NOTE: now published as Vol. 10, No. 5, 2009: click here to access the issue

This Call for Papers is for a theme issue of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning entitled: Openness and the Future of Higher Education.  The projected publication date is October 2009.  The Guest Editors are Dr. David Wiley and John Hilton.

The aim of this Special Issue is to further our understanding of the manner in which the open source, open access, and open education movements are now and will impact higher education organizations, learners, and other stakeholders in the future.

Our intent is to stimulate critical debate, encourage collection and analyses of relevant data, and add to the theoretical foundations used in policy and planning discussions related to openness within institutions of higher education. Special consideration will be given to articles that present analyses and interpretations of empirical data, but rigorous theoretical submissions will also be considered.

All submissions will be peer reviewed.  Those submissions accepted for publication will be published  under Creative Commons license in

* Submission Proposals: January 15, 2009
* Notification of Acceptance: February 15
* Papers Due: May 1
* Peer Reviews Returned: June 30
* Finalized Papers Due: August 1
* Publication Date: October 15

Individual or multiple-authors must first submit an abstract-length proposal of approximately 500-750 words to IRRODL’s Managing Editor, at

Those who have had their abstracts accepted will be formally invited by the Guest Editors to submit a full-length paper of approximately 5000 words.  For IRRODL’s submission guidelines, visit:

All full-length papers submitted to IRRODL will be subject to multiple blind peer review.  All blind peer reviews will be shared with the authors.  While influenced by the outcome of the blind peer reviews, the Guest Editors reserve the right to make final publication decisions.

·      Critical perspectives on open education
·      Effect of openness on access to educational opportunity
·      Evaluation of open educational resources and services
·      Issues of affordability and openness
·      Issues of quality and localization of open educational resources
·      Openness and accreditation
·      Openness and future course management systems / personal learning environments
·      Open models for awarding credit or degrees
·      Open / peer tutoring and advising models
·      Open source, open access, or open education policy in higher education
·      Open teaching / massively open online courses (“MOOC”)
·      Open textbooks
·      Social implications of open education
·      Structures and patterns of reuse of open educational resources
·      Sustainable models of creating and sharing open educational resources
·      Unique impact of openness on institutions in developing countries

For more information contact:
David Wiley, PhD
Associate Professor
Instructional Psychology & Technology, Brigham Young University


The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning ( is a peer reviewed, open access e-journal designed to disseminate research, theory, and best practice related to open and distance learning worldwide.  IRRODL enjoys strong download activity and because it is fully peer reviewed, reputable, and open access, it is cited broadly.

Detailed information about submission is available on IRRODL’s website. All submission proposals and full length papers must be emailed to IRRODL’s Managing Editor, Bridgette McConkey, at

The copyright of all papers published in IRRODL will be held by Athabasca University – Canada’s Open University.  All articles published, however, are licensed under the Creative Commons for re-use and distribution for non-commercial purposes.  For details on IRRODL’s Creative Commons license, visit:

For details concerning IRRODL, please contact:
Terry Anderson


  1. In terms of researching e-Portfolios I am most grateful to the various universities and JISC in particular for the vast amount of research and useful publications that issue forth.

    However, I find the manic desire for ‘anything-that’s-free’ or Open as you call it is the very contradiction of ‘Open Education’. Those who seem to dwell eternally in the Ivory Towers of HE should consider the other 95% of the population who do not have the technical expertise or inclination to spend hours redefining the ICT universe.

    I have expressed my feelings on several occasions that the desire to develop relatively exclusive and sometimes eccentric tools is potentially driving a serious wedge between the learning continuum for most people.

    Confessing my own interest in delivering a ‘universal’ e-Portfolio that is both Lifelong and Lifewide, I am concerned that the consolidation of a ‘university-defined’ e-Portfolio system will not be compatible with the needs of the Primary school child, the less-able or slow learner, individuals in SMEs or the elderly.

    But, back to ‘open-everything’… Where does support and maintenance of applications for the masses enter your considerations? …. Or will HE force an ever-growing silo between younger and older learners?

    Responses welcomed!

    blog at:

  2. You may be interested in this publication

    Michael A. Peters and Rodrigo G. Britez (Eds.)
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
    [Paperback] 45.00EUR

    Click to enlarge

    The essays in this edited collection reflect on the nature of open education resources, where the question on openness for education emerges. What is remarkable today are the ways that teachers and institutions now begin to form part of the processes of global exchange and production of a network of global educational commons. The question about the significance of this development, their limits and the consequences for practitioners and institutions from the perspective of teachers is extremely complex. For example, the policy agenda of institutions, states, and international organizations related to the regulation of new technologies facilitates the existence and viability of those resources. This has consequences for the ways that those resources are used and produced by educators. Contributors to this collection, each on their own way, argue that Open Education involves a commitment to openness and is therefore inevitably a political and social project. This books ends with a challenge for those engaged in exploring the potential impacts and possibilities of open education initiatives. The open education paradigm and its consequences for educators and learners speak of an uneven geography where the access to technological infrastructure does not necessarily imply freedom or openness. In those instances, openness in education related to open education initiatives requires an engagement in research about the ways in which policy, cultural, digital and educational environments facilitate a political commitment to open systems of knowledge production and distribution. One thing is sure, as the essays in this book demonstrated so clearly, these developments promise an implicit paradigm of openness and democratic collaboration in education that remains to be realized.

    Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice volume 27

    ISBN 978-90-8790-680-1 hardback USD99/EUR90

    ISBN 978-90-8790-679-5 paperback USD49/EUR45

    December 2008, 148 pages

    Free Preview
    Buy this book at Amazon: paperback | hardback
    Amazon International
    Buy this book at Barnes & Noble: paperback | hardback



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