302 special session

Publishing your research in journals: 'Meet the editors'

Catherine McLoughlin, Roger Atkinson
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

Gráinne Conole
Open University, ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology

John Hedberg
Macquarie University, Educational Media International

We will concentrate this special session upon the interests of authors who have reached, or will soon reach, this stage with a research project (Pannell, 2002):

You've posted in your paper
To a journal of repute
And you're hoping that the referees
Won't send you down the chute

You will meet the editors of three international journals publishing in educational technology and related areas:

  • Professor Gráinne Conole, Open University, UK
    ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology
  • Professor John Hedberg, Macquarie University
    Educational Media International
  • Associate Professor Catherine McLoughlin and Dr Roger Atkinson
    Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

To enable an interactive session with time for numerous questions and comments, it will be structured into three sections, each commencing with a 3-4 minute opening statement from each journal, followed by 10-15 minutes discussion:

  • Journal policies. What does this journal offer you as an author? Topics may include kinds of articles sought (empirical, review, 'long', 'short', etc), the journal's publishing strategy (open access versus commercial), copyright and self archiving policies, and its measures of publishing success (impact factor, search engine profile, numbers of subscribers, hit counts, etc);
  • Journal procedures. What do the editors do upon receiving a submission? Topics may include editorial screening, selection of reviewers, numbers of reviewers, advice to reviewers, turnaround times for the review process, confidentiality of the review process, routine checks for self plagiarism, role of search engines, etc;
  • Journal feedback to authors. What do editors do to help authors after the review process? Topics may include the commonest and most important features of feedback to authors (whether accepted or rejected), how editors take into account inter-reviewer differences, how editors try to improve an accepted paper, and how editors may help you to maximise your prospects for a successful resubmission to the same or another journal.

In this session we wish to project an encouraging and supportive view of the editorial role. Editors, and reviewers, are not there as all powerful, ruthless guardians of high academic rigour, putting down all authors except the lucky or highly ranked few. The more important role in relation to authors is as advocates, developers, coaches, even 'guides on the side'. Editors do have other roles that are also important to authors, so we will use a little time, in 'Journal policies', to discuss scholarly publishing as an industry and how societies, editors, libraries and the commercial world have responded to the ICT revolution.