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Issues In Educational Research, Vol 17, 2007
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Clare McBeath and Roger Atkinson

After 17 years of publication in print format, including 10 years of dual print and online publication, the time has come for Issues in Educational Research to make the transition to an online only journal. The printed version cannot be sustained owing to increasing costs per copy, a factor exacerbated by a decreasing number of copies being ordered, increases in postal expenses, and the need to economise with the amount of honorary work required for producing and distributing copies.

Turning to a positive perspective, after a decade of experience with the online version we are very confident that IIER will be successful with the transition to online only. Identifying with the idea that "this article is printed with 100% recycled electrons" is now much easier than it was only a few years ago, as a whole suite of environmental and conservation concerns have gripped the world. Retiring print for small publications such as IIER is very much in tune with these times.

Another reason for confidence about IIER's transition to online only is found in the Journal banding survey [1]. Late in 2006 the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI), University of Newcastle, Australia, initiated this survey, aiming to develop "... esteem measures for Education journals, based on the collective wisdom of the profession." [2]. Its findings about rankings of journals are of considerable interest to editors, authors and readers who are concerned with the imminent impact of Australia's Research Quality Framework (RQF) [3] upon academic research publishing activities. From the perspective of IIER, the SORTI survey provided modestly encouraging and pleasing results. In the rankings of over 900 educational research journals, IIER appeared at 101 in the 'Esteem' score [4] and 216 in the 'QScore' [5] (see [2] for definitions).

The nature of the 'modestly encouraging' position for IIER in the SORTI survey is illustrated in Table 1. Whilst IIER ranked equal 19th in the list of 83 journals from all parts of the world classified as 'Area 4: Comprehensive', Table 1 shows that if we consider only Australian and Australasian region comprehensive journals, IIER has a good position. This is certainly the case if we are correct in our long held view that open access is the most viable and sustainable growth direction for journals in general and for IIER in particular. Thus Table 1 suggests to us that IIER has good prospects within the 'Comprehensive' category.

Table 1: Extracts from the SORTI study's 'Area 4' (Comprehensive)
journals in 'Esteem' ranked order [4], Australasian region

RankJournal title and URLSORTI
2Australian Educational Researcher. http://www.aare.edu.au/aer/aer.htm23.47YesYesNo
7Australian Journal of Education. http://www.acer.edu.au/aje/20.62NoNoNo
13Asia Pacific Journal of Education. http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/02188791.asp15.65NoNoYes
19Issues in Educational Research. http://www.iier.org.au/13.51YesNoNo
20Asia Pacific Education Review. http://eri.snu.ac.kr/aper/13.51NoNoYes
22Journal of Southeast Asian Education. [last issue 2005] http://www.seameo.org/vl/library/dlwelcome/publications/ejournal/seadex.htm11.84NoNoYes
23New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies. http://www.nzare.org.nz/publications.html11.84NoNoNo
24Change: Transformations in Education [inactive]. http://www-faculty.edfac.usyd.edu.au/projects/change/information.html11.84NoNoYes
31International Education Journal. http://iej.cjb.net/, http://www.iejcomparative.org/9.11YesNoNo
Notes: For ISI Thomson Impact Factor, see [6]. See [2] for an explanation of the significance of an 'International Board'. 'Australasian region' here means Australia, NZ, South Pacific, SE Asia and East Asia.

However, the realisation of IIER's 'good prospects' will require a redirected and increased effort on a number of journal publishing activities. Briefly, the principal matters include these

As this issue, Volume 17 Number 2, is the last to appear in printed form, we wish to record our warm appreciation of the support provided in the past by our small number of library subscribers, and by the members of Australia's Institutes of Educational Research. The printed version was the foundation for the building of IIER's reputation within Australia, as suggested by the Journal banding survey, and it has served us well.

Further news about IIER's transition to online only will be given in the editorial for IIER Volume 18 Number 1, expected to be published in March or April 2008, and by emailings to subscribers and IER members.

Clare McBeath
IIER Editor
Roger Atkinson
Business Manager and Website Editor


  1. SORTI (Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact) (2006). Journal banding survey. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/forms/bandingsurvey
  2. SORTI (Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact) (2007). Education journal banding study: A summary of methodology. University of Newcastle, Australia. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/sorti/Banding/mehtod.html
  3. DEST (Department of Education, Science and Training) (2007). Research Quality Framework: Assessing the quality and impact of research in Australia. [viewed 14 Oct 2007] http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/research_sector/

    Two other related and relevant references include:
    DEST (2007). Frequently Asked Questions: Bibliometrics. [viewed 14 Oct 2007] http://www.dest.gov.au/

    DEST (2007). Rankings Contacts. http://www.dest.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/92FDBE2E-
  4. SORTI (2007). Ranked lists of journals in the 26 areas within Education by Esteem . http://www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/sorti/files/Esteem%20ranking%20by%20area.pdf
  5. SORTI (2007). Ranked lists of journals in the 26 areas within Education by a Quality measure. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/centre/sorti/files/QScore%20ranking%20by%20area.pdf
  6. Thomson Scientific. The ISI Impact Factor. http://scientific.thomson.com/free/essays/journalcitationreports/impactfactor/ (see also other references listed under http://scientific.thomson.com/free/essays/)
  7. EdNA. edna Lists: Discussion lists for Australian educators. http://www.lists.edna.edu.au/lists/lists/home
  8. Western Australian Institute for Educational Research. http://www.waier.org.au/

Please cite as: McBeath, C. & Atkinson, R. (2007). Editorial 17(2). Issues In Educational Research, 17(2), v-vii.

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Created 18 Dec 2007. Last correction: 18 Dec 2007. HTML: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]