IIER logo 3
Issues In Educational Research, Vol 14, 2004
[ Contents Vol 14 ] [ IIER Home ]

Editorial

Roger Atkinson


What are the long term prospects for the viability of Issues in Educational Research as a small scale scholarly journal published by non-profit societies? In Table 1 we list a publishing history summary for IIER. It's a pattern of "ups and downs", though we are very confident that the present "up" at 2 issues per year, about 12 articles and a little over 200 pages will be sustained and expanded. The principal bases for confidence are:

Table 1: IIER publishing history, 1991 to mid-2004

Volume (a)YearNo. of issuesNo. of
articles (b)
No. of
pages (b, c)
119911442
219921555
319931455
4199421392
5199517104
6199615112
719971586
8199829149
919991454
1020001691
11200129132
1220021584
132003210184
1420042d6d102d
Total (1991 to mid-2004)19921342
  1. All volumes are online. Volumes 1-6 mounted in June-July 1997. Subsequent volumes were mounted at intervals of 3-10 months after print distribution (current interval is 3 months).
  2. Count includes only refereed full articles. Editorials, editorial notes, book reviews, etc, are excluded.
  3. In 2002 IIER changed page design from a printing area of 120 x 180 mm to 117 x 174 mm. However with a smaller font in use for the new design, pre-2002 pages are slightly smaller in average number of words.
  4. IIER 14(2) is certain to appear, probably in Q3 2004. Numbers of articles and pages are not finalised, though on current expectations and articles in hand, 14(2) will be similar to 14(1).

However, as prudent editors and publishers we need to conduct periodic "reality checks", testing the foundations of our confidence, by examining the experiences recorded by other, similar journals. For this purpose one very good starting point is the 1989 study of eight educational research journals edited for the Australian Association for Research in Education by Grant Harman (Harman, 1989). The year 1989 is highly appropriate as a baseline, being the year immediately before the Internet arrived in Australia. In 1989 the great majority of researchers, editors, publishers and librarians had little inkling of the new era in scholarly publishing to be enabled by the Internet within a few years.

Table 2: The evolution of eight Australian educational research journals

JournalFirst
year
Initial
publisher
Current
publisher
Current
status
Australian Journal of Education1957Australian Council for Educational ResearchSame (now per ACER Press)No free online. Indiv sub $99, 3 issues.
Journal of Educational Administration1963W. G. Walker and the University of New EnglandEmerald Group Publishing Limited, UKNo free online. Library sub $5579, 6 issues. Full online since 1994.
Curriculum Perspectives1980Curriculum Interest GroupAustralian Curriculum Studies AssociationNo online (except contents pages 1996-2003), 4 issues.
Higher Education Research and Development1982Higher Education Research and Development Society of AustralasiaTaylor & Francis Group, UKNo free online. Indiv sub $194, 3 issues.
History of Education Review1972Australian and New Zealand History of Education SocietySameNo online.
Education Research and Perspectives1950Dept of Education, The University of Western AustraliaSame (Graduate School of Education)Free online, 1991 to current.
The Exceptional Child1954Schonell Special Education Research Centre, University of QueenslandTaylor & Francis Group, UK, title International Journal of Disability, Development and EducationNo free online. Indiv sub $143, 4 issues.
The Australian Universities' Review1958Federation of Australian University Staff AssociationsSame (now National Tertiary Education Union), title Australian Universities ReviewFree online since 2000, 2 issues.
Sources: Columns 1-3: Harman (1989). Columns 4-5: Publisher websites listed in References. Accessed 10 April 2004.

Harman's study encompassed eight of the "leading educational research journals" (Harman, 1989, p3). Table 2 records our findings from a simple and very brief follow up study that looked for any changes in publisher, and each journal's response to the Internet based revolution in scholarly publishing. Table 2 shows relatively low use of the survival strategies that IIER has adopted. As summarised in Table 3, only two of the eight journals in Harman's study have currently a similarity to IIER's key strategies, that is containing costs by remaining on a non-profit society basis, whilst seeking readership growth by going online "free to the Internet". Four of the eight have adopted a sharply contrasting approach, with no free online, using outsourcing t o a commercial publisher or adopting a commercial approach to publishing. Two of the eight remain on a non-profit society basis, viable though with little or no Internet delivery.

Table 3: Summary of the status outcomes outlined in Table 2

Commercial, no free online (except promotional samples)3
Same, no free online (similar to commercial)1
Same or similar societal or non-profit, no online (or contents pages only)2
Same or similar societal or non-profit, plus free online2

Table 4 compares the progress of six journals, not in Harman's study, representing examples of Internet only, recent start up journals, or recent adopters or prospective adopters of "free to the Internet" publishing (portions of Table 4 appeared in Atkinson and McLoughlin, 2004). Like Table 2, it gives a mixed indication about the value of "free to the Internet". For some this strategy has failed and they appear to have ceased publication or seem to be struggling, whilst Australian Educational Researcher, the best established in years and number of issues, was a relatively late adopter of Internet distribution. Nevertheless, our observations tend to confirm the confidence we feel in the value of IIER's "free to the Internet" strategy for going online.

Table 4: Numbers of issues and articles in six Australian educational research journals, 1999-2003 (a)

Year AER
first issue
1974b
QJER
first issue
1985c
IEJ
first issue
1999
IJET
first issue
1999
Compute-Ed
first issue
1995
IIER
first issue
1991
issartissartissartissartissartissart
19993202na152131f714
20003252na210171f115
20013192na3d16d160029
2002318293e16e1170015
20033b20b143190000210
Totals15
99-03
102
99-03
9
99-03
na
99-03
12
99-03
66
99-03
5
99-02
39
99-02
2
99-01
8
99-01
7
99-03
33
99-03
  1. Count includes only refereed full articles. Editorials, editorial notes, book reviews, etc, are excluded. All articles are online except for the cases noted below. Acronyms are expanded and websites listed in the References, below.
  2. 2003 is the first AER volume to be made available online; for previous years only the tables of contents are available.
  3. Currently no online availability for QJER. Prior to 1997 titled Queensland Researcher: Journal of the Queensland Institute for Educational Research. Data on numbers of articles 1999-2001 was not available at the time of writing.
  4. This count excludes two special issues of IEJ year 2001 that published conference proceedings containing 38 articles.
  5. This count excludes two special issues of IEJ year 2002 that published conference proceedings containing 14 articles.
  6. These issues of Compute-Ed were dated 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.

Roger Atkinson
A guest editorial by IIER's Business Manager and Website Editor
April 2004

References

AER. Australian Educational Researcher. Australian Association for Research in Education. http://www.aare.edu.au/indexaer.htm

Atkinson, R. J. and McLoughlin, C. (2004). Editorial. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20(1), iii-viii. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet20/editorial20-1.html

Australian Journal of Education. http://www.acer.edu.au/publications/acerpress/journals/aje.html

Australian Universities Review. http://www.nteu.org.au/publications/aur

Compute-Ed. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/10253

Curriculum Perspectives. http://www.acsa.edu.au/

Education Research and Perspectives
http://www.education.uwa.edu.au/information_about/journals
http://www.education.uwa.edu.au/information_about/journals/erp

Harman, G. (Ed) (1989). Australian educational research jour nals: What they do and how well they do it. Review of Australian Research in Education, No.1. Hawthorn, Vic: Australian Association for Research in Education.

History of Education Review. http://www.soe.jcu.edu.au/her/
http://www.edsw.usyd.edu.au/projects/anzhes/review.html
(website under reconstruction, online policies not announced)

IEJ. International Education Journal. School of Education, Flinders University of South Australia. http://iej.cjb.net/

International Journal of Disability, Development and Education (formerly The Exceptional Child) http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1034912x.asp

IJET. International Journal of Educational Technology. http://www.ao.uiuc.edu/ijet/

IIER. Issues In Educational Research. The Institutes for Educational Research in NSW, NT, SA and WA. http://www.iier.org.au/iier.html

Journal of Educational Administration
http://masetto.emeraldinsight.com/vl=11701501/cl=14/nw=1/rpsv/jea.htm

QJER. Queensland Journal of Educational Research. Queensland Institute for Educational Research.

Please cite as: Atkinson, R. (2004). Editorial. Issues In Educational Research, 14(1), iv-vii. http://www.iier.org.au/iier14/editorial1.html


[ Contents Vol 14 ] [ IIER Home ]
© 2004 Issues In Educational Research. This URL: http://www.iier.org.au/iier14/editorial1.html
Created 20 Apr 2004. Last correction: 25 May 2006. HTML: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]