About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Published online annually, the Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics (AJAL) is an English language, international, blind-refereed journal. Its goal is to foster discussion and scholarship about the learning and use of English in Asian contexts. 

AJAL invites submissions of previously unpublished articles that address English language-related issues within Asia or in relation to Asians overseas. Short reviews of books in areas related to the scope of the journal are also welcome (please contact the editor in advance).

Publishers or authors of recent books relevant to the scope of the journal (see below) are encouraged to send copies for review to the editor or to contact the editor by email (for contact details see: CONTACT US).

AJAL replaces the Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics which was published between 1996 and 2013, and which is listed in The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Journal List.

Topics which are relevant to AJAL include (but are not limited to) research-based or position papers on:

  • The teaching and learning of English in Asia
  • The use of English in Asia
  • The status of English in Asia
  • The learning of English by Asians outside Asia
  • The use of English by Asians outside Asia
  • The impact of Asian cultures or contexts on the learning, use or status of English 

If you are uncertain whether a topic you have in mind is suitable for AJAL please feel free to contact the editor before submission.


Peer Review Process

AJAL is a double blind peer-reviewed journal. Each submission is reviewed by two reviewers with expertise in the content area of the paper. The identities of the author(s) and the reviewers remain anonymous throughout the process.

Reviewers are asked to comment on:

  • The relevance of the paper to the focus of the journal which is the teaching, learning or use of English in Asia or by Asians outside Asia.
  • The originality of the paper's content.
  • The quality of the paper in terms of language accuracy and structuring of ideas.


Publication Frequency

AJAL publishes one issue each year, preferably by December of the 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.


Code of Practice on Ethics and Malpractice

The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics adheres to a strict code of practice to ensure that all parties involved in the publishing process (authors, reviewers and editors) maintain a high standard of ethical behaviour throughout the process and that malpractice is dealt with in a timely and responsible manner. The journal’s code of practice, as described below, is influenced by and aligned with guidelines made available by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and by SCOPUS and is overseen by the journal’s Editorial Board (see below for about the editorial board).

This document is organised into key aspects of the code of practice for ease of reference but please note it does not include a step-by-step guide to submission of papers or the reviewing criteria which can be found elsewhere (see: Submission Process and Review Process).

Management, governance and resourcing of the journal
This Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics has an Editorial Board comprised of academics with established reputations in the field of Applied Linguistics who specialise in areas relating to the scope of the journal. Board members volunteer their time to oversee the direction and policies of the journal. The journal is managed by an editor with expertise and experience within the field. The work of the journal is assisted by a dedicated group of volunteer submissions reviewers all of whom have expertise in various areas related to the scope of the journal. To see the membership of this combined Editorial Team visit:   Editorial Team membership.

The journal is open access with no fees for either access or publication. The journal is sponsored and hosted by the Centre for Applied English Studies at The University of Hong Kong. The journal publishes one regular issues per year (by December) and occasional special issues. The journal only publishes articles which have not been previously published. The copyright of all articles remains with their authors. Issues of the journal are archived and can be accessed via the archive link on the journal website. In the event that the journal ceases publication the website will remain active and all published articles will continue to be available.

Acceptance of papers
The procedure for acceptance of papers is in two parts: the initial editor’s check and the peer review. These are detailed below:

a) Initial editor’s check
Before submission for peer review all papers will be checked by the editor for:

If papers fail one or more of these checks the editor will contact the author(s) for further discussion.

b) The peer-review process
All papers which pass the initial editor’s check will undergo a process of double-blind peer review to inform editorial decisions and to improve papers (where relevant). This means that papers will be reviewed by two members from the list of submissions reviewers who are requested to conduct the review by the editor based on their own areas of expertise (click here to see the criteria for the review). Authors and reviewers will not be informed of each other’s identity. The reviewers will offer their advice to the editor who will then decide on the course of action to be taken. In exceptional circumstances the editor may request advice from a third reviewer. In all cases, the editor will include the reviewers’ advice in the final reply to the author. This is done regardless of the editorial decision because it offers the author(s) useful feedback about their paper, including advice about other relevant research that authors may not have mentioned, and demonstrates the rationale for the editorial decision. Articles remain confidential until such time as they are published.

Authors’ responsibilities
The following are requirements of publishing in this journal:

  • All named authors must have contributed to the writing of the paper.
  • Papers must not contain substantial duplication of research published elsewhere although papers referring to new aspects, or new interpretations, of research published elsewhere are acceptable.
  • Authors must confirm that the paper, or portions of it, has not been submitted for publication elsewhere. Where overlap exists with other papers the authors should declare this in a note to the editor (notes to the editor can be included during the online submission process).
  • Authors are responsible for ensuring they have complied with the legal and ethical requirements of their countries and institutions, and that they have secured all the necessary ethics approvals.
  • Authors must ensure that reports of their research as contained in the paper they submit are accurate descriptions of the research and that no falsification of procedures, data or outcomes is included. Authors must be willing to provide access to the data on which the paper is based on reasonable request.
  • If during the review process or after publication of a paper authors become aware of errors or inaccuracies in their work they must inform the editor right away and be prepared to provide a statement of retraction or correction.
  • A complete list of references must be provided with the paper on submission and authors should make every effort to ensure the list is accurate.
  • Authors must declare the source of any financial support that has contributed to the research discussed in the paper or to the writing of the paper (such a declaration can be made as part of the online submission process but is usually also included in the acknowledgements section at the end of the paper).
  • Authors must declare as part of the submission process any potential conflicts of interest that might affect the paper or the process of publication.

Editor’s responsibilities
The editor will ensure that the process for the selection of papers operates without discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, ethnic or geographical origin of the authors, or on the basis of the views expressed in papers. Assurances of this policy are the adherence in the editor’s initial selection to only the three criteria of relevance, length and originality, and in the peer review process to the principle of blind review.

The editor will take all possible steps to ensure that papers published in the journal follow the ethical code of practice laid out in this statement. This includes checking for similarity to other published papers (included in the initial editor’s check described above) and taking advice from the peer reviewers about the content of papers. Papers which do not meet the requirements of this code of practice will not be published although the editor will discuss with authors in order to provide an opportunity to correct inadvertent errors and to ensure the authors understand the rationale for rejection (where relevant).

If allegations are made about the originality or accuracy of the content of all or parts of a paper published in the journal the editor will investigate in a timely manner using the following procedure (in the order stated) but will retain an open mind and investigate discretely to avoid unnecessary damage to the author(s)’ reputation:

  1. Interaction with the complainant to ensure the editor fully understands the complaint
  2. Interaction with the author(s) to provide an opportunity for reply to the complaint
  3. Consultation with members of the Editorial Board (where relevant)
  4. An editorial decision regarding appropriate response to the complaint which will lead to one of the following:
    • No change to the published article
    • A revision of the published article to address the concerns of the complaint. To be accompanied by an explanatory note attached to the first page of the article which will summarise changes and state the date of the changes
    • Removal of the paper from the journal. To be replaced by an explanatory note summarising the reasons for its removal which may consist of a notice of retraction if provided by the author(s)
  5.  At the conclusion of the process the complainant and the author(s) will be informed of the outcome

Reviewers’ responsibilities
All reviewers contribute their time on a voluntary basis. All reviewers are currently engaged within the field of Applied Linguistics. The role of reviewers is an important one because they contribute to the quality of editorial decision-making. Reviewers are required to:

  • Provide an unbiased review of the paper rooted in their current understanding of the field and of the recent research and literature.
  • Complete their reviews within the timeframe agreed at the time of accepting the request to review. This timeliness is important in helping authors achieve publication within a reasonable time and in keeping issues of the journal on schedule.
  • Inform the editor of any substantial similarity to other papers of which they are aware.
  • Treat all review materials in confidence.
  • Inform the editor if they believe they may have a conflict of interest in undertaking the review (for example, but not limited to, declaring any professional or personal relationship which might compromise the review).



This journal is hosted by the Centre for Applied English Studies. We are grateful for the support it provides.


Journal History

AJAL commenced publication in March 2014.
Its predecessor, the Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, was published between 1996 and 2013, and is listed in The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Journal List.