The other day I was trying to find a list of Open Access journals. I found this very useful open list from George Veletsianos. While looking through the journals it occurred to me that what would be useful would be a regular review of these, or a kind of meta-journal. Not one that just lists all the papers, but rather a filtered view.
So in the a spirit of DIY, I have created Meta EdTech Journal. The idea is simple – three times a year an issue will be published, collating some of the articles from the open access ed tech journals. At the moment this is at my discretion, but I would welcome an editorial board, or perhaps editors to work on very focused special editions. You could imagine very interesting special editions drawing on the open access journals in all manner of subjects, and using material from the past three years or so. A Meta EdTech Medical Education Special Edition? A Meta EdTech Social Media Special Edition? A Meta EdTech Mobile Learning Special Edition? Well, you get the idea, they’re all relatively easy to do.
Now, you could say, ‘so what?’. After all, there’s nothing in this I couldn’t do in a blog, delicious, tumblr, paper.li, scoop.it, etc. However, I have come to the conclusion rather late in life, that context is important. By looking roughly journalish, calling itself a journal, behaving like a journal, and crucially only gathering together journal articles, it begins to feel like a journal. And that might be of interest to a few people.
What I find most interesting about this though is the potential for interdisciplinarity. I have gone for a fairly boring Ed Tech focus, but you could have some really interesting intersection. Interdisciplinary journals have traditionally suffered because of the economics of publishing – they just don’t have a big enough audience. But if you are drawing on open access publications, you can make an interdisciplinary journal on any subject you want (provided there are enough open access papers to draw upon). Classics and Manga Studies? You bet. Postmodernism and Sports Psychology? Why not.
The other mild revelation, is that it’s yet another example of what I like about open access. It’s the unpredictability and different uses that content can be put to that is really exciting. Your article no longer sits in just one journal, but may appear in dozens of different ‘mashup’ or meta journals. Each of these may have a different audience, beyond the scope of the original journal. Again, as an author, why wouldn’t you want this? The development of meta-journals itself may be a driver for open access, since authors want to be included in them.
A couple of admin points: I’ve tried to give the proper attribution for each paper but if anyone thinks it looks as though I’m trying to claim authorship, let me know (it automatically adds ‘Author’ as the person who creates the post, which is annoying). I’m not a WordPress expert so I’m not sure I’ve set it up optimally. For instance I couldn’t see how to create Issues, so I have simply created a page for each issue, and listed in the sidebar. Again, any thoughts on this are welcome.
We’ll see how it goes, maybe no-one will read it, as the other tools I’ve mentioned above already fulfill this function. But for now, it was kinda cool to think ‘this afternoon, I’m going to create a journal, on my own, with no funding.’