the relevant section on the manuscript submission system (see Conflict of Interest subheading  under Section 2.1, “Peer Review Policy”).
    • Authors are welcome to suggest potential reviewers in their cover letter. However, it is at the Editor's discretion which reviewers they invite.
    • In cases of revised submissions of manuscripts, cover letters need not repeat all the information that was in the cover letter for the original submission. If there is nothing new to bring to the Editor’s attention in light of previously disclosed information, cover letters for revised submissions can simply direct the Editors to the Response letter to the reviewers’ comments.

    4.2 Title Page

    Manuscripts must include a title page containing all author details, ORCID ID, and affiliations, as well as any acknowledgements. Author affiliations should be indicated as the institution where the research was carried out, and that address must be retained as the main affiliation address.

    4.3 Abstract

    Each manuscript should include an abstract which summarizes the study in no more than 200 words. The abstract should be entered separately in the online submission system. Do not include the abstract in the main manuscript. The abstract does not count towards the manuscript length restrictions.

    Translations of abstracts may be published if the authors desire. Translations should be written by the authors or commissioned by the authors themselves. Translated abstracts may be included on the title page. Please provide the translation and indicate the language(s) of translation.

    4.4 Formatting

    Manuscripts must be submitted as either Microsoft Word or LaTeX files. Please format your manuscript following the guidelines of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Please ensure that URLs for websites are not inserted into the body of the manuscript. Instead, please provide a full citation in the reference list and cite appropriately in text. Avoid unnecessary formatting and use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial. The text of the manuscript must be left-aligned, double-spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented. The Notes and reference list should be double-spaced as well.

    References should follow APA 7th edition reference style. Examples are available here, but authors should consult the full handbook for specific guidance on style. Please include Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) in the format When there is no DOI, add in a stable URL if available.

    4.5 Length

    Manuscripts must adhere to length restrictions as outlined in section 1.2. Length includes notes, figures or tables, and references, but not including the abstract.

    4.6 Statistical Reporting

    Where possible and appropriate, authors should supply sufficient information, including test texts and items, to enable replication. Lack of statistically significant results, or difficulty in drawing clear conclusions, will not necessarily rule out publication of interesting contributions. Empirical papers that use significance testing should as a matter of course provide effect sizes and confidence intervals.

    4.7 Anonymizing your manuscript

    Language Testing uses a double-anonymize peer review system, and it is therefore important that manuscripts are free of any information that might identify any author. To anonymize your manuscript, please check the following:

    • Acknowledgements and (grant/award) funding information should not be included in the main document. The Acknowledgements should be added to the title page.
    • Self-citations and external reference to your own research should be minimized. If you wish to refer to methodological tools or instruments you developed which are published in another study, please upload these as supplementary material for peer-review only. At the end of the peer-review process you may remove these supplementary materials and add in citations to your own published work.
    • If it is necessary to explicitly refer to your previously published work, please ensure that it is anonymized; that is, made completely anonymous with no identifiable information included. For the reference section and parenthetical citations, refer to your work as "Author. (Year)." For multiple references, you may use "Year 1," "Year 2," etc. Please ensure that these anonymized references are in alphabetical order in the reference section; in other words, "Author" should be in the "A" section or alternatively at the top of the reference list. Do not place your reference in the order your name would usually appear in. Please ensure that your and your co-author's name(s), year of publication, title of publication, and all other accompanying information are removed or anonymized. For in-text citations, e.g., "Jones (2016) argued …," you may change these to "Author (Year) argued." References should similarly be "Author(s) (Year)" or "Author and Co-Author (Year)."
    • Any other information that could reveal the authors or their participants should be anonymized. For example, instead of writing, "The data were collected at Georgetown University," for the purposes of a anonymize
    • review, the authors should write, "The data were collected at X University" or "The data were collected at a large/national university in [Country name]."

    4.8 Artwork, figures, and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of the manuscript, including the formatting of figures and tables, please use the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). However, be aware that in the online submission form, figures and tables originally made outside of Microsoft (MS) Word should be uploaded to the system as separate files (as described below). Figures or tables made in MS Word should appear at the end of manuscript, following the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines:

    • Add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e., “[Insert Figure 1]”) indicating where, approximately, the figure or table should appear after typesetting.
    • Enter captions to be displayed with the Figure or Table (i.e., the title or a note) in the title of the figure or table.

    Figures or Tables created outside of MS Word (i.e., TIFF, JPEG, JPG, EPS, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint) should be submitted separately under “File Upload” in the online submission system, one file for each Figure or Table:

    • Add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e., “[Insert Figure 1]”) indicating where, approximately, the Figure or Table should appear after typesetting.
    • For each figure or table that you separately upload, you should enter the caption or legend (text displayed with the image; usually a brief description) into the “Caption/Legend” textbox that appears in the online submission system.
    • Under “Link text” in the online submission system, type in the name of the file as you wrote it in the running text (i.e., “Figure 1”) so that when this text is found in your document, it will link to the selected file.

    Please follow the guides (a) through (e) below on how to format your figure or table created outside of MS Word.

    a. Format: TIFF or JPEG are preferred. These are the common format for pictures (or figures) with no text or graphs. EPS is the preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging/zooming in).

    b. Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e., .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi.

    c. Colour: Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.

    d. Dimension: Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination.

    e. Fonts: The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually Arial as a default).

    4.9 Supplementary material

    Language Testing is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, videos, images, etc.) alongside the full-text of the article. We strongly encourage authors to archive their datasets (and analysis models where appropriate, e.g., R Code) in an open repository such as the Open Science Framework ( Any datafiles submitted for publication as supplemental material will be hosted as open data in Figshare by Sage automatically. For more information, please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.10 Video abstracts

    Language Testing allows authors to have a link to a Video Abstract in their manuscript.  Sage provides guidelines on how to make a Video Abstract. Within your Video Abstract, encourage viewers to download your article. Invite viewers to ask questions via your Twitter or Facebook page (maybe suggest a hashtag). For more ideas, search the internet for tips on Video Abstract creation, or visit these sites:

    Video abstracts will be hosted on the Language Testing YouTube page, and will be linked to a collection on the journal’s website

    4.11 Open Science Badges

    Articles accepted to Language Testing are eligible to earn up to three badges that recognize open scientific practices: research preregistration, publicly available data, and publicly available materials. If you wish to apply for the Preregistered, Open Data, or Open Materials badges, please take the following steps: 1) mention this intention in your cover letter, 2) select the badges applicable to you in the submission panel under "Open Science Badges", 3) complete the "Language Testing Open Science Badges Disclosure Form", and 4) include the disclosure form with your submission (upload your completed disclosure form within the online submission system under the "File Upload" section and select "OSF Disclosure Form" as the file type). To qualify for a preregistration, Open Data or Open Materials badge, you must provide a URL, DOI, or other permanent path for accessing the specified information in a public, open-access repository; it should be time-stamped and immutable. Qualifying public, open-access repositories are committed to preserving data, materials, and/or registered analysis plans and keeping them publicly accessible via the web in perpetuity. Examples include the Open Science Framework (OSF) and the various Dataverse networks. Hundreds of other qualifying data/materials repositories are listed at Personal websites and most departmental websites do not qualify as repositories. For more information about the badges and how to earn them, please see the OSF Wiki.

    4.12 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Language Testing is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries, or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Language Testing editorial office as follows:

    Sofya Styrina, Editorial Assistant
    Department of Linguistics
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talia Isaacs, Editor
    IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society
    University College London
    London, United Kingdom

    Xun Yan, Editor
    Department of Linguistics
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Ruslan Suvorov, Associate Editor
    Faculty of Education
    Western University

    Benjamin Kremmel, Book Review Editor
    Language Testing Research Group Innsbruck (LTRGI)
    Department for Subject-Specific Education
    University of Innsbruck

    Ute Knoch, Test Review Editor
    Language Testing Research Centre
    School of Languages and Linguistics
    University of Melbourne


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