Beginning in July 2016, Teaching & Learning Inquiry will be hosted at the University of Calgary as part of the university’s Open Access publishing program through Libraries and Cultural Resources. The 4.2 issue (scheduled for September 2016) will be the first to appear in the new format.
As noted in previous reports from the Publications Advisory Committee (PAC), the move to Open Access (OA) will have a number of advantages. This more accessible format will make the SoTL community’s work more widely available, open up the journal to online-only features, and reduce costs. The Committee sees OA as congruent with both the ethic of sharing that characterizes the SoTL community and the significant shifts in the scholarly publishing world. See below for additional details and benefits.
The University of Calgary has an impressive track record in OA publication and now hosts almost 20 journals. Its division of Libraries and Cultural Resources is a gold sponsor of the Public Knowledge Project, providing a secure and reliable hosting platform for journals that use the Open Journals System platform, and contributing to the continual improvement of this software used by thousands of journals around the world. ISSOTL is fortunate to be working with such a committed partner as TLI makes the transition from a highly successful inaugural phase of publication through Indiana University Press to its new home and format.
This decision came after long and careful consideration by the PAC and extensive consultation with members. Previous reports from the PAC and informational sessions held at the 2014 ISSOTL conference can be found in previous PAC reports:
- A Report from the Publications Advisory Committee, August 2014 and
- Update from the Publications Advisory Committee: ISSOTL Membership Input on Moving Our Journal to an Open Access Format.
Additional Benefits to TLI Authors and Readers
The new level of availability afforded by OA is intended to align TLI more closely with the Society’s vision of making exceptional scholarly work available across the globe and will bring a number of benefits to authors and readers.
- As noted above, starting with Issue 4.2 (September 2016), TLI will be an online-only, OA journal.
- Authors and readers who need hard copies can order them through a print-on-demand service. Information about this will be available soon.
- ISSOTL is currently working out arrangements for ongoing access to prior issues of TLI.
What’s Not Changing?
- TLI continues to be a venue for the highest quality work in SoTL and will maintain its standards through outstanding peer review and editorial processes. Its reputation and quality are based on the strength of accepted work, the rigor of review, the standards of the reviewers and editors, and the ongoing wisdom of its Editorial Board.
- Submissions to TLI will be made through the ISSOTL website.
- There will be no charge for publishing articles.
Opportunities to Develop New Kinds of Articles
- With TLI’s new online format, authors will be able to include audio or video files, as well as colour images and photos.
- Articles can also include supplementary files, including supporting evidence or raw data, survey tools, and coding protocols.
- Readers will have easy access through live links to resources described in articles, opening the door to interaction between authors and readers. (For instance, authors may link to a feedback form that would send reader responses directly to them.)
- We are exploring ideas for other kinds of articles and would love to hear your thoughts. Please email our editorial office at TLIj@ucalgary.ca. For examples of the kinds of works an online environment can support, see The Spatial History Project and the Journal of Visualized Experiments (http://www.jove.com/).
- As an OA journal, TLI will give authors complete control over their works through the CC-BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
- Authors retain copyright and can store, post, or distribute copies of their work as they please. (TLI encourages this broader sharing as a way to bring more readers to the journal.)
- An open-access TLI will comply with the OA mandates of many institutions and funding agencies.
Opportunities for Wider Dissemination
- “Open Access” means just that: anyone anywhere who has access to the internet will be able to find, download, and read anything published in TLI. This dramatic increase in accessibility highlights the “I” in ISSOTL.
- Studies indicate that OA articles are cited more often, indicating wider impact as well as wider reach.1 Indeed, each OA article featured in previous issues of TLI is consistently among the most highly cited.
Acknowledgements and Next Steps
The Publications Advisory Committee thanks everyone who has contributed to this important transition: the ISSOTL Board, which has asked hard questions and approved each step along the way; members who have shared their experiences with and questions about Open Access publications; editors and former editors of other OA journals and sponsoring institutions who were interviewed by members of the PAC; and most recently our new partners at the University of Calgary.
We encourage you to watch for further information as the transition to Open Access continues and to respond to this report with suggestions and questions.
Please note as well that the Publications Advisory Committee is planning an informational session at the 2015 conference in Melbourne, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 29, 5:45 – 7:00 pm.
The Publications Advisory Committee is charged with stewardship of TLI and concerns itself with the journal’s financial health and sustainability, and how it might adapt to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the world of scholarly publication. Its members are Pat Hutchings (US, chair), Sean Brawley (Australia), Mick Healey (UK), Margy MacMillan (Canada), Rebecca Nowacek (US), Tony Ciccone (US), and (ex officio) TLI co-editors Nancy Chick and Gary Poole.
1 See for example:
- Hitchcock, Steve. “The effect of open access and downloads (‘hits’) on citation impact: a bibliography of studies.” (2013).
- Ale Ebrahim, Nader, et al. “Visibility and citation impact.” International Education Studies 7.4 (2014). 120-125.