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Issues In Educational Research, Vol 19(2), 2009
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Recently we received an invitation to have IIER included in the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive [1]. As explained in the invitation:

PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive, was set up by the Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications. Since then we have been identifying online publications and archiving those that we consider have national significance. Additional information about PANDORA can be found on the Library's server at: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/index.html [2]
We are pleased to accept the NLA's invitation, and to formally grant "a licence under the Copyright Act 1968, to copy [IIER] into the Archive and to provide public online access to it via the Internet." [2] To facilitate matters for the future, and express our support for national repositories and institutional library repositories, we have expanded the paragraph on copyright published in IIER's advice to authors:
Copyright in individual articles remains with the authors of the articles. Authors are not required to assign copyright to IIER and are required only to grant IIER a non-exclusive licence to publish their work. However, to facilitate dissemination, repository development and archiving, the Editor reserves an authority to grant, on behalf of authors, non-exclusive licences to make part or whole copies, to database publishers (for example, ERIC) [3], national repositories (for example, the NLA's Pandora) [1] and institutional library repositories (for example, the Arrow partners). [4]
IIER's Pandora archive is now established, commencing with the first online only volume, number 18 [5]. Pandora is an acronym derived from Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia. The Preserving and Accessing functions are especially supportive for very small academic publishing enterprises such as IIER. Firstly, Pandora provides a backup for the IIER website, supplementing other backups on the Editor's and the Business Manager's desktop computers and on CDs. Preserving is important! Secondly, the NLA will "add the record to the National Bibliographic Database (a database of catalogue records shared by over 1,700 Australian libraries), as well as to our own online catalogue." Accessing, or improved 'findability' is also very important for IIER and its authors.

IIER also supports the growth of institutional library repositories. A gateway to some Australian university digital repositories is provided by the Arrow project [4], and usually repositories can be located readily from library home pages [6]. To make matters easier for librarians or research support staff seeking to expand repository content, the IIER Editor will grant copyright permissions on behalf of authors.

It is a coincidence that just as the National Library of Australia has included our website in its Pandora archive, we have five of the seven articles in this issue which come from outside Australia. We have never had an issue with so many overseas contributions. Perhaps this is the beginning of a trend towards a more international character for Issues in Educational Research.

We receive many submissions from overseas authors, but the very large majority are not suitable for IIER, because they have little significance, or no relevance, to an Australasian and international readership. A study of physical education in secondary schools in the Niger delta, or an analysis of Turkish teacher trainees' attitudes towards inclusivity in pre-school education, or bullying in Indian primary schools, and so on, do not reach out on a global level to capture the imagination of our readership. Very often these studies could be made more global, in the sense that some of the issues in a research study in another part of the world could be written in such a way to have greater international relevance and be of interest to educators everywhere.

Interestingly, two of the contributions in this issue fall into that category. Icarbord Tshabangu did his initial research in Zimbabwe, while Hope Nudzor did his in Ghana. Reports of the original studies would have been too specific to those countries to have been of interest in a global context. However, both of them reported not on the research itself, but on the problems they had with choosing suitable research methods to fit their research contexts. By writing mainly about research methods and methodology, they focused on issues of wider interest to other researchers. Nudzor, in A critical commentary on combined methods approach to researching educational and social issues, argued against the pragmatic philosophy of combined methods, discussing the hoary questions of qualitative versus quantitative and positivism versus interpretivism. In The challenge of researching violent societies: Navigating complexities in ethnography, Tshabangu posits a bricolage, strategy to navigate some of the dangers and methodological dilemmas inherent in researching in a lawless context and describes some of these strategies.

The contribution from Lorenzo Cherubini, writing from Canada, is also an unusual choice for this journal. IIER publishes literature reviews only occasionally, as authors often find it difficult to achieve a high standard of originality and new insights in a review article, compared with articles based on new data. IIER seeks to conform with standard expectations about the importance of originality and 'increasing the stock of knowledge', for example, as defined for Australia's Higher Education Research Data Collection [7]. However, Cherubini's article, Reconciling the tensions of new teachers' socialisation into school culture: A review of the research, again reaches out to a universal level of interest, and gives us an overview of an issue all teacher educators are interested in.

The two papers dealing with Chinese language are of intrinsic interest to our readership for several reasons. Firstly, we have a significant LOTE (Languages other than English) program in the Australian education system, with a strong Chinese representation. Secondly we have a large number of Chinese students in our universities and other educational institutions. And thirdly, the article by Chua et al. extends the classroom environment research originally developed in Australia by Barry Fraser and his team at Curtin University.

Siew Lian Chua, Angela F. L. Wong and Der-Thanq Chen report on the development of An instrument for investigating Chinese language learning environments in Singapore secondary schools. The instrument they developed was bilingual and the article describes the complex processes of making sure the meanings in both languages were the same. The instrument was used to study the nature and quality of the environment in Chinese language classrooms.

Do example sentences work in direct vocabulary learning? by Zhang Baicheng, reports on an experiment he used in Chinese language teaching, showing that some of the old ideas of language teaching are still valid in hastening language development.

Coral Pepper looks at Problem based learning in science. Her research involved both teachers and staff in the introduction of problem based earning at university level. She looked at how well teachers and students understood this method of using real life problems in their learning, as well as how useful it was and how enjoyable.

We have another approach to developing a suitable research analysis tool for qualitative data in Making visible the coding process: Using qualitative data software in a poststructural study by Mary Ryan. This article describes in detail how one software package was used in a post-structural study to link and code multiple forms of data to four research questions for fine grained analysis. This description will be useful for researchers seeking to use qualitative data analysis software as an analytic tool.


  1. NLA (National Library of Australia). Pandora Archive. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/
  2. Email from NLA to IIER 13 July 2009.
  3. ERIC (Education Resources Information Center). http://www.eric.ed.gov/
  4. Arrow Discovery Service. NLA. http://search.arrow.edu.au/
  5. http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-12285
  6. For example: ePrintsUQ, http://www.library.uq.edu.au/database/eprints.html; Adelaide Research & Scholarship, http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/; QUT ePrints, http://eprints.qut.edu.au/; Griffith Research Online, http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/
  7. Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). 2009 Higher Education Data Collection Specifications for the collection of 2008 data. [Viewed 24 July 2009] http://www.innovation.gov.au/

Clare McBeath
Roger Atkinson
Business Manager

Please cite as: McBeath, C. & Atkinson, R. (2009). Editorial 19(2). Issues In Educational Research, 19(2), ii-iv. http://www.iier.org.au/iier19/editorial19-2.html

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