Advances in Engineering Education (AEE), not so proud to be open access

Advances in Engineering Education (AEE) is an open access peer-reviewed journal dedicated to “disseminate significant, proven innovations in engineering education practice, especially those that are best presented through the creative use of multimedia[,]” including, but not limited to, “innovations in course and curriculum design, teaching, and assessment both within and outside of the classroom that have led to improved student learning.  AEE is biannually produced in Washington, DC by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the preeminent professional organization of “individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.

AEE was initially proposed by ASEE as a complimentary publication to the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE), the premier peer-reviewed international journal purposed “to help define and shape a body of knowledge derived from scholarly research that leads to timely and significant improvements in engineering education worldwide.  Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, and Litzinger (2013) succinctly explain the further development of AEE as follows: 

 

When the idea of a new journal was proposed by ASEE, it was in response to a perception that engineering instructors needed a resource for articles that describe innovative applications of rigorous research in engineering education.  While AEE would focus on applications, whether in the classroom or out of the classroom, it would not be just any applications.  We specifically chose the name Advances in Engineering Education to emphasize that we would publish articles based on scholarly work that would truly be an advance as judged by peer reviewers.  Therefore, the advance would need to be supported by an appropriate literature review, a recognized pedagogy, rigorous methodology, and appropriate assessment. (pp. 224-225)

 

Upon further review, ASEE does not appear to position AEE within the emerging movement of open education resources for enhancing research and teaching.  In fact, ASEE does not appear to frame AEE as open access whatsoever.  Moreover, ASEE goes out of its way to present AEE like JEE.   Again, Shuman, Besterfield-Sacre, and Litzinger (2013) succinctly describe the rigor of AEE as follows: 

 

Articles go through a rigorous review process.  It is the exception for an article to be accepted as submitted with only minor editing.  Rather, the large majority of the articles we have published have been revised at least once, and in some cases twice, while responding to reviewers’ constructive comments and suggestions.  One result is that only about a quarter of submissions are published – a rate that is consistent with those of higher impact journals, but now substantially more than JEE’s ten percent. (p. 225)

 

Furthermore, authors of papers accepted by the editors of AEE are required to pay a publication charge of $250.00.  I would hypothesize that ASEE avoids referring to AEE as open access in order to avoid any or all of the negative stereotypes often associated with the open access movement (e.g., a fixed and oversimplified image of open access materials as lower quality than commercially produced materials).

 

Reference

Shuman, L., Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Litzinger, T. (2013). Guest editorial – AEE and JEE: Where are the boundaries? Should there be boundaries? Do we need boundaries? Journal of Engineering Education, 102(2), 224-226.

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2 Responses to Advances in Engineering Education (AEE), not so proud to be open access

  1. bbaugher says:

    It’s disappointing that a big association like ASEE can’t begin to help shift the negative stereotypes of open access journals. If more organizations began to prioritize and put emphasis on these open access outlets, we may see a more immediate shift in how people are able to publish and disseminate their research.

  2. jmresor says:

    What year did AEE start? I’m curious with it being a relatively newer journal if it will change. Similarly, as the open access movement gains traction, it’ll be notable to see if ASEE more clearly brands the journal as open access. Despite the critique, do you see AEE as a model for other disciplines to have their traditional subscription journal as well as an open-access specialty journal?

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