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Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
On the journal website it is stated that the International Journal of Educational Investigations (IJEI), which began open access publication in December 2014, “aims to provide an international platform where new theories, research insights and case studies can be published and shared internationally. IJEI promotes and encourages a broad understanding of innovations in education in order for theoreticians and practitioners from different backgrounds to share knowledge and ideas on this important issue. IJEI covers a wide range of educational innovations at school and university levels. Thus, manuscripts dealing with educational innovations and investigations in accounting, management, arts, language & literature, foreign languages, linguistics, music, philosophy, theater, biology, chemistry, engineering, health & medicine, mathematics, physics, physical education, psychology, sociology, etc. are welcomed.”
It seemed odd that the subject focus of the journal, which is apparently on educational innovation, doesn’t appear until the second sentence of the scope note, and that prompted me to take a close look at the journal’s editorial board. Of the nine members of the board, one has a stated specialty in Educational Research & Evaluation. The others specialties range from TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language), literary criticism, applied linguistics, pedagogy, English language teaching, and English language and literature. Their educational affiliations include the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines; University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Sastra University, Thanjavur, India; Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran; Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran; Hellenic Open University of Patras, Greece; King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia; and L.N. Mithila University, Darbhanga, Bihar, India. The Editor-in-Chief’s affiliation is listed simply as the International Association of Academic Journals, IJEI’s publisher.
The contents of the two most recent issues of IJEI, March and April 2015 (although these are listed as separate issues they are both designated Volume 2, Number 3) reveal that this journal seems really to be about English language teaching, rather than about “educational innovations and investigations in accounting, management, arts, etc.” The focus further seems to emphasize TEFL in Japan and the Middle East. Here are the contents of the most recent issues: “A Cross-Linguistic Study of Apology Styles between Iranian and Japanese Auto-Company Managers: Responsibility in Focus,” “ESP Needs Analysis to Integrate a Scientific Reading Program in the English Language Institute at King Abdul Aziz University,” “The Effects of Focused Task (Task Utility) on Iranian EFL Learners’ Grammar Acquisition (A Study of Azad University, Malayer, Iran),” “Speaking Anxiety in ESL/EFL Classrooms: A Holistic Approach and Practical Study,” “Constructing an Interdisciplinary Mentoring Framework for ELT Teacher Education and Teacher Development,” “A Comparison between Male and Female in their Willingness to Communicate and Use of Socio-affective Strategies,” Learner Autonomy: Origins, Approaches, and Practical Implementation,” “How Parents Can Help Their Children At Home,” “A Comparative Study of Audio and Video Listening Practices in a Private Language Institute in Iran,” “The Effect of Game Tic Tac Toe and Flash Cards on Zero Beginners’ Vocabulary Learning,” “Revisiting Foreign Language Teaching and Testing in the Light of Cognitive Linguistics,” “The Effect of Awareness-Raising of the Features of Real Speech on Iranian Pre-intermediate EFL Learners’ Listening Comprehension,” “A Cross-Linguistic Study of Apology Styles between Iranian and Japanese Auto-Company Managers: Compensation in Focus,” “Domestication and/or Foreignisation of Literary Texts in Translation: a Study of post-Revolutionary Era in Iran,” “The Effects of Decision-making Tasks (Opinion-Task) on Improving Iranian EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension,” “The Effect of Mind Mapping Strategy on Comprehending Implicit Information in EFL Reading Texts,” “A Sociolinguistic Study of Linguistic Taboos in the Iranian Society,” and “The Role of Metacognition Awareness in EGP Progress Test.” After going through these articles the specialties of the editorial board members made better sense.
The quality of material here is somewhat uneven. Some articles have been heavily researched and are copiously footnoted. Others, such as “How Parents Can Help Their Children At Home,” offer homespun advice such as: “Learning, of course, began the day your child was born, and it doesn’t stop: so your work as a parent began that very day. Was there a test you wrote and passed for becoming a new parent? Absolutely not! None of us did! Did you get a manual from the hospital on how to raise your child when they sent you home? No! None of us did. Back in those days of the 70’s when I had my babies, I got a case of stout beer to take home from the hospital to stimulate breast feeding. That’s what I got!” Articles are in English, and the quality of the grammar and writing is uneven, as well.
This is a standalone title on the list of Potential, Possible, or Probable Predatory Scholarly Open-Access Journals, and, based on the content so far, it appears the journal is still trying to define itself. At present is would be of interest mainly to TEFL teachers in Japan and the Middle East.