Open Access Journals in Educational Technology

With Educational Technology & Society no longer accepting submissions, there is now one less high-impact open access venue. If you are looking to make your research accessible to the public by publishing open access, you may want to weigh your options. To help you with this, I’ve compiled a list of open access journals in our field alongside some information that may help you make your decision. All journals in this list are free in that they charge no article processing fee.

(Note: I’ll update and maintain this list, please let me know if I missed something)

Update June 6, 2019: added JIME to the list

Update June 19, 2019: change of copyright info for AJET

Update June 25, 2019: added PJTEL

International Review of Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL)

CiteScore 2018: 2.87 (2017: 2.73)

Publication schedule: continuous batch publication, 4-7 issues per year

Copyright: CC-BY, authors explicitly retain full copyright to their work

Edited by Dietmar Kennepohl and Rory McGreal, this open access journal is primarily concerned with open and distributed (i.e. distance) learning, but is not restricted to research from these domains. Frequently, you’ll also find field reports and technical notes. In the past years, there seems to have been a dramatic increase in submissions, prompting the journal to currently not accept any more submissions. Additionally, there has been a change in submission criteria. IRRODL is no longer accepting submissions that do not specifically address objective dependent variables like achievement, performance, or retention, as explained in the editorial of Volume 20, issue 1. In terms of impact, this may be the biggest remaining open access journal in our field. If, however, you’re looking for a journal with fast turnaround time and/or want to publish a paper with a subjective dependent variable like satisfaction, you might want to look elsewhere.

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)

CiteScore 2018: 2.13 (2017: 1.4)

Publication schedule: 6 issues a year, early release

Copyright: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, authors retain copyright starting 2020

AJET is edited by Eva Heinrich, Michael Henderson, and Petrea Redmond. Although not indicated in the title, the journal is primarily concerned with post-secondary education, so K-12 papers will usually not be sent out for peer review. Speaking of, AJET has an unusual two stage review process, in that submitted manuscripts will undergo editor reviewing by a lead editor before being sent out to the peer-reviewers, as opposed to a mere screening by the editor. AJET has an early release section, so that your manuscript is accessible as soon as it has been through peer-review, copyedit and formatting, whereas IRRODL articles aren’t available until the release of an issue. This way, your manuscript can actually be cited before it is released in an issue. According to the about section, average time from submission to publication is 9 months.

Educational Technology in Higher Education (ETHE)

CiteScore 2018: 2.77 (2017: 1.32)

Publication schedule: continuous publication, no issues

Copyright: CC-BY, authors retain copyright

The up-and-comer of this list. Although founded in 2004, the journal has sharply increased in visibility since changing its name and being picked up by Springer Open in 2015. Edited by Josep M. Duart, Alvaro Galvis, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl, and Airina Volungevičienė, this journal doesn’t publish issues but volumes with around 40+ papers. Be aware of this when citing the journal, as you will be citing [volume number]:[article number]. Also, this journal publishes topical collections which are similar to special issues and have the regular ingredients: a theme, special issues editors, and a thematic editorial. The journal recommends publishing your data alongside the paper but this isn’t a must. ETHE is also active on Twitter, regularly tweeting new articles and interesting links, so you can be sure that your paper will reach an audience. When looking at any article from the 2018 volume, you’ll see that these papers are accessed *a bunch*, with almost every article having 1000+ views and some of them much more (up to 6k). I’d say these are big numbers for a relatively specialized scholarly journal, which just goes to show the benefits of open access and an active social media account.

European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning (EURODL)

CiteScore 2018: not indexed

Publication schedule: 2 issues per year

Copyright: copyright shared by European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) and authors

EURODL focuses on topics similar to the ones of IRRODL but from a European perspective. It is edited by Ulrich Bernath and publishes 2 issues per year, with between 2 and 14 articles in an issue. Submission types are regular articles, book review, and brief items (which may not be refereed). Unfortunately, in terms of scope and copyright, the website has little more information to report on.

Research in Learning Technology (RLT)

CiteScore 2018: 1.95 (2017: 1.80)

Publication schedule: continuous publication, no issues

Copyright: CC-BY, authors retain copyright

Published by UK’s Association for Learning Technology, this journal publishes all research concerning the use of technology in educational contexts. The journal has a whopping 8 editors, that I’m not going to list here. They specifically encourage research that informs good practice and is relevant for policy. A RLT volume has between 13 (2017) and 49 (2012) papers. Each paper has its own download statistic, so that you can nicely track how much your research has been read. Before submitting, be aware that RLT has a word limit of 6000 words, which is a little lower than that of most other journals.

Online Learning Journal (OLJ)

CiteScore 2018: 1.25 (2017: 1.15)

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year

Copyright: no information

Formerly known as Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, OLJ is edited by Peter Shea and it is the official journal of the Online Learning Consortium. Focusing specifically on learning in online environments, a given issue in OLJ will have between 15 and 20 papers, sometimes subdivided into thematic sections. Frequently, issues will include selected proceeding articles, for example from AERA’s Online Learning and Teaching SIG. Unfortunately, there is little available information regarding copyright.

Journal of Learning Analytics (JLA)

CiteScore 2018: not indexed

Publication schedule: 3 issues per year

Copyright: CC BY-NC-ND 

Focusing on the booming field of learning analytics, JLA is published by the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR). Editors are Alyssa Wise, Xavier Ochoa, and Simon Knight. Interestingly, every issue seems to have a specific research theme up until the first issue of 2019. Please note that JLA has an author contribution statement that deviates from what I understand to be the norm. Here, all three criteria – contribution, writing, approval – must be met to qualify as an author, instead of only one of these criteria. As far as I can tell this may exclude the typical senior author.

Frontline Learning research (FLR)

CiteScore 2018: not indexed

Publication schedule: 4 issues a year

Copyright: BY-NC-ND

This is an interesting one. Published by EARLI and edited by Thomas Martens, FLR specifically aims to publish paper that are “risky but have potential to open up new avenues…”. In terms of scope, FLR is more generally concerned with learning and instruction, but has regularly published research that pertains to technology in learning contexts. Interestingly, alongside short and regular papers, FLR also publishes extended papers with a word count of up to 20k. For EARLI members, there are not article processing charges. Non-members have to cough up 200 Euro for publication.

Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME)

CiteScore 2018: not indexed

Publication schedule: continuous publication, no issues

Copyright: CC-BY

Edited by Martin Weller and Ann Jones, this journal is tightly connected with the Open University UK. JIME encourages open data and explicitly allows preprints as per editorial policy. Currently, the editors are not sending out unsolicited manuscripts for review, as the journal is focused on special collections. This submission embargo will last until November 2019. JIME launches around 1-2 special collections yearly. Interestingly, the journal has a comment and annotation feature, in essence allowing for extensive post-publication peer review. A cursory look at the comment section, however, suggests that this feature isn’t used very widely. Each article in JIME is also accompanied by a set of metrics (views, downloads, citations, tweets) so that you can track how your article is performing.

Pacific Journal of Technology-Enhanced Learning (PJTEL)

CiteScore 2018: not indexed

Publication schedule: two issues per year, continuous publication

Copyright: BY-NC-ND

This brand new journal is published by the Centre for Teaching and Learning from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. The editorial team is looking for submissions of between 4000 and 6000 words but also accept up to 8000 words. Authors are provided with a formatting template. PJTEL is aiming for two issues per year with continuous publication. As the journal is still very new, the editors are still working on building their review base. Interestingly, the journal website also provides a forum for discussions, sharing of material and questions regarding submissions.


3 thoughts on “Open Access Journals in Educational Technology”

  1. Hi Joshua – thanks for adding PJTEL to your list! Please note that PJTEL is hosted and run by Auckland University of Technology (AUT), not Auckland University (UoA) that is across the road from us 🙂 Yes we are aiming for 2 issues per year, but with a rolling publication, so articles get published as soon as they are accepted through the review process. We also accept articles longer than 6000 words – up to 8000. We are also building our reviewer base, and there is a link to interested academics to sign up as reviewers on our site


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