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7 open-access academic journals

The media landscape of today is in many ways different than yesterday’s. We used to have only broadcast media, now we have collaborative media and social media. We used to have one-to-many-communication, now we have many-to-many communication. These facts are a given for anyone remotely interested on what’s going on in today’s media landscape, but how do you keep yourself informed on what these changes mean culturally, socially or psychologically?

Scholars can dig deeper
TechCrunch, Mashable, Wired and ReadWriteWeb are great resources for finding information on the latest techie gadgets and trends, but they rarely dig very deep. On the opposite side is academic scholars who have the time and resources to think-write and think-write again in ways that isn’t possible for journalists. Simply put, there are few resources for extended periods of research and analysis within the journalistic field.

Open-access academic journals
However, academic writings (journal articles and conference papers) are often locked up behind pay-walls and you have to access them through your scholar library. What if you’re not a scholar or a student yourself? Luckily, there are high quality open-access journals where you can find articles that dig deep into what is going on in today’s media landscape – culturally and socially as well as economically and psychologically.

The e-journals below are all peer-reviewed and are mainly within the field of media and communication studies.

1. First Monday
First Monday is an online journal that is devoted solely to internet studies. The current issues features an article by danah boyd on Facebook privacy settings and an article that asks if there is a sustainable future for open-textbooks.

2. Fibreculture Journal
The Fibreculture Journal is an online journal focusing on contemporary media technologies from social, cultural, philosophical and political perspectives. The current issue analyzes different aspects of gaming. Note the graphics in this issue’s header, it’s the Konami Code!

3. Journal of New Media & Culture
Journal of New Media & Culture explores human experiences and ideologies underlying new media technologies. The current issues features articles on the problem of identity-free online communication.

4. MediaTropes
MediaTropes is a journal devoted to the study of media and mediation and they address issues at the intersection of culture and technology. The current issue features articles on McLuhan and the cultural theory of media and political dissent in virtual networks.

5. The Journal of Community Informatics
Community Informatics is a journal devoted to the study and the practice of enabling communities with Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). The current issue features articles on economic and social empowerment through ICT in Palestine and women as innovators and change agents in community technology projects

6. International Journal of Communication
International Journal of Communication focuses on mediated communication. Manuel Castells, a guy famous for his theories on the networked society, is on its editorial board. The current issue features articles on media dependency and trust in mass media and an article analyzing how young adults evaluate web content.

7. Canadian Journal of Communication
Canadian Journal of Communication is devoted to the field of communication studies. The current issue features a case study on how you communicate in large cross-sector research networks.

Further reading on the MEDEA web: have a look at our walkthrough of media and communication studies as an academic discipline. Future posts on open-access e-journals will cover Interaction Design and Social Innovation.

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