N.B. TLRP generic project work ended in September 2009. The below information is for reference only.
TLRP Gateway Books:
the Improving Learning series
A Programme series, Improving
Learning , has been established, and will be published by Routledge.
There are two major aims
for the series.
First, each volume should
act as an overview for the reporting network or project as a whole,
and as a ‘ gateway’ to its more detailed and sophisticated academic
Second, each volume should
show how the work of the reporting network or project satisfies
the challenge of Pasteur’s Quadrant by simultaneously demonstrating:
to practice and/or policy
It is anticipated that almost
all networks and projects will contribute to the Improving Learning
series, with CDAs and RTFs doing so where appropriate. Contributions
to the series will be explicitly validated through TLRP and ESRC’s
‘Final Report’ requirements.
In terms of the RAE, these
books are seen as strong potential submissions, with excellent ‘underlying
research’ demonstrating high levels of user engagement and impact.
The Improving Learning series is explicitly intended to
set an innovative new standard for the dissemination of educational
A presentational framework
has been agreed for the series, which all books are expected to
follow. This is intended to ensure a level of cohesion across the
books and provide a trustworthy and recognisable house style to
the whole collection. Major elements of this framework are described
By agreement with Routledge,
this will incorporate TLRP designs. It is intended that the background
design will represent learners at appropriate stages of the lifecourse.
To reinforce series coherence,
it is expected that all books in the series will start with the
word: ‘Improving …….’. Sub-titles may be used to supplement
Routledge are sympathetic
to full team acknowledgement, but advise that having known names
in prominent positions helps sales measurably and thus contributes
to impact. The front cover design will therefore provide a significant
space to acknowledge team members. Teams may use this space by adopting
either an ‘and’/‘with’ strategy or by listing the director (or ANOther)
first with others following, perhaps alphabetically. Book spines
are likely to feature one name only (eg: Bloggs et al). Corporate
team identity may be further asserted on the back-cover description.
Where specific chapters have
particular authors, the names of these will be indicated discretely
on the first page of the chapter so that attribution is absolutely
clear for RAE purposes. However, the books will not be presented
as an edited collection and it is important that they have a coherent
Of course, each team must
make a judgement on authorship for all their outputs, reflecting
actual contributions to the work as a whole. Hopefully, there will
be enough publications to affirm many contributions. In the end,
teams are going to have to decide.
Length of each book
A maximum of no more than
75,000 words has been agreed with Routledge.
Primary reader audience
for the series
Intelligent, interested users.
This is taken to include practitioners, policy-makers and students
as well as more academic audiences. The books are also likely to
be popular with researchers or academics wanting to get an overview
of the work undertaken, before accessing more detailed academic
or technical publications. There has been considerable discussion
with Routledge about this, with recognition of the challenge of
reaching across these audiences.
It is hoped that these books
will be written in an accessible way, which intelligent, interested
but non-academic readers can understand. Structure, signposts, technical
vocabulary, sentence length, etc, will all need to be considered
and the expectations below reflect this. It is recognised that this
form of writing requires a very high level of skill combining excellent
understanding of research, appreciation of user needs and command
A four part structure
for each volume
At its highest level, the
framework will present four basic questions as parts of the book.
These have been constructed to offer a recognisable shell, within
which there will be a lot of flexibility – particularly within Part
2. The overall structure will be:
Part 1: What is the
(say between 5,000 and
This might be a simple, introductory
chapter – or, if appropriate, as a larger, first section of the
book. A very short and simple account of the research aims and process
would be included as part of this element, with cross-referencing
to the appendix on methodology (see below). In RAE terms, this part
of the book will set out the 'significance' and 'originality' of
Part 2: What does
the research tell us?
(say between 30,000 and
This is likely to be the
major substantive part of the book. There may well be sub-parts
within it depending on the nature of the network, project, issues
or outcomes to be conveyed. ‘Key findings’ (as highlighted and promoted
by briefing notes, press releases, etc) would probably be prominent.
Judgements would need to be made about the degree of integration
of reporting of research findings and explaining specific implications.
This part will demonstrate the originialty of the research.
Part 3: What are
the overall implications?
(say between 5,000 and
This is anticipated as a
final, summarising chapter – or, if appropriate, as a larger, concluding
section of the book. This part of the book will explicitly address
the 'significance' of the research.
Appendix: How was
the research carried out?
(say up to 5000 words)
This will be a standard feature
of all books, presented as an appendix covering aims, overarching
design, time-scale, sample details, data-collection procedures,
major features of analysis, key warrant arguments, etc. These details
would provide sufficient information to enable readers and reviewers
to assess the scientific basis of the work. In RAE terms, the appendix
will unambiguously indicate the ‘quality of underlying research’
- 'rigour'. The nature of this part of the book may be identified
through the use of a smaller font.
Graphic and textual design
features will be used to establish continuity across the series
and to engage readers.
In particular, the following
elements will be expected:
- chapter introductions of a paragraph or so
- concluding chapter summaries
of a paragraph or so
- appropriate participant
quotations to be highlighted or boxed
- two or three key points
per chapter to be textually highlighted
- ‘Harvard’ referencing
using Routledge conventions
You may also wish to include:
- case study description
- any relevant illustrations
- sustainable website
The following will not be
Please note that illustrations
must be black & white only in line or photograph and be supplied
in hardcopy or as JPEG digital files. Please limit photographs to
8 per book. For production reasons, the photographic resolution
should be the highest possible. Pictures taken with a ‘black &
white’ function give better results than those which are converted
Please also note that if
it is proposed to use photographs of children written permission
from parents or guardians must be obtained and, in school contexts,
the headteacher of the participating school must also give permission.
It is recognised that finalisation
of Improving Learning books must normally follow
the production of technical and academic papers for conferences,
journals, BEI, etc, and possibly other technical and academic books
too, so that to these works can be drawn on and signposts to them
be provided. However, it is also imperative to make significant
progress before grants end with the risk of research team dispersal.
An indicative schedule is
thus offered below as a guide, and the TLRP Office will work to
this in terms of supporting progress:
At any time during the project:
||Technical, academic and applied texts, etc are
produced for conferences, journals, BEI, etc.;
|At any time during the project:
||Building blocks of material are accumulated for
later possible integration into a final Improving Learning
series book manuscript;
|Nine months before end of funding:
||Outlines for Improving Learning series
book are prepared and negotiated;
|Six months before end of funding:
||Outline for project Improving Learning
series books are agreed;
|Three months after project funding ends:
||ESRC final report submitted;
|Six months after project funding ends:
||Improving Learning series book manuscript
submitted (initially to member of Directors' Team);
|Seven months after project funding ends:
||Final submission to Routledge;
|Thirteen months after project funding ends:
||Improving Learning series book published
(subject to coordinated grouping with other books in the Improving
We have tried to create a
framework which is unified enough to offer a clear and distinctive
TLRP product, whilst also being flexible enough to allow the essential
scope for creative interpretation by each research team.
Andrew Pollard , October