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Published October 26, 2022
The debut issue of an open peer-reviewed journal, published by University of Wyoming Libraries, launched today (Wednesday).
The Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education (JOERHE) offers librarians, instructors and other open educational resources (OER) experts from around the world a platform for their scholarship on OER, open pedagogy, open access and similar topics focused specifically within the context of higher education. The journal’s first issue is available at https://journals.uwyo.edu/index.php/joerhe.
The release of the journal’s debut issue coincides with Open Access Week, which takes place annually during the last full week of October. The weeklong, global celebration promotes meaningful dialogue about the benefits of open access to advance changes that will make open access to knowledge the standard in scholarship and research communities.
Articles published in JOERHE go through an open peer-review process, but contributors will not be the only ones to get a byline. JOERHE will publish article reviews alongside each article in the journal. This innovative process allows the journal to embrace open access in a manner not typical of peer-reviewed journals.
“The value of the journal is not in its articles alone,” says Samantha Peter, one of JOERHE’s editors-in-chief and instructional design librarian at UW Libraries. “Our open peer-review process allows us to publish the scholarly dialogue that goes into each selected article. Scholarship as a conversation, an outcome highlighted in the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, often happens behind the scenes and limits what any given research community can take away from engaging with journal content. JOERHE believes in the value of open access and, as such, we want everyone to see the kind of exchanges that go into the research and scholarship we stand behind.”
The first issue of JOERHE features eight peer-reviewed research articles. One article, “OER State Policy Discourse: Adding equity to the cost savings conversation,” includes an in-depth policy discourse analysis on enacted legislation concerning OER in public postsecondary institutions. Casey McCoy-Simmons, a Ph.D. student in higher education at the University of Denver, is the author. Her work suggests that prioritizing cost savings in OER policy decisions divests states from leveraging the knowledge and lived experiences of students who stand to benefit the most from OER initiatives.
An article titled “Just One Textbook? Student Perceptions of and Preferences for Open and Affordable Educational Resources” indicates student preference toward open and affordable educational resources (OAER), but it also advances the claim that students are concerned about the format of OAER and how access to materials is provided. The article was co-written by Elizabeth Nelson, reference and instruction librarian at Penn State-Lehigh Valley, and Christina Riehman-Murphy, OAER librarian at Penn State-Abington.
Another article, “Programmatic Characteristics of Open Education Initiatives at U.S. Post-Secondary Institutions,” showcases an aggregated set of data that details how OER initiatives are started, funded, governed and assessed among four-year public, four-year private and two-year community colleges across the United States. Jonathan Bull, associate professor of library science at Valparaiso University, and Michele Gibney, head of publishing and scholarship support at University of the Pacific, are the co-authors of the article.
JOERHE also includes a reviewed columns section and will publish reviews on select OER by qualified experts.
In addition to Peter, the journal’s editors-in-chief are Hilary Baribeau, scholarly communications librarian at Colby College, and Kristina Clement, student outreach and sponsored programs librarian and librarian assistant professor at Kennesaw State University.
For a full list of editors and advisory board members, visit https://journals.uwyo.edu/index.php/joerhe/about/editorialTeam.