A special issue shift from dual medium to open access academic publishing

Contributing Editor
Michele Jacobsen

Each year, the editorial team receives and considers proposals for special issues of CJLT devoted to a particular domain or topic of research in the field of educational technology. I am sincerely delighted and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the indefatigable Elizabeth Meyer from Concordia University in Montreal to prepare this special Fall 2008 issue of CJLT. Our initial contact was in person with all other communication, review, editing and production tasks being conducted entirely online and on time. Dr. Meyer presents six articles that reflect state of the art and diverse international research on Electronic Portfolios. The sixteen authors who contribute their research and critical perspectives to this issue hail from post-secondary institutions of research and learning across Canada, the United States, France, China and the Netherlands.

In this editorial, I mark the passage of CJLT from a dual medium publication to an open access academic journal. The present editorial team has supervised the dual medium publication of CJLT since 2005 and has shepherded 12 print issues into production and distribution. The 2008 calendar year marks the seventh year of the journal as a dual media publication, using both print and online delivery (i.e., CJLT / RCAT website [www.cjlt.ca] launched Feb 2002). Originally, full text articles became available on the CJLT website with a one issue (4 month) delay after the print issue was distributed. In 2008, CJLT was hosted by AUPress and was published online using the Online Journal System (OJS). With Volume 34 in 2008, the decision was made to publish the articles of each current print issue online at the same time the issue was mailed out to members and subscribers, thus beginning the transition to full open access.

At the April 2008 CNIE Board Meeting at the Annual Meeting in Banff, Alberta, the decision was taken to publish both of CNIE’s peer reviewed journals, the Journal of Distance Education and the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, as open access, open source journals starting in 2009. Therefore, the Fall 2008 print issue is the last hard copy version of CJLT that will be distributed by mail to Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) members. Starting with Volume 35 in Winter 2009, CJLT completes the transformation from dual media to a fully open access journal. CJLT will provide immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. CNIE members will be notified by email as new issues of CJLT are published online.

As I have written in previous editorials, the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology is unique in the international field of educational technology in that manuscripts are accepted and published in either English or in French. The abstract for each article is published in both of Canada’s two official languages. As an open access journal, CJLT will continue to accept and to publish articles in either English or in French.

With the transition to open access, the CJLT Editorial team is in a great position to consider educational technology research and scholarship that goes beyond the primarily text and graphics rich print medium. While print journals continue to serve the research community well, it seems fitting for scholars in educational technology to chart and explore new Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 capabilities in its academic, open access publications. Therefore, at the choice of the authors and at the discretion of the editors, online CJLT manuscripts may contain selected graphics, animations, multimedia elements, or resource links that may help to illustrate a concept or amplify a project that could not, by their nature, be included in the print version. Authors and editorial board members interested in exploring different approaches to using multiple media and social networking for academic publishing should contact the editor at cjlt@ucalgary.ca