Mission statement

Aims and Scope

  • Research in Subject-matter Teaching and Learning (RISTAL) is an international journal that publishes original articles on research in subject-matter education ("Fachdidaktik"), that is, research on the teaching and learning of a particular subject or subject area. RISTAL is committed to an interdisciplinary perspective on subject-matter education, related to empirical, theoretical or methodological issues. Its aim is to foster comparative perspectives and a productive exchange of ideas among researchers in subject-matter education around the world.

  • The journal focuses on issues related to the teaching and learning of specific subjects in primary, secondary, or tertiary education. On the one hand, the journal specializes on comparative approaches and publishes articles, which describe and analyze differences and similarities among theories, methods and research findings. On the other hand, the journal publishes research reports, theoretical, and methodological treatises devoted to subjects, if they are discussed in terms of their relevance to other subjects.

  • RISTAL accepts different research approaches focusing on subject-matter topics and their conditions of teaching and learning. This includes quantitative as well as qualitative methods and discussions of theoretical issues. Specific to the journal are those approaches which apply to more than one subject-matter field, e.g. comparative approaches to subject-matter teaching and learning or common research frameworks.

  • In spite of the interest in comparative perspectives, RISTAL is devoted to the insight that learning is subject- or domain-specific. This is one of the main premises of subject-matter teaching and learning. Thus, although the focus of the journal is to explore broader themes and issues across different subjects and countries, the journal will address the subject-specificity of teaching and learning either from the perspective of a single subject, or from the perspective of two or more subjects. Research articles that focus on a single subject only should also discuss the implications for other subjects.

RISTAL covers all subjects represented and taught in schools and at institutions of higher education. The articles will be published in English.


RISTAL is an open-access journal and available online at www.ristal.org.

Submission of manuscripts is encouraged. Manuscripts are expected to focus on research related to the teaching and learning of a particular subject or subject area and should include an interdisciplinary perspective in the field of subject-matter education.

Submitted manuscripts must be written in the English language. Detailed submission guidelines may be found at “Instructions for authors”.

Submissions are published directly after clearing the review process. All articles can be quoted immediately afterwards due to DOI. At the end of each year we compile a paginated volume consisting of all the articles published that year.

Peer Review

All research articles in this journal will be double-blind peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Manuscripts undergo initial editorial pre-screening to determine whether or not the paper fits the interest of the readers of the journal.


The journal aims at an international readership interested in a broader view of research on teaching and learning of a particular subject matter. Its readership, in particular, is researchers in subject didactics, educators, curriculum planners, policy makers, supervisors of educational programs and high school teachers.