Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy


The journal’s mission is to publish research on adult basic and secondary education and transitions to college and career programs. It informs practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and funders about best practices in adult literacy, numeracy, and English language education in publicly funded, community- and volunteer-based programs in a wide range of contexts. Each issue will consist of research articles focused on a particular theme plus other content of interest to readers (e.g., resource reviews, opinion pieces, and debates and discussions on timely topics of interest to the field).

ALE seeks to publish research of all types and critical essays, philosophical and theoretical pieces, and other scholarly work of relevance to individuals working in the adult basic education and literacy field. Articles should address an upcoming theme (see the ALE Journal homepage for details) or topics of interest to the field, including but not limited to distance learning and technology, instructional strategies and tactics, program improvement, historical research, policy impact research, etc.

The journal is published three times a year, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Review Process

All research articles are subject to double-blind peer review by three consulting editors or other specialists, as appropriate. Authors’ identities are concealed from reviewers, and vice versa. The review process generally takes about three months. Articles are evaluated on the basis of their general coherence and writing, the methodology (if a research article), and the grounding of findings and/or conclusions in the research.

The ALE journal is committed to ensuring integrity in all aspects of the review and publication process. It follows the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidance and guidelines in cases of suspected ethics violations or ethics complaints on the part of editors, reviewers, authors, or the publisher. For more information, please visit the COPE website,

Prospective authors should consider the following strategies in preparing manuscripts for ALE:

  • Study this page and its sections on guidelines to ensure that your manuscript falls within the scope of the journal and meets the stylistic requirements.
  • Consider the “Review Criteria” section in developing and crafting your manuscript.
  • Study back issues of ALE focusing especially on articles of purpose and form similar to your manuscript.

For the editorial process to begin, all submissions must meet the following requirements:

Typed copy: Submit typed, double-spaced copy with numbered pages, using one -inch margins on all sides. Please submit all typed manuscript documents in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx).

Title Page: On the title page, indicate the following: title of paper; full name(s) of author(s), author titles and institutional affiliations, postal addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses; brief acknowledgement of the contribution of colleagues or students, if warranted; and date of submission. Please indicate the corresponding author.

Text: Repeat a shortened version of the title of the manuscript (a running head) on the top of each page of the text. The name of the author(s) must not appear on any page, other than through standard reference usage.

Stylistic Requirements: Manuscripts submitted to ALE must be grammatically correct and stylistically consistent. ALE uses the most current version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Consult this publication for rules governing references and citations as well as other elements of grammar and style.

Authors may only submit manuscripts that are original work and have not been accepted for publication by another periodical. Articles (including tables, figures, photographs, and other illustrative material) may not infringe on the copyright or statutory rights of others or contain libelous statements. Please note, ProLiteracy is indemnified against costs, expenses, and damages arising from any breach of the foregoing in regard to the manuscript.

Manuscripts submitted to ALE should not be under consideration for publication by any other journals, nor should they have been published previously in any form. A paper may, however, have been presented at a meeting or conference. After acceptance, a paper may not be published elsewhere without written permission from ProLiteracy.

Double-blind peer review is important to ALE. We take great measure in ensuring a fair review process.

If possible, remove any reference to works by the authors of the manuscript. Otherwise, refer to your own work by removing your name(s) and replacing it with the appropriate formula below, where AUTHOR 2 is the second author of the manuscript and [date] is the publication date of the reference.

For a single authored source: AUTHOR 1. ([date]) (publication details withheld for anonymity) AUTHOR 2. ([date]) (publication details withheld for anonymity)

For a source with two authors: AUTHOR 3 & ANOTHER. ([date]) (publication details withheld for anonymity)

For a source with three or more authors: AUTHOR 1 & OTHERS. ([date]) (publication details withheld for anonymity)

These references should be listed alphabetically in the reference list under “AUTHOR”—not where authors' own name(s) would fall.

In-text citations should correspond to the reference list.

When manuscript is ready for submission, upload one copy to ALE journal website, author submission form.

The ALE editors initially review all manuscript submissions for compliance with ALE editorial policy. If the manuscript fails to fall within the scope and stylistic guidelines of the journal, it is returned to the authors. If a manuscript is in accord with the scope of the journal and meets submission guidelines, all references to the author name and institution are removed from the manuscript, and it is submitted for blind reviews to three ALE consulting or guest editors. Each consulting editor is a professional scholar judged competent to appraise such manuscripts. In compliance with advice of consulting editors, the editors make one of four decisions: accept, conditional accept, revise and resubmit, or reject. In the case of conditional acceptance, the editors will specify necessary revisions in writing to the author. When revisions are completed and the editors accept a manuscript, the editors will then notify and inform the author(s) about the next steps in the publication process.

  1. ALE accepts research manuscripts up to 7,500 words long, including abstract, tables, figures, and references. The editors reserve the right to return any manuscript that exceeds that length.
  2. All research manuscripts must conform to the guidelines set forth in the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). References must also be in APA format.
  3. Technical terms must be explained briefly using language that all people in the field can understand. Authors should use simple, direct prose.
  4. To facilitate blind review, manuscripts need to be submitted online and include the following:
    1. the title of the manuscript;
    2. the name, complete address and phone number, e-mail address, title, and institutional affiliation of each author;
    3. any necessary notes identifying the contributions of colleagues, or any previous oral or written presentation of contents of the manuscript;
    4. a list of up to five key words to facilitate database searches;
    5. agreement to the following warrant statement: “I hereby confirm the assignment of first publication rights to the manuscript named above in all forms to ProLiteracy, effective if and when it is accepted for publication in Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy. I warrant that my manuscript is original work and has not been accepted for publication by another periodical. I further warrant that my work does not infringe upon any copyright or statutory rights of others, does not contain libelous statements, and that consulting editors, staff, and officers of ProLiteracy are indemnified against all costs, expenses, and damages arising from any breach of the foregoing in regard to this manuscript. Finally, I acknowledge that ProLiteracy is relying on this statement in any publishing of the manuscript’s information.”
    6. Agreement to assign copyright to ProLiteracy
  5. The first page of the manuscript should repeat the title, but not the authors’ names, and include a clearly written abstract of approximately 100 words. The abstract should summarize the purpose, approach, and conclusions of the paper.
  6. Tables should be used sparingly and must be explained in the text.
  7. If figures are used, the author must be prepared to submit camera-ready copy at time of acceptance.
  8. All manuscripts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.

  1. Importance and relevance: The author should make clear why the work is significant to the Field in terms of adding to the knowledge base. Importance is enhanced when a paper promotes understanding or improvement of practice.
  2. Clarity of the research problem: Through the abstract and a brief introduction, readers should be provided with sufficient background information/literature to understand the problem being addressed. The purpose of the paper should be clearly and unambiguously stated. This typically requires a clearly described research problem.
  3. Literature Review: Research and scholarship should be linked to relevant empirical and theoretical literature. The applicability of the research and the quality of the discussion are more important than the length of the literature review. The references should be of high scholarly quality and timely.
  4. Methodology: The overall soundness of the research approach (e.g., methodology, logic of analyses, etc.) should be clear. The approach and procedures must be appropriate for addressing the stated research problem(s) and purpose(s).
  5. Conclusions: Conclusions and logical inferences should be pertinent, clearly drawn, and convincingly supported by evidence. Implications for practice should be explicit, substantive, and clearly connected to the findings.
  6. Writing quality: The paper should be well organized, readable, and technically correct.
  7. Adherence to the journal’s submission guidelines: The manuscript should follow all guidelines for submission.

Articles should be written in the first person, and authors should describe successful innovations or challenges and problems of practice. They should reflect on actual teaching or administrative practices in an accessible manner. The topic should have broad appeal to practitioners. Articles are peer-reviewed by selected guest reviewers with experience in the topic area. Authors are free to submit unsolicited manuscripts, or they may contact the journal editors by e-mail to discuss ideas and approaches before beginning work. Teachers, tutors, program directors, supervisors, and other practitioners are encouraged to submit practitioner perspective pieces. Maximum length is 2,500 words, including resource list and references, if any. All articles must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents.

  1. The article’s practical relevance to those working in adult basic education and literacy
  2. Its contribution to the knowledge base and/or its potential to inform practice
  3. The organization, writing quality, and readability of the manuscript
  4. Inclusion of sufficient information to enable other practitioners to apply what they learn

Viewpoint essays chart changes or trends in the field, interpret the meaning of these changes, and describe implications for the adult basic education and literacy field. These essays are peer-reviewed. Viewpoints articles should include a well-argued position about a controversy or area of concern. To suggest authors or topics for future Viewpoint essays, contact the editors. Viewpoint essays are limited to 2,500 words. They are intended to stimulate discussion and comment. Readers may respond to Viewpoint authors by sending a letter to the ALE editors, at Edited responses will be published as letters in future issues.

Editorial Team

  • Alisa Belzer Rutgers University
  • Amy D. Rose Northern Illinois University
  • Heather A. Brown A.T. Still University

Resource Editor
  • Daphne Greenberg Georgia State University
Resource Review Editor
  • Susan Finn Miller LLIU13 Community Education
Technology Editor
  • David J. Rosen Newsome Associates

Tannis Atkinson
Independent researcher

Hal Beder
Rutgers University

Jim Berger
Georgia College

Sam Duncan
UCL Institute of Education,
Department of Education,
Practice and Society

Aydin Yücesan Durgunoglu
University of Minnesota Duluth

Susan Finn Miller
LLIU13 Community Education

Elisabeth Gee
Arizona State University

Gabrielle Gerhard
Seattle Central College
& Curriculum Research Group

Lynda Ginsburg
Rutgers University

Daphne Greenberg
Georgia State University

Allan G. Harbaugh-Schattenkirk
Longwood University

Tom Heaney
Rutgers University

Bob Hughes
Seattle University

Erik Jacobson
Montclair State University

Cathy Kozlowicz
Literacy for all, Inc.

Clarena Larrotta
Texas State University

Sasha V. Lotas
Academy of Hope
Adult Public Charter School

Larry G. Martin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

J. Ryan Monroe
US Peace Corps

Ron Mottern
Ashford University

Bill Muth
Virginia Commonwealth University

Richard Orem
Northern Illinois University

Margaret Becker Patterson
Research Allies
for Lifelong Learning

Dolores Perin
Teachers College,
Columbia University

Amy Pickard
Indiana University Bloomington

Esther Prins
Pennsylvania State University

John Rachal
The University of Southern Mississippi

Stephen Reder
Portland State University

David J. Rosen
Newsome Associates

Leah Katherine Saal
Loyola University MD

John Sabatini
IIS/University of Memphis

Steven W. Schmidt
East Carolina University

Joni Schwartz
CUNY La Guardia Community College

Ellen Scully-Russ
The George Washington University

Cristine Smith
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ralf St. Clair
University of Victoria

Norman A. Stahl
Northern Illinois University

Karin Sprow Forté
Penn State Harrisburg

Nicole Taylor
Spelman College

Lyn Tett
Huddersfield University

Robert G. Thomas
Central Coast Adult School

Jenifer Vanek
World Education

JoAnn Weinberger
Center for Literacy

Jeff Zacharakis
Kansas State University

Editorial Assistant
  • Xenia M. Cox Rutgers University
ProLiteracy Staff
  • Michele Diecuch Project Manager
  • Cathi Miller Graphic Designer

Abstracting and Indexing

The journal is indexed and abstracted in the following data bases: