Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time



While the Journal of Learning Analytics (JLA) provides a Word document and LaTeX template, these can be challenging to use for a number of reasons, including the technical requirements of using a LaTeX template for the first time and the challenge of editing a document in Word that is serving as a template.

Moreover, the imperative of producing reproducible analyses extends to writing manuscripts (see van der Zee and Reich, 2018), and yet reproducibility is a serious challenge during this step, in part due to a lack of available tools.

The goal of jladown is to provide a reproducible template for the Journal of Learning Analytics using R Markdown in multiple formats - particularly pdf - but also gitbook (for viewing via a web browser), and Word. This package allows for both text and R code to be written in a single document and to be rendered into a format that can be easily submitted to JLA.


jladown is currently under development on GitHub. Please install and test the package as follows:

if (!require(remotes)) {


While not required for installation (as other LaTeX installations will likely also suffice), we recommend the use of the {tinytex} R package and associated LaTeX installation.


This is a basic example which shows you how to use jladown package. While other formats are usable, pdf output is fully supported at this moment.

Loading the package


For RStudio users

For RStudio users, as long as jladown is installed, we recommend to create a new project which contains the file used for the contents of the manuscript (in index.Rmd, described more below) and other files used to render the file.

  1. From within RStudio, select “File” -> “New Project” -> “New Directory” and then select the Journal of Learning Analytics (jladown) template.

  2. Next, give your new directory a name, such as my-jla-manuscript.

  3. Then, edit the index.Rmd document, which should automatically be open, but which can always be opened by selecting the file from its location in the “Files” pane of RStudio. More instructions on editing the index.Rmd file are provided in the “Using the template (index.Rmd)” section.

For non-RStudio users

For non-RStudio users (or those looking to use the command line), you may create a project template in the current path with the following function:


Then, edit the index.Rmd file. More instructions on editing the index.Rmd file are provided in the “Using the template (index.Rmd)” section.

Editing the template (index.Rmd)

To use the template, open (if not already opened) and edit the index.Rmd file.

We provide a brief overview of using the template here; see the template for more specific details.

Front matter

First, edit the following key fields in the front-matter (which is in the YAML format:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Affiliation
  • Keywords
  • Abstract


Edit the body as you would any document. The # symbol represents a header; additional # symbols represent different levels of headers, as follows:

  • #: Level-1 header
  • ##: Level-2 header
  • ###: Level-3 header
  • ####: Level-4 header

Text can be italicized using the * symbol, as with the following text: emphasized statement.

Code can be included with R Markdown code chunks; images not generated from code in these chunks can be included in a chunk via the function knitr::include_graphics().


References can be included in [BibTeX format] ( using [the apacite format] (

Rendering a PDF (or gitbook or Word) document from the template

Render the template to a document by clicking the “Knit” button at the top of the index.Rmd document.

The result should be a PDF document which appears like the document below.

choosing the jladown R Markdown project template

To render a document to a different output type (other than a PDF), click the down arrow to the right of the “Knit” button, and select either the gitbook or Word document format.

To-Do List

  • Add auto-word-counting capability using rmdfiltr package internally.
  • Fix template.docx does not take any effect on jladown::jla_word() output.
  • Make a cover page including jla logo for bookdown::gitbook() output.


Writing a Reproducible Article for Journal of Learning Analytics in R Markdown







No releases published


No packages published