Journal Policies

Publication Ethics & Malpractice

Academic malpractice and misconduct are taken seriously. We take all reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including but not limited to plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others.

 Authorship and contributorship

The journal's policy ensures that contributors who have made substantive intellectual contributions to any submission are given credit, and that contributors understand their role in taking responsibility and being accountable for what is published. 

JOFDL credits contributors in two ways:

    • Authorship – a list of authors’ names at the beginning of the paper in the byline
    • Contributorship – a contributorship statement at the end of the paper (when appropriate), giving details of who, other than the authors, contributing to planning, conducting, and reporting the work. 

Authors are those who have:

  1. made Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. have drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. have final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. agree 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

Complaints and appeals

In the event any third party makes the editors aware of any allegation of research misconduct relating to a published article in their journal, the editors will follow the COPE Guidelines in dealing with allegations.

Conflicts of interest / competing interests

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) states in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (2003) that:

‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’

Examples of conflicts of interest may include the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • Having received fees for consulting.
  • Having received research funding.
  • Having been employed by a related company.
  • Holding stocks or shares in a company which might be affected by the publication of your paper.
  • Having received funds reimbursing you for attending related symposia, or conferences.

Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest at the point of submission.

Data sharing and reproducibility

Authors are encouraged to share or make available any data and materials supporting the results or analyses presented in their submissions.

It is acknowledged that data should only be shared if it is ethically correct to do so, where this does not violate the protection of human subjects, or other valid ethical, privacy, or security concerns.

Ethical oversight

Ethical oversight includes "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" (COPE website).

All authors are required to verify that appropriate ethical procedures have been followed.

JOFDL is entirely open access, and copyright and intellectual property rights remain with the author.

Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 appears is at the bottom of each article assigned to the author. This allows for the sharing of articles providing:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

Post-publication discussions and corrections

The publishing platform OJS allows for post-publication engagement to resolve discussions with authors after publication without resorting to individual email contacts.

Any corrections are handled through subsequent editorials. Although as of March 2022 a new occasional section will be added entitled 'Letters to the Editor."

Professional editing services are applied to all approved submissions. This includes validation of citations. Reviewers are encouraged to question the validity of data as well as presentational and findings value.


International Editorial Advisory Board meets asynchronously over a week each year to review the progress of the journal and to ensure that the editors have remained true to the mission and values of the journal.


Publication Schedule

JOFDL has historically produced at least two full issues each calendar year and intends to maintain that pattern in the future.

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. It is also archived at the National Digital Heritage Archive at the National Library of New Zealand. 

Authors are permitted to archive their work on their institutional repositories.

Using the OJS platform enables the journal to permit aggregating journal databases (such as Google Scholar, ERIC, Informit ) to harvest articles following the principles of open access.

Ownership, Management and Funding

OFDL does not accept payment for advertisements or sponsored content. The costs of operating the journal are met by the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand (FLANZ). Minimal royalties derived from aggregating databases (e.g. Informit) are received by FLANZ to partially offset the cost of hosting the journal.

There are no fees for authors.

Direct Marketing

Solicitation of submissions is conducted through announcements on the journal site itself, social media platforms, the FLANZ newsletter and website, and professional mailing lists. All contacts are made organically, no lists are purchased or third parties used to solicit submissions.


All authors are invited to serve as reviewers and have the ability to opt out of this process via their own profile page. Others who wish to Review for the Journal are asked to add this to their profile and email the Editor to advise their intentions. The list is periodically reviewed to ensure currency. Reviewers’ details are held securely within OJS. The list of reviewers (92 reviewers on 31 March 2023) is not made public.