As any university librarian will tell you, academic journals are expensive. Last year, Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, issued a statement of support for a group of editorial staff members who had resigned from Lingua (a general linguistics journal) in protest of the pricing practices of Elsevier, a prominent publisher of scholarly journals.
Partially in response to the costliness of journal subscriptions, as well as to give authors greater control over the distribution of their own writing, open access publishing of peer-reviewed scholarly journals is on the rise.
While as an alumnus of Capella University I have access to several academic databases, as an independent scholar (that is, not affiliated with a university), I have found great value in open access journals. Here are four journals I regularly consult:
- I like to think globally in my research, and I often use the British Journal of Educational Technology and Distance Education (Australia), both “for pay” journals. As an open access journal, the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, sponsored by the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN), provides easy access to peer-reviewed eLearning articles from a European perspective.
- Another “international” journal, in this case Canadian, the International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education is an excellent resource for the latest scholarship on eLearning. The journal is an international publication of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE).
- If I had to pick my “favorite” open access journal, I think it might be The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, published by Athabasca University Press. Powered by the UNESCO/COL OER Knowledge Cloud (itself a valuable resource in open access publishing), the journal always has something to interest me. In fact, as I write I have this article on top of my to-read stack.
- The Journal of Applied Instructional Design, a publication of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), is a journal for scholar-practitioners like me. As stated on their About page, the purpose of the journal is “to bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing reflective practitioners a means for publishing articles related to the field.” As so many scholarly journals (being written and published by academics) can be too narrowly focused on academia, this journal is a gem for those of us who wish to bring theory into workplace practice.
Of course, this list is but the tip of the iceberg of open access journals in open, distance, and distributed learning. What else should I be reading?