You’ve completed a nice little research project in open and distance learning and are ready to publish the results. Assuming you want to do so in a distance education journal, which one will you choose? Further, should it be one of the newer open access journals, or one of the more traditional ‘closed’ commercially published journals.
Something that will help you is a great article in the Journal of Distance Education. ‘The Growing Impact of Open Access Distance Education Journals: A Bibliometric Analysis‘, by Olaf Zawaki-Richter, our old friend Terry Anderson and Nazime Tuncay, examines the impact and perceived value of six of each of the two types of journal. The journals are:
American Journal of Distance Education, AJDE (USA) (http://www.ajde.com) [Closed]
Asian Journal of Distance Education, AsianJDE (Japan) (http://www.asianjde.org) [Open]
Distance Education, DE (Australia) (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/01587919.html) [Closed]
European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, EURODL (UK, Hungary) (http://www.eurodl.org) [Open]
Indian Journal of Open Learning, IJOL (India) (http://www.ignou.ac.in/IJOL/Home.htm) [Closed; latest issue published in January, 2008: relaunched in 2009 in an open access format (http://journal.ignouonline.ac.in/iojp/index.php/IJOL)]
International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, IJDET (USA) (http://jdet.mine.tku.edu.tw) [Closed]
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, IRRODL (Canada) (http://www.irrodl.org) [Open]
Journal of Distance Education, JDE (Canada) (http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde) [Open]
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, OJDLA (USA) (http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/) [Open]
Open Learning, OL (UK) (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/02680513.htm) [Closed]
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, QRDE (USA) (http://www.aect.org/Intranet/Publications/QRDE/subguides.html) [Closed]
Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, TOJDE (Turkey) (http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/) [Open]
Sensibly and cleverly, the authors achieve their aims by measuring the impact through citation analysis and surveying the members of the editorial boards of the journals. Which journals had the most cited papers? How did the members rate the journals? I’ll leave it to you to read the article and find the answers to these questions. However, I will reveal to you the most cited paper published between 2003 and 2008 (as of 8 October 2009): yes, it’s Terry’s paper ‘Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction‘, published in 2003 in IRRODL.
And to save you even more time, I’ll quote their main findings from the abstract:
“Les résultats révèlent que les éditeurs de l’éducation à distance ne perçoivent pas les revues à accès direct comme étant significativement plus ou moins prestigieuses que les revues fermées. Il y a aussi peu de différences au niveau du nombre de citations par journal et par article. Toutefois, nous notons une tendance vers un nombre plus élevé de citations par article dans les revues à accès direct. Les articles dans les revues à accès direct sont cités plus tôt que ceux des revues à accès non direct.”
Oh whoops, you don’t read French (remember, it’s Canadian – they publish the abstracts bilingually)? OK, here’s the English:
“The results reveal that the open access journals are not perceived by distance eductation editors as significantly more or less prestigious than their closed counterparts. The number of citations per journal and per article also indicates little difference. However we note a trend towards more citations per article in open access journals. Articles in open access journals are cited earlier than in non-open access journals.”
Oh go on, read it, you’ll enjoy it! And it will inform your choice of where to publish your article.