To many students, the idea of picking up a physical academic journal to do research might seem absolutely foreign. Students think of online resources first, especially for research, where they expect to find whatever they need at the click of a mouse.
Acadiensis, UNB’s own Atlantic Canadian history journal made the switch to a hybrid format in the mid 2000’s, maintaining their print production in parallel to a new online format. The journal now has an online archive containing past issues as well.
Sasha Mullally, co-editor of the journal said that since the addition of the online format, they’ve been able to grasp the full scale of their readership. “Our Google analytics have shot up to about 5,000 users a month, and when we release a new issue, it can double that.”
In addition, they were able to realize how far their reach extends. A lot of those users come from around the world. In fact there’s a cohort of readers from Saudi Arabia, and a fairly robust readership in northern Europe and particularly Great Britain.
Another contributing factor to their growing base is their open-source nature. Mullally’s own words, “if you’re going to be funded through the taxpayer purse, you should be giving back freely to the Canadian polity.” Most of their articles are written by professors, who are paid by the public, in one way or another.
However, the editors of Acadiensis are always seeking to improve. In an effort to expand readership beyond the academic world, Acadiensis is working on a new essay series, titled 'Present and Past'. Mullally hopes that the new series will attract a new audience and increase readership, and help to maintain their reputation as one of Canada’s top academic journals.