Relay Journal (ISSN 2433-5444) is a completely free, open-access journal dedicated to disseminating research and best practice in the broad areas of learner and teacher autonomy. It is firmly developmental in its aims, catering not just to established researchers but also to language practitioners in all contexts, reporting exploratory practice, action research, evaluations and development work. It covers a wide variety of formats, including research articles, reports on ongoing projects, opinion pieces designed to encourage active debate, graduate students’ work, interviews with people active in the field, and so on. We aim to include both text-based work, as well as innovative presentation of work through slide-sharing, audio and video recordings, as well as publication of artefacts (e.g. language learning materials developed, digital games, apps, etc).
Relay Journal uses a post-publication peer review model (following a cursory review by the editors, all papers are accepted and are reviewed after they are published online with reviews being visible and reviewers being known). This process aims to encourage collaboration and enable authors to participate in discussion with the wider community and improve their paper on an ongoing basis. Relay Journal accommodates papers in any language (with an abstract in English). In the interest of openness, all contributors are asked to submit all instruments they have used, which will also be published. Contributors have the option of uploading their raw data as well.
Relay Journal is published by the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), Chiba, Japan. The journal and RILAE were established in 2017.
Open access commitment
Relay Journal operates a true open access policy in line with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), i.e.
“By “open access” to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited” (BOAI website).
Publication ethics and malpractice statement
- Editorial board: Members of the advisory, editorial, and review boards are experienced researchers and practitioners in the language learner autonomy and related disciplines.
- Author responsibilities: There are no fees or charges for authors at any stage of the submission, review, editorial, or publication process. Authors are required to have experienced in the field of language learning and teaching. All authors must provide retractions or corrections of mistakes where they occur. Where applicable, a list of references and a statement of financial support must be included in all articles. Authors retain copyright over their work, but must not publish same research in more than one journal.
- Peer review process: All content is subjected to peer-review which involves obtaining advice on all manuscripts from colleagues in the field. All papers undergo an initial editorial review process followed by an open (i.e., non-blind) review. Reviewers have no conflict of interest. Reviewers have a duty to recommend relevant published work that has not been included in the submission.
- Publication ethics: Publishers and editors make reasonable attempts to detect research misconduct and prevent the publication of such papers. Relay Journal does not encourage or knowingly allow research misconduct to occur. If the editorial team were made aware of any allegation of research misconduct, it would be investigated and dealt with appropriately. If an article is retracted, it will be removed from the journal immediately and a public statement placed in relevant sections of the journal. Necessary corrections, clarifications, retractions, and apologies may be posted by authors or editors where appropriate at any time.
- Copyright and access: Relay Journal is an open-access journal. Copyright is held by the individual authors. Articles are freely available for download on a web browser or as individual PDF documents.
- Archiving: Should the journal be no longer published, readers will still have access to the archives via Google. Backup copies are also securely preserved at Kanda University of International Studies.
- Ownership and management: Relay Journal is owned by Kanda University of International Studies. It is managed by editors who are a full-time faculty members at that institution.
- Website: The website is regularly updated by editorial team members and care has been taken to ensure high standards of accuracy, ethics and professional standards.
- Publishing schedule: Relay Journal is published on time, twice per year: January-February and September-October.
- Name of journal: Relay Journal is a unique name and is very unlikely to mislead potential contributors.
Self-Access Learning Center (SALC)
Kanda University of International Studies
Wakaba 1-4-1, Mihama-ku,
Chiba, Japan 261-0013