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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, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • You agree to have the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-B) license applied to your work. Under this Open Access license, you as the author agree that anyone can reuse your article in whole or part for any purpose, for free, even for commercial purposes. Anyone may copy, distribute, or reuse the content as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This facilitates freedom in re-use and also ensures that The Rural Educator content can be mined without barriers for the needs of research.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs or DOIs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Author Guidelines

Specific criteria for each type of manuscript can be found here.

To submit a manuscript you must create an account (if needed) and log in to the journal website. 

General Manuscript Criteria:

  1. Submit in MS Word (.doc or .docx)
  2. 12 point font (Times New Roman preferred)
  3. Use American Psychological Association (APA) 6th Edition for style, citation, and reference guidelines
  4. Tables and figures should be embedded in the text.
  5. Footnotes are discouraged.
  6. Include an abstract, not to exceed 150 words
  7. Any color images will appear in color online and will appear in black and white in the print version of the journal. Images should be formatted to be legible in black and white/gray scale.
  8. Do not include the author(s)' name(s) on the manuscript
  9. References should include DOIs or weblinks where available.
  10. The submitting author will be notified of the final decision regarding publication.
  11. The submitting author will be notified of editorial changes made to the manuscript; however, the Editors reserve the right to make such changes without author’s approval or notification if time does not permit.

Research Articles

Research Articles contribute to our understanding of educational issues in rural contexts. Submissions must explicitly address rural education by defining rural and/or by extensively describing the unique rural setting.  Research that happens to be set in a rural setting but does not explicitly addres rural education in review of literature, research question, findings and/or discussion/implications will not be published. Manuscripts for Research Articles are typically approximately 25 pages in length including references. Empirical research articles will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

1) Current and sufficient review of literature grounds the study in rural education contexts

2) Research methodology is appropriate and sufficiently described

3) Data analysis and findings/results are appropriate and adequately described

4) Appropriate and thorough discussion of conclusions, implications and lmitations, including implications for rural education

5) Significance of the research for rural education contexts: Does the manuscript support rural schools and communities in their education work? How will this manuscript matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? Does this manuscript expand, strengthen, or complicate our understanding of rural education? Does the manuscript avoid stereotypes and add to an understanding of rural places as rich and complex?

6) Clarity of writing (syntax, style, mechancis, organization)

7) Overall level of scholarship 

Promising Practices

Promising Practice Articles

Promising Practices articles are intended to highlight effective and emerging practices by and for educators in rural settings.  The Rural Educator encourages submissions from a variety of voices in educational settings with expertise about practices that hold promise to support teaching and learning in rural education including teachers, administrators, community leaders, non-profit organizations and others with experience in rural education. Promising Practices should describe the rural educational setting, the practice and its outcomes, and may include reflections on rural education practices. Educators who have found success with particular instructional practices, assessments, collaboration and partnerships, or other educational practices are encouraged to share those experiences with readers of The Rural Educator.

Manuscripts submitted for Promising Practices can take many forms, including multi-media and other forms. Typical submissions are 15-20 pages but may vary.

Promising Practices manuscripts will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Introduction: This section should introduce why this practice will be of interest to readers of the journal;
  • Description of the practice: This section should describe teaching, leadership or community practice significant to rural education The description should include
    1. Context: This section should describe the rural education setting in which the practice was created and refined;
    2. Detail: Sufficient detail so that the reader understands the practice.
    3. Concrete Examples: Include concrete, specific, relevant examples from one or more rural education settings;
  • Evidence: This section should provide some evidence (anecdotal or empirical) that the practice shows promise for enhancing rural education;
  • Connecting the practice to theory: This section should discuss the practice in light of current, appropriate literature (theory and scholarship);
  • Significance of the practice: This section should describe why the practice demonstrates benefit for rural people, communities and schools;
  • Conclusion: This section should provide thorough discussion of implications and conclusions for rural education policy or practice, as well as discussion about how the practice might be transferred or applied to other contexts
  • Clarity of Writing: Writing is clear (syntax, style, mechanics, and organization)

In considering rural salience, reviewers are  encouraged to consider four questions: 1. Does the manuscript support rural schools and communities in their education work? How will this manuscript matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? Does this manuscript expand, strengthen, or complicate our understanding of rural education? Does the manuscript avoid stereotypes and add to an understanding of rural places as rich and complex?

Reviews of Research

Reviews of Research synthesize research related to a specific topic within the research priorities outlined in the National Rural Education Association Research Agenda—2016-2021. The purpose of the NREA Research Agenda is to identify broad areas where further study of student experiences in the rural context are essential for building capacity and advancing rural students’ educational attainment. While each priority defined by the NREA Research Agenda may not be uncommon in the field of education, there may be little research in each priority area that explicitly addresses rural education.  For this reason, the editors of The Rural Educator seek Reviews of Research that address priorities in the NREA Research Agenda. Reviews of Research should summarize and synthesize specific topics within one of the NREA Research Priorities and identify gaps in the research as they relate to rural education contexts. Reviews of research are generally 20-30 pages in length, including references.

Reviews of Research will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

´1 )Thoughtfully addresses a significant problem area within one of the ten priority areas of the NREA Research Agenda

´2) Establishes importance of the topic for rural education

´3) Reviews current and seminal research within the topic area

´4) Thoroughly and succinctly summarizes and synthesizes research within the topic area

´5) Explicitly identifies findings and gaps in the literature as they relate to rural education

´6) Makes  thoughtful and appropriate recommendations for future research to advance rural education

´7) Clarity of writing (syntax, style, mechanics, and organization)

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