About the Journal

Focus and Scope

OLJ publishes original research on online and blended learning primarily in higher education contexts.   OLJ is indexed in the Web of Science (ESCI) with a Journal Citation Indicator of 1.83 ranking it as a Q1 journal above the 90th percentile for all journals in the field of Education. OLJ's Scopus citescore is 7.4 for 2022, ranking it in the 94th percentile of all journals in Education in Scopus.  OLJ is also ranked among the top 3% of all open-access journals in the field of Education.

Peer Review Process

Online Learning adheres to traditional standards of double-blind peer review.  The journal also adheres to the ethics policies of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  The Editors of OLJ encourage reviewers to read the COPE guidelines here.

In alignment with recommendations from ICMJE, "manuscripts submitted to journals are privileged communications that are authors’ private, confidential property, and authors may be harmed by premature disclosure of any or all of a manuscript’s details.

Reviewers therefore should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential. Reviewers must not publicly discuss authors’ work and must not appropriate authors’ ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not retain the manuscript for their personal use and should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting their reviews.

Reviewers who seek assistance from a trainee or colleague in the performance of a review should acknowledge these individuals’ contributions in the written comments submitted to the editor. These individuals must maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript as outlined above.

Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests to review and to submit reviews within the time agreed. Reviewers’ comments should be constructive, honest, and polite.

Reviewers should declare their relationships and activities that might bias their evaluation of a manuscript and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists."

Publication Frequency

Online Learning is published 4 times a year.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...

Fees for Publication

The journal does not charge fees for publication and is provided as a service to the OLC and broader education communities.

Digital Archiving Policy

OLJ uses the PKP/PLN digital archiving policy.

Open Access

As a condition of publication, the author agrees to apply the Creative Commons – Attribution International 4.0 (CC-BY) License to OLJ articles. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

This license allows anyone to reproduce OLJ articles at no cost and without further permission as long as they attribute the author and the journal.

Author(s) hold copyright in their work, and that they retain publishing rights without restrictions.

Journal policies on authorship and contributorship

OLJ is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record.

Following recommendations from ICJME, the editors of OLJ recommend that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Journal policies on conflicts of interest

In alignment with recommendations from ICMJE, all participants in the OLJ peer-review and publication process—not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals—must consider and disclose their relationships and activities when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication.

a. Authors

When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work.  

b. Peer Reviewers

Reviewers are asked at the time they are requested to critique a manuscript if they have relationships or activities that could complicate their review. Reviewers must disclose to editors any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.

c. Editors and Journal Staff

OLJ editors who make final decisions about manuscripts will recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. Editorial staff members of OLJ who participate in editorial decisions will provide editors with a current description of their relationships or activities (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which an interest that poses a potential conflict exists. OLJ editorial staff must not use information gained through working with manuscripts for private gain.

How the journal will handle complaints and appeals

Complaints about the review and publications process should be directed, in writing, to the Managing Editor who will communicate these to the Editor.  Complaints will be adjudicated by the Editor, and as needed, other members of the editorial staff. 

Rulings on submissions are conducted by the peer review process and overseen by a qualified editor engaged with the journal.  The journal is under no obligation to review all manuscripts submitted and decisions on papers forwarded for review are final.


We will endeavor to protect the rights of authors and will investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. We also seek to protect the reputation of the journal. Submitted articles may therefore be checked with duplication-checking software. If an article is found to have plagiarized published work we reserve the right to take action including publishing a correction; retracting the article; or pursuing other procedural or legal remedies.

Journal’s policies on publication of research using human participants

If the research uses human participants, OLJ requires the researcher to abide by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines of their home institution.  This includes following IRB approved guidelines for informed consent of the subjects, IRB stated procedures and criteria for approval to conduct the research, and IRB review processes during and after the study - unless the research project is certified as exempt by the IRB.  

Journal’s options for post-publication discussions and corrections

OLJ focuses on the guidance by COPE on Post- Publication discussions and corrections, which states, “Journals must allow post publication either on their site, through letters to the editor, or on an external moderated site, such as PubPeer. They must have mechanisms for correcting, revising or retracting articles after publication.”

Specifically, OLJ allows authors to request that papers be corrected where necessary.  Authors may contact the editor or Managing Editor via email with specific requests to review suggested corrections after publication.  The Editor or Managing Editor will work with the authors to correct or remove papers after review as appropriate.

Journal’s policy on ethical oversight

The Online Learning Journal observes the COPE guidance on Ethical Oversight which states, “Ethical oversight should include, but is not limited to, policies on consent to publication, publication on vulnerable populations, ethical conduct of research using animals, ethical conduct of research using human subjects, handling confidential data and ethical business/marketing practices”.

With focus on COPE guidelines, OLJ will adhere at all times to the publication ethics and journal policies regarding unethical behavior outlined herein.  This includes requirements that all research submitted for consideration for publication in OLJ be reviewed and approved (or deemed exempts), in advance, by an appropriate committee of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research ethics oversight.

Oversight of publication ethics is a shared responsibility and involves authors, editors, reviewers and others.  Specific responsibilities are outlined throughout this document.

Journal’s policy on the use of AI in research

If you use a generative AI like GPT-4 for writing or assisting in the creation of a scholarly paper, it's crucial to acknowledge the tool to maintain transparency and academic integrity. Here's a guide on how you can acknowledge the use of generative AI in your scholarly work (note references to  OpenAI's GPT-4 can be replaced with other AI applications as appropriate):

  1. Direct Contribution: If a substantial portion of the content, ideas, or writing was generated by the AI: "Parts of this paper were generated with the assistance of OpenAI's GPT-4. The generated content was reviewed, edited, and curated by human authors to ensure accuracy and relevance."
  2. Editing and Reviewing: If you used the AI for editing, proofreading, or refining your ideas: "This paper was reviewed and refined with the assistance of OpenAI's GPT-4, complementing the human editorial process."
  3. Idea Generation: If you utilized the AI to brainstorm or come up with ideas: "Ideas and concepts explored in this paper were brainstormed in collaboration with OpenAI's GPT-4."
  4. Data Analysis or Visualization: If the AI was used to analyze data or create visual representations: "Data analysis and/or visualizations in this work were assisted by OpenAI's GPT-4."
  5. General Assistance: If the AI played a more general role or if you're acknowledging its use in a broad sense: "The authors acknowledge the use of OpenAI's GPT-4 in facilitating various stages of writing and ideation for this paper."
  6. Specific Sections: If only certain sections of the paper were aided by the AI: "Sections [specify sections or page numbers] of this paper were generated with the assistance of OpenAI's GPT-4 and later edited by human authors."
  7. Code or Algorithms: If AI was used to help generate or validate code or algorithms: "Algorithms/code presented in this paper were designed with the help of OpenAI's GPT-4."

(Thank you to Dr. Aras Bozkurt for sharing this AI policy with the Editor of Online Learning.)