Call for Editors - Journal of Learning Analytics


Editorship of the Journal of Learning Analytics is an important responsibility that helps steer the direction of the field by setting benchmarks and defining quality standards for the publication content. Editors make key contributions towards defining a future-oriented vision of the field and shaping research efforts towards the envisioned goals while also engaging in high-level management to ensure a smooth editorial review process that leads to timely publications.

Members of SoLAR are invited to individually apply for the position by May 30th, 2021.  The start of the terms will be September 2021, June 2022, and September-December 2022, respectively for the three new editors.  

Role Responsibilities

The three co-Editors-in-Chief share among themselves the responsibility for running JLA.  These responsibilities include the operational aspects of journal production, the strategic aspects of journal stewardship and the outreach aspects of community involvement.  Key aspects of these responsibilities are listed below:

  • Journal Production
    • Mange the timely review and processing of manuscripts for each JLA issue (currently three per year)
    • Coordinating the production of each JLA issue (including managing copy- and layout-editor workflow) 
    • Compose an editorial reflecting on the publications of the journal, often in the context of current events or issues affecting the field (currently one editorial per year)
    • Manage the selection of Special Sections and together with invited editors oversee the call, review and production process
    • Maintain contact with the hosting provider (PKP) to assure the operation of the journal site
  • Journal Stewardship
    • Define the direction and vision for JLA in the short- and mid-term
    • Define editorial policies affecting the review process, acceptance criteria and reviewer guidelines for the different sections of JLA
    • Invite, assemble and maintaining an editorial board with members of SoLAR to internally discuss journal management and editorial policies
    • Invite new reviewers and finding ways to incentivize current reviewers
    • Organize an annual Editorial Board meeting to discuss journal progress and vision.
  • Community Involvement
    • Represent JLA to the SoLAR Executive, the SoLAR community and external bodies
    • Prepare an annual report to the SoLAR Executive
    • Organize at least one community-involvement event per year to help in the definition of editorial policies or journal vision
Service Term

The current term duration is 3 years that can be extended once for another term of 3 years. There are significant onboarding costs within the first term as new editors get up to speed on journal processes, so it is desirable for editors to serve two terms, for a total six year duration.

Renewal for the second term is subject to ratification by the SoLAR Executive Board based on the recommendation of the other Editors-in-Chief, with due consideration of the editor’s contribution to the journal to date, ability to continue to contribute to the strategic direction of the journal over a second term, and other strategic concerns.


The application packet should include the following documents:

  • Letter of application that briefly introduces yourself, your qualifications for the position, and your reasons for being interested in the position (max. one page). 
  • Vision statement concerning JLA in the next five years (max. three pages).
  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae (maximum of five pages).
  • Description and documentation of institutional commitment (If possible, obtain a written commitment of support from your department chair or equivalent, in which the type of institutional support which can be provided during your term as co-Editor-in-Chief is specified. Examples of such support may include, but are not limited to: editorial assistance, committee-assignment release, reduction of teaching load, or material support) 

All this information should be sent with the subject “JLA Editor Position Application” to the email by May 30, 2021 (see full timeline below).


All deadlines are at 23:59 Anywhere on Earth Timezone (GMT-12) 

  • Call opens: February 1st, 2021 
  • Applications due: May 30th, 2021
  • Decision process: June through July 2021
  • Invitations extended: July 2021 
  • New editors start mentoring period: See onboarding section for staggered start dates

Selection Criteria

In order to be considered for editorship of the Journal of Learning Analytics, the applicant must be a member of SoLAR in good standing. Selection of editors for is based on the expected ability to effectively:

  1. Understand the Learning Analytics field as demonstrated by a strong publication record in well respected journals
  2. Collaboratively shape and enact a vision for ensuring that JLA continues to be the preeminent venue for Learning Analytics research and practice, and also for taking the journal into the future through innovative and creative leadership. This vision should be consistent with the published mission of SoLAR and JLA.
  3. Understand and respect the diversity of styles of research and ensure that the review process remains international, to reflect multiple disciplinary perspectives and global diversity.
  4. Provide clear communication to journal authors, reviewers, readers and the SoLAR Executive board and SoLAR community
  5. Use high level managerial sense to take pragmatic decisions and establish policies and engage in hands-on supervision that ensures a smooth editorial review process leading to timely publication

Selection of the next cohort of JLA editors will be made collectively with efforts to provide balanced representation of geographic distribution as well as diversity in gender and race.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Guest editors of Special Sections of the journal (as it provides clear evidence for items (1) and (2) above)
  • Outstanding and frequent reviewers of JLA (as it provides clear evidence for items (3) and (4) above.
Selection Process

A selection committee consisting of (1) the current co-Editors-in-Chief of JLA; (2) a member of the Solar Executive Board, selected by the Executive Board, (3) a senior member of the community selected from the JLA Editorial Board, will evaluate the applicants. The recommendation of the selection committee will be forwarded to the SoLAR Executive Board for ratification.  The selection of the three new editors is decided in just one call and evaluation to meaningfully address issues of balance, inclusion and teamwork.


Each journal editor’s exit is spaced out by a minimum of 6 month period so that the editorial team has at least two experienced members at all times. In addition, the incoming editor will be onboarded to have an overlap of 4-6 months with the outgoing editor to ensure a smooth orientation. This helps them observe a complete ongoing publication cycle at close hand. 

Selected editors will be invited in July 2021 so they can prepare for their onboarding according to the schedule suggested below:

*There is some flexibility in the timing for the third editor to join that can be decided collaboratively by Xavier together with the new editor.

Additional Benefits

The co-Editors-in-Chief of JLA receive a complementary SoLAR Membership for the duration of their service term.