- » Focus and Scope
- » Section Policies
- » Peer Review Process
- » Publication Frequency
- » Open Access Policy
- » Archiving
- » Statement on publication ethics and misconduct
- » RUSC’s Editorial Team functions
- » Indexing
- » RUSC's annual summaries
Focus and Scope
RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal is an electronic publication coedited by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and its eLearn Center, and the University of New England and its dehub.
The thematic areas of RUSC are the following:
- University models in the knowledge society.
- Educational models and technology use in higher education.
- Open access systems for learning material use. Systems for development and use of open educational resources.
- Technological and pedagogical models and innovations.
- Transformations in higher education learning or administrative processes resulting from ICT use.
- Organisational and administrative perspectives of ICT use in higher education institutions.
- University governance and leadership in the knowledge society.
- Models of university presence and service using the Internet.
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Peer Review Process
All of the articles published in RUSC are previously subjected to blind review by members of the Scientific Editorial Board, who are renowned experts in the subject area.
Guarantee of blind review
As detailed in the author guidelines, authors must submit their articles without any personal details (name, surname, e-mail address, academic affiliations, postal address or brief CV). This information must be included in a separate file.
Stages of the article review process
Stage 1: Sending of original.
Stage 2: Assessment of the submission by the journal’s editorial team, who decide if the submission should go on for peer review or be declined, whether due to formal reasons or the content.
Stage 3: Blind review of the original by external reviewers who are experts in the corresponding subject area.
Reviewers are asked to assess the following: the article’s relevance to RUSC’s subject area; the writing and presentation; the originality and level of interest of the subject handled; the description of the research question; the presentation of the conceptual and theoretical framework; the adequate nature of the methodology used; the presentation and analysis of the results and conclusions; the relevance of the bibliographic references and the adequate nature of the tables and figures.
The peer review will take between one and six weeks, approximately. Throughout the process, article authors’ identities and peer reviewers’ identities remained concealed. RUSC has a database of reviewers with experts in methodologies and in the journal’s thematic areas. A list of the experts consulted is published every year. The journal provides reviewers with instructions and forms for assessing the quality and relevance of submitted articles.
Stage 4: Sending of the result of the review to those responsible at the journal.
The reviewers send the results of their assessment and their proposed decision to the journal’s editorial team, who, in light of the reports, will take a decision and evaluate whether the article should be sent to a third reviewer.
Stage 5: Communication of the result of the review to the authors.
Between three and six weeks after submission of the original manuscript. Authors will be notified of the editorial decision in a reasoned manner.
Accepted: An article is approved if the result of the two reviews is positive and the editorial team deems that the authors are not required to make any changes.
Not accepted: An article is declined if the result of one or both reviews is negative.
Modifications required: The results of the reviews propose changes to the content and/or format by the authors before a further review of the article. Making these changes does not guarantee acceptance of the article.
If authors recommend a particular reviewer for their article, the journal reserves the right to accept or reject any such recommendation.
RUSC is an electronic journal that publishes two issues per year (January and July).
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Authors may deposit their works in open-access repositories, whether before peer-review (as pre-prints) or after (as post-prints).
This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...
Statement on publication ethics and misconduct
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) is committed to upholding the highest standards of quality and integrity in the publication of scientific articles, in accordance with the guidelines set out in its own Code of Ethics, the Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (Committee on Publication Ethics, COPE), and CSE's White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications (Council of Science Editors, CSE). The UOC aims to satisfy the needs of authors and readers alike, ensuring the quality of articles published in its journals, protecting and respecting all rights pertaining to the content of articles, and respecting the integrity of all submissions and published work.
The Editorial Board of RUSC undertakes to publish all corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies as and when they are required. As part of its commitment to best practice, RUSC makes publicly available the evaluation system for submitted articles and the criteria applied in the external peer review process. RUSC regularly updates these criteria, which are intended to ensure the scientific relevance, originality, clarity and pertinence of published articles.
RUSC maintains full confidentiality throughout the evaluation process, protecting the anonymity of authors and external reviewers, the reviewed content, the reviewers' report and any other communication issued by the editorial, advisory and scientific boards, as required. Equally, it applies the strictest standards of confidentiality to any clarifications, claims or complaints that an author may wish to refer to any of the journal's boards or to the external reviewers.
RUSC undertakes to respect the integrity of all published work. As such, RUSC will be particularly vigilant in identifying and sanctioning cases of plagiarism. Any manuscript that is found to plagiarize published work will be removed from the journal or barred from publication, as the case may be. The journal will act as swiftly as possible in all such cases. In agreeing to the terms of the journal, authors undertake to ensure that the articles they submit and all of the associated materials contain only original work and that they do not infringe on the rights of third parties. In the case of shared authorship, a clear statement must be made to the effect that all authors have agreed to the content of the manuscript and that the work has not been published previously in any other form.
The authors of articles submitted for publication must ensure that the material they submit to RUSC is original work and that it does not contain fragments of work published either by themselves or by other authors. In submitting a manuscript, the authors must also guarantee the accuracy of the data presented therein, which must not have been altered to verify the experimental hypothesis or hypotheses put forward.
Authors must ensure that the materials consulted during the preparation of their article are the most recent and relevant in the field with which the research is concerned and that they have given due consideration to all current schools of thought on the subject matter.
Authors must clearly identify all those individuals who have made a significant scientific contribution to the conceptual design and planning of the study, the interpretation of the results and the writing of the article. The list of authors must be ordered hierarchically to reflect the degree of responsibility of each author and their respective roles in the study.
All authors accept responsibility for the content of the manuscript.
Reviewers undertake to produce a critical, sincere, constructive and impartial evaluation of submissions and to complete their review in the shortest time possible, to ensure that the deadlines of the evaluation process are met.
Reviewers are only assigned to a manuscript if they have the necessary expertise in the relevant field and are not affected by any conflicts of interest.
The reviewers will submit a full and thorough report, complete with the necessary references, in compliance with the terms of the evaluation process and any applicable public standards, particularly when rejecting a submission. In addition, reviewers must notify the Editorial Board of any part of the manuscript that has already been published or is under consideration for publication in another journal.
Reviewers must ensure that they have no conflicts of interest with regard to the research presented in the article, the author/s, and the sources of funding for the project.
Once the Editorial Board has verified that the article conforms to the standards on content and style indicated in the editorial criteria, it will send the article to two anonymous experts, not affiliated to the authors' home institution, for a double blind review.
The reviewers' evaluation of the article will focus on its interest to the scientific community, the novelty of its contribution to existing knowledge of the subject matter, the accuracy of the relationships it establishes with other work, the critical judgement displayed, the bibliographic references used, the quality of writing and presentation of the manuscript, and other standard considerations. Where necessary, recommendations will be made as to how the manuscript can or should be improved.
The Editor of RUSC will examine the reviewers' report and notify the author/s of the outcome (fit for publication without changes; fit for publication with minor corrections; fit for publication with major corrections; not fit for publication) by sending an email to the address from which the manuscript was submitted. The reviewers' comments and suggestions will be provided for consideration by the first author.
If the manuscript has been deemed fit for publication with minor or major corrections, the authors must submit a revised version which addresses the external reviewers' comments and suggestions. The authors may also attach a rebuttal letter for the Editorial Board in which they explain the specific changes made to the original submission.
The Editorial Board will determine whether the revised manuscript is fit for publication on the basis of the changes made and the degree to which they successfully address the reviewers' comments and suggestions. The Editor will then notify the authors of the final decision.
 Codi Ètic de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya i Codi de Bones Pràctiques de Recerca i Innovació [Code of Ethics of the Open University of Catalonia and the Code of Good Practice for Research and Innovation] (in Catalan).
 Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Code of conduct and best practice guidelines for journal editors.
 Scott-Lichter, D.; Editorial Policy Committee, Council of Science Editors. CSE'S White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. 2012 Update. 3rd Revised Edition. Wheat Ridge, CO: 2012. [Accessed 28 May 2013].
RUSC’s Editorial Team functions
The Co-Editors guide and oversee the scientific quality of the journal, the members of the Editorial Board and the Scientific Editorial Board.
The Co-Editors’ responsibilities include:
- Setting the editorial line, together with the Editorial Board.
- Directing the activities of the Scientific Editorial Board.
- Representing the publication institutionally, officially and legally.
- Planning and supervising promotion of the journal.
- Taking strategic decisions for each issue.
- Assessing the development of the contents.
- Setting the journal’s strategy and periodically assessing the results, together with the Managing Editor.
- Promoting and establishing agreements with other institutions that foster scientific excellence and ensure the journal’s economic sustainability.
The Managing Editor is the main editorial post at the journal. They supervise the review, editing and publication of the articles.
The Managing Editor’s responsibilities include:
- Overseeing and setting the guidelines for the editorial line.
- Ensuring the quality of the contents and editorial excellence.
- Directing the activities of the Editorial Board and the Scientific Editorial Board.
- Approving the final version of every issue, taking the final decision on the publication of the articles and the issue in which they are to be published depending on their content.
- Drawing up the article submission and review timetable.
- Drafting the journal’s publication guidelines.
- Drawing up the review protocol document.
- Ensuring that the ethical rules of research and experimentation are observed in the articles published.
The Editorial Board is chaired by the Co-Editors of the journal and comprised of a group of specialists, selected for the quality of their scientific work in the field covered by the journal. They aid and advise the Managing Editor in decision-making and the ongoing improvement of the publication.
The Editorial Board’s responsibilities include:
- Assisting the Managing Editor in all their duties, and in monitoring the articles in particular (submission, review, acceptance).
- Monitoring the flow of manuscripts, controlling and ensuring compliance with the journal’s guidelines and ethical precepts.
- Controlling the quality of the reviewers’ reports.
The Scientific Editorial Board is comprised of university faculty, researchers and professionals of recognized prestige, and members of educational or governmental institutions proposed by the journal's Editorial Board.
The Scientific Editorial Board’s responsibilities include:
- Promoting the journal.
- Securing collaboration from potential authors.
- Proposing the production of monographic issues on subjects of special interest and/or relevance.
- Acting as reviewers for the journal.
- Guaranteeing the quality of the peer review process.
The Editorial Secretary possesses in-depth knowledge of editorial work. Besides assisting the Co-Editors in the day-to-day running of the publication, they interact on a daily basis with the editors, reviewers and authors to ensure the uninterrupted flow of the editorial process. They are also responsible for proposing the measures and actions that lead to the development of the publication.
Their responsibilities include:
- Issuing the certificates that are requested.
- Ensuring compliance with the policy drawn up by the Editorial Board.
- Having detailed knowledge of the articles and, initially, deciding which need to follow the established formal process based on the journal’s guidelines and ethical precepts.
- Drawing up the annual statistical reports on the editorial process.
The members of the technical team are appointed by the institution and Co-Editors, and are responsible for:
- Monitoring the correction, composition, lay-out and electronic publishing tasks.
- Managing the administrative and economic aspects in accordance with the institutional agreements established by the journal's management.
- Ensuring the overall consistency of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) journals in accordance with the criteria set by the UOC Publications Committee.
- Acting as liaison between the journal and the UOC Publications Committee.
The Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento, RUSC, has been accepted and included in the following directories, catalogues, libraries and databases:
Databases for the identification, evaluation and impact of scientific journals
- MIAR (ICDS 9.500)
Database for the identification and evaluation of the citing of humanities and social sciences journals
Database for the identification and evaluation of the citing of spanish social sciences journals
Database for the reach and editorial quality of Spanish legal, humanities and social sciences journals
Online regional information system for Latin American and Caribbean, Spanish and Portuguese scientific journals
- Carhus Plus (AGAUR, Talència)
Classification of scientific journals in the areas of Social Sciences and Humanities published on a local, national and international level
- h5-index (Google Scholar)
The h-index (as defined by Jorge E. Hirsch in 2005 in his article entitled “An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output” and published in PNAS) provided by Google Scholar Metrics is one of the most important indicators to rate a researcher’s scientific output. This index simultaneously assesses the quality (in terms of the number of citations) and the quantity of the scientific output. RUSC is 20th in the list of the leading hundred journals in Spanish, with an h5-index of 16 (the h5-index is the h-index of the articles published in the last five complete years).
Bibliographic databases (access via subscription)
- Educational Research Premier™ (EBSCO)
It indexes educational research journals
- Fuente Académica ™ (EBSCO)
A multidisciplinary collection of academic journals from Latin America, Portugal and Spain
>> Access Fuente Académica (only available via the UOC Library)
Databases of academic resources on social sciences and education
- Educational Research Abstracts (ERA)
ERA is a comprehensive database comprising specially selected high-quality abstracts which cover the current international research in education
- EdITLib (Education & Information Technology Digital Library)
Database, sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, includes articles and papers related to all aspects of Educational Technology and E-Learning
- ISOC (CSIC/CINDOC)
Directory of Social Sciences and Humanities Journals
Reference directories of journals
- Ulrich's periodicals directory
Reference source of worldwide journals
Web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected, promoted by seven British universities (Manchester, Oxford, Manchester Metropolitan, Nottingham, Heriot Watt, Bristol and Birmingham Universities)
AERA SIG Communication and research
The organization Communication of Research is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association
Portal for the dissemination of Spanish-American scientific work promoted by the University of La Rioja
Databases of open access journals
A portal with the terms in force for copyright and self-archiving at Spanish scientific journals
- Scientific Commons
Bank of open access journals with worldwide application (University of Saint Gallen)
A searchable database of publisher's policies on self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in open-access repositories
- Biblioteca virtual Miguel de Cervantes
The Library of Spanish Cultures (University of Alicante)
- Biblioteca Nacional de España
Collective catalogue of journals
- Biblioteca virtual Joan Lluís Vives
Library of Catalan, Valencian and Balearic Culture
RUSC's annual summaries
Summary of 2009 in figures
During 2009, RUSC has expanded its Scientific Editorial Board up to 34 members, of whom:
- 10 are from Spain (29%);
- 13 are from Latin America (38%): 4 from Chile, 3 from Mexico, 1 from Venezuela, 1 from Brazil, 1 from Peru, 1 from Colombia, 1 from Uruguay and 1 from Puerto Rico;
- 6 are from North America (18%): 4 from Canada and 2 from USA,
- And 5 are from Europe (15%): 3 from the Netherlands, 1 from Belgium and 1 from Portugal.
With respect to the articles received during 2009, we were sent 39 works (12 for the dossier), of which 24 were accepted and 15 declined. This means that the levels of acceptance and decline were around 60% and 40%, respectively. Most of the articles were peer-reviewed by two experts, normally members of the Scientific Editorial Board.
The number of subscribers to RUSC is now 881, who are those who have subscribed using the new Open Journal System management tool.
Finally, we have the following metrics:
Average monthly visits since April 2009: 5,051
Average monthly unique visitors since April 2009: 3,921
Average monthly page views since April 2009: 12,097
Summary of 2010 in figures
Over 2010, RUSC expanded its Scientific Editorial Board. It added 5 new members in 2010 to take the total to 39.
- 28% are from Spain (11);
- 36% are from Latin America (14): 4 from Chile, 4 from Mexico, 1 from Venezuela, 1 from Brazil, 1 from Peru, 1 from Colombia, 1 from Uruguay and 1 from Puerto Rico;
- 18% are from North America (7): 4 from Canada and 3 from USA;
- 15% are from Europe (6): 3 from Netherlands, 1 from Belgium, 1 from Portugal and 1 from France, and
- 3% are from Asia (1): 1 from Israel.
During 2010 we received 46 works (7 more than in 2009), 21 of which were articles, 19 contributions to monographs, and 6 reviews. Of the 21 articles, 5 have been published, 5 are being reviewed and the remaining 11 declined. Of the 19 contributions to monographs, 10 were declined, 7 published and 2 are being reviewed. With respect to the reviews, of the 6 received in 2010, 4 were published and 2 declined. Thus, the percentage declined was exactly 50% (23 works declined from the 46 submitted), which is 10% higher than last year.
All the articles have been peer reviewed, usually, by members of RUSC’s Scientific Editorial Board and in accordance with the journal’s guidelines.
Over 2010, RUSC has been accepted on Elsevier-Scopus, EBSCO (Fuente Académica™ and Educational Research Complete™) and ProQuest (Ulrich’s).
Finally, we have the following metrics:
Total visits: 72,928
Total visitors (unique users): 49,119
Total page views: 155,563
Total article downloads in PDF: 30,545
Monthly average visits: 6,077
Monthly average unique visitors: 4,093
Monthly average page views: 12,963
Monthly average article downloads in PDF: 2,545
Average time spent on the site: 2 minutes
Summary of 2011 in figures
Over 2011, RUSC received 45 articles for the journal’s miscellany section and 46 for the various dossiers for which calls were opened – 91 in total. 52 of these articles were rejected (a rejection rate of 57%). The journal also received 4 book reviews, of which one was rejected. In total then 95 works were received – more than double those received in 2010 (during which 46 were received in total).
The journal added eight members to its Scientific Editorial Board during 2011, from the 39 members it had at the end of last year to its current 47. The geographical distribution of the board’s members is as follows: 26% are from Spain, 36% Latin America, 21% North America (Canada and USA), 13% Europe (without Spain), 2% Asia and 2% Africa.
During 2011, the journal nearly doubled the number of experts contributing to improving the quality of the articles through peer review. The number of experts consulted rose from 32 in 2010 to 62 in 2011. Of these, 33 are members of RUSC’s Scientific Editorial Board and the rest are faculty and researchers from universities in Spain and around the world.
At the start of 2012 RUSC has 1,602 subscribers, 164 of whom signed up during 2011.
Summary of 2012 in figures
In 2012, the Universities and Knowledge Society Journal (RUSC) received 55 submissions for the Research Articles section and 25 for the various monographic Dossiers in response to the calls for papers issued throughout the year, bringing the total to 80 articles.
Of the 55 articles received in 2012 for the Research Articles section of the journal, 6 have been accepted, 15 are being reviewed and 34 have been rejected (4 were withdrawn by the authors).
Of the 25 articles received in 2012 for the monographic Dossiers, 4 have been accepted, 10 are being reviewed and 11 have been rejected.
Thus, of the 80 articles received in 2012, 45 have been rejected (56% rejection rate).
In early 2013, RUSC’s Scientific Editorial Board had 51 members: 16 from Spain (31%), 3 from other European countries (6%), 19 from Latin America (37%), 9 from North America (18%), 3 from Asia (6%) and 1 from Oceania (2%). Furthermore, Rosalind James from the University of New England (UNE), Australia, became co-editor of the journal alongside founding editor Josep M. Duart as a result of the new agreement between both universities.
In 2012, 57 experts reviewed the articles submitted to RUSC, of whom 41 are members of RUSC’s Scientific Editorial Board, 12 are from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) and 4 are from other Spanish universities.
In early 2013, RUSC had 1,931 subscribers, 329 more than in the same period the previous year.
Summary of 2013 in figures
Number of issues published: 2
Number of original papers published: 27
Number of papers received: 59
Number of peer-reviewed papers: 55
% papers accepted: 47%
% papers rejected: 53%
Average number of reviewers per paper: 2
Publication delays: 0
Average time between receipt and publication of a paper: for articles received for the miscellaneous section, 15 months; for articles of the monograph section, 6 months.
Number of registered users: 2,768
Number of registered readers: 2,552
% authors external to the editorial staff: 88.5 % (7 of the 61 authors) of the two issues published in 2013 were members of the Scientific Editorial Board.
% authors external to the editing institutions (UOC/UNE): 90% of authors of the two issues published in 2103 were external to UOC/UNE (55 of 61).
Geographical distribution of authors: from the 61 authors of the two articles published in 2013, 31 are Spanish (50.8%). The other 49.2 % is distributed between these countries: 7 Argentina, 6 México, 5 Colombia, 3 UK, 3 Chile, 2 Venezuela, 2 Cuba, 1 Canada, 1 Union of Arab Emirates.
Geographical composition of the Advisory Board: at the end of 2013, RUSC’S Editorial Board had 61 members of which 17 were from Spain (27.8%), 3 from Australia (5%) and 41 from other countries (67.2 %).