It was really nice to see a big issue of International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning IRRODL hit the cyberstreet this week. As I am on sabbatical this year, I manged to get my colleague Heather Kanuka to guest edit this issue. Unlike paper journals we are not as constrained by publication economics and so managed to provide a large issue with 9 main articles, 3 ‘research notes” 2 book reviews and links to 9 CIDER sessions via Elluminate. Also of interest to our African colleagues we have issued a special
Call for Proposals ~ Trends and Issues in Open and Distance Learning in Africa
Co-editors: Dr. Rashid Aderinoye and Dr. Richard Siaciwena

Each article in IRRODL is provided in HTML, PDF and MP3. Curt Bonk writes in Hearing your words via computer: Podcasted research is a whole new teaching tool! about the value of the MP3 files. He also provides a list of potential learning activities for the audio files of the articles. I’m sure both Curt, myself and others are interested in hearing of ways in which you find the MP3 files of use (please add a comment to this post). These files are created semi-automatically using commercial text to speech tools. For a quick preview of the quality of the transcription and voice, here is the link to the abstract of Davide Annand’s interesting article Re-organizing universities for the Information Age

I’m starting to appreciate all the “extras” that are included with the Open Source Open Journal System that we use to both manage and distribute the journal. These include for each article:

* Abstract

* Review policy
* About the author
* How to cite item
* Indexing metadata
* Print version
* Definitions
* Google Translation
Related items
* Author’s work
* Book
* e-Journals
* Related theory
* Related studies
* Pay-per-view
* Online forums
* Multimedia
* Teaching files
* Portals
* Government policy
* Media reports
* Web search

Admittedly all the links don’t get results from the keywords provided by the authors of each article, and we need to do work on the various search tools, but it a a very interesting and easy way to research these words across a variety of net based databases.

I end this post with a noncommercial plug (IRRODL is free and contains no advertising). Please subscribe to the IRRODL mailing list or the RSS link to the latest articles. We are always looking for additional peer reviewers. If you are qualified and interested please email the managing Editor Paula Smith at