Frances Bell

home at last – for all the mes


Increasing the relevance, audience and reach of a scholarly journal

Research in Learning Technology Open Access


In another post I wrote about Research in Learning Technology’s move to Open Access and since then the transition has taken place.

The web site is open for business so authors can submit their papers for consideration.

Our full back catalog is available so researchers and practitioners can search for relevant content knowing that there will be no barriers to them accessing the articles.

We already have some idea of the increase in hits on the web site but the full challenge of increasing the impact of the work of authors, reviewers, editors and others is only just beginning.

Doug Belshaw blogged about this blog post by Dan Meyers and it has really set me thinking about ways to seize the challenge of increasing impact. I should make it clear that I am fully committed to peer review and the need for rigorous research.  However, I think that there are big challenges and opportunities in Open Access publishing within a social media context.

Here are a few ideas:

  • we are thinking about podcasting and webinars around issues and to support authors (and maybe potential reviewers)
  • our work as editors and reviewers is to support authors in producing work that  is relevant, rigorous and readable (this is BIG work)
  • as editors we wish to continue to improve the quality and effectiveness of our editorials
  • we want to consider what other types of content (if any) could improve the journal
  • can blogging bring our work to a wider audience
  • how can we make use of the clickable link of an open access article to include our content in social media conversations about practice and research with learning technologies?

I would love to hear any comments and ideas you have.

Please note: views expressed here are personal and not official policy from Association for Learning Technology

francesbell • January 21, 2012

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  1. Doug Belshaw January 21, 2012 - 9:40 am Reply

    Thanks for the response, Frances. I think Alan Cann’s post is relevant here:

  2. francesbell January 21, 2012 - 10:04 am Reply

    Thanks Doug. I hadn’t seen that post of Alan’s – very interesting. It would be interesting to see research into behaviours of authors and reviewers in open reviewing. One of the ways I am trying to help shorten and improve reviewing process is to send back papers for authors to make improvements prior to going out to review in cases where there are too many issues to solve by review.

  3. AJCann (@AJCann) January 21, 2012 - 10:49 am Reply

    I am and intend to remain a support of RLT (working on another manuscript for submission now). However, the move to Open Access, while welcome, does not in itself solve the problems surrounding the lack of transparency of peer review. My little experiment (still underway) has been interesting so far, and I will be blogging about the process as well as the outcome in future weeks. However, I am not suggesting the approach I have taken is the “best” solution, nor necessarily appropriate for everyone – I have already identified a number of flaws. I do suggest that it is an improvement on the current model of closed, and frequently capricious, peer review. Open is good. If we support open Access, why not open peer review?

  4. Comparing two publication channels – academic journals and blogs « Francesbell's Blog

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