Issues In Educational Research, Vol 11, 2001   [Contents Vol 11] [IIER Home]


Clare McBeath
Curtin University of Technology

I have been connected with this journal for most of its life and it is with great pleasure that I take over the Editorship for a while.

One of the things I have been very interested in, and proud of, is the online version of Issues in Educational Research. This is one of the few Australian journals which is completely online, from Volume 1 onwards (see

What is the significance of the web version of Issues in Educational Research? Does it get more readers than the printed version? Does it attract more authors?

It is impossible to do a comparative study. We know how many copies of the journal are printed, but there is no way of knowing how many people read or photocopy the printed version, or borrow it from subscribers such as libraries. On the other hand, we can count the number of people who at least have a look at the online version, or at the individual articles. And that number is growing significantly.

To give an idea of the growing "hit counts", let me give you figures taken through several sampling periods - a) from 12 April to 3 August 1999; b) 1 April to 5 June, 2000; and c) 22 September to 22 November 2001.

Table 1: Access rates ("hit counts") for IIER home, contents and search pages

Vol 11
Vol 10
Vol 9
Vol 8
Vol 7
Apr-Aug 1999 (a)94/wk----45/wk28/wk34/wk
Apr-Jun 2000 (b)91/wk---84/wk57/wk48/wk62/wk
Sep-Nov 2001 (c)295/wk86/wk70/wk85/wk85/wk44/wk35/wk112/wk

The increase over time is obvious. The 70 "hits" per week for the last issue, volume 11 number 1 might seem to be out of step with the general trend, but is misleading. The contents of Volume 11 number 1 are still displayed on the IIER home page, and are being counted also as home page "hits". The figures will fall into place when the contents of this issue are put on the home page in place of those of the last issue.

The "hit counts" are also being measured for individual articles, and it is very interesting to note the keywords within the titles and abstracts of the articles which are attracting the most attention.

The most frequently accessed article to date is Peter West's 1999 article on boys' underachievement in school with 4322 "hits". The second is Paul Glew's 1998 article on verbal interaction and English second language acquisition with 2312 "hits", followed by an article on teacher renewal, peer observations and the pursuit of best practice by John Buchanan and Mon Khamis (1999) with 1643 "hits". Coincidentally all these authors are from the University of Western Sydney-Nepean.

These papers may represent the most interesting or widely studied issues or topics in educational research, or they may be set reading for a number of different (large) classes. Whatever the reason, I would like to congratulate the authors for a level of success that they may not otherwise have known about!

The papers in this issue cover a typically broad range of issues. Matthew Byrne and Richard Berlach write about outcomes based education for indigenous students, comparing curriculum documents across two States. Chenicheri Sid Nair and Darrell Fisher's paper compares learning environments and student attitudes to science at the senior secondary and tertiary levels. Gary Partington and Roger Vallance both write on research techniques, Partington on qualitative research interviews and Vallance on "referred approval" as a means of developing a methodologically useful sample. And finally Bob Peck looks at socio-economic factors in the school system and finds that little has changed in the rate of democratisation we might expect our schools to be fostering.

Clare McBeath

Please cite as: McBeath, C. (2001). Editorial. Issues In Educational Research, 11(2), iii-iv.

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