Online, open access journals abound in education. A simple search brought two large (somewhat overlapping) lists of online, open access journals:
- This list is courtesy of the Education Research Global Observatory.
- This list is courtesy of onlinecollege.org.
Both lists have not been updated in some time. The onlinecollege.org collection is from November 2011. The Education Research Global Observatory’s list lacks updates beyond 2011 as well. Additionally, the Directory of Open Access Journals lists 588 education journals and indicates which journals have a CC license. In order to be connected to the directory, journals must support the rights of users to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.”
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out the open access journal, Theory, Research, and Action in Urban Education (TRAUE), which our department launched online in the fall of 2011. Although articles have been reviewed for a second issue, the journal is on hiatus for a bit. While I can share in class what I know about TRAUE’s development, for this assignment, I’m selecting a journal for which I have no affiliation.
The number of urban-specific OA education journals is obviously much smaller than the number of general education journals. The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education publishes Perspectives on Urban Education, which has been in electronic format since its launch in 2002. The journal’s mission is “to provide an interactive forum to investigate critical issues in urban education.” The board explicitly states that they welcome submissions from “graduate students, practitioners, policy makers, and researchers” and welcome “suggestions regarding the use of this electronic format.” The entire archive spanning from 2002 until the present is freely available on their website, but oddly not through the Mina Rees library, which only offers its patrons access from 2007 through the present.
Oddly, though, I can’t seem to find the words “open access” within the description of the journal. The subscription option is free, and website viewers may read or download any article they wish without even registering. Other journals are more explicit in their open access status and label: Radical Pedagogy, for instance, has a specific copyright tab on its site, which states:
Radical Pedagogy is an academic publication. Its sole purpose is the dissemination of knowledge to as wide an audience as possible. Thus, Radical Pedagogy is free to individuals and institutions around the globe.
Copies of this journal or articles in this journal may be distributed for research or educational purposes free of charge and without permission. However, commercial use is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the publisher.
My field embraced the Web fairly early, and the prevalence of online journals reflects this simple truth. The rock star journals (Teachers College Record, any of the AERA journals, Harvard Educational Review, etc.) will likely continue their hybrid status of online/offline, while less influential journals may simply transition to fully online. Even though the DOAJ lists nearly 600 education journals with an open access policy, the norm is still limited access through the usual channels.