Back in 2011, the editorial project for the relaunching of Open Praxis as the ICDE scholarly, peer-reviewed and open access journal included three main aspects: editorial process, scientific quality and dissemination (Gil-Jaurena & Malik, 2011). After three years of regular publication (3 volumes and 12 issues), we would like to highlight what we consider main achievements that provide an overview of the development of Open Praxis:

- Scientific and ethic standards

The journal meets all the requirements for scientific publications, both in formal aspects (peer-review, regular publication, metadata, public information, etc.) and ethical aspects, following guidelines provided by COPE (2011) (Gil-Jaurena, 2014a).

- Global reach and global contributions

Visitors and readers represent all regions in the world, and authors and reviewers have an international and institutional balance (Gil-Jaurena, 2015). Journal statistics give credit to different contributors to Open Praxis: authors, reviewers, readers (table 1, figure 1).

- Increased impact, visibility and dissemination

Open Praxis is present in diverse indexes, databases and catalogues, such as ERIC, ERIH PLUS, DOAJ, ERA, etc. Being an open access, it is easily accesible and receives around 5000 pageviews per month (source: Google Analytics) (Gil-Jaurena, 2014b). In 2015, Open Praxis has been selected for inclusion in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), a new index in the Web of Science™ Core Collection launched in November 2015 by Thomson Reuters. All papers published in Open Praxis from January 2015 on are now searchable in WoS.

- Recognition in the field of open and distance education

Open Praxis is becoming more widely known, and recognized as a reliable and honest journal (Atenas, 2015; Farrow, 2015).

Focusing in 2015, a total of 66 authors (excluding editor) have contributed to volume 7. Contributions are geographically and institutionally balanced, considering the international scope of the journal, with less than 35% contributions from Europe in 2015 (being 50% the maximum stated in the journal policies). Published papers in 2015 had authors from 15 different countries. Also reviewers reflect a geographical and institutional balance, as shown in the list available in Open Praxis website (http://openpraxis.org/index.php/OpenPraxis/pages/view/reviewer). A total of 61 reviewers undertook reviews for volume 7 (table 1).


Table 1. Journal statistics per year


2013, volume 5 issues 1-4

2014, volume 6 issues 1-4

2015, volume 7 issues 1-4

Issues published

4

4

4

Items published

38

35

33

Research papers

21

16

13

Innovative practice papers

2

6

3

Special papers (ICDE prizes 2013 and 2015, Open Education Conference selected papers 2014 and 2015)

9

9

11

Editorial

4

4

4

Software or book reviews

2

-

2

Total submissions

56

52

57

Rejected before peer-review

10

10

10

Peer reviewed

44

42

45

Accepted

32

31

27

Days to review

44

35

49

Days to publication

125

100

92

Acceptance rate

60,70%

59,61%

50,88%

Number of authors

65

81

71

Average authors per paper

1,7

2,3

2,15

Number of reviewers

45

53

61

Abstract views (until February 28th 2016)

247701

146487

66715

Full paper views (until February 28th 2016)

119227

67569

38064



Regarding visitors and readers, figure 1 shows their location. Since publication of issue 5(1) in January 2013 until December 31st 2015, we have had visits from 188 countries, being the top ten the following (in descending order): United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Africa, Australia, Palestine, Indonesia and Germany (source: Google Analytics).




Figure 1. Location of visitors to Open Praxis website


Citations to Open Praxis in academic publications (scientific journals, conference proceedings, books and other specialized works) have increased since the relaunching of the journal (figure 2). Focusing in the last volumes, Open Praxis has had 341 citations to papers published in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (see detail in table 2). Open Praxis h-index is 17 (source: Google Scholar).



Figure 2. Citations to Open Praxis per year. 1986-2015


Table 2. Citations to Open Praxis by volume


Volume 5

Volume 6

Volume 7

Papers

38

35

33

Papers that have received at least one citation

29

20

6

Total citations (until February 28th 2016)

266

65

10



After a brief report on the development of Open Praxis since 2012, what follows is an introduction to the first issue in volume 8, which includes four articles in the research papers section and two book reviews.

In the first paper, Melike Aydemir, Engin Kursun and Selcuk Karaman (Question-Answer Activities in Synchronous Virtual Classrooms in Terms of Interest and Usefulness) present a research study undertook in a postgraduate online programme in Turkey. They measured the effect of question type and answer format on perceived interest and usefulness during synchronous class sessions, and concluded that open-ended questions increase learners' interest, and answer format have an effect on usefulness of online activities. These results are a first approach to a topic of interest both for researchers and practitioners.

Ayesha Perveen (Synchronous and Asynchronous E-Language Learning: A Case Study at Virtual University of Pakistan) presents a study developed in three English courses (L2), and focused on identyfing best modes for language learning in virtual environments. After collecting learners’ perceptions and opinions, she concludes that blended modes that combine synchronous and asynchronous activities are preferable for English language learners of Virtual University of Pakistan. She provides examples for activities in each modality, useful for second language teachers in distance education.

Krishna Prasad Parajuli (Mobile Learning Practice In Higher Education in Nepal) analyses the current status of mobile learning in the Gorkha district of Nepal. Following a conceptual and contextual approach to the topic, he presents survey results about the use of mobile technologies by students and their perceptions about mobile learning. A set of in-deph interviews completes the research, identifying specific mobile practices and trends. The author explains how mobiles are present in Nepal, but not specifically used for learning purposes. He discusses some challenges and recommendations for the implementation of mobile learning in Nepal.

Finally, Sanjaya Mishra, Meenu Sharma, Ramesh Chander Sharma, Alka Singh and Atul Thakur (Development of a Scale to Measure Faculty Attitude towards Open Educational Resources), present, in detail, the process of validation of a scale (which is included as an appendix). The instrument is focused on the Attitude towards OER, and measures two dimensions -sharing of resources and adaptation and use of OER- through 17 items. The paper explains the process of development of the scale and the methodological decisions made to design the final scale.

In the last section, Jeanna Cronk presents a Book review of Integrating Pedagogy and Technology: Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a book by James A. Bernauer and Lawrence A. Tomei published in 2015.

Finally, Dana Bodewes presents a Book review of The New Digital Shoreline: How Web 2.0 and Millennials are Revolutionizing Higher Education, a 2011 publication by Roger McHaney.

Special thanks from Open Praxis to the authors and reviewers who have contributed to this issue.


References

Atenas, J. (2015, October 21). Honest and reliable Open Access Journals in Open and Distance Education. OER Quality Project Javiera's Research Project Blog. Retrieved from https://oerqualityproject.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/honest-and-reliable-open-access-journals-in-open-and-distance-education/

COPE. (2011). Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. Retrieved from http://publicationethics.org/files/Code_of_conduct_for_journal_editors.pdf

Farrow, R. (2015, October 22). Honest and reliable Open Access Journals in Open and Distance Education. OER Research Hub Blog. Retrieved from http://oerresearchhub.org/2015/10/22/honest-and-reliable-open-access-journals-in-open-and-distance-education/

Gil-Jaurena, I. (2014a). Brief report on Open Praxis editorial process. Open Praxis, 6(4), 317–319. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.6.4.169

Gil-Jaurena, I. (2014b). Brief report on Open Praxis dissemination, abstracting and impact. Open Praxis, 6(3), 201-203. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.6.3.149

Gil-Jaurena, I. (2015). Brief report on Open Praxis figures and data (2013-2014).Open Praxis, 7(1), 3-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.7.1.191

Gil-Jaurena, I. & Malik, B. (2011). Editorial project for Open Praxis. Unpublished project.

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