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New Editor: Advancing Open Praxis through promoting Open Education

After over a decade of service, Dr. Inés Gil-Jaurena is stepping down as editor of ICDE’s scholarly journal, Open Praxis. A new editorial team from Anadolu University in Turkey, led by Professor Aras Bozkurt, takes over in January – with ambitious plans for the future of the journal.

Introducing the new team

The new Open Praxis editorial team is led by Professor Aras Bozkurt, Associate Professor of Distance Education at Anadolu University. Aras holds both an MA and PhD in Distance Education, and is an experienced editor, with current and past editorial roles for recognised academic journals. 

Aras says: “Open Praxis is a popular scholarly journal in Turkey; it is well-known, with a good reputation within the field, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get involved. I put in an application from Anadolu University, and we were delighted to hear ICDE had selected us.” 

With Aras as Lead Editor, the Anadolu team also consists of Professor Cengiz Hakan Aydin, Associate Professor Hasan Ucar, and Associate Professor Serpil Kocdar, who will all contribute as Associate Editors.

Pushing boundaries

Aras and the team have clear goals for Open Praxis moving forward. Among them are plans to increase recognition of Open Praxis by applying to new indexes and databases, form a scholarly community around the journal, and build a digital identity and be more visible in online spaces, such as social media. Aras also plans to increase the number of reviewers and set new standards for the review process, in order to ensure timely publications with solid and transparent review processes:

As the editorial team, our purpose is not only to advance Open Praxis, but also to promote openness in education. I am looking forward to seeing how Open Praxis will flourish and navigate its own way under the new management with the Anadolu University team.” 

Aras and the team also have a vision for the articles they would like to publish through Open Praxis: “We want to push the boundaries of the traditional article outlines. We plan to publish articles that are innovative in nature, providing a critical perspective, and presenting thought-provoking ideas. We want to be an innovative game-player in the scholarly field.

Taking over the flag

Both ICDE and Professor Aras would like to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of Dr. Inés Gil-Jaurena in not only running the editorial side of Open Praxis, but also in shaping the journal over the past eleven years.

Aras says: «Dr. Inés Gil-Jaurena did amazing work to put the journal in a good position in this scholarly landscape. Now, it is our time to take over the Open Praxis flag, and we will work to move the journal to even better places. I am very happy to be a part of this editorial committee and to work so closely with ICDE.

Developing Open Praxis: 2011-2022

Before 2011, Open Praxis was not the peer-reviewed, open-access journal we know today. It existed previously as the ICDE Bulletin, and until 2003 was a printed journal published twice a year. In 2005, it was digitised, but remained a closed journal, available only to ICDE members. In 2011, ICDE announced its intention for Open Praxis to be relaunched as a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, and a call for bids was held to designate a new host institution. 

At the time, Inés was working as Deputy Vice-Rector for Publications at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), with one of her priorities being the digitalization of academic journals. She saw the potential of transforming Open Praxis into an open-access journal. With the support of her institution, she submitted a proposal, and UNED was selected as host. 

Preparing for this new stage of Open Praxis took time and effort. Inés worked on the preparation throughout the course of 2012, ensuring the journal would have regular publication periods and meet all the scientific requirements. In January 2013, the first issue was published, and the new version of Open Praxis was officially launched. 

The first issue was a critical reflection on ‘What is open education?’ The response was very good, and we received some incredibly interesting papers from different regions and institutions. This was an important moment, as I believe it set the journal on the right path.” – Inés

At the end of her time as editor of Open Praxis, Inés will have published a total of 40 issues, and is rightly proud of how the journal has developed over the years: “I am proud that Open Praxis has covered such a diverse range of topics over the years. We have had readers, authors and reviewers from all over the world – which is key for an international journal – and have pushed to improve important technical aspects of the journal. From the very first issue, it has been a joy to work on this journal, and I wish the new team from Anadolu University the very best of luck.

ICDE is truly grateful for the outstanding service and development work of Inés, who has worked tirelessly to ensure Open Praxis has become the well-known and respected journal it is today. 

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