Ferdig, R. E., Baumgartner, E., Mousa, C., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., & Hartshorne, R. (2021). Editorial: Rapid publishing in a time of COVID-19: How a pandemic might change our academic writing practices. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 21(1). https://citejournal.org/volume-21/issue-1-21/editorial/rapid-publishing-in-a-time-of-covid-19-how-a-pandemic-might-change-our-academic-writing-practices

Editorial: Rapid Publishing in a Time Of COVID-19: How a Pandemic Might Change Our Academic Writing Practices

by Richard E. Ferdig, Kent State University; Emily Baumgartner, Ohio Northern University; Chrystalla Mouza, University of Delaware; Regina Kaplan-Rakowski, University of North Texas; & Richard Hartshorne, University of Central Florida

The spring of 2020 brought considerable and longitudinal changes to the ways in which we conduct our personal and professional lives. Stories have been and will be written for quite some time about how COVID-19 changed our perception of normal. Deaths, job layoffs, protests, and social distancing (in addition to physical distancing) were just a few of the extreme hardships that were experienced. Many will not forget the toilet paper shortages and the mask debates — more as phenomena of human behavior during crises than anything else.

However, even through the difficulties of a pandemic, there were some important and potentially unforeseen positive outcomes. Reduced pollution provided the opportunity for those in big cities to see blue skies. Rivers, lakes, and canals saw increased clarity and the return of marine life. Families spent more time together. And at least two positive educational outcomes are worth documenting.

The one outcome that received the most attention was the shift to technology-enabled learning. Schools across the globe at both the preK-12 and postsecondary levels were forced to move into what was broadly labeled emergency, remote instruction. When this happened, most teachers, students, parents, and school districts were left unscripted. Starting as early as April, headlines rang out decrying the quality, inequality, and inequity of teaching and learning in such times.

The focus of this article is not on the pandemic and online learning. It is prudent, however to provide a few cursory responses. As our colleagues noted in an excellent piece on online learning, there are substantial differences between what happened in spring 2020 and what has been happening since 1995 (Hodges et al., 2020). Remote learning that was pieced together in a few months bears little resemblance to research-based, high quality instruction that has been in existence for the last 25 years (Ferdig & Kennedy, 2014). Additionally, researchers who study K-12 online and blended learning had been calling for teachers and schools to prepare themselves for such events for a long time (Kennedy & Ferdig, 2018). In short, the pandemic made it clear to school systems worldwide that they should have been better prepared.

This all sounds negative, but the first positive educational outcome from COVID-19 was that the great spring 2020 emergency remote learning transition was really a long-overdue massive infusion of educational technology. It was not and should not be, and as Hodges et al. (2020) and others have pointed out, a research study between online and face-to-face learning outcomes. Rather, it served as an opportunity finally to get all teachers to explore the use of technology for teaching and learning. Quite simply, it was an educational technologist’s grand experiment (arguably during a tremendously difficult time).

Some educators have left spring 2020 more fearful and less convinced about the role of technology in teaching and learning. They are hoping or praying for the success of vaccines to just go back to normal. Others, however, recognized new possibilities and new ways to teach. They are not ready to teach in a completely online or blended environment (nor should they necessarily be). They now see the potential, however, and will return to a new and improved normal, where they continue to explore the uses of technology for engaging their learners.

The second positive outcome, and the focus of this article, was a grand experiment in rapid publishing. In only 8 weeks, 266 papers were submitted, reviewed, accepted (or rejected), revised, edited, and published. Thirty-three of those papers were published in a special issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE; Hartshorne et al., 2020), while 116 papers were accepted as chapters in a book (Ferdig et al., 2020). The book and the special issue were both immediately made available as open access to support teachers, teacher educators, and schools as they prepared for summer professional development and an uncertain fall.

This achievement was the not the first rapid publishing experiment in education (e.g., various journals have a faster-than-normal process, often for a fee); moreover, education is not the first to use rapid publishing. Medicine, for instance, has long used rapid publishing, particularly during crises (see Hobach, 2020). This most recent process provided an opportunity to reflect on how COVID-19 might change future views on publication efficiency and process. The purpose of this article is to describe the background, the processes, the lessons learned, and the resulting questions for journal editors to consider as we move through and beyond the pandemic.

The Beginning

Journal publishing and editing was a known process for the editors of the JTATE’s special issue when COVID-19 hit. For instance, Rick Ferdig was serving as the editor-in-chief of JTATE, Emily Baumgartner was the managing editor, and Regina Kaplan-Rakowski served on the editorial review board. Chrystalla Mouza was the editor-in-chief for Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE Journal); and Richard Hartshorne was the General Section editor for CITE Journal. In our respective roles, we had all worked hard to minimize the time from submission to decision to publication. However, even with these changes, the submission-to-publication process could take anywhere from 1 to 2 years (see Ferdig, 2020; Park et al., 2020).

The genesis of the idea to explore rapid publishing came from two sources. First, when COVID-19 came to the United States and schools began shutting down in March 2020, Rick began working on various strategies to address the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage. That work included publication of a journal article on surgical wrap to create masks for first responders (see Woolverton et al., 2020). Not addressing the actual experimentation of materials to serve as PPE, the process of submission to publication was less than a month.

The second factor was a conversation started by Charles Hodges (editor-in-chief, TechTrends) in early April. He sent an email asking a group of educational technology journal editors about their thoughts on rapid publishing to support educators. In the end, many of the editors decided to do a special issue later, once scholars and practitioners had an opportunity to reflect on the process, products, and data from remote teaching and learning in spring 2020 (and beyond). However, both Charles Hodges and Stephanie Moore (editor-in-chief, Journal of Computing in Higher Education) were incredibly supportive of something being published earlier, provided rigor could be maintained.

The Process

With the experience from the medical journal publication and the support stemming from the conversation initiated by Charles Hodges, Rick contacted leadership from both the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). AACE supports SITE, and JTATE is the official publication of SITE. Leaders from both organizations were also concerned about the timeline and its associated rigor; however, they supported the process and its potential positive impact on educators. Rick then contacted Emily, Richard, Regina, and Chrystalla and asked them to serve as co-editors.

The original plan was simply to publish a special issue of JTATE on “Preservice and Inservice Professional Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Several important decisions were made related to the call and the special issue (see Appendix A).

  1. Timeline. A decision was made to make this effort a rapid publishing exercise (or experiment). The call was sent out on April 15 with an expected deadline of April 30. Papers were to be reviewed the first week of May, with accepted papers to be revised and published by the end of May.
  2. Length. Papers submitted to JTATE and CITE are often 5,000-7,000 words. However, we asked authors to submit brief papers of 500-1,000 words – for a few reasons: First, we recognized we had a fast timeframe. Colleagues who had not started writing yet would have difficulty creating a high-quality academic piece of standard length in such a short timeframe. Second, we were still in the initial wave of COVID-19. Although it had impacted other parts of the world earlier, most schools and teacher education programs had only begun responding to COVID-19 in March. We understood the likelihood of submitting for internal review board approval, getting approval, conducting research, and writing a paper in 2 weeks was nearly impossible. Therefore, the hope was that inviting brief papers would result in manuscripts that would document practices to support teachers and teacher educators around the world during a time when they most needed the help. Papers would demonstrate initial promise through early outcomes in the absence of fully completed data collection and systematic analysis.
  3. Reviewers. We knew we were going to need as many reviewers as possible given our short timeframe. Rick contacted the JTATE editorial review board (ERB) to announce the call for papers and to request support for a fast review. ERB members were told that they could review as many papers as they wanted and that the papers would be short. However, we told them we needed reviews within a week. All five co-editors eventually also contacted their peer network to solicit additional reviewers given the response to the call.
  4. Format. JTATE had never published this type of special issue before. Moreover, these brief papers would not necessarily be following a standard research format (e.g., literature review, methodology, and results). There was a concern that papers might be too impractical, research-lite, or attempts to promote software products. As such, in addition to strict submission guidelines about the scope (focusing on descriptions of strategies, lessons learned that could inform strategies, and innovative technologies to support in-service and preservice teacher professional development), potential authors were given a template. The template asked for an abstract, a rationale, a process, early results, outcomes, replication (how would readers repeat the outcomes), and references.

Outcomes and Products

Each JTATE issue normally contains four to seven peer-reviewed journal articles. The variation in publication numbers is related to the low acceptance rate (~8%). Special issues have a typically higher acceptance rate for a variety of reasons (e.g., lower submissions, targeted authorship, high-quality articles, etc.). Given these data, we assumed (and hoped) that we would receive somewhere between 20 and 30 submissions. We would then presumably accept between 8 and 15 articles depending on outcomes of the review process.

By the time the call closed in 15 short days, we had received over 266 submissions from around the world. We were positively overwhelmed with the response. We had no idea such a concept would be so popular, where concept refers both to publishing on COVID-19 and publishing in a rapid format. That initial positivity, quite honestly, turned into concern. First, how would we possibly hold to our timeline?

Second, even if we went as high as 30 articles, we would still have 236 articles that would not be published. Arguably, not every single one of the manuscripts would have the quality, rigor, or fit for JTATE’s mission to be published. Moreover, at least theoretically, those articles could just as easily have found a home elsewhere. The purpose of the special issue, however, was to help others (e.g., teacher educators, teachers, and administrators). We had a high number of submissions and, consequently,  possible papers that could do that.

The special issue worked itself out. In other words, some combination of two of the five co-editors reviewed every single submission. This process was (expectedly) exhausting because we only had a few days to do this initial desk review prior to sending it out for full, peer review. Many of the submissions were rejected at this stage. Some of the papers were not rigorous (e.g., interesting stories but without any theoretical or research grounding), some of them had nothing to do with the scope of the call, and some of them lacked the writing quality needed for published work in a journal.

Papers selected to move forward at this stage were sent for full peer review, which required constant monitoring. We typically gave reviewers 3-4 days and then began reminding them of the importance of the deadline. We also over-assigned papers. That meant if we wanted to have two to three peer reviews per paper, we often assigned four reviewers so late reviews would not compromise the process. Once we received the reviews we needed for a paper, we quickly sent a note to any additional reviewers and asked them to switch to a new article. If they reviewed the article before we had a chance to contact them, we simply included their review (thus, giving some papers additional reviews). This process required a larger number of reviewers, a point we will return to frequently. Once the comments were returned, the editors also provided written reviews of the papers and a summary of all reviews.

By the time the peer review process was completed, we had 33 papers that passed full review with a rating of accept (notably all with revisions; a 12.41% acceptance rate). We received permission from AACE to allow that number of articles in JTATE, which was easier in a digital age (e.g., not worrying about page or printing limits) and was also comparable to a standard journal (e.g., 6 papers x 5,000 words vs. 33 papers x 500-1000 words). In that sense, choosing papers for the special issue worked itself out numerically.

Authors of accepted papers were notified. Papers went through a round of revisions where authors had only 1 week to respond. Although that timeframe seems short, these papers were around 1,000 words in length — an easier revision process given the brevity. Most reviewer comments focused on practical or editorial issues. In other words, reviewers wanted authors to include direct links to materials or a better set of instructions for implementing and testing the chosen strategy. Many of these articles were often works in progress; as such, reviewers also wanted future research plans. The special issue was published successfully on June 1, 2020 (https://www.learntechlib.org/j/JTATE/v/28/n/2/).

Even though the special issue was solidified, the dilemma remained: What should we do with the 233 other submissions, many of which contained important strategies for impacting practice? We contacted AACE and asked their permission to publish a book on the same topic. Their permission was critical for several reasons. First, we would need their editorial support turning a large number of documents into an e-book. Second, we wanted to be able to offer an open-access format. Our goal was to positively impact practice, not to make money through book sales. They agreed to provide support on both counts, and the book idea came to life.

The editors reviewed all 233 rejected submissions again. Although many of them contained good quality writing, rigor, and important strategies for improving teacher education and teaching, several did not. A total of 156 of the 233 (67%) were considered conceptually suitable for consideration of the book based on initial editor journal review, editor re-review, and reviewer comments (in situations where the piece was sent out for full peer review).

Authors of these papers were sent an email explaining that they were not accepted for publication in the special issue but were being considered for publication in an open access book. We asked for their interest in pursuing this opportunity. Those authors who responded positively were sent two items.

First, they were sent a new template. The template was changed given the considerable writing variability we saw in the submission process. In other words, the 33 research articles had some variation based on their methodologies and outcomes, which was acceptable for the journal. Given its potential size, however, the book needed both clarification in terminology and a more consistent framework. Rationale was changed to introduction, process was changed to innovation, results were kept the same but focused on comparative literature to support the innovation, outcomes turned into implications, and replication turned into future research. These modifications allowed authors to differentiate between the practices or innovations they implemented, to document what research they did or did not complete at that time, and to highlight their strategies and future plans. In the process, they were encouraged to use appendices or web repositories to host materials that would help readers replicate the work.

Second, authors were sent clear instructions and recommendations for writing (see Appendix B). Some journal editors write lengthy reviews; other journal editors write shorter reviews and simply point to reviewer comments (which are themselves often quite verbose). We realized that we had a 10,000-foot perspective from looking at all the chapters. So, we cautiously and directly wrote specific instructions highlighting the changes we wanted to see in each chapter. As with previous iterations, this step was time consuming and led to many sleepless nights given the short timeframe. However, we realized that this initial effort would support authors and ultimately require less intervention if the chapter was accepted. This hypothesis was confirmed; many accepted chapters required only one round of revisions.

The original 266 remaining submissions were reduced to 156 invitations. Forty of those submissions were either ultimately rejected by the editors (mainly due to quality), or authors rejected the invitation to participate. In sum, a total of 116 chapters were published in the open access book on June 15, two months from the original call for papers (https://www.learntechlib.org/p/216903/)

Lessons Learned

Several lessons were learned in this process that are worth documenting for future rapid publishing efforts.

  1. Templates are valuable. Giving authors a specific template to write from ensures consistency throughout the publication. The original call had a broad template. The generic template worked in the sense that all authors addressed the major topics. However, there was variability in both what the sections were called and how much each author wrote in each part. That process was acceptable for the journal, given readers expect some variability. We did not believe it would work for the book with the larger number of potential chapters, the more specific focus of the book, and the timeframe by which we needed to review chapters. Editors and ERB members had a much easier time reviewing manuscripts when they followed a similar framework or template. The revised book template also helped with uniformity. Finally, it directed authors to focus on essentials and to push related but extraneous materials to repositories (with URLS) or appendices.
  2. Practicality matters. Whether they are writing a dissertation or a single journal article, authors seem to do a great job of explaining what they did, why they did what they did, and what they found. They often falter in the implications section, however, regardless of whether the author is giving implementation advice or topics for additional research. The main goal of the two publications was to help others, so we would not accept papers or chapters unless they had specific advice for replicability or implementation strategies. Authors told us that this process helped them conceptualize the value of their work, particularly when they used research citations to back their practical recommendations.  
  3. Repositories were authors’ and readers’ best friends. We asked all authors to include links to some file repository of materials (e.g., Google Drive or Dropbox). In many cases, we also encouraged them to use appendices. We found that repositories worked better than appendices because this requirement limited the overall size of the chapters and allowed for authors to update their materials continually. The repository instruction served three goals. First, it allowed authors to meet the size limit. Second, it helped them focus on the scope and yet still include related material. Third, and perhaps most important, it supported the replicability of both the intervention and the research.
    As a related but side note, almost all journals have some sort of online publishing component to them. However, many still do not have repositories for supporting accompanying media (e.g., videos, data files, etc.). This area deserves further attention.
  4. Open access mattered. Open access publishing is an important issue – one that has been addressed elsewhere (e.g., Capaccioni, 2019; Clark & Phillips, 2019). The salient point is that the book received instant international attention because it was easily and freely accessible (e.g., Thompson, 2020). Attention meant more material in the hands of teachers and teacher educators who were positively impacting students.
  5. People mattered. In the special issue editorial (Hartshorne et al., 2020) and in the book preface (Ferdig et al., 2020), we graciously thanked the people who made both works possible. It is worth recognizing them again for the purpose of highlighting that rapid publishing requires many hands. Assuming the publisher and journal editorial board approves the special issue or the book project, rapid publishing requires editors who have the time to monitor the process constantly. Editorial board members are needed who can provide good-quality but efficient reviews. Copyeditors are needed who can quickly format and edit the work. The importance of people in the process is an issue that is not to be taken lightly.
  6. Communication and shared processing are essential. Five co-editors, a sizeable number of ERB members, and organizational staff were required to make this rapid publishing experiment successful. Calls had to be distributed, papers were filed, reviewers were notified, reviews were processed, and so forth. Arguably more hands make lighter work, but too many cooks in kitchen can confuse the process. Communication was obviously an important component, particularly for us editors. The platforms, however, were just as critical. We used the AACE paper processing system, which helped organize the papers. We also used Google Drive (particularly Sheets) to keep all papers organized and to make sure that at least one person was always working on a paper without replicating or countering the work of another. These tools (as mechanisms for facilitating communication, sharing, and other editorial processes) were pivotal to the successful rapid publication effort.
  7. Early categorization was useful. Editors of collected works (e.g., special issues or books) have a reason for bringing authors together. Even when these reasons are clearly stated (e.g., the scope of a call), there is still some variability in the types of articles or chapters that will be received. Rather than waiting until the accepted papers were finished, we began categorizing the manuscripts as they were being reviewed. This early work allowed us to begin to see the 10,000-foot view of the breadth and depth of the topics being covered. Such organization led to faster ordering and sectioning of the materials for publication; it also facilitated writing of the editorial and preface.

Enduring Questions

We hope the lessons learned support those who want to want to replicate the process of rapid publishing. A deeper issue regards whether our academic disciplines should be supporting rapid publishing. We conclude this paper by raising questions we hope editors and publishers in the field consider.

Prior to diving into the issue, we will remove three variables from the equation. The first variable is the pandemic. In the case of an emergency (e.g., a pandemic), there is no question about the value in doing whatever we can to support those in need. We are focusing instead on the question of rapid publishing in normal times.

The second variable is the author. Authors are obviously interested in getting published quickly. However, life circumstances often dictate that even papers accepted with revisions often require weeks — and, in some cases, months — before they are returned. For purposes of the rapid publishing question, we are holding the author variable constant.

The third part of the equation to be removed is the compressed timeline of the special issue. Authors were given 15 days to submit their papers. Even if authors had already been working on projects, which many were, they still needed to finish their drafts quickly. Rapid publishing for us also meant rapid paper generation. We need to remove that variable from this discussion and assume that authors have the time they need to submit their papers.

We are focusing, therefore, on the question about rapid publishing outside of a pandemic, with the authors held constant, and with a scope of exploring rapid publishing instead of rapid paper generation. With those variables removed, we raise two important considerations within the rapid publishing process: length and review time. These two topics are obviously related but are worth addressing separately.

First, what is the value of a brief piece, and does it have value different from what we already publish? Brief papers are common in conference presentations; they are often described as the opportunity to report on a work in progress (e.g., https://site.aace.org/conf/categories/#BriefPapers). Some journals allow shorter submissions; short is relative, but it often refers to papers less than 3,000 words. However, a cursory review of journal websites suggests that most educational technology journals are focused on publishing papers that are 5,000-8,000 words in length.

An important issue with length, therefore, is to determine whether length refers to the total word count, the status of the work in question, or both. In other words, if the work was complete, could the author really write about it in 500-1,000 words? Or would the word count required to describe the methodology, data, results (or literature if the work was not empirical) simply not allow such limited writing space?

If the latter were true, then rapid publishing of brief papers would suggest that the category was reserved solely for works in progress. Issues of rigor and value are then raised. How can reviewers evaluate the rigor of a brief piece describing a work in progress? Moreover, how can a reader assign value to a product, process, or strategy when the final results are not known?

There is no easy answer to any of these questions. However, our experience from the spring 2020 publishing experiment suggests value in attempting to find an answer. Readers were both delighted and encouraged to find relevant and timely suggestions and recommendations, even if they were accompanied by the disclaimer that many of the projects were works in progress. We encourage journal editors, therefore, to consider early results as a promising path to foster not only rapid publishing, but the rapid spread of new ideas and the social support of idea generation.

The second topic for consideration is the review time. Shorter papers could conceivably have shorter review times; however, the issue is important regardless of the length of the paper. Several studies have tried to assess the duration of journals’ publication processes (Lin et al., 2016; Tosi, 2009). Bjork and Solomon (2013) found that the field of study dramatically alters this publication timeline. However, most of the studies give publication ranges from 4 months (Bjork & Solomon, 2013) to 21 months (Conte, 2013). Most of the shorter durations were for medical journals (Horbach, 2020).

Such publication times are “undesirable in an era of crisis” (Horbach, 2020, p. 1). If we heard any good news during the pandemic, it was that most academic journals decreased the duration of their publication processes by 49%, or 57 days on average (p. 12). Interestingly, publication on non-COVID-19 related topics during that same timeframe did not decrease.

One of the major time delays in the review process is at the editor desk. Editors are often in unpaid positions; they have full-time jobs and other responsibilities. Suggesting that editors just need to process papers faster is not helpful. Having multiple editors considerably increased our response time. Having multiple co-editors is a practice in some, but not all journals. However, it deserves additional consideration.

The reviewer timeline is the other major delay in processing papers. Most journals assign papers according to reviewer keywords, hoping to find congruence between areas of interest and paper topics. This process could theoretically speed the review to publication timeline. Horbach (2020) found that cutting down review times allotted for reviewers was also a critical pathway to faster publication. We gave reviewers a week, which worked because we had responsive reviewers and because we had a larger quantity of reviewers.

A combination of these methods might work. For instance, journal editors could construct a bidding process, something we have seen in other journals. Reviewers bid on papers that interest them, with the understanding that they have only 7-10 days to respond to papers. Editors could also over-assign reviewers; for instance, they could assign four to five reviewers with the hope of getting three finalized reviews. This strategy might work but could also frustrate reviewers. Whatever the process, we have anecdotally found as editors — and as reviewers ourselves — that reviewers tend to review to the deadline. In other words, much like our students, most of us will wait until the deadline to submit our work (van Eerde & Klingsieck, 2018).


A journal special issue and an open access book were published in a shortened timeframe of only 8 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Authors were delighted by the rapid publication process; readers were encouraged to receive news of promising results within 6-8 weeks of a trial. The products and the process raise important questions about rapid publishing for our academic disciplines. Holding the pandemic, authors, and writing timelines constant, how can we take what we learned and transform the publication process as we know it? We invite readers, writers, editors, and publishers to join in this conversation.

In closing, it is worth referring to some important changes in our field. In the past, journal articles were mainly published in print only, even when online publishing was possible (see Berquist, 2008; De Groote, 2008). Until only recently were online and open access journals considered inferior to print journals (see McCabe & Snyder, 2005; Wicherts, 2016). We may return to normal academic publishing when COVID-19 ends; but perhaps we can use this time as an opportunity to examine our practices and strategies for rapid knowledge dissemination leading to a new and improved normal


We would like to thank all of the authors and reviewers of both the book and the special issue of JTATE.  We also want to acknowledge AACE and SITE for their encouragement of this work.  Finally, we want to thank Glen Bull for recognizing the innovative aspects of rapid publishing and encouraging us to pursue this editorial.


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Ferdig, R. E., Baumgartner, E., Hartshorne, R., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., & Mouza, C. (2020). Teaching, technology, and teacher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stories from the field. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). https://www.learntechlib.org/p/216903/

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Hartshorne, R., Baumgartner, E., Kaplan-Rakowski, R., Mouza, C., & Ferdig, R.E. (2020). Special issue editorial: Preservice and inservice professional development during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 28(2), 137-147. https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/216910/

Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review27. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning

Horbach, S. P. (2020). Pandemic publishing: Medical journals drastically speed up their publication process for Covid-19. bioRxiv. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.18.045963v1

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Appendix A
Special Issue Call for Papers

Call for JTATE Special Issue

Preservice and Inservice Professional Development
during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Brief Submissions Due: April 30, 2020

Call for a fast-tracked, open access, “special” issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education on supporting current and future teachers during this global pandemic and beyond.

  • Submission for practice and research brief due: April 30, 2020
  • Short briefings length: 500-1000 words maximum
  • Publication date: May 2020, JTATE 28(2) issue
  • Proposed topics from practitioners and researchers include (but are not limited to):
    • descriptions of strategies,
    • learnings that could inform strategies, and
    • innovative technologies to support in-service and preservice teacher professional development.


The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways. This has included the move to online learning for K-12 and post-secondary education around the world. Although researchers have argued for years that teachers and teacher educators should have been preparing for online and blended instruction, many teachers and teacher educators now find themselves unprepared for the challenges they face.

These challenges include, but are not limited to, creating content for an online space, learning new delivery tools, understanding online pedagogy, engaging parents, addressing student mental health issues, and attempting various pedagogical strategies to address both synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning. The good news is that many teacher educators have created professional development for teachers; they are also attempting to quickly revise their courses to support online instruction for preservice teachers.


This Call is for a fast-tracked, “special” issue of JTATE, where special refers not just to the collection of papers but to the format of the paper. These papers will still be peer-reviewed; however, these papers are going to follow a medical journal, short-paper style (500-1000 words max.), which will facilitate quick review and publication. The goal of these papers is NOT to sell software, commercial products, or for-cost university courses. Rather, the purpose is to document best practices in order to support teachers and teacher educators around the world. JTATE has never done anything like this, but we are living in a world where we are all doing things we never expected. A brief example might better explain this special issue.


Kent State University has gathered a group of school district technology coordinators. Each week, they host a “tech talk” where preservice and in-service teachers can attend, ask questions, see demo presentations, present their own work, and connect with others (some of them just miss social interaction). A paper from these authors could describe the rationale (with literature to support the work), the process, and any public outcomes. These public outcomes would not only include the process (e.g., replicating the hosting of these types of event) but also websites or tutorials that are freely available to other teachers and teacher educators.

Please note that we are working–and will continue to work–with other journals so that in a year or so, we can publish retrospectives and empirical pieces on what worked and what didn’t work. Moreover, the hope is that these short briefings could lead to larger published papers in the future. However, now is the time to help teachers and teacher educators. Following the medical model, we’re hoping to publish “works in progress” that may not yet have empirical support but are working at local levels and might support in-service and preservice teacher education.


  • The paper must be between 500-1000 words.
  • The papers should not attempt to sell software, commercial products, or specific university courses. It should include strategies or open-access products that can be widely disseminated and used by others.
  • Deadline for submission is any time between now and April 30, 2020. Peer review will happen on an ongoing basis. Publication of the open-access, special issue will be May 2020. Although most colleges will be out at that time, K-12 schools are still in session. Also, schools and colleges are preparing for professional development over the summer.
  • Authorship that combines faculty, preservice teachers, and/or K12 school faculty and administrators are particularly welcomed.
  • The paper format should be:
    • Abstract
    • Rationale (what literature supports what you did)?
    • Process (what did you do?)
    • Early Results (what did you find)?
    • Outcomes (summarize the process and existing products people can use)
    • Replication (what are your suggestions for replicating outside of your context)

Submissions Due: April 30, 2020

Submit to: http://publish.aace.org (select Special Issue on “Preservice and Inservice Professional Development during the COVID-19 Pandemic”)

Inquiries email Rick Ferdig at: [email protected]

Appendix B
Instructions for Book Authors

Thank you again for your willingness to be reviewed for the open access book tentatively titled, “Teaching, technology, and teacher education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Stories from the field.” Thank you also for your patience as we have been preparing comments for a large number of papers. Listed below are general instructions for all authors; then a section follows that has specific comments for your paper. Your revised chapter should have responded appropriately to both sections.

You have until 5/22/2020 to finish revisions. Submit your revised paper to through the AACE system. All submissions should be unblinded (they’ve already been through double-blind review and are now at a revise/resubmit stage) and there is no need to track changes or submit a document highlighting the changes made. Your paper will be reviewed by editors according to the general and specific instructions sent to you.


  1. All revisions are due Friday, May 22nd. Late submissions will not be accepted as we have a deadline for publication. We understand this is a short timeframe, but the chapters are short, and revisions should not take an extensive amount of time. Early revisions are welcomed.
  2. All book chapters *must* follow the same framework (available for download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ui_UmqK_B5ibnlkZNg-MAeCaFlpFVKLS/view?usp=sharing)
    You can deviate from the word count within sections; they are meant as guides. But all chapters must have the stated five headings (subheadings are allowed).
  3. We are giving you a little extra space (1000-1500) words. Abstracts, tables, figures, appendices, and references do not count against the total word count. However, use such resources judiciously. Link to things that are related but not necessary.
  4. Links in and outside of text should be spelled out with an entire URL (as opposed to hyperlinking words or phrases).
  5. The purpose of this book is to share research-based stories for preservice teacher education and in-service teacher professional development. These stories that emerged from a time of pandemic are meant to inform and instruct. And, where possible, the goal is to share resources that others can use. Keep this in mind as you write. People should be able to replicate what you’ve done, learn from what you’ve done, and/or use what you’ve done.
  6. Including work that people can use (via tables, figures, images, appendices, or links to material) is welcomed. This includes (but is not limited to) surveys, instruments, simulations, games, videos, directions, instructions, templates, schedules, outlines, syllabi, images, etc.
    If the extra materials are fundamental to the text, include the tables or figures in the paper (put them where they appear in the paper). If they are useful but supplementary (e.g., the survey you used), put them in the appendices. If they are media-based or larger in size (e.g., videos or online modules), put them in a URL (again, spelling out the entire URL).
  7. A lot of people used words in their title like “change”, “COVID-19”, “pandemic”, “crisis”, “response”, etc. These are all great, but they also represent what everyone else is doing. It made it very difficult to distinguish one chapter from the next. This book will have a lot of chapters and so choose titles that *clearly* describe your work and what it offers.
  8. All book chapters must include 7-10 keywords we can use to categorize the book and to create an index.