Tag: journals

New SRHE journal “Policy Reviews in Higher Education” – call for papers!

RPRHSRHE has launched a new journal on higher education, published on Routledge, titled “Policy Reviews in Higher Education”.

The journal is set to be published two times a year, with a broad scope of policy related issues in higher education

The scope of the new journal is described in the announcement as: The journal aims to open up a space for publishing in-depth accounts of significant areas of policy development affecting higher education internationally. Authors from a range of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to analyse higher education from fresh perspectives, including drawing on concepts and theories from other academic fields. Policy here is conceived as relevant to all areas of higher education activity, including transnational education, university governance and leadership, quality assurance and enhancement, academic work, curriculum development and student learning, occurring at the local, regional, national and international levels. Comparative analyses across higher education systems are particularly encouraged. (…) The journal is interested in receiving submissions across a wide range of topics. These may be relevant to higher education at the international, national, institutional, departmental and local levels.

Reviewing the effectiveness of peer review process – Scirev

scirevHow efficient is peer review in scientific journals? How long time does it take to get the reviewers’ comments? Were the comments useful? What is the time period you can count with from submitting to publication? How was the review process in general?

We have information about the impact factors of the journals according to various measures and indicators, and one can check up the authors’ impact factor or the influential articles of a journal in Publish or Perish. However, these things give information about the articles that have been published.

At the same time, there is little information about the peer review processes in the various journals and the time it takes. Being a senior researcher, one usually gathers this knowledge over time through experience. However, these are questions that become more and more relevant also for PhD students (and ambitious Master graduates who want to write something from their thesis), as the article-based PhD is gaining prominence in a number of countries. As long as the dissertation is dependent on articles being published, these questions about the review process and the time it takes, can have a significant impact on the candidates writing process and time management.

This far, this kind of information passes between colleagues based on first hand experiences and maybe some good recommendations from others. You might hear that some journals are particularly slow in processing, whereas others are known for their effectiveness, and furthermore, this seems to vary from time to time. As such, the information is rather fragmented and incomprehensive.

To get some more systematic information, the website SciRev might become relevant. The ambition of SciRev is to make the review process more transparent by sharing information about the review process, its quality and the time it has taken – both for articles that have been published and those that have been rejected. By this, they hope to incentivise the journals to be more efficient and to critically examine their editorial and review processes.

Open access academic journals – the future of publishing?

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While disseminating academic research results has traditionally had a specific format, the idea of open access is becoming more and more of a buzzword, indicating a potentially new way of thinking dissemination of knowledge in academe. So how different is this open access thinking, what does this mean in practice and what are the potential consequences?

The ‘old way’ of publishing is quite well established in the academic world. The idea of academic journals with a more or less disciplinary focus publishing academic articles has been around for centuries. However, recent decades have witnessed a shift towards  an increasing amount of journals also being electronically available, thus implying that some sort of a ‘digital revolution’ is underway. In a 2008 article, Ross and Sennyey argued that this digital revolution also has a consequence for academic libraries – what is the source for academic knowledge?

In most cases electronic journal publishing still means that the journals would go through the same procedure of peer review for publishing as paper journals and require a subscription from the reader. This would in essence mean that they still function much like the old journals, except for the digital mode of delivery. However, we are increasingly witnessing an interest in a new way of thinking where the keyword is ‘open access’ – while there is variety to what extent peer review is used, the important shift is that the information is publicly available online and free of charge for the reader.

While there is no doubt that the idea of an open, free and interconnected flow of information is appealing – what does this actually mean in practice and what can be the potential consequences?