Calls for papers


International Journal of Web Based Communities
International Journal of Web Based Communities


Special Issue on: "Ethical Issues, the Use of Online Discussion Boards, and Community Building by Way of Computer-Mediated Communication"

Guest Editor:
Dr. José W. I. M. van den Akker, Curtin University, Australia

In the field of tertiary education today, online discussion boards are used to assist teaching and learning. This new technology may be seen as a way to facilitate communication, collaboration, contribution, creativity and interaction among individuals and groups.

But it is not clear whether this type of computer-mediated communication also helps build community, or only exacerbates colonising tendencies and/or exclusion of particular parties, e.g. those that are other-literate, less ‘verbal’ and/or less computer-literate.

This special issue is aimed at a readership that includes higher education management, teaching and learning staff, tertiary education policy-makers and online lecturers.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:

  • The standpoint of the moderator (in education, the teacher) who manages and facilitates the online environment
  • The moderator's motivation/s to erect an online discussion board
  • The moderator's context and how that affects what participants write and do not write
  • The moderator's timing of intervention
  • The moderator's communication style and related interaction between the moderator and the participants
  • The intention behind participation (e.g. to generate knowledge, as a form of self-study, to partake in a learning community, to broadcast one's own viewpoints, to improve one's writing skills, to have a sounding board)
  • Variations in the 'colour' and/or the emotional 'tone' of the online discussion board
  • Futurist perspectives on the use of online discussion boards
  • The purpose (role) of online discussion boards in the context of globalisation and a fluid modernity

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. Have a look at our Author guidelines and read our detailed information on Preparing articles.

Abstracts and papers should be sent in the form of MS Word files attached to an email to the following:

Dr. José W. I. M. van den Akker
Curtin University
Centre for Aboriginal Studies
GPO Box U1987
Perth, WA 6845

Please contact Dr. José van den Akker ( or Dr. Piet Kommers ( with any queries concerning this special issue, including enquiries as to whether the topic of their submission fits within the scope of the special issue. Please provide a paragraph describing the topic and potential title in any enquiries.

Important Dates

Deadline for abstracts: 15 August, 2013

Deadline for papers: 15 September, 2013

Feedback on submissions: 15 October, 2013

Final notification of acceptance: 1 November, 2013