International Research in Children's Literature

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of these questions are also covered in the IRCL style guide. Please check this guide again before you submit your article.

1. Do I have to be a member of IRSCL to submit an article to IRCL?

No, membership of IRSCL is not necessary. IRCL welcomes submissions by any researcher in children’s literature. All submissions are anonymised, and considered on an equal basis.

2. For the issues based on the theme of an IRSCL Congress, do articles have to be based on a paper or poster presented at the Congress?

No, you do not need to have attended the Congress. Again, IRCL will welcome all submissions based on the theme, and give them equal consideration.

3. May I submit my paper immediately after a Congress?

Even if you have in your possession a paper already of the required length, with full references in place, you will probably find it necessary to review it before submission. An effective presentation at a conference is often very different from an effective essay. You might wish to expand your material, tighten your argument, and present evidence in the kind of detail not always possible, or useful, in a short presentation. You might also find that you need to revise the style, in order to transform an oral, conference version, into written form: very informal and spontaneous ‘fillers’, repetitions, and loosely written sentences can be very helpful to listeners, but redundant or even irritating in a written article.

4. Does IRCL prefer any particular critical/theoretical approach?

IRCL publishes articles that focus on children’s literature texts, in the broadest sense. It encompasses, for example, a spectrum from research with a historical focus, to analyses of contemporary media; case-studies of aspects of individual texts to wide-ranging theoretical discussions. Argument and analysis are all-important, however, rather than entirely descriptive summaries, or accounts based purely on extra-textual areas, such as classroom practice or bibliotherapy.

All approaches are welcome and will receive equal consideration


5. Do I have to submit my article in English?

IRCL is an English-language publication. Editors and readers are willing to consider articles submitted at less than native-speaker level, as long as the content is not impaired. If your article is accepted, you will be given advice about polishing idiom.

However, you might wish to smooth matters by asking a native speaker to look at your article before you submit it. IRSCL has a tradition of ‘language-buddies’ for mentoring, and may be able to help you find somebody who will support you on this aspect.

For quoting from texts in the original language, please provide the original language and a translation, unless you are quoting from a published English translation. (See previous issues of IRCL for examples.)

6. Do you allow any flexibility in length of articles?

IRCL publishes articles of between 5,000 to 7,000 words, thus already offering considerable flexibility (2,000 words). This includes all notes and bibliographical matter, but not the abstract (200 words maximum) or the keywords (5 or 6).

We cannot print articles over 7,000 words. We check the word-count on all submissions before sending essays out to readers. If you are over the word limit, your article will first be returned to you for cutting to the specified length.

7. How many illustrations am I allowed, and do I need permission?

If you wish to use illustrations, we can normally print up to five in any individual article in the print journal. But we can include any extra images on the EUP website. All illustrations in the journal will be printed in black and white, but the online edition of IRCL permits publication in the original colours.

Permissions are essential.

UK copyright law demands that authors send a letter showing proof of permissions for any images published within 70 years of the death of the artist. This rule also applies to any reproductions of historical illustrations that you have taken from an edition published within the last 70 years. The press will not publish any illustrations without this letter.

When you seek permission, mention that the images will be used to illustrate an academic article. Make sure that you also check with the publishers that permission covers both the print and the online versions of the journal.

Unfortunately, we have no funds to pay for permissions, and the author must bear any costs.

8. What quality of images do I need, and how do I send these?

When you submit your article, please send any images as low-resolution jpegs or gifs in a separate file. Please do not embed WORD images in your article; just put a brief reference (e.g. See figure 1).

If your article is accepted, we shall eventually need very high resolution scanned images: a minimum of 300dpi (bitmap or tiff format); line drawings should be a minimum of 1200dpi. These will be transferred by CD, or uploading electronically to an ftp. But we do not need these at the first stages.

9. When will I hear back with a decision?

We send your essay out to readers for comments, and when we have these back, we review reports on a range of contributions alongside each other.

As we seek to gain a reasonable balance in every issue, sometimes we have to wait to let you hear until we have more information. While we try our best not to keep you waiting beyond 12 weeks, our readers and editors all fit in this work with their full-time jobs, and sometimes there are inevitable delays. We appreciate your patience and forbearance on this matter.

Now that we have launched the journal, however, we are aiming to open up each ‘cycle’ to allow more flexibility between congresses. This will have the advantage of enabling us to accept work for later issues, and thus to be able to give decisions more speedily.