Volume 9, No. 2 of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (www.irrodl.org) is now online.

I like this issue for a number of reasons:

I managed to twist the arm of a colleague, Jon Baggaley, to guest edit the issue, as I am still officially on sabbatical. Jon, with the usual able assistance of the Managing Editor, Paula Smith, did an excellent job of gathering and reviewing 8 full articles, 1 research notes article, 2 Technical Reviews and 2 book reviews – all of which are available in PDF and Mp3 format.

Second the articles reflect international perspectives with articles from Brazil, Greece, Sri Lanka, Canada and the US, and reviews of distance education developments in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. I won’t describe the articles as Jon has done this in his editorial.

Those interested in distance education related, peer reviewed publications may also be interested in some stats we gathered for a support application for Scholarly Journals from a Canadian research granting council. We recompiled data from Google scholar from work we did a year ago, trying to determine from which distance education related, peer reviewed Journal articles were cited most often. This is an ‘impact factor’ calculation, but we wanted to avoid the ‘impact factor calculations” from commercial disaggregater systems such as ISI, as I believe these aggregaters are prejudiced against open access publications.
Self-evaluation of IRRODL’s impact
On June 19, 2008, we interrogated Google Scholar searching for the 10 most widely cited articles published by the major distance education journals from 2000 to the June 19, 2008. We choose 2000, as this was the year that IRRODL began publishing. We then calculated the average number of citations for these top ten articles.
Table 2. Journals and Number of Citation for the Top Ten Articles
IRRODL 63.5 citation/ article
American Journal of Distance Education 60.8 citation/ article
Open Learning (UK) 42.3 citation/ article
Journal of Distance Education (Canada) 32.0
Distance Education (Australia) 27.1
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology 23.3
European Journal of Open and Distance Learning 12.5
Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 3.5

We also note that we publish many more articles per year than most of the above journals that are restricted by print publications costs, yet this data shows that increased publication, does not decrease the perceived quality of the articles – as evidenced by their being referenced in the works of others. In addition to having robust page download activity by 17,967 unique visitors accessing IRRODL in May 2008 alone, as of June 19, 2008 the Journal has 7504 ‘subscribers.’ Subscribers are individuals or organizations that have submitted an email address to us indicating that they want to receive an email notification with a hyperlinked table of
contents whenever we release a new issue.

Finally we complied a list of the various services that index IRRODL articles:

Table 1. Overview of where and how IRRODL is indexed
* Open Journals System, OAI Harvester
* Google Scholar
* EBSCO Academic Search Premiere
* Scopus (Elsevier)
* Scholars Portal (University of Toronto)
* Higher Education Academy Engineering Sub-Centre Open Archive Initiative Repository
* ARROW Discovery Service – Australia’s university research repository
* USQ e-prints – University of Southern Queensland research repository
* Earth Prints – Italian research repository
* Scientific Commons
* EDUCAUSE Connect
* PennState University repository
* Yahoo Pipes (Open & Distance Learning)

Sorry if the above sounds a bit much shameless self promotion, but I think this data shows as much the value of the Open Access publication model as much as it does the individual performance of IRRODL.

Anyways, as always we welcome submissions of quality articles! See Author guidelines at http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/about/submissions#onlineSubmissions

And of course we value your free email subscription (enrol at www.irrodl.org) for announcements of future issues and titles.