Editorial: A commitment to remaining open access

Thomas Apperley & Christopher S. Walsh

Published Online: January 23, 2014
Full Text: HTML, PDF (199 KB)

Editorial: A commitment to remaining open access

When Digital Culture & Education was conceived in 2006, as an output of the Australian Research Council Linkage project ‘Literacy in the digital world of the 21st century: Learning from computer games’, open access publishing was not receiving the attention it does today. Our motivation for publishing DCE as an open access journal was simple.  We wanted to make all articles available to education practitioners—especially classroom teachers—who might not have access to an academic library, and to scholars from institutions who are unable to fund that access. Open access was, for us, a way of disrupting the hegemony of academic publishing (Walsh and Kamler, 2013) to intentionally reach a wider audience, particularly anyone who might find the work published in Digital Culture & Education useful. Since 2006, the discussions and debates around scholarly open access publishing have become considerably more politicised.

Various models of open access are postulated, particularly the ‘gold’ and ‘green’ models. Gold includes many types of journals, including Digital Culture & Education. However, the notion of charging a fee to support ‘gold’ publication has become widely adopted by the scholarly publishing industry; in essence it means that existing publishing systems will continue, with scholars who can afford the fee (or their institutions) being charged to make a book, article or chapter open access (although some publishers will waive fees in certain cases).  For example, Computers and Education charges USD$1800[1] to make an article open access and for Taylor & Francis Open Select and Routledge Open Select, the fee is USD$2,950 (£1,788 / €2,150).[2] The ‘green’ model allows scholars to distribute their work through institutional depositories, in the form of a final draft or proof of the published article. Both of these models suggest open access can be easily accommodated into the academic publishing industry. Indeed, they solve some of the problems around access to research which we were initially concerned with when we founded Digital Culture & Education. But, as we see it, the problems has moved from one of access to research, to one actually shaping who has access to a readership for their research. Neither ‘gold’ open access, when it relies on scholars’ own money, nor ‘green’ open access that is based on membership of scholarly institutions are without problems.

Digital Culture & Education provides access to ‘gold’ open access, without charging any fees. All work is both published and distributed through Digital Culture & Education, avoiding both issues of cost and access to institutions.  We do plan some changes to our current system in order to accommodate scholars who are required to utilise ‘green’ models. From 2014 we will switch to a creative commons licensing, which we hope will greatly simplify the process of uploading articles and reviews to institutional depositories.

The initial funding for DCE’s website came from the Australian Research Council. But it must also be acknowledged that all of the ongoing labour and cost associated with producing an actual issue two or three times a year is voluntarily. The authors, cover artists, peer reviewers, the editorial board, special issue editors, and particularly our copy editor Jesse Ko, have all contributed to the journal without payment. Not only could we not publish any issue without them, we cannot afford to pay them. It is this dedicated and charitable labour that allows Digital Culture & Education to be open access, and we are extremely grateful to all who have contributed over our first five years.

This issue has cover art from Sydney-based artist Jacquelene Drinkall, and contains four articles, an interview and a book review. Joey J. Lee’s article ‘Game mechanics to promote new understandings of identity and ethnic minority stereotypes’ examines racial stereotypes in digital games and considers how ‘identity supportive games’ can be created, that promote new understandings of identity. In ‘mLearning solutions for international development – rethinking the thinking’, John Traxler examines how mLearning in international development is shifting from being driven by practitioners, activists and researchers to becoming a tool deployed by agencies, corporations and policymakers, and the methodological and pedagogical impact of this transformation. Ben Abraham’s article ‘Fedora shaming as discursive activism’ is a case study of a unique Tumblr community that focused on critiquing a phenomena among users of OK Cupid – the marked association between users wearing fedora hats in their profile pictures and having particularly sexist subtexts in their profile. Judy Kalman’s article ‘Beyond common explanations: Incorporating digital technology and culture into classrooms in México’ examines the strategies that teachers use to incorporate technology into their classroom practice and curriculum, while dealing with the particular constraints of their institution and the limits of their own expertise.

The issue also includes an interview with Dr. Margaret Kily by Lucy Van. This interview outlines changes taking place in Australian higher education, particularly Kiley’s research on the current introduction of coursework to PhD study in Australia. The issue ends with a review essay of Jussi Parikka’s book What is Media Archaeology? by Benjamin Nicoll.


Walsh, C.S. and Kamler, B. (2013). Teacher research on literacy: Turning around to students and technology. In (Eds). K. Hall, T. Cremin, B. Comber and L. Moll. International Handbook of research in Children’s Literacy, Learning and Culture. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, p. 499-513. DOI: 10.1002/9781118323342.ch36.

[1] See Computers & Education’s guide for authors: http://www.elsevier.com/journals/computers-and-education/0360-1315/guide-for-authors

[2] See Taylor & Francis Online’s Information for funders & institutions: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/openaccess/funders

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Author: Editorial: A commitment to remaining open-access - Digital Culture & Education
23 January 2014 09:01:43 PM

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Digital Culture & Education (DCE) is an international inter-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the exploration of digital technology’s impacts on identity, education, art, society, culture and narrative within social, political, economic, cultural and historical contexts.

We are interested in empirical and conceptual approaches to theorising globalisation, development, sustainability, wellbeing, subjectivities, networks, new media, gaming, multimodality, literacies and related issues and their implications for how we educate and why. We encourage submissions in a variety of modes and invite guest editors to propose special editions.

DCE is an online, open access journal. It does not charge for article submission or for publication. All manuscripts submitted to DCE are double blind reviewed. Articles are published through a Creative Commons (CC) License and made available for viewing and download on a bespoke page at www.digitalcultureandeducation.com


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The scale and speed at which digital culture has entered all aspects of our lives is unprecedented. We publish articles and digital works including eBooks (published under Creative Commons Licenses) that address the use of digital (and other) technologies and how they are taken up across diverse institutional and non-institutional contexts. Scholarly reviews of books, conferences, exhibits, games, software and hardware are also encouraged.

All manuscripts submitted to Digital Culture & Education (DCE) are double-blind reviewed where the identity of the reviewers and the authors are not disclosed to either party.

Digital Culture & Education (DCE) does not have article submission charges. Read more

Manuscripts should include:
1. Cover sheet with author(s) contact details and brief biographical statement(s).

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Manuscripts submitted should be original, not under review by any other publication and not published elsewhere.
The expected word count for submissions to the journal is approximately 7500 words, excluding references. Each paper should be accompanied by an abstract of up to 200 words.  Authors planning to submit manuscripts significantly longer than 7500 words should first contact the Editor at editor@digitalcultureandeducation.com

All pages should be numbered. Footnotes to the text should be avoided and endnotes should be used instead. Sponsorship of research reported (e.g. by research councils, government departments and agencies, etc.) should be declared.

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Digital Culture & Education (DCE) invites submissions on any aspect of digital culture and education.  We welcome submissions of articles and digital works that address the use of digital (and other) technologies and how they are taken up across diverse institutional and non-institutional contexts. For further inquiries and submission of work, send an email to editor@ digitalcultureandeducation.com