Introduction in English

Netla – Online Journal on Pedagogy and Education
University of Iceland – School of Education
Open acess web-based journal on pedagogy and education
Netla – Veftímarit um uppeldi og menntun (Netla – Online Journal on Pedagogy and Education) or simply Netla (e. Nettle) is an Icelandic open acess web-based journal on pedagogy and education, originally founded in January 2002 and published by the Research Centre at Iceland University of Education (Rannsóknarstofnun Kennaraháskóla Íslands). From 2008 the journal has been published by the School of Education (Menntavísindasvið) at the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands). Netla has no processing charges or article submission charges. The articles Netla publishes also appear on the national library www.rafhladan.is.

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.

In Netla we publish articles (in Icelandic greinar, literally branches, also commonly used for both disciplines and written articles) on research and theory as well as development and practice. Authors can request peer review of their contributions (a peer reviewed article will be marked in Icelandic as a Ritrýnd grein) and listed under Ritrýndar greinar, whereas Grein and Ritstýrðar greinar are used to coin articles of a somewhat less theoretical or research oriented nature. In addition, we offer possibilities of publishing drafts or outlines for articles under the category Sprotar (literally sprigs or offshoots). We occationally publish interviews (Viðtöl) as well as reviews of books and educational materials (Ritfregnir). Ársrit stands for Netla´s annual issue of articles published over a period of one calendar year, whereas Sérrit stands for special issues and Ráðstefnurit, conference issues with reviewed articles derived from conference presentations. All issues are listed under corresponding links or menu items above, Ársrit and Sérrit.


Meyvant Þórólfsson, dosent (meyvant@hi.is)
Steingerður Ólafsdóttir, lector (steingeo@hi.is)

Editorial board

Anna Kristín Sigurðardóttir, associate professor
Annadís G. Rúdólfsdóttir, lector
Arna H. Jónsdóttir, lector
Atli Harðarson, lector
Elsa Eiríksdóttir, lector
Freyja Hreinsdóttir, associate professor
Guðný Guðbjörnsdóttir, professor
Guðrún Geirsdóttir, dósent
Guðrún V. Stefánsdóttir, dósent
Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir, professor
Jón Torfi Jónasson, professor
Kristín Björnsdóttir, associate professor
Ólöf Garðarsdóttir, professor
Sigríður Lára Guðmundsdóttir, associate professor
Steingerður Ólafsdóttir, lector
Þuríður J. Jóhannsdóttir, associate professor

Netla – A web-based journal on pedagogy and education

Guidelines for reviewers

NETLA publishes articles of varying types; academic articles, lectures, R&D accounts, discussions, reflections, commentaries, interviews, book reviews and texts of court decisions. The publishing process benefits from the advantages of a web medium; thus, authors can furnish their publications with samples of sound, video and internet links. Authors can also publish drafts and suggestions for material.

Those authors who so wish can have their articles peer reviewed. In the review process the following points are taken into consideration

Points to keep in mind when reviewing

Is the title of the article descriptive of its subject matter?
Is the abstract precise, sufficiently comprehensive and in step with the content of the article?
Is the article coherent and consistent?  Does the methodology match the research questions?  Are research questions answered in the conclusion and discussion part of the article?
Does the article add new knowledge to the field in question?
Is the research question or the purpose of the article clearly established?   Is the importance of the subject matter sufficiently explained?
Is the article placed in a theoretical context, for example by outlining the latest research in the field?
Is the article clear with regard to language and presentation?
Is the research design and its processing satisfactory? (In this context assessment factors differ, depending on whether the research is qualitative or quantitative.)
Are results presented in a clear and explicit manner as well as being consistent with the research methodology?
Are conclusions based on results justifiable? Do inferences indicate insight and originality?
Are references properly accounted for and in accordance with academic requirements?


The article is enclosed in electronic format. You are welcome to write comments in the text of the article itself, for example all minor corrections and suggestions. In addition, you are requested to provide a brief written overall assessment of the article. All suggestions are welcome. Comments via email are preferred. Anonymity is guaranteed.

When you have read the article and commented on it we request that you place it in one of the following categories

  1. The article can be published unchanged.
  2. The article can be published after minor amendments.
  3. The article can conceivably be published after revision and amendments.
  4. The article cannot be published.

Please provide a reasoned justification for your conclusion.
Please submit your comments on the article at your earliest convenience.

On behalf of the NETLA editorial board I should like to extend my thanks to you for reviewing this article.

With best regards,
Ásgrímur Angantýsson, editor-in-chief

The Story of Netla

The concept of Netla – a web journal on pedagogy and education originated among a group of people who wished to pioneer the publication of a web journal at Iceland University of Education at the outset of a new century. The journal’s official registration day, 9 January, 2002, was chosen with a view to this date being the sixtieth birthday of Ólafur Proppé, Rector of Iceland University of Education who, at the time, published a brief address on the occasion of the launch of the journal. During the journal’s first few years, it was published under the direction of a five-member editorial board, as may be gathered from an editorial survey  tracing the journal’s history all the way back to its beginnings.

On 28 March 2006 a cooperative publishing agreement was signed between the Research Institute of Iceland University of Education, the Icelandic Teachers’ Union and the Icelandic Association of Social Educators. Subsequently, a member of the editorial board was appointed editor-in-chief and led the team for the next six years. The School of Education of the University of Iceland took charge of the publication after the merger of Iceland University of Education and the University of Iceland and the journal’s tenth anniversary was celebrated at the beginning of 2012. At this point, the journal was given a new look and during the next four years it was published under the direction of three editors as well as an editorial board. One editor was in charge of articles and other content in English, with the other two taking care of all materials in Icelandic, correspondence and communication and publication on the web. At the beginning of 2016, one editor-in-chief was appointed, assisted by a large editorial board and supported by the University of Iceland School of Education.

The editorial board, composed of academic staff at the School of Education, supports the editor-in-chief in a consultative role. Special issues of Netla and conference publications have generally had their own editorial boards in cooperation and consultation with the Netla board of editors.

Review and decision regarding publication

The publication of articles is, on the one hand, decided on the basis of theoretical content and validity of research, and, on the other, whether articles are relevant to those engaged/interested in matters of a pedagogical or educational nature.

The decision of the editorial board regarding the publication of peer reviewed articles is based on the professional assessment of at least two expert reviewers, as well as on authors’ responses to advice and comments. Reviews are conducted under conditions of complete anonymity and care is taken to ensure that one or both reviewers have a doctoral degree. In addition, a special effort is made to ensure that reviewers have divergent perspectives of the material under examination.

Reviewers’ comments on articles are submitted to the authors, generally accompanied by the decision whether to publish or not. Articles may be accepted on condition that professional suggestions be responded to. In such cases, authors resubmit their article with amendments, outlining their responses to reviewers’ comments in a cover letter. Subsequently, the article in question is reviewed once more and frequently additional suggestions are made, or earlier comments reiterated, before the article is finally accepted. Articles which fall below required standards of presentation or content are rejected.

The main rule is that articles must not have been published elsewhere, although translations of previously published articles are allowed, provided earlier publication is clearly stated. Authors must indicate whether the article is based on their final dissertation or written in cooperation with others and whether the project has received grants. The first author of an article is regarded as its main author, responsible for communication with the editor and prospective readers.


Peer reviewed articles are placed in a special category in Netla’s content listings and identified in the following manner: Peer reviewed article published [date]. Other articles are generally reviewed by one person, but are otherwise subject to the same editorial regulations as reviewed articles. They fall into the category of editorially reviewed articles in Netla’s listings and are identified as follows: Article published [date].

At end of year, editors submit a letter to all reviewers, thanking them for their work. Those letters can be used as a confirmation of reviewers’ professional contributions when appropriate.

Presentation of articles – guidelines to authors

Unless otherwise required by special circumstances, reviewed articles in Netla should be 6-10 thousand words in length, including a bibliography and abstract in Icelandic. An abstract in English and authorial information should, however, be excluded from this word count unless specifically called for by circumstances. Authors are required to adhere to conventions which apply with respect to theoretical content, scientific methodology and meticulous presentation. The APA system is used as a basis for the format and presentation of citations, references and bibliographies. Icelandic guidelines in this regard may be accessed on the website of the School of Education text processing centre, pathname: http://vefsetur.hi.is/ritver/. Another suggested source is Handbók um ritun og frágang [Manual on writing and presentation] by Ingibjörg Axelsdóttir and Þórunn Blöndal.

The authors of reviewed articles must keep the above criteria in mind; they have, however, considerable latitude with regard to length, format and approach to the material.

Authors are requested to arrange a linguistic review of their articles and to carefully revise in-text references and bibliographies before submitting articles to the editorial board. The board reserves the right to alter wording or spelling during final proofreading. Since the author bears ultimate responsibility for published articles, amendments and corrections can be implemented in the event that errors or problems arise during the publication process.

Abstracts and keywords
From and including the year 2013 peer reviewed articles must be accompanied by 600-800 word abstracts in English, together with the English title of an article. Abstracts in Icelandic are shorter, or 200-300 words. The article must also be accompanied by four to six suggested keywords in Icelandic and English. The abstracts of editorially reviewed articles should be identical in English and Icelandic, 200-300 words in length, including a final paragraph relating to the author, or authors.


Information on authors
Reviewed articles must be accompanied by information on authors in Icelandic and English, approximately 60 to 70 words in each language. Here, the education and current professional position of authors is to be included, together with the name of the relevant establishment, in Icelandic and English, as well as field of research and email address. Authorial information is to be submitted in a separate document.

Information relating to the origin of graphic materials and other data
The authors of graphic materials must be indicated, as well as the origin of other data, as appropriate. If large quantities of pictorial matter or other similar materials are used, a separate register of origin may be compiled

Layout template of articles
If required, articles must be presented in the Netla template, in which case the template will be submitted to the authors. Care should be taken to maintain its type areas and style formats. The template is a Word processing document with texts in the appropriate styles. Specific text examples can be selected and the appropriate unformatted text from an original document can be transferred by using the command Paste Special > Unformatted text). Thus the original text takes on the prescribed appearance when shifted to the template. Another method is to transfer the entire article without formatting and then adapt the text to the appropriate style formats within the template. In both cases, a clean text can be obtained with the proper styles for authors’ names, article titles, abstracts, main content, indented citations and image captions.

The document also contains suggested examples of the layout of graphics and tables. Tables, pictures or figures, diagrams and charts shall be specifically identified by means of a rolling number sequence (e.g., Figure 3, Table 2). In this style, an image caption is below a picture (e.g., Picture 3 – Teachers’ Meeting, autumn 2012), whereas the title of a table is at its top (e.g., Table 2 – Organization and Practices, winter 2012-2013).  Comments may be placed below a table as shown in the template. When a figure or table is referred to, italics are used (e.g., see Figure 3 and Table 2)

Usually the editorial board makes certain amendments at the final stage and arranges the ultimate layout of articles. It is important, nevertheless, that authors take good care of the presentation of their work to facilitate a smooth publishing process.

Language policy, spelling and punctuation
Authors shall present carefully considered writing, in the appropriate style, and comply with official regulations regarding spelling and punctuation. In this regard the Icelandic studies website of the Arnamagnean Institute can be consulted http://www.arnastofnun.is/page/malfarsradgjof as well as information published by Professor Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson on the web path https://notendur.hi.is/eirikur/ritun.htm.

Chapter division and table of contents

Clear chapter division makes a text more readable. Authors should divide their articles into named chapters and subchapters as appropriate. In general, chapters are not numbered. It helps readers if a summary of the main content of the article is provided at the beginning. In a research-based article, the background of the research must be clearly outlined, together with its ideological basis, methodology and results. A clear summing-up and conclusions chapter must be provided towards the end of the article.

Additional points or explanations can be provided in the form of footnotes; these, however, should be used to a limited extent only. Sometimes acknowledgements or comments are inserted after the end of an article before its bibliography.

Font styles and symbols
Font styles should be varied only in moderation. The use of italics, for example, emphasises the titles of books, journals or chapters. This style may also be helpful when a concept is introduced in a text, or first used, or occasionally for emphasis. In addition, italic characters have been used for explanatory terms, or foreign words, which are often added in brackets, for further clarification or information. Finally, the italic style is used when referring to a figure or a table (e.g., see Figure 3 and Table 2).

Quotation marks are to be used in the following manner:

Double quotations are used to identify brief, verbatim citations (sometimes the criterion 25 words or less is suggested); otherwise a citation is indented and without quotation marks. The quotation marks can also identify a certain meaning, or direct speech. In Icelandic, the quotes open at the bottom of a line and close at the top. They are pointed as shown here („example“).

The rules allow single quotes in the same position as double quotes to identify meaning or direct speech. Sometimes, however, single quotes are used at the top of a line at both sides, as shown here (‘example’) for the purpose of indicating a certain meaning.

In the event that authors need to use special marks, such as phonetic symbols, or other such specialised signs, these can be colour coded to facilitate reviewing and final presentation.
Advantages of Online Publishing
We encourage authors submitting materials to our journal to take advantage of different media modes. We welcome the presentation of audio and video alongside other more conventional media formats. To give an example we published a peer reviewed article by Sigridur Palmadottir on old Icelandic folk songs featuring a number audio recordings. There is also the possibility of submitting articles as hypertexts rather than texts in the traditional linear format. Articles are published all year round and readers who want to be notified of new publications can subscribe to a postlist (Póstlisti) on the title page (Forsíða) of the journal. We do, furthermore, welcome contributions in English and the Scandinavian languages.

Articles in English

Articles in English already published are presented above. Peer reviewed articles in the journal published in Icelandic in 2006 or later feature an abstract in English.

For further information or submission of articles please contact Ásgrímur Angantýsson (asgriman@hi.is).

At a reception on January 15th 2002 the nettle soleirolea soleirolii
was presented to Ólafur Proppé rector of Iceland University of Education.
Netla had been launched on the Web a few days earlier.
Iceland University of Education and the School of Education
Iceland University of Education (Kennaraháskóli Íslands) lead teacher education in Iceland with a history going back for over a century. The institute had close to 200 faculty and staff members and a student population of about 2000 at undergraduate and graduate level. In the summer of 2008 it was merged with the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) and became the School of Education (Menntavísindasvið).