Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The Australian and International Journal of Rural Education (AIJRE) is an international medium for educators with an interest in the provision of education in rural contexts. The Journal is interdisciplinary and publishes  integrative reveiws, scholarly accounts of educational research relevant to rural education, research reports, book reviews and feature articles likely to be of interest to the readership. The focus of the Journal is on addressing issues, challenges, developments and opportunities in rural education globally.

Contributions are welcome from both members and non members of SPERA, as are contributions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives at any level of education.

The Journal will publish submissions which, for example:

  • Promote the development of rural education scholarship;
  • Disseminate innovative ideas, actions, programs and policies in rural education;
  • Link people interested in providing quality learning experiences in rural contexts;
  • Provide a forum for new ideas and innovations in rural education;
  • Share information and findings related to rural education issues and the development of programs.



Section Policies


The Editorial will introduce the articles to be published in each Issue.

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


The Editors welcomes original research or evidence-based practice papers that have not been published elsewhere and are not being considered for another journal. Papers up to 8,000 words which are within the scope of the Journal are invited for review. All material submitted for publication shall be evaluated by a double blind peer review process. The Editors, in consultation with the Editorial Committee, reserve the right to accept or reject any manuscript. Inquiries should be made to the Review Editors Dr Paula Jervis-Tracey or Prof. Elaine Sharplin.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

All submissions are double blind peer reviewed by experts in the field. Reviewers generally include the Editorial Committee, Associate Editors, Consulting Editors, authors of work perviously published in the journal and other recognised experts at the invitation of the editorial committee and as relevant to the submission under review.  Reviewers are asked to identify any potential conflict of interest prior to review, and where a conflict of interest exists a new reviewer is assigned.  All reviews are anonymous and all reviewers agree to maintain strict confidentiality. The Editorial Committee will make publication decisions based on the objective judgement of reviews and the objectives of the journal.  Where mixed reviews are received a third review may be sought.

Authors can expect to receive constructive feedback on their submission. Reviewers, and the editorial team, take a pedagogical approach to their reviews and actor feedback. As such they aim to provide feedback related to the papers aims, objectives, literature, methodology, data analysis, results and discussion as appropriate. Where revisions are sought, minor revisions will be subsequently considered by the editorial committee with major revisions sent for further peer review.

aims to provide a prompt and efficient review process. From the receipt of a manuscript we aim to provide reviewer reports within six (6) weeks from the submission date. Author(s) will be provided with reviewer comments and the outcome of the review process which may fall under the following categories:

Conditionally Accepted: minor revisions to be made by the author(s);
Revise and Resubmit: major revisions needed; or

Evaluation Guidelines for Reviewers


These Evaluation Guidelines are based on those developed by Jon Yorke for evaluating conference submissions for the Australian Technology Network Assessment Conference 2011.


Publication Frequency

The Australian and International Journal of Rural Education publishes three Issues each year and endeavours to offer authors an efficient process with a short turn-around time for accepted submissions.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...


Editorial Roles and Responsibilities

 12 September 2016

General Principles

All Chief Editors are responsible for management, direction and overall quality of the Journal.  This responsibility has been divided into three portfolios – policy, review and production.  The Journal aims to be the number one international journal for matters pertaining to rural education  - all editors assume responsibility for helping the journal achieve this goal. Furthermore, all Chief editors will provide the editorial for one edition per year.

All editors will adhere to the principles of procedural fairness and ethical conduct.  Specifically editors will treat authors with fairness, courtesy, objectivity, honesty, and transparency and ensure the confidentiality of author’s work is protected.

All editors are expected to review 2-3 articles in a calendar year.

Specific responsibilities are outlined below:

Journal Manager

For the time being we are fortunate enough to have the services of a journal manager.  This position does not assume responsibility, but works to the three portfolios.  This role supports the three portfolios, and while available, reduces the workload of those portfolios.  The below descriptions assume no journal manager position.

Chief Editor/s Policy

The Chief Editors Policy are responsible for matters pertaining to policy. It includes internal journal policy and procedures, compliance with external policy, quality assurance, managing the relationship with the publisher, and journal development.   Specific responsibilities include:

  • Internal policy and procedures. This includes the day-to-day management of the journal, internal communication, and ensuring other editorial responsibilities are met.
  • Compliance with external policy.  This includes meeting the obligations of publication, such as the timely publication, copyright, misconduct, and indexing.  This also includes ensuring all policies on the journal website are up to date – including the guidelines to authors for preparing and submitting manuscripts.
  • Quality Assurance. This includes ensuring all articles, and all authors, meet the requirements for initial review and publication set by the journal. Quality assurance also includes ensuring all articles meet the requirements of high quality scholarship and meet the (Australian) national code for ethics in research. Also included here is the management of ethical issues and allegations or findings of misconduct by authors, and anyone involved in the peer review process
  • Managing the relationship with the publisher. In addition to general liaising this area includes issues of financing, website hosting and IT support.
  • Journal Development. This includes promotion of the journal for both article submission and readership.
  • Liaising with the international advisory board in relation to the matters pertaining to journal direction, developments in the field, quality assurance and matters of policy.
  • Supporting the Chief Editors Review and Policy as needed.
  • Organising and attending editorial meetings.
  • All responsibilities not covered elsewhere.
  • The Chief Editor Policy will normally be an academic in the field of rural education. Where there are two Chief Editors Policy at least one should normally be an academic in the field of rural education.

Chief Editor/s Review

The Chief Editors Review are responsible for the management of the review process. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the guidelines to authors for preparing and submitting manuscripts are followed.
  • Establishing, and managing, a system for effective and rapid peer review.
  • Appointing reviewers for submitted manuscripts.
  • Making editorial decisions with reasonable speed and communicating them in a clear and constructive manner.  This includes providing authors with specific instructions regarding considerations for resubmission, or reasons for rejection.
  • Ensuring instructions for resubmission are followed by authors.
  • Establishing a procedure for reconsidering editorial decisions
  • Informing authors of solicited manuscripts that the submission will be evaluated according to the journal’s standard procedures or outlining the decision-making process if it differs from those procedures
  • Ensuring that all communication and review is conducted through the journal portal, and that communication with authors is conducted through the official journal email account.
  • Attending editorial meetings.
  • The Chief Editor/s Review will be an academic in the field of rural education.

Chief Editor/s Production

The Chief Editors Production are responsible for the output of the journal and the management of journal platform.  Specific responsibilities include:

  • (Following decision by the Chief Editors Review) Checking manuscripts for general editing, formatting and referencing.
  • Ensuring the editorial is completed and included.
  • Uploading final manuscripts to the journal portal.
  • Publishing manuscripts on the journal portal.
  • Managing necessary revisions of published articles, ensuring version control.
  • Ensuring website meta-data is updated and accurate.
  • Compiling each edition for lodging with INFORMIT, and lodging each edition with INFORMIT.
  • Attending editorial meetings.
  • The Chief Editor/s Production need not be an academic in the field of rural education.

Associate Editors

Associate editors are members of the rural education research community. They have extra responsibility to contribute to overall development and direction of the journal by promoting it throughout the research community, and providing feedback on quality and direction.  Associate Editors are invited to attend editorial meetings, though attendance is not necessary.

Consulting Editors

Consulting Editors are members of the rural education research community.  This may include both academics in the field, practitioners (i.e. teachers, departmental officials, research students) and other interested parties with expertise in matters pertaining to rural education.  Consulting editors contribute to the overall development of the journal by reviewing publications and providing ongoing feedback about the journals direction. Consulting Editors do not need to attend editorial meetings.


About the Editors:

Dr Philip Roberts is an Assistant Professor in the area of Curriculum Studies at University of Canberra. Before joining UC, Philip was a classroom teacher and Head Teacher for 14 years in rural NSW Public High schools. He has also held various positions in the teachers’ union, curriculum board and teacher registration authority. Philip is chief investigator for the Towards Place Based Education in the Murray-Darling Basin project. In 2013 he was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence. Philip has completed major national research projects in the staffing of rural and remote schools and managed large-scale school based research projects. His major ongoing research interest is how teachers situate the curriculum and how spatial theories are incorporated into educational thinking. From this, Philip has developed three interconnected areas of research, rural education, curriculum hierarchies, and historical thinking,that are connected through a focus on place and the interests of the least powerful in our society. Philip has an ongoing concern about quality and equity in education and works to disrupt the meta-narratives that have dominated, and hijacked, these import fields through the application of critical theory and spatial justice.


Dr Susan Ledger is an educator who has a passion for connecting people, places and projects. She has had a range of educational experiences in both primary and tertiary settings including remote indigenous communities, regional centres, Cocos Islands, UK and West Papua.  Her Phd explored international education in remote contexts in Indonesia. She is currently investigating how rural and international fields of study complement and compete with each other and how pre-service teachers are prepared and inducted to teach in these diverse contexts. At Murdoch, Susan is the Director of Professional Experience in the School of Education and lectures in literacy and international education. She is currently leading the change management process involved in conceptualising and operationalising a new model of Professional Experience. A significant feature of the reform is the development of internships for high caliber PSTs across primary and secondary pograms. She is also the University liaison person to the International Baccalaureate Organisation. http://profiles.murdoch.edu.au/myprofile/susan-ledgeris an Associate


Professor Karen Noble is the national Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University.  Her scholarly and professional interests lie in the use of innovative conceptual, theoretical, methodological, pedagogical, and collaborative approaches to address enduring challenges in education. Specifically her areas of research endeavour include early childhood education, parent participation in education, rural education and workforce capacity building, student learning in higher education and learner agency.  

Dr Jayne Downey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education and the Director of the Center for Research on Rural Education at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, USA.  Her academic background is in the domain of Educational Psychology with a focus on the nature of learning and learners, the characteristics of effective teaching, and the contextual factors that influence the teaching and learning process.  She has worked in the field of educator preparation for 19 years and her research agenda has been designed to strengthen the preparation of prospective teachers and improve the outcomes of P-20 education across rural contexts. She has used her research findings to inform her undergraduate and graduate courses as well as to help address tangible needs of students, teachers, and teacher educators at state, national, and international levels.