SSHRC awards funding to Brock University education journal

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded funding to a Brock University journal to pursue innovative activities and help defray the costs of publishing.

Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice has received $71,310 from SSHRC’s Aid to Scholarly Journals program — the first time a journal hosted by and edited at Brock University “has won this prestigious award,” says journal editor Trevor Norris.

“Winning this award is testament to the high quality of research the journal publishes and the wide readership it reaches, and is a positive evaluation of future plans for the journal,” says Norris, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Educational Studies.

“The award also demonstrates the importance of the Faculty of Education and its faculty members in supporting and promoting high quality educational research in Canada and beyond,” he says.

Currently, Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice is produced at Brock University twice a year. Norris says the SSHRC grant will help enhance the social media promotional process to increase readership; expand the video “Meet the Authors” section; develop hyperlinks within and between articles; and improve data analytics processes.

As well, the grant will support two special issues for 2022 and 2024: “Teacher Environmental and Sustainability Education: Canada and the International Field” and an exploration of how mathematics learning and teaching occur in the classroom.

Norris says the journal averages 60 to 160 articles accessed daily, and even more when new issues come out.

Brock Education explores the research and practice of teaching and learning at all levels: elementary and secondary schools; teacher education and teacher development; higher education and adult education; and education in the community or workplace.

“The advantage of the journal’s broad focus is that it keeps open the question of what exactly education is, reflects the range of work that is conducted in the field and includes a range of research methodologies as it investigates important educational questions, thereby attracting a wide and growing readership,” says Norris.

Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice is one of 13 journals produced at Brock University and hosted on the Brock University Open Journal System.

“Hosting journal titles on this service allows editors to not worry about the technical aspects of the work, instead being able to focus on the more important peer-review parts of the process,” says Digital Scholarship Librarian Tim Ribaric, who administers the journal platform.

Ribaric says the SSHRC funding is a recognition that open access publications, such as Brock Education, provide high-impact research to wide audiences across the globe.

Open access publications enable everyone to be able to read journal articles without having to pay the often-exorbitant fees associated with journal subscriptions. This means articles are free both for authors and readers, increasing readership and reach, he says.

Associate Vice-President, Research Michelle McGinn, who has published three articles in Brock Education over the years and co-edited a recent guest issue, says funding from the Aid to Scholarly Journals program funding “signals the quality and impact of the journal, which depend upon the editorial direction and the journal’s ability to attract authors, reviewers and readers.

“Importantly, the funding will now enable the editorial team to produce even more great content and to ensure that more people see Brock Education as an important scholarly source and an outlet for their work,” she says.

These latest developments for the journal build on a long history. The first issue of Brock Education: A Journal of Educational Research and Practice started off as a newsletter in the Winter/Spring of 1991. By 1999, the newsletter had evolved into a publication that featured full-length articles and, in the mid-2000s, started appearing online.

In 2008, the publication took a greater focus on academically rigorous articles. The peer-review evaluation process was consolidated with assessment forms to support constructive peer-review feedback. The journal was one of the first to be posted on the Brock University Library’s open journal system in 2012.

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