Scholarly and Research Communication
volume 10 / issue 2 / 2019
Marianne A. Larsen & Vanessa R.
Western University, London, Canada
Marianne A. Larsen is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University, Canada. She is known globally for her research in comparative and international education. She has served as the President of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada (CIESC), and editor of the CIESC’s journal, Comparative and International Education. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa R. Sperduti is a Doctoral Candidate in the Faculty of Education at Western University, Canada. In her research, she explores various aspects of international education. She is the Graduate Student Representative of the CIESC and past editorial assistant of its journal, Comparative and International Education. Email: email@example.com .
The first section of this article provides a brief history of Comparative and International Education (CIE), the official journal of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada, over its almost 50-year history. The second section outlines general characteristics of the journal, including the role of the editors and editorial board, the bilingual nature of the journal, special issues, and book reviews. The article reviews the current general operations associated with the journal, providing details about financial aspects and changes in the production and dissemination processes as it moved from a print to an online format in 2012. Finally, the article recaps some challenges the journal has had and currently faces, as well as aspirations for the future. It demonstrates the resilience of the journal to adapt and notes the commitment of its champions, who have kept it going through challenging times.
Keywords Journal publishing; Bilingual publishing; Editorial process; Knowledge dissemination; Comparative education; International education; Canada
La première partie de ce document présente une brève histoire de la Éducation comparéeet internationale (ECI), la revue officielle de la Société canadienne d’éducation comparée et internationale (SCECI), au cours de ses presque 50 ans d’existence. La deuxième partie est consacrée aux caractéristiques générales de la revue, notamment le rôle des éditeurs et du comité de rédaction, son bilinguisme, ses numéros spéciaux ainsi que les critiques littéraires. Sont examinées les questions générales relatives à la revue en fournissant des éléments d’information sur les aspects financiers et sur les changements apportés aux processus de production et de diffusion de la revue, passée d’un format papier à un format consultable en ligne. Enfin, sont rappelés certains défis que la revue a dû relever et continue à ce jour de relever, ainsi que ses aspirations pour l’avenir. Cet article démontre la capacité d’adaption de la revue et souligne l’engagement de ses champions qui lui ont permis de se maintenir, même en des temps difficiles.
Mots clés Publication de revues; Publication bilingue; Processus éditorial; Diffusion des connaissances; Éducation comparée; Éducation internationale; Canada
Comparative and International Education/Éducation comparée et internationale (CIE/ECI) is the official bilingual, peer-reviewed journal of the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada/Société canadienne d’éducation comparée et internationale (CIESC/SCECI). It is devoted to publishing scholarly writing on formal and non-formal education in a globalized world from comparative and international perspectives. The CIE/ECI welcomes Canadian comparative studies, including research on Indigenous and cross-cultural research, as well as comparative research on other education settings and topics. The journal accepts manuscripts in both French and English that use a variety of methodological approaches, draw upon a wide range of theoretical frameworks, and speak to diverse contexts. The journal is published twice a year, although in some years there has also been an additional theme-based special issue.
This article provides a brief history of the CIE/ECI (formerly called the Canadian and International Education/Éducation canadienne et internationale journal), outlining the focus areas of the journal and institutions that have housed it over its almost 50-year history. Next, we outline some general characteristics of the journal, including the role of the editors and editorial board, its bilingual nature, special issues, and book reviews. We then provide an overview of the current operations associated with the journal, providing details about financial aspects (e.g., subscriptions) and changes in production and dissemination processes as it moved from a print to an online format in 2012. Finally, the article outlines some challenges the journal currently faces, as well as aspirations for the future.
The material for this article draws from three data sources. First, it examines the archival material for the CIESC/SCECI and the journal, which is currently housed at the Western University Archives. This includes CIE/ECI editors’ reports, minutes from CIESC/SCECI meetings, and a full set of the print copies of theCIE/ECI (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c, 2016d, 2016e, 2016f). Second, it reviews a selection of journal issues dating back to the early 1970s to map out the main themes and topics addressed by authors. Third, interviews with past editors illuminate the inner workings of the journal.
The CIESC/SCECI was established in June 1967. Facilitating the publication and distribution of comparative studies in education was one of the first goals of the newly developed academic society. Initially, the CIESC/SCECI published a collection of papers, known as the Proceedings, that was presented to members at annual conferences. Three issues of the Proceedings were published (1968, 1969, 1970) before members decided it was time for the society to publish its own scholarly journal. In 1972, the CIESC/ SCECI launched the Canadian and International Education journal. In the inaugural issue, Andrew F. Skinner (1972), the second president of the CIESC/SCECI, noted the timeliness and importance of publishing a new journal focusing on Canadian and international education: “Membership of the Society is growing and the realms of study and research represented cover a wide and rich range of interests within the comprehensive term Comparative and International Education” (p. 5).
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto first published the CIE/ECI. Subsequent institutional “homes” have included Western University (previously known as the University of Western Ontario), the University of Saskatchewan, Ryerson University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong in conjunction with Brandon University (while the editor Y.L. Jack Lam, a Brandon professor, was on an extended leave of absence from his home university and was working at the Chinese University of Hong Kong), and Queen’s University (Majhanovich & Zhang, 2007). In particular, Western University has played a significant role in the development of the CIESC/SCECI and its journal. This university has “had a large presence within CIESC, many past editors have been from Western, it is housed at Western, and Doug Ray (Western) was a founding member of CIESC. Western has always had a huge role in the promotion of both CIESC/SCECI and CIE” (Suzanne Majhanovich, interview, September 7, 2018). See Table 1 for a list of editors and institutional affiliations.
Unlike similar scholarly journals (e.g., the Comparative Education Review), the word “comparative” did not initially appear in the title of the CIE/ECI. However, the founders of the journal expected that articles dealing with issues in Canadian education or in an international context would employ comparative approaches. Moreover, from 1978 onward, the journal explicitly noted its focus on articles dealing with education and society from a comparative perspective. Comparative studies of non-formal education, vocational education, multicultural education, public school environments, and pupil motivation appeared in the first two decades of the journal. More recently, 2000 and onward, topics have shifted to inclusive education, global education, citizenship education, service learning, Indigenous education, neoliberalism and marketization, language and literacy, cultural competencies, immigration, migration and newcomers, teacher education, professional development, higher education, and graduate education, among others.
This shift in topics contributed to recent discussions about the name of the journal, resulting in the CIESC/SCECI membership voting in June 2015 to change the journal’s name from Canadian and International Education/Éducation canadienne et internationale to Comparative and International Education/Éducation comparée et internationale. There were many reasons for the name change, including the sense that having the word “Canadian” in the title of the journal implied that the focus was on Canadian education with perhaps little connection to education outside of Canada or to comparative education. In the first issue of volume 44, editors Marianne A. Larsen and Grazia Scoppio (2015) note that the name change reflected that the “journal is international because of the content we publish, the international scholars who review our manuscripts and sit on our editorial board, as well as the fact that many of our authors are international” (p. 1).
See Table 1 for a list of those who have served as editors and associate editors of the journal. Many of the editors have been bilingual. Otherwise, a French-language editor and an English-language editor work collaboratively to oversee the production of French and English manuscripts. Some early editors were given the title associate editor. The role of the associate editor was “never officially established, but many of the editors have not been French speaking … writing needed to be translated into French and often the Associate Editor … would do that” (S. Majhanovich, interview, September 7, 2018).1
The current responsibilities of the editor(s) encompass managing the publication process, including corresponding with authors, overseeing the peer-review process, and making decisions about which articles to accept or not. Editors are also responsible for writing the editorial for each issue and working with guest editors of special issues. Editors work with the editorial board, prepare an annual report on the journal, and organize annual meetings of the editorial board. Editors are also responsible for overseeing the work of the editorial assistant, communicating with third-party organizations that manage institutional subscriptions, and overseeing the financial aspects of the journal. Above all, the editor is the key spokesperson and ambassador for the journal, disseminating knowledge about the journal and advocating on its behalf.
Since 2005, CIE/ECI editors have worked in collaboration with an editorial board to make decisions about running the journal and supporting its overall stewardship. The executive of the CIESC/SCECI appoints editorial board members, who generally hold the position for three years. Initially, the editorial board was small (three members between 2005-2011), but under the editorship of Marianne Larsen, it expanded to 14 members from both English- and French-speaking Canada. Editorial board members are expected to contribute to the editorial process by providing feedback to the editor(s), reviewing manuscripts, attending board meetings, and promoting and supporting the journal within and outside of their own institutions. The board discusses and recommends changes to the journal, which are often brought to the CIESC/SCECI annual general meeting for overall membership ratification.
The CIE/ECI publishes articles and book reviews in both French and English. As a bilingual journal, there is typically at least one French article in each issue and the editorial/editor’s note has also been available in both languages. Additionally, since volume four, abstracts of each article were included in the “alternate official language” in order to grow the “international readership” (Radcliffe, 1975, n.p.).
Thus, it is apparent that French manuscripts address educational issues in French Canada and other French-speaking countries, as well as engaging in comparative studies between French and non-French language jurisdictions.
The journal is published twice a year with an additional special themed issue in most years. Examples of past themed issues include On the State of Higher Education (1991), Citizenship Education: Canadian and International Dimensions (1996), Multiculturalism (1999), The OECD indicators: International comparisons of education systems (2002), Educational Restructuring on the Era of Globalization (2004), Values, Human Rights, and Citizenship Education in Transnational Perspectives (2005), Higher Education in Southeast Asia: Global Challenges for Intellectual Capital Building (2010), and Contemporary Issues in Diversity and Education (2011). Two special issues were the bestselling print issues in the history of the journal (beyond regular subscriptions): Chinese Educators on Chinese Education (1987), guest edited by Ruth Hayhoe, and New Challenges for Development Education in Canada in the Nineties (1991), guest edited by Mathew Zachariah, Cecile DePass, and John McNeill. The most recent special issue (2017) commemorated the 50th anniversary of the CIESC/SCECI. Since 2013, in order to uphold the integrity and quality of the journal, the editorial board must approve all special-issue proposals, and all special-issue manuscripts must still undergo the blind-peer review process.
The CIE/ECI also publishes book reviews in each issue. The current book review policy notes that book reviews for the journal aim to reflect the interests of the CIESC/SCECI and its membership and support efforts to make the journal an important forum for scholars working in the field. While recent books of international importance in the area of comparative and international education are reviewed, preference is given to research published by CIESC/SCECI members, research conducted by Canadian authors, and/or comparative research that addresses Canadian educational contexts. The journal has generally had a book review editor who oversees the processes associated with reviewing and accepting book reviews.
Costs involved in publishing the CIE/ECI have included printing and postage (up until 2012, when the journal went exclusively online), an editorial assistant, copy-editing, translations, and other ancillary costs, such as stationery and promotional material. Costs associated with publishing the journal have primarily been covered by a number of different sources, including subscriptions and institutional support. Individual subscribers are current members of the CIESC/SCECI. This includes regular members who join the society as a part of their membership of the Canadian Society in the Study of Education (CSSE), student members, world members, and honorary members. Membership numbers fluctuate from year to year, depending on the number of participants in the CSSE congress, where the CIESC/SCECI conference is held. In recent years, the membership has been between 100-200. Although the journal regularly received annual funding ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 from the CIESC/SCECI, it has not received (or requested) any financial support from the society since 2012.
Over the course of its history, the journal also received financial support from the various academic institutions that have “housed” it (e.g., OISE/University of Toronto, University of Calgary, University of Montréal, Western University), most of which has covered the costs of hiring a graduate student as an editorial assistant and other costs, such as copy-editing. In addition, editors have sought out and received government grants for some special issues. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Council provided some financial support, and in the early 1980s, the government of Québec provided a grant for two special issues on multiculturalism and education in Asia (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016b).
In terms of institutional (i.e., library) subscriptions, CIE/ECI editors have relied on the services of three companies, EBSCO, SWETS, and Harrassowitz, to collect institutional subscription fees on their behalf. (See website links in list at at of this article.) Table 2 provides an overview of the total number of institutional subscriptions that the CIE/ECI has had since 2010. Of note is the fact that in 1983, there were 195 institutional subscriptions compared to 42 in 2017 (Heyman, 1984; Larsen & Scoppio, 2017). This downward trend cannot be attributed to the cost of institutional subscriptions, which to this date remain a modest CND$50 per year. Declining institutional subscriptions and the lack of financial support from the universities that have “housed” the journal since 2012 have been concerns for the editorial board. However, the move from a print-based to an online journal, which is discussed next, reduced costs considerably.
Since 2012, there has been no institutional or CIESC/SCECI financial support for the journal. Thus, it was not feasible to continue publishing print copies of the journal. The last print issue was published in September 2012; since then, the CIE/ECI has been exclusively online with some past and all current issues available on the website, hosted through Western University’s Scholarship@Western. (See list of websites at the end of this article.) A photo of the homepage of the journal appears in Figure 1. Although the journal is fully online, it is not an open access journal. Only subscribers have access to the most current issues as the journal has a 365-day embargo on articles. After one year of publication, articles are made available to all who can access the website.
There have been many benefits to moving the journal to an online format, including financial savings. Other benefits include access to a technology company (BePress), which designed the journal site and provided regular production and online support. The publishing system (Digital Commons) allows for streamlined editorial management, providing editors with a password-protected online environment to manage the editorial workflow. The “submission management” system allows editors to oversee and manage all aspects of production. Generally speaking, once manuscripts are received, either the French or English editor will be “assigned” to the manuscript and oversee its production process. This includes a double-blind peer-review system, which takes place completely online. Reviewers are requested to re-review manuscripts that have required major revisions. Those that only require minor revisions based on the reviewers’ recommendations are re-reviewed solely by the editor. The assigned editor makes the final decision about whether a manuscript is accepted for publication.
Moving online has contributed to higher visibility for the journal and findability for its articles. The system ensures that published articles are readily findable by search engines and come as high up as possible in the search results. Database indexing by EBSCO and ProQuest has also enabled the broader dissemination of knowledge generated by the CIE/ECI. As well, from 2005 onward, ProQuest has digitized the journal for inclusion in Periodicals Archive Online. All of this contributes to the enhanced global recognition of the CIE/ECI, as the articles have become more easily accessible around the world. More people are now reading them and potentially citing them. This, in turn, has helped the journal and its authors to generate higher impact and enhanced recognition. The online journal platform provides editors with data about the number of downloads (per “work”, which could be an editorial, book review or article) each year. See Table 3 for a summary of the total number of downloads of CIE/ECI articles over the six years it has been online, and Figure 2 for a graphic of the readership of the journal over those same six years.
The readership distribution graphic (see Figure 2) illustrates the truly global nature and reach of the journal, primarily an effect of going online in 2012.
The CIE/ECI has faced financial challenges during many points in its history. Up until 2012, the journal was a print-based publication and with this came significant printing and postage costs. For example, the costs of printing and postage in 1980 was $4,165.61 amounting to almost 90 percent of the total expenditures for that year (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016e). In comparison, between 2013-2017 (i.e., since the journal went online), the average total expenditures have been $1,800/year, significantly lower than the costs associated with a print-based journal (Beck & Jacquet, 2018). Current costs are primarily for translations and copy-editing. While the journal is in a good financial situation now, institutional subscription rates are decreasing and there does not seem to be forthcoming financial institutional support. While costs remain low, the journal is unable to expand its base, hire additional editorial support, or further disseminate its articles without additional funding. This remains one of its current challenges.
As noted above, the journal has not received funding from its parent organization, the CIESC/SCECI, for many years. There has not been any government funding for the journal for over two decades now. And finally, the journal also relies on institutional subscription funding, and this funding source has been declining for many years now. Above all, editors have relied on funding from the university institutions where the journal has been housed. Again, as noted above, numerous institutions have, over the years, provided financial support to the journal mainly to cover the costs of an editorial assistant in the form of a graduate student assistantship and the production of special issues. Despite many years of support from the University of Calgary, correspondence from Dean R.F. Lawson made clear that the university would no longer be able to provide funding to the journal (which was based there at that time):
There is no possibility that I can make $3,000 available for this Journal in the coming year. When I wrote to Doug [Ray], I made it quite clear that the Journal could not depend on these kinds of donations, and if appropriate finances could not be foreseen, another decision with regard to the Journal would have to be confronted. Among these might be the consolidation of the CIE with another journal, maybe with JET. (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016f)
While there have been such financial challenges over the course of the history of the journal, it is remarkable that issues have been continuously published, year by year, since 1972, and there is no reason why this will not continue for the foreseeable future, especially with the move to online publishing.
The CIE/ECI, as noted above, is committed to publishing scholarly articles in both French and English, as well as including translations of the editorial and all article titles and abstracts. Financial pressures have meant that translations have not appeared in every issue. Editors have bemoaned the fact that it has been difficult to solicit French contributions. As Suzanne Majhanovich (editor 2005-2012) noted,
I hope we continue to reflect the way comparative and international education is evolving in Canada, that we can continue to have representation of French articles. That’s always been an issue, getting enough French articles for a bilingual journal like ours. (S. Majhanovich, interview, September 7, 2018)
Additionally, once French submissions have been received, it has been equally difficult to find committed and reliable French reviewers. As Grazia Scoppio (co-editor from 2014-2017) explained, the challenges of the review process for French manuscripts, “to get it reviewed, it was massive, massive work. So, it would be nothing to send it out five, six, seven times just to get somebody to finally respond” (G. Scoppio, interview, September 4, 2018).
In 2012, Majhanovich passed on the editorship to Marianne Larsen (English editor) and Paul Carr and Gina Thésée (French editors). The latter were only able to serve in that position for two years, after which Scoppio took on the position as French editor. The CIESC/SCECI constitution mandates that the editors of the journal hold their position for five years, although Table 1 illustrates that this has not, historically, always been the case. Scoppio, French editor from 2014-2017, notes that it is “important that the two editors work well as a team” (G. Scoppio, interview, September 4, 2018). Another challenge for the journal and editors is developing effective succession plans to enable the smooth transition from one editorial team to the next. The current editors are Kumari Beck and Marianne Jacquet. They are ending their term shortly and a call for a new editor(s) will be issued shortly. Editorial transitions are always a challenge and the CIE/ECI is hoping to find an editor or co-editors to take up the challenge of publishing the journal for next five years.
Moreover, an area for future improvement concerns relations between CIE/ECI editors, editorial board members, and the CIESC/SCECI’s board of directors. Past editor Marianne Larsen (2012-2017) explained the relationship between these bodies as follows: “CIE editors are expected to communicate regularly with editorial board members and involve them in decision-making. This has not always been the case” (M.A. Larsen, interview, August 30, 2018). Editors are expected to provide an report to the CIESC/SCECI board of directors at the annual meeting summarizing the work carried out during the year, the journal’s financial situation, etc. Former editor Scoppio notes the need for the CIESC/SCECI board to support editors more, and in more meaningful ways (G. Scoppio, interview, September 4, 2018). This is not a new trend. The ambition of the CIE/ECI to build closer ties with the CIESC/SCECI has long been part of its history. In his 1982 editor’s report, Richard Heyman expressed his hope for “closer ties between the CIESC/SCECI and its journal, CIE” (p. 1), (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016c).
Currently, as noted above, the journal operates with a 365-day embargo on its content. Only individual and institutional subscribers have access to the current issues of the journal. One of the main reasons for maintaining the embargo is that it provides an incentive for institutions to subscribe to the journal and thus one, if not the sole, source of income for the journal. Good arguments, however, have been made for the journal to move to a fully open access format with unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse of all content. As former editor Marianne Larsen (2012-2017) has said:
Shifting the journal to an open access model would allow for the widespread and open access of the work of all our contributions. In this age of globalization, it makes sense to enable readers with access to the Internet to have open access to the research published in our journal. Open access would enable much wider dissemination and mobilization of the knowledge produced by the journal’s contributors. In this way, it would increase the global visibility and hopefully the prestige of the journal. (M.A. Larsen, interview, August 30, 2018)
Others, however, have expressed concerns about moving to an open access model, especially with respect to cutting off the journal’s sole source of income. For example, Majhanovich (editor, 2005-2012) has said:
I’m still not totally in agreement … about making it a totally accessible ... open journal … because from my understanding of other journals that are totally accessible, they end up, the people that publish, have to pay, so I’m not in agreement with that. If they’re totally accessible, you’ve got to pay, because you have to make funds somehow. (S. Majhanovich, interview, September 7, 2018)
Regardless of how the journal editors decide to move forward, people involved with the CIE/ECI want it to be successful:
I hope that it continues to thrive. I’m glad that it’s now an online journal. It does give it much greater access for people around the world, and I noticed that there are a lot of downloads of our articles, so that’s very good. (S. Majhanovich, interview, September 7, 2018)
A 1985 note by Vandra Masemann who was president of the CIESC/SCECI, outlined the value of comparative and international research in Canadian education. She noted that Canada’s cultural diversity, bilingualism, and “ongoing links with countries spanning the globe affect the theory and practice of education in many ways.” Masemann concluded that the Canadian and International Education journal, which was in its 14th year of publication, had made a valuable contribution to Canadian education, as it had “published a wide variety of articles by distinguished scholars on education in Canada and elsewhere” (Archives and Research Collections Centre, 2016d).
Thirty years later, the CIE/ECI continues to make a significant contribution to our understanding of international and comparative education issues both within and outside of Canada. Scoppio, a former co-editor, summarized the importance of the journal and hopes for its future:
Well definitely that it continues to be a well-read, high quality, peer-reviewed publication, and that it continues to grow, especially on the French side. So, without the journal, our Society [CIESC/SCECI] is … only half a society. Like the journal is the voice of the Society. And it’s really important that we keep it alive and that we keep it strong. (G. Scoppio, interview, September 4, 2018)
Despite the challenges outlined above, the CIE/ECI is a journal with a long and solid history that provides a venue for scholars at all stages of their careers to publish on issues concerning Canadian, international, and comparative education. It caters to readers worldwide who are interested in reading about such topics.
Canadian Society for the Study of Education, https://csse-scee.ca/
Comparative and International Education / Éducation comparée et internationale, https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cie-eci/
Comparative and International Education Society of Canada / Société canadienne d’éducation comparée et internationale, http://ciescanada.ca/
EBSCO Information Services, https://www.ebsco.com/
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Journal URL: www.src-online.ca http://doi.org/10.22230/src.2019v10n2a311
Received September 9, 2018, Accepted February 22, 2019, Published March 5, 2019
Larsen, Marianne A., & Sperduti, Vanessa R. (2019). Comparative and International Education / Éducation comparée et internationale. Scholarly and Research Communication, 10(2): 1001311, 14 pp.
© 2019 Marianne A. Larsen & Vanessa R. Sperduti. This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.