Call for Papers

  • Submission Deadline: 30 OCTOBER 2015
  • Journal: TOPOI
  • Topic: Reasoning, Argumentation, Critical Thinking Instruction (RACT)
  • Peer review stage: about 8 weeks; revised papers: January 2016; online-first: April 2016

We invite submissions of papers for publication in a special issue of TOPOI. Papers must be in the order of 6000 to 8000 words (including references), and must address one or more of the conference themes (listed below), whether from an empirical or a more conceptual perspective.

Other than promoting rigor and quality of scholarship (as evidenced, for instance, by demonstrating familiarity with the relevant literature), this special issue primarily seeks to inform readers who wish to reduce the distance between the research front and what is (falsely) presented to students as the state-of-the-art in critical thinking instruction. Therefore, papers should be of immediate relevance to those who teach, or coordinate instruction in, critical thinking as part of school or university education, either as dedicated courses or across the curriculum, or plan to do so. Of special relevance is the current trend to appropriate research on social, cognitive and other biases, as well as on two systems or two processes accounts of human reasoning.

Among those invited to submit to this special issue are the RACT2015 keynote speakers:

  • Jean Goodwin (Department of English, Iowa State University, Ames, I0, USA)
  • Jean-François Bonnefon (CLLE Research Center, CNRS Toulouse, France)
  • Michael Weinstock (Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel)
  • Robert Ennis (College of Education, University of Illinois, Champaign, Il., USA)
  • Rebecca Schendel (Institute of Education, University College London, UK)
  • Ulrike Hahn (Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck College, London, UK)

as well as authors of section papers, among whom the following have agreed to submit their work:

  • Tim Kenyon (University of Waterloo) and Guillaume Beaulac (Yale University)
  • Mariusz Urbanski and Katarzyna Paluszkiewicz (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland)
  • Chip Sheffield (Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA)
  • Moira Howes (Trent University, Canada)
  • Gabor Tahin (Downside School, UK)


Having been prepared for blind review, manuscripts must be submitted on or before 30 OCTOBER at (for which you may have to create a user account), by selecting “S.I. RACT 2015 (Zenker)” from the pull-down menu. Submissions must follow these standards:

  • 6000-8000 words (incl. abstract and references)
  • at least 3 cm margins (left, right); double line spacing; 12 point font, Times New Roman
  • Use section numbers (1. Introduction; 2. Section, 2.1 Subsection, etc)
  • follow the “instructions for authors” at the TOPOI website, there called: “Information for Guest Editors and Authors” in the right hand column.

All papers have to pass through the peer review stage before they can be published. Those unsure whether a given topic fits this special issue may submit a brief abstract (max 200 words) to the editor, Frank Zenker, at to receive feedback.



Original call for conference contributions:

Submission URL
Deadline: 30 August 2014  15 September 2014

“There are sufficient grounds to diagnose an unreasonably large gap, both in content and in method, separating the current research frontier from what is (falsely) presented to students as the state of art in reasoning, argumentation, and critical thinking. RACT 2015 contributes to the ongoing international effort at diminishing this gap, and is explicitly directed at both active researchers and educational instructors” (Funding Application).

We invite up to 36 contributed papers, of which nine are reserved for Junior scholars, for presentation in a 50 minute slot, of which at least 20 minutes are reserved for discussion.


include, but are not limited to:

  • corroborated teaching-methods from K-12 to graduate level instruction, didactic models, and learner typologies
  • replicated empirical results from experimental or natural settings on lay or expert reasoning
  • evidence pro/con critical thinking as a key-skill in the university-graduate job market
  • comparative studies of international educational policies
  • theoretical models of reasoning “on the hoof” as well as task-constrained reasoning
  • conceiving the argumentation-reasoning interface
  • socio-political or science-historical work on human (ir)rationality and its rhetoric
  • the social management of individual cognitive biases
  • empirical or conceptual research on de-biasing-methods
  • cross/multicultural and cross/multilingual research on argumentation in private and institutional group decision-making contexts
  • historical as well as conceptual analyses of notions such as fallacy, bias or reasoning error
  • evidence pro/con two systems/two processes accounts of human reasoning
  • reliable instruments for the qualitative evaluation of critical thinking instruction
  • visualization-techniques for logical and probabilistic models of reasoning, (software-based) argument-diagramming, and their responsible classroom use


To contribute to RACT2015, please submit a maximum 1000 word extended abstract prepared for blind review as a PDF file at this site (you may need to create an EasyChair account), along with a short abstract of max. 1000 characters and keywords (which assist in assigning reviewers), and separate author details on or before August 30th September 15th, midnight local time, Lund, Sweden.

Abstract Conventions

  • Paper size A4, 3 cm margins,12 point font-size, Times New Roman, double spaced, pages numbers.
  • Include a title, don’t use footnotes, providing references in-line, e.g., ‘as Smith (2014) argues, … ‘
  • Key-references are required, and do not count toward the word limit.
  • Blind all references to author-identity, writing ‘DELETED’ instead.

Review Process

RACT2015, whose official language is English, addresses an interdisciplinary audience; abstract selection relies on international reviewers from various disciplines. Authors should avoid, or explain, discipline-specific jargon whenever possible.

Three reviewers will independently assign to each abstract a point score indicating its quality and the reviewer’s confidence (low: 1, high 7); they may or may not give specific comments. Abstracts are ranked according to the weighted-average of both scores. The top 36 papers are to be invited by SEPT 30, 2015 30 OCT 2015; authors are requested to confirm within two weeks, after which abstracts ranked next may be invited.

Review Criteria

Abstracts are evaluated solely on the basis of offering a clear state-of-the-art practical, theoretical, or historical contribution to the theme of the conference. For further background, please refer to the funding application.

Junior Scholars

Submission is encouraged from those who, at the time of submitting their abstract, fall within in the range from ‘all but dissertation” to ‘within seven years after being awarded their PhD degree’. Please check ‘Junior scholar’ when submitting at the EasyChair website.


A peer-reviewed special journal or book publication of selected contributions is planned for 2016. Authors are requested to submit a maximum 6000 word draft paper two weeks prior to the conference.