Monday, 16 May 2016

In a reflective mood: Browsing a 20th anniversary issue of Waikato Journal of Education

I'm currently the general editor of the Waikato Journal of Education, and have been for quite a few
years now.

It's a modest but robust journal that has a rather eclectic view of education and writing for that education audience, diverse as it is (ECE, schools, tertiary) and covers a wide range of interests. THe journal says of itself that:
Previous special issues and sections have included sections on creative research in the arts; Pacific education: research and practice; bodies in motion; theorising pedagogy; Māori culture and education; Māori education, teacher education, curriculum, ethics and tertiary education; educational leadership; and new voices in ethnography. The journal appeals to a diverse readership that includes academics, graduate students, teachers across all sectors from early childhood to tertiary, policy makers and "the public".
On my watch, we have migrated from a print to an open, Creative Commons-licenced publication so that more people can access some of the gems inside it.

Last year we reached a 20 year-milestone. Its initiator and first editor was invited to edit this anniversary edition, which was also launched at the 2015 NZARE conference in Whakatane.

The table of contents of this special 20th anniversary issue is a glimpse of the treasures inside it. Clive McGee's introduction outlines a brief history of the publication, noting that over its 20 year history, over 300 papers have been published. He goes on to say that there are
... about 470 authors although some of them have contributed to more than one paper. Over half the authors were from the University of Waikato, nearly a third from other parts of New Zealand and an eighth were international. Most authors were from universities; however, some authors were teachers who were part of research teams. 
These 300 or so papers address a wide range of topics, and we now have special sections that allow a concentration on one topic while also leaving room for other papers. Over time, the journal will continue to evolve. One recent issue on Mantle of the Expert, for example, was a collection of video articles. That was a first for the journal, but it won't be the last. It may be that the next issue (due out soon!) might contain a few video abstracts, possibly beginning with the special section editors introducing the topic - family literacy - via a short video.

As the journal evolves and is creatively expanded by the ideas from new general editors and Board members, it still needs volunteers to review articles. It still needs authors too!

If you think this something for you, then please sign up. Make sure you also indicate the areas you might like to be a reviewer for - there is a space for that. For example, what kind of research you are familiar with, what subject disciplines you are interested in or research....  Without that kind of information, it's almost impossible to choose people to assign to the reviewer role - we aim for a good fit between an article and the skill set of a reviewer.

And remember - this journal is accessible to everyone, any time, from anywhere. Please dip into it and read to your heart's content. We want you to!

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