Replication in Second Language Research
Special Issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, September 2024
Call for Proposals
Due April 1, 2022
Guest Editor: Kevin McManus (Penn State University, USA)
In 1993, Studies in Second Language Acquisition (SSLA) launched a new section of the journal titled Replication Studies, recognizing that “the way to more valid and reliable SLA research is through replication” (Valdman, 1993, p. 505). This innovation is as important today as it was in 1993, especially given that discussions of methodological rigor and transparency are changing how SLA research is designed, conducted, and disseminated. To highlight the role of replication studies in the growth and development of the discipline and to re-affirm the journal’s long-standing commitment to publishing replication studies, SSLA will publish a Special Issue consisting entirely of (close and approximate) replication studies in 2024.
As a research methodology, replication is used to verify, consolidate, and advance knowledge and understanding within empirical fields of study. A replication study works toward this goal by repeating a study’s methodology with or without changes followed by systematic comparison to better understand the nature, repeatability, and generalizability of its findings (Porte & McManus, 2019; Schmidt, 2009). In this way, replication helps assure the reliability, validity, and accuracy of our work precisely because it aims to systematically reconsider, refine, extend, and sometimes limit previous research findings. This is why replication has long been considered an essential part of the research process (Peterson & Panofsky, 2021; Porte, 2012). As a result, claims that replication studies are infrequent are majorly troubling (Marsden et al., 2018; Porte & Richards, 2012), indicative of an uncritical approach to how a field accumulates knowledge and builds theories. This is one reason why calls for replication are becoming more common across the social sciences (Plucker & Makel, 2021; Zwaan et al., 2018), and why resources are needed to support the conduct of replication studies in our field (Marsden et al., 2018; McManus, 2021; Porte & McManus, 2019).
This Special Issue responds to this need in the field of SLA. Proposals must include:
- Study to be replicated and justification
- Type of replication
- What is being modified in the replication and why?
- Design of replication study
- Analysis of data
Successful proposals for this Special Issue will meet the following criteria:
- Study to be replicated and justification
The study to be replicated should have had an impact on subsequent empirical and/or theoretical work in the field of SLA. A justification should be provided for why the study has been selected for replication.
- Type of replication
The proposal should describe and motivate the approach to replication (exact, close, approximate, conceptual [Porte & McManus, 2019]). While all approaches to replication will be considered, preference will be given to close or approximate replication studies in which one or maximally two major variables have been modified.
- Variable modification
The variable(s) selected for modification should be described and a rationale should be provided for why the variables were selected and how they will be modified.
- Design and availability of materials
The design of the replication study should be described so that all major aspects of the methodology can be evaluated, including availability of the initial study’s materials.
The proposal should describe how the data will be analyzed and to what extent the procedures for data preparation and analysis are similar/different from the initial study.
- Other differences (if relevant)
All differences with the initial study should be identified. In order to communicate similarities and differences between the initial study and the replication, authors are recommended to use Brandt et al.’s (2014) Replication Recipe as a guide (available from: https://osf.io/4jd46/).
Authors should make clear how the proposed replication has the potential to advance knowledge and understanding in the field of SLA.
Proposals should not exceed four pages, double spaced, size 12 font (excluding references). The name and email contact of the primary author should be provided along with names of contributing authors. Proposal submissions are due by email to email@example.com by April 1, 2022.
Other manuscript and production deadlines are as follows:
April 1, 2022: Proposals due in SSLA office
April 22, 2022: Final decision reached
July 1, 2023 Submission of first-draft manuscripts to SSLA via ScholarOne (7,000 words, all inclusive)
July 1, 2024: All final manuscripts due, submitted via ScholarOne
References and resources
Brandt, M. J., Ijzerman, H., Dijksterhuis, A., Farach, F. J., Geller, J., Giner-Sorolla, R., Grange, J. A., Perugini, M., Spies, J. R., & van ’t Veer, A. (2014). The Replication Recipe: What makes for a convincing replication? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 217–224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2013.10.005
Marsden, E., Morgan‐Short, K., Thompson, S., & Abugaber, D. (2018). Replication in second language research: Narrative and systematic reviews and recommendations for the field. Language Learning, 68(2), 321–391. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12286
McManus, K. (2021). Are replication studies infrequent because of negative attitudes? Insights from a survey of attitudes and practices in second language research. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263121000838
Peterson, D., & Panofsky, A. (2021). Self-correction in science: The diagnostic and integrative motives for replication. Social Studies of Science, 51(4), 583–605. https://doi.org/10.1177/03063127211005551
Plucker, J. A., & Makel, M. C. (2021). Replication is important for educational psychology: Recent developments and key issues. Educational Psychologist, 56(2), 90–100. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2021.1895796
Porte, G. K. (Ed.). (2012). Replication research in applied linguistics. Cambridge University Press.
Porte, G. K., & McManus, K. (2019). Doing replication research in applied linguistics. Routledge.
Porte, G. K., & Richards, K. (2012). Replication in second language writing research. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(3), 284–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2012.05.002
Schmidt, S. (2009). Shall we really do it again? The powerful concept of replication is neglected in the social sciences. Review of General Psychology, 13(2), 90–100. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015108
Zwaan, R. A., Etz, A., Lucas, R. E., & Donnellan, M. B. (2018). Making replication mainstream. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e120. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X17001972