Open Access Journals in Educational Technology

If you are looking to make your research accessible to the public by publishing open access, you have many choices, as there is a steadily increasing number of possible venues to choose from. 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 the sense that they charge no article processing fee (APC) as well as in the sense that they are open access with no paywall for readers. They are ordered according to their 2019 CiteScore (highest first).

I’ll keep updating and maintaining this list. Please let me know if I missed something.


Update 23. June 2020: Updated the list according to 2019 CiteScore. See blog post for reporting of major changes


Journal of Educational Technology & Society (ET&S)

CiteScore 2019: 6.3 (2018: 5.0)

Publication schedule: quarterly, four issues per year

Copyright: CC-BY-ND-NC

The heavy-hitter of Open Access Educational Technology journals is back, now with a new editorial team and supported by the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. For more than 20 years, ET&S has been publishing quarterly, but 2019 -likely due to their brief hiatus- has only seen two issues so far. A hallmark of the journal is the frequency of their special issues, such that almost every issue will have a specific topic but there will also be regular non-topical issues. The aims and scope of the journal are currently a bit unclear regarding which papers will be sent out to peer-review: “However, papers with only descriptions of the results obtained from one hit-and-run and short-term study or those with the results obtained from self-report surveys without systematic or empirical data or any analysis on learning outcomes or processes are not favorable to be included in ET&S.” The usual word limit of 8000 is mentioned in the author guidelines and potential authors are provided with a submission template

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education (ETHE)

CiteScore 2019: 5.6 (2018: ) 3.6

Publication schedule: continuous publication, no issues

Copyright: CC-BY, authors retain copyright

Despite being around since 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.

International Review of Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL)

CiteScore 2019: 4.2 (2018: 4.2)

Publication schedule: continuous batch publication, 4-7 issues, max of 40 articles 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, resulting in a long backlog of submissions and prompting the journal to stop accepting submissions for a few months in 2018. Accepted papers cannot be read and cited until they’ve appeared in their designated issue, as there is no “in press” or “online first” section on the website. 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. IRRODL will publish a total of 40 research papers per year, excluding other manuscript types. Word limit lies at 7000 words, including references etc.

Research and Practice in Technology-Enhanced Learning (RPTEL)

CiteScore 2019: 4.1 (2018: 0.2)

Publication schedule: continuous publication, continuous publication

Copyright: CC-BY, authors retain copyright

The official journal of the Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education, RPTEL is an up-and-coming venue looking for contributions from researchers and practitioners worldwide, but specifically encourages reports from countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Although the journal has been around since 2006, its visibility has sharply increased since 2015 by being published open access with SpringerOpen. RPTEL publishes four article types, research articles, case studies, reviews, and letter to the editor, with no mention of word limits. The journal has been the main venue for research on IDC Theory, a new framework specifically addressing Asian education. A quick sampling of publication information suggests that most articles are published within 6 months of submission.

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET)

CiteScore 2019: 3.5 (2018: 2.8)

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 specifically 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.

Online Learning Journal (OLJ)

CiteScore 2019: 2.6 (2018: 2.2)

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.

Research in Learning Technology (RLT)

CiteScore 2019: 2.4 (2018: 2.4)

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.

Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME)

CiteScore 2019: 1.4 (2018: 0.7)

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 September 2020. 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.

Contemporary Educational Technology (CET)

CiteScore 2019: 1.1 (2018: 0.1)

Publication schedule: 4 issues per year, no issues

Copyright: CC-BY, authors retain copyright

Contemporary Educational Technology has an international editorial office and a star-studded editorial board. CET seeks contributions in the area of Educational Technology and Instructional Design and invites the usual submission types as well as book reviews, interviews, and commentaries. Similar to TOJDE, CET also has a rule stating that, within any given 18-month period, (co-)authors can only publish one article, apparently to ensure diversity of authors and topics. Although the journal accepts submissions with up to 8k words, a length of 5k is particularly welcome. The author guidelines report a modal submission-to-publication timeline of 3 to 7 months. However, a brief glance at the July 2020 issue suggest an even speedier handling of manuscripts, with 4 out 5 the five articles being accepted within 1 month after submission.

Journal of Learning Analytics (JLA)

CiteScore 2019: 1.0 (2018: n/A)

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 2019: 0.7 (2018: n/A)

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. Amazingly, FLR’s review timeline is such that you will get editorial feedback as to whether the manuscript will be sent to reviewers within 24hrs (!) and full reviews within a two-week timeframe (!!).

Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education (TOJDE)

CiteScore 2019: n/A (2017: n/A)

Publication schedule: four issues per year, batch publication

Copyright: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

TOJDE is a quarterly, peer reviewed open access venue for research on distance education. The Turkish editorial team is looking for submissions that are at least 4000 words long and have either theoretical, philosophical, or empirical focus. Each issue contains pretty much exactly 13 articles and two book reviews, as well as an editorial introducing the issue. As far as I can tell, TOJDE has not been publishing any special issues. As a curious side note, authors are permitted only one submission per year. A nice touch, each article ends with an author bio with a profile picture and some contact information.

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

CiteScore 2019: n/A

Publication schedule: 2 issues per year

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

Associated with the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN), EURODL focuses broadly on topics in technology-enhanced learning, but from a specifically European perspective. It is edited by Ulrich Bernath and publishes 2 issues per year, with between 2 and 14 articles in an issue. Rejection rate is reported to be 51%. You can view their copyright licensing agreement here.

Pacific Journal of Technology-Enhanced Learning (PJTEL)

CiteScore 2019: n/A

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. The journal website also provides a forum for discussions, sharing of material and questions regarding submissions.

4 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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