open access cookie

Credit: Open Access cookie by biblioteekje (cc)

Open access journal publishing has seen a rapid growth in recent years. The Directory of Open Access Journals lists thousands of peer-reviewed journals.The field of Education has a healthy but relatively small listing in DOAJ; there are 48 UK-published journals. This includes the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education and Research in Learning Technology as well as several university publications.

Later this month the University of West London will launch New Vistas. which will provide “a forum to disseminate research, commentary, and scholarly work that engages with the complex agenda of higher education in its local, national and global context”.

Open access publishing makes academic writing more widely available. Since going open access in January 2012, Research in Learning Technology, the journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) has seen a five-fold increase in usage. There is also growing evidence that open access articles are cited more frequently, as noted in ALT’s rationale for switching to open access.

It’s not just open access journals that are enabling academic writing to reach a wider audience. In the same way that this blog’s articles are creative commons licensed much bigger publications have taken this approach too. The Conversation, established in 2010 now has academic contributors from over 1100 universities around the world. It allows the free re-publishing of all of its articles. The previous article on this blog on the marketisation of HE was originally published on The Conversation.

Last week was Open Education Week 2015. Open access publishing is just one aspect to open education and a subject that is likely to appear on this blog again.

Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.

Open Education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources, while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs. Source: What is Open Education

Author: Matt Lingard is the Chair of the Editorial Board for Research in Learning Technology and Head of TEL at UWL.