February 17, 2009

Key journal in education field has strong SIUC ties

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The education field’s premier journal, “Educational Researcher,” has strong ties to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Patricia B. Elmore, a full professor in educational psychology and special education and now interim associate provost for academic affairs, serves as lead editor, while editorial associate Darren M. James, a doctoral student in ed psych, sees to the day-to-day work in office space provided by their department, and Marla H. Mallette of curriculum and instruction heads the book review section.

In addition, Frackson Mumba of curriculum and instruction, Rhonda K. Kowalchuk of educational psychology as well as four graduates of SIUC doctoral programs in education serve on the journal’s editorial advisory board.

“I think it says something about SIUC because these people must all be reviewed (by officials of the publisher, the American Educational Research Association) before being appointed,” Elmore said.

Founded in 1971, the journal comes out nine times each year and contains articles focusing on or commenting about research across a wide range of educational disciplines, book reviews and information dealing with the association.

“It’s probably the most widely read journal in education -- it goes to 28,470 people all over the world,” Elmore said.

A diverse audience requires a broad focus. Popular articles from the last six months touched on such subjects as program evaluation, student motivation, a model for critical thinking, accountability systems and the challenges involved in bridging education and neuroscience.

“We do not typically publish single studies; we focus more on comprehensive programs of research,” Elmore said.

“It’s very, very competitive. In selecting the articles, we use a double-blind review, where the authors don’t know who the reviewers are and the reviewers don’t know who the authors are.”

Editors serve three-year terms. Elmore’s group has completed volumes 36 and 37 and is working now on volume 38, with most -- though not all -- articles written by senior scholars.

“One of the best things for me has been watching the manuscripts come in from young scholars I worked with through the association,” Elmore said.

“To see them develop and begin publishing is really rewarding.”

To sample the journal electronically, visit http://edr.sagepub.com.