|AJET 24||AJET Home||AJET
Why retire AJET's printed version? There isn't a single, dominating reason, it was a case of the combined influence of a number of trends that have been impacting upon us for some years, trends that have been worried over in a number of AJET Editorials. In Editorial 23(4) we worried that "...sometime in the relatively near future, AJET will have to make the transition to online only."  In Editorial 23(3) we worried that "...the point about "print to be phased out within several years" is likely to force its way back onto the agenda."  Our "worries" are detailed below, approximately ordered from the "most immediate" problems to "medium to longer term" concerns.
We faced a problem with increasing costs for AJET's printed version. Table 1 illustrates the trend, and indicates that the problem is due to cumulative factors, rather than any of the three individual factors, namely increases in number of issues per year, increases in print costs per issue (due mainly to decreases in numbers of copies printed, see Table 2), and increases in postal expenses.
|Year||No of issues|
|Post Rest of|
|Vol 19, 2003||3||$13.39||$3.00||$9.00||$13.50|
|Vol 22, 2006||4||$17.20||$4.40||$15.00||$22.20|
|Vol 23, 2007||4||$19.30||$4.56||$15.40||$23.20|
|Vol 24, 2008||5*||$26.00*||$5.70*||$19.25*||$29.00*|
|* Estimates made at 26 Nov 2007. Data in Au$. Cost estimates are based upon the most economical format, namely C5 format, not exceeding 250 g. For details on postal charges and zones, see Australia Post's website .|
|Issue||Total number of |
|Number of library |
|Average cost |
per copy, Au$
In addition to the cash expenditure pressure indicated in Table 1, we faced increasing workloads in the areas of printing firm liaison, purchasing stamps and envelopes, packing and despatching printed copies, subscription processing, managing access restrictions for the online version, and for ascilite Secretariat, in the area of label runs for postal despatches.
As subscription income is based on small numbers (Table 2), AJET is very dependent upon funding by ascilite. We reconsidered two broad options we have for relieving pressure on the Society's budget. Essentially these options, which we have monitored for some years, are to become a "cost minimiser" or a "revenue earner" for the Society. The cost minimisation strategy of "going online only" is very familiar to us, as the technological enablers and foundations for this strategy have much in common with those for online courses, computer mediated communications, multimedia, computer assisted learning and similar everyday topics for AJET. In scholarly publishing, the key enablers are remarkably favourable changes in the "...cost of information storage, cost of digital network transport, and the cost and efficiency of search processes that enable readers to find the content they are seeking" , leading us to the possibility that "... the technologies... have decreased publishing costs so much that making articles free to online readers is a viable option" .
By contrast, a "revenue earner" strategy would be difficult for AJET because the publishing niche for paid subscription journals in AJET's topic area is fully occupied, or even over-occupied, by well-established international names: BJET, ALT-J, C&E, ETR&D, JCAL, and numerous others, for example as listed in Table 1 of AJET Editorial 23(4) . Many of these journals were originated by academic societies and have been outsourced to multinational publishers such as those listed in Table 1 of AJET Editorial 23(3) . The data reviewed in these two Editorials helps to determine that going to online only, open access is a very good strategy for differentiating AJET from the competition. We noted that "revenue earner" strategies could be implemented under open access, for example by requiring authors to pay an article publication charge (for example, CSIRO Publishing charges an "Open Access Author Fee" ) or by requiring authors to become an ascilite Member. However, these were unattractive strategies, because to secure AJET's growth we need to minimise the disincentives that may be perceived by potential authors.
Thus our key tactic in a growth strategy for AJET is to become a "cost minimiser". By cost minimising we will be able to run with the "growth spurt" that we noted for some leading journals in educational technology, in Figure 3, AJET Editorial 23(4) . With some timesaving from print retirement and the appointment this year of several Associate Editors, we will be able to move more quickly on other tasks. These include implementing 'free subscriptions', in the form of a facility for email or RSS notifications about the publication of each new issue , to replace the notification provided in the past by arrival of a printed copy (thus substituting technology for one of the print version's functions).
Print retirement avoids another task: the printed version had been in an uncertain state for some years, pending a decision about whether to upgrade with features such as coated paper, B5 size (250 x 176 mm, the most popular size for academic journals) and improved graphics for the cover, or to economise with time and money by staying the same. Print retirement has enabled a compromise. Commencing in 2008 with Volume 24, AJET will have a B5 page size, with printing area 201 x 136 mm (excluding header and footer), compared with 118 x 175 mm used during 1985-2007. Of course readers will see the new format only if they choose to use the PDF version of an article, either for screen reading or for printing their own paper copy. Replacing the old A5 page size with B5 will make matters easier for authors who wish to present large diagrams, or wide tables, or copies of full screen pictures. From the production editing perspective, fitting into 13.6 mm width will be rather nice and easy, after so many years of squeezing these objects into 11.8 cm width . In the short to medium term, the new option to download a PDF file for each article is one of only two changes that readers will see in AJET's web site. The other change, not evident to readers connected via a subscribing library's campus network, is the ending of the three month period of restricted access that was applied to each new issue of AJET.
Another increasingly important factor is that with a whole new suite of environmental and conservation concerns now gripping the world, many people feel that the print medium should be used more sparingly, as illustrated by the common occurrence of email signature file messages such as "Please consider the environment before printing this message" or similar. Retiring print for small print run publications such as AJET is very much in tune with these concerns. As expressed by one ascilite Member, in response to our posting about print retirement :
this is great news - an open journal. as much as I enjoyed the print versionThere will be some or even many regrets about print retirement. Another Member, who is also an AJET author and evidently a long distance commuter, told us:
it was a luxury. Roll on 2008. 
I understand about the online publishing imperative, but will miss theWe record with much appreciation the excellent work for AJET done by Pilpel Print  of Beaufort Street, Perth, with every issue accorded a highly professional production standard, though we were one of their smallest customers.
little booklet style on my long train trips! [Claire Brooks, 10]
... a growing trend towards consolidation into a smaller number of larger sized journals, driven by new concerns about the ranking of journals for research quality assessment purposes, apparent declines in the amount of academic staff time available for honorary work upon journals, and an increasing concentration of journal publishing "power" in the hands of a small number of large multinational publishers.This merger will lead to a new mirror and archival website , under development during January-February 2008 to situate a copy of the works of e-JIST's authors and editors within the actively growing body of similar research articles published by AJET since 1985. The key purposes are to:
|No. rejected |
|No. reject |
ext review (b)
|Average no. of |
refs per article
|16(2), 16(3), 17(1)||19||469||89||56||145||30.9||24.7|
|23(1), (2), (3), (4)||30||1030||208||162||370||35.9||34.3|
|Notes: Last updated 6 Jan 2008. 'inaug' is year of first issue, 'iss' is number of issues, and 'arts' is number of articles, for each year. Data obtained from journal websites. The journals are:
To paraphrase the observation made two years ago in Editorial 21(4), the "saplings in the great forest of scholarly journals" face a long path to viability, and a time may soon come for considering new possibilities for inter-journal collaborations.
Roger Atkinson and Catherine McLoughlin
AJET Production Editor and AJET Editor
in AJET 24(1)
30 Nov - 3 Dec 2008 at Deakin University Burwood Campus, Melbourne
|Ballina Beach Resort,
Ballina NSW, 5-9 April 2008
Refereed full papers due 28 January http://ausweb.scu.edu.au/
|Conference theme: Engaging Communities
Call for contributions closes 26 Feb
|ALT-C 2008: Rethinking the Digital Divide
Leeds, UK, 9-11 September 2008
The Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) is a refereed research journal published four times per year by the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite). AJET retired its printed version (ISSN 1449-3098) at the end of Volume 23, 2007, and from Volume 24, 2008, the journal is open access, online only (ISSN 1449-5554), and does not have paid subscriptions.
© 2008 Authors retain copyright in their individual articles, whilst copyright in AJET as a compilation is retained by the publisher. Except for authors reproducing their own articles, no part of this journal may be reprinted or reproduced without permission. For further details, and for details on submission of manuscripts and open access to all issues of AJET published since the journal's foundation in 1985, please see http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/
For editorial inquiries, contact the Editor, Associate Professor Catherine McLoughlin, School of Education (ACT), Australian Catholic University, PO Box 256, Dickson ACT 2602, Australia. Email: C.McLoughlin@signadou.acu.edu.au, Tel: +61 2 6209 1100 Fax +61 2 6209 1185.
For review process, production and business matters, contact the Production Editor and Business Manager, Dr Roger Atkinson, 5/202 Coode Street, Como WA 6152, Australia. Email: email@example.com, Tel: +61 8 9367 1133. Desktop publishing (PDF versions) and HTML by Roger Atkinson.
|AJET 24||AJET Home||AJET