Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Journal of Peer Learning


This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to the Journal of Peer Learning. We recommend authors use this template when preparing manuscripts.

Formatting Requirements

  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file (Word documents are preferred but RTF and PDF files are also accepted).
  • Page size should be 21cm x 29.7cm (A4).
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 3.8 cm, including your tables and figures.
  • Single space your text.
  • Please include an abstract (250 words maximum). Please do not include subheadings in the abstract.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body—10 pt. Lucida Bright
    2. Text within figures and tables —9 pt. Arial
    3. Titles of figures and tables—10 pt. Lucida Bright
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScript (eps).
  • Copyedit your manuscript.
  • When possible, there should be no pages where more than a quarter of the page is empty space.

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Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Do not indent paragraphs. Insert a paragraph break between paragraphs.

Avoid "widows" and "orphans" in the text (i.e., ending a page with the first line of a paragraph or beginning a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented). Where possible, it should also be right-justified (i.e., flush with the right margin). "Where possible" refers to the quality of the justification. For example, LaTeX and TeX do an excellent job of justifying text. Word does a reasonable job. But some word processors do a poor job (e.g., they achieve right justification by inserting too much white space within and between words). We prefer flush right margins. However, it is better to have jagged right margins than to have flush right margins with awkward intra- and inter-word spacing. Make your decision on whichever looks best.

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided.

Authors should use proper, standard English grammar and use Australian spelling.

Do not use ampersands, rather, use the full word "and" on all occassions.

Article Length

Papers should not exceed 6000 words. Notes of approximately 1500 words and reviews of approximately 1500 words are also acceptable.

Notes are short articles that may raise new ideas or outline an innovative practice. Reviews may review books on the subject of peer learning.

Colored text

Set the font colour to black for the text. Authors should be aware that the Journal of Peer Learning publishes in black and white only, so complex use of colour in figures, tables etc, will not translate well in a black and white publication.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version, unless they are meant to be part of the final text. (You may need to 'accept all changes' in track changes or set your document to 'normal' in final markup.)

Emphasised text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasise rather than underlining it. Refer to section 4.21 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for guidelines on the use of italics. Do not use color to emphasise text (see above: Coloured text).

Font faces and size

Use 10 pt. Lucida Bright for main body text, except in rare cases where special symbols are needed. Use 9 pt. Arial for text within figures and tables and 10 pt. Lucida Bright for figure and table titles.

Foreign terms

Do not use italics for foreign terms, phrases and abbreviations that are common in English (e.g., et al., a priori, per se). In other cases, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Title Headings: Use sentence case in Lucida Bright using 18 pt.

Level One Headings: Use centred, bold face, upper and lower case text in 10 pt. Lucida Bright font. There should be space above the headings but no space below the headings.

Level Two headings: Use sentence case, Lucida Bright, 10 pt. font in bold. There should be space above the headings and no space below the headings.

Level Three headings: Indent and use sentence case, bold Lucida Bright 10 pt. font with a period.

Main text

The font for the main body of text must be black and in 10 pt. Lucida Bright.

Tables and Figures

Use 9 pt. Arial font for data appearing in tables and figures. To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. If figures are included, use high-resolution figures, preferably encoded as encapsulated PostScrpt (eps).

Ideally, tables and figures should fit within 3.8 cm margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view. If necessary, a narrower margin of 3cm may be used to accommodate large tables and figures.

The axes of all graphs should be labelled appropriately. Where possible, axis labels should be parallel to the relevant axis. Do not use stylised graphs (e.g. 3D bar graphs). Avoid using horizontal or vertical gridlines on graphs unless their inclusion considerably aids the reading of a graph.

Eliminate vertical rules in a table and use the minimum number of horizontal rules necessary for clarity.

All figures and tables should be numbered and include brief explanatory titles. Table titles appear above the table. Figure titles appear below the figure. All titles in tables and figures should be in 10 pt. Lucida Bright text.

Again, avoid unnecessary use of colour in tables and figures as the Journal of Peer Learning is published in black and white.

For further guidelines regarding the preparation of tables and figures, refer to Chapter 5 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.).


For guidelines regarding the presentation of numbers, see sections 4.31-4.38 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Briefly, use words for numbers below 10 except when the number is a score, measurement, mathematical function, etc.

Be consistent with the number of significant figures and/or decimal places used in tables and in the text.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables should be italicised. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicised. Whenever possible, subscripts and superscripts should be a smaller font size than the main text.

Short mathematical expressions should be typed inline. Longer expressions should appear as display math. Also expressions using many different levels (e.g., such as the fractions) should be set as display math. Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Equations should be numbered sequentially. Whether equation numbers are on the right or left is the choice of the author(s). However, you are expected to be consistent in this.

Symbols and notation in unusual fonts should be avoided. This will enhance the clarity of the manuscript.

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It is the author's obligation to provide complete references with the necessary information. After the last sentence of your submission, please insert a line break—not a page break—and begin your references on the same page, if possible. References should appear right after the end of the document, beginning on the last page if possible. References should have margins that are both left and right- justified. You may choose not to right-justify the margin of one or more references if the spacing looks too awkward. Each reference should give the last names of all the authors, their first names or first initials, and, optionally, their middle initials.

Use hanging indents for citations in the reference list (i.e., the first line of the citation should be flush with the left margin and all other lines should be indented from the left margin by 0.5 cm). Citations should be single-spaced with 2 pt. paragraph spacing after each citation.

In-text citations and the reference list should follow the guidelines set out in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) with the following exceptions:

  • • Where possible, the issue number of a journal article should be provided irrespective of the pagination style of the journal.
  • • A doi or URL for a journal is optional but desirable. However, for advanced online publications and electronic-only articles, a doi/URL must be provided.