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:
|Volume (a)||Year||No. of issues||No. of|
pages (b, c)
|Total (1991 to mid-2004)||19||92||1342|
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.
|Australian Journal of Education||1957||Australian Council for Educational Research||Same (now per ACER Press)||No free online. Indiv sub $99, 3 issues.|
|Journal of Educational Administration||1963||W. G. Walker and the University of New England||Emerald Group Publishing Limited, UK||No free online. Library sub $5579, 6 issues. Full online since 1994.|
|Curriculum Perspectives||1980||Curriculum Interest Group||Australian Curriculum Studies Association||No online (except contents pages 1996-2003), 4 issues.|
|Higher Education Research and Development||1982||Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia||Taylor & Francis Group, UK||No free online. Indiv sub $194, 3 issues.|
|History of Education Review||1972||Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society||Same||No online.|
|Education Research and Perspectives||1950||Dept of Education, The University of Western Australia||Same (Graduate School of Education)||Free online, 1991 to current.|
|The Exceptional Child||1954||Schonell Special Education Research Centre, University of Queensland||Taylor & Francis Group, UK, title International Journal of Disability, Development and Education||No free online. Indiv sub $143, 4 issues.|
|The Australian Universities' Review||1958||Federation of Australian University Staff Associations||Same (now National Tertiary Education Union), title Australian Universities Review||Free 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.
|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 online||2|
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.
A guest editorial by IIER's Business Manager and Website Editor
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
Curriculum Perspectives. http://www.acsa.edu.au/
Education Research and Perspectives
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/
(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
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|