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Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

With the purpose of making room for diverse voices and languages, and looking to maintain conformity with international standards in scientific journals, Íkala advises authors to follow some guidelines designed to make easier the processes of uploading and getting a prompt review of your manuscript.

Procedure to register and upload your manuscript on the platform

Íkala works on an Open Journal System (OJS) publishing platform, in order to ensure a transparent process of reviewing and editorial preparation for authors, editors, and reviewers. No article processing charges (APCs) are levied on authors to get their manuscripts reviewed and published.

To register and upload a manuscript for review on the OJS, please follow the steps below:

1. Register as an author here. At the time of uploading your submission, please fill in the metadata requested as completely as you can, including a physical address and one institutional e-mail, if possible.

2. Submissions sent to Íkala must be original and have not been published before. Submissions having been completely or partially published, or which are in the process of being published somewhere will be declined, regardless of the publication channel used.

3. In the case of Empirical Studies, it is mandatory to provide the informed consents wholly and legibly. When participants are minors, informed consent must be signed by parents or legal guardians, in the case of minors. Informed consents shall comply with the standards of this instrument (Refer to the Ethics section for more details on this). 

4. When submitting a paper for peer-reviewing, please do not consider too strictly the date of submission, since reception of submissions does not imply their automatic publication or their publication in a specific issue. Instead, we schedule papers for publication in a specific issue, in order of acceptance for publication.

5. Submissions should be between 8,000-11,000 words and must be prepared strictly according to APA (2012, 6th ed.) norms. For literature reviews, a word count of 40 thousand words, and no less than 50 reference entries is deemed acceptable.

6. An abstract in English, Spanish, and French languages, as well as five keywords as a minimum must be inserted in the metadata of the submission. Also, fill in the References field.

Abstracts must be accurate, coherent and concise, and reflect content. For some guide on the selection of keywords, refer to Unesco's Thesaurus. Abstracts in Empirical Studies must state clearly an introduction, a method, results and discussion. Abstracts for other kinds of articles must follow APA norms (see 2012, pp. 25-27). The Director/Editor is responsible for verifying abstracts follow these norms.

7. The Director/Editor is responsible for judging upon the pertinence of submissions, according to Íkala´s sections, namely: Empirical Studies, Literature Reviews, Theoretical Articles, Methodological Articles, Case Studies and Book Reviews.

8. After a first preliminary reading, submissions which are deemed unsuitable (beyond the scope of the journal, with serious methodological flaws, etc.) shall be declined. Submissions which conform to the submission guidelines stated by Íkala will undergo a double-blind peer-review process.

Editorial process

We follow the steps below in the reviewing and publishing process:

1. Íkala will conduct a preliminary reading of any new submission to check compliance with Author guidelines and editorial standards. This may take up to 2 weeks, depending on the volume of new submissions to check. After having deemed acceptable for review, you will be notified the peer-review process has started. Íkala will take up to four weeks to find two reviewers. In case reviewers cannot be found, the submission will be declined and notice will be sent to the author(s).

2. Reviewers who accept the request will be given three weeks to complete their review.

3. If and when both reviewers do not commit to conducting the review, the submission will be declined and notice will be sent to the author.

4. In case one of the reviewers fails to complete the review, the final decision could be made by the Director-Editor based on the available review and her objective criteria. The same applies in the case of conflicting reviews.

5. Reviewers will provide comments to help authors strengthen their submission. Therefore, authors are expected to fulfill reviewers’ suggestions and resubmit a revised version within three weeks so that their manuscript undergoes a second review.

6. Once a submission is accepted, relying upon the reviewers’ evaluation, submissions are sent for copyediting, as a result of which authors may be asked to approve grammar, syntax, lexical, APA norms, changes suggested, or to complete/clarify any given passage, etc.

7. Author(s) will be required to make some further revisions and approve the respective versions in the copyediting and proofreading stages. No substantial amendments will be introduced after your manuscript has been accepted for publication, other than those suggested or deemed necessary by the editors.

8. Should the submission be an outcome of a research project, authors must specify the name and code of the project, the institution where the project was carried out and the funding sources. Should it be the result of a thesis, seminar or conference presentation, the name of the institution or the title, venue and date of the event must be specified.

9. The Editorial Board is responsible for the journal’s policies and serves as a consultant to the Director/Editor, who also reserves the right to decline submissions which do not conform to the aforementioned author guidelines.

10. All submissions published in Íkala have free online access, under Creative Commons’ license CC BY-NC.

Publishing Ethics and Malpractice Statement

When you submit a manuscript for publication in Íkala, you agree you have not submitted it, as a whole or in part, previously or simultaneously, for consideration in another journal. Also, you agree your work is original, any significant third-party contribution is properly acknowledged, and all the authors have their corresponding authorship attribution.

In the spirit of honest advance in knowledge, Íkala strives to ensure that any material published strictly follows the ethical guidelines widely accepted in the field of scientific publications, including Ethics in Research (please see the Code of Ethics in Research at Universidad de Antioquia here) Therefore, redundant or partial publication practices are deemed non-acceptable. Editors shall reserve the right to reject any manuscript submitted for peer-reviewing by authors or institutions that have been detected to have incurred in such a malpractice before. The same applies to any work that uses data from the same database without justified reason, and fails to include transparent cross-references to those previous publications. When such an event is detected, prompt notice will be issued to the affected publications and/or editors.

In the same line, plagiarism and self-plagiarism are not tolerated at Íkala. Therefore, authors are urged to treat references and citations with extreme care, so that proper attribution is given to any work that has served as a reference for the authors' own work. There are well-defined procedures to cope with this malpractice in the publishing sector. (See here). On the other hand, since recurring self-citation reflects some lack of objectivity, authors are encouraged to limit self-citations to up to 8-10 percent of a manuscript. 

As a member of CrossRef, Íkala can now use CrossCheck, a similitude checker and plagiarism detection service powered by iThenticate. All manuscripts approved for publication in Íkala will undergo this screening for originality. Thus, Íkala expects to avoid misconducts such as plagiarism, multiple submission, redundant or duplicate publication, and to ensure transparency and value added in its published material.

When encountering any issue in this regard, Ikala will follow the protocol below:

A low and medium percentage of similarity will be treated pedagogically: the submission shall be sent back to authors for revision. A higher percentage shall give cause for rejection and the refusal to consider any further submission by the author or authors involved.

Work cited:

American Psychological Association (APA). (2012). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.).  Washington D.C.: APA.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor has it submitted for consideration of another journal (otherwise an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in an editable format, such as OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The manuscript is submitted in its optimal condition, to the best of the author(s)'s knowledge, so that no substantial amendments will need to be done after the manuscript has been accepted for publication, other than those suggested by reviewers or deemed necessary by the editors. This includes providing the informed consents of the participants in the research study.
  5. Line spacing is 1.5; 12-point font is used; italic are used rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate place, rather than at the end.
  6. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, to be found in About the Journal.
  7. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

The authors that publish in this journal accept the following conditions:

  1. AttributionYou must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

  2. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

       3. Share alike — Means to provide material to the public by any means or process that requires permission under the Licensed Rights, such as reproduction, public display, public performance, distribution, dissemination, communication, or importation, and to make material available to the public including in ways that members of the public may access the material from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any third party.


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