Outdoor Education R&E Center

How to Get Published in Outdoor Education Journals

James Neill
Last updated:
28 October, 2006

 

Presented at the National Outdoor Education Conference, Adelaide, Australia, April 14-16, 2003

 

Abstract

Academic journals provide a professional meeting place for current ideas and knowledge.  The process of having your writing published can be daunting, yet can also be stimulating and rewarding.  For the growth of innovative, relatively young fields such as an outdoor education, it is vital that new writers, as well as old hands, are encouraged and nurtured in their development.  This workshop will demystify the journal publication process and provide practical guidelines and strategies for newcomers, as well as up-to-date information on current trends and developments in the publication of outdoor education material in journals world-wide.

Workshop Summary

Why get published?  There are several reasons:
- from a personal point of view - getting your ideas and written work peer-reviewed and disseminated is evidence of your ability (e.g., useful for academic promotion, professional kudos, increases your network, etc.)
- from the field's point of view - we are relatively rich in our programming, but poor in our disseminated knowledge through written publication; new ideas, whether they be new programs, new theories, research, etc. are all valuable topics - even if it doesn't make it into one of the three OE academic journals, there are many magazines, newsletters, and websites that the material could be presented

Why not get published?  It is an exercise in persistence, patience, and being able to accept critical feedback that few people wish to endure.  The short-term costs are greater than the short-term rewards.  And it isn't easy to do it the first time - be prepared to undergo a learning curve that takes a while to "get on top of" (never really finishes!).

A good place to start is with the three major outdoor education journals - JEE, AJOE & JAOEL.  This is because they have high acceptance rates and are a bit more friendly than your average academic review process, especially for first time authors.  We definitely need more first time authors in our field (esp. graduate students and experienced practitioners), to keep it expanding, and as editors we try to encourage and support first time authors.  For a brief historical overview, details of how to access, links to homepages, guidelines to authors, etc. each of the journals, check out:
http://www.wilderdom.com/journals.htm

For links to other journals which publish OE material, go to:
http://www.wilderdom.com/Sources.html#Refereed

For links to non-peer reviewed newsletters and magazines which publish OE material, go to:
http://www.wilderdom.com/Sources.html#NonRefereed

So, what do you write about?  An area of expertise and passion which fills a niche in the published information about outdoor education.  Also consider book reviews, letters to the editor (or replies to articles), brief articles, plus AJOE has a non-refereed section.

Which journal?  Whilst there is some overlap in the foci of the three major OE journals, when submitting consider the following if your article has:
- a regional focus in UK/Europe - strongly consider JAEOL
- a regional focus in Nth America - strongly consider JEE
- a regional focus in S.Pacific - strongly consider AJOE
- a focus on experiential education (as opposed to AE/OE) - strongly consider JEE