3 Questions for New EURODL Chief Editor Ulrich Bernath

April 14, 2014 by EDEN Secretariat   Comments (0)

by Eva Suba

The EDEN Executive Committee assigned Dr. Ulrich Bernath, Chair of the "Foundation for Research in Open and Distance Learning", Senior Fellow of EDEN, as Chief Editor of EURODL.


Dr. Bernath has been working for the journal as Acting Chief Editor since June 2013. His sytematic and professional leadership ensured a smooth operation and continued high quality of the publication. The experience he gained in the field of Open, Distance and E-Learning, his comprehensive understanding of open access culture and extended personal participation in EDEN activities guarantee the journal's constant distinguished role in the filed of ODL.

We asked him in three questions about his vision for EURODL:

As the Head of the Best Research Paper Award Committee for the EDEN Conferences over the past years, you have been following closely the latest evolvements in the field. What do you see as the most fruitful and meaningful developments in research of the past 5 years?

So far nine EDEN Best Research Paper Awards have been granted at EDEN annual conferences as well as EDEN research workshops. Since this award has been launched in 2008, I was in the privileged position to be responsible for the pre-selection of research conference papers and conducted nine different juries towards their final decisions. There are indications that there is an increasing number of conference-paper submissions aiming at the award, which consequently raises the quality level of competing conference papers and thus also the reputation of the award. The “Best of EDEN” series assembles best conference papers and published articles from EURODL to annually showcase the latest state of the art. Very much due to the wide field of interest of the community related to EDEN this showcase features an impressive broad spectrum of up-to-date research.


The open content movement is gaining a momentum recently with more and more freely available online journals being established. Where do you see EURODL's position and role in this new constellation?

EURODL is spearheading the open content movement for years and in the position of one of six leading learned journals in the world, of which only three are practicing open access policies. This gives EURODL a competitive edge and at the same time a challenge to keep ahead as a peer-reviewed scholarly open-access journal.


In the brave new world of opening up learning and learning research towards various fields, where do you see EURODL in 5 years?

EURODL is not so much subject of fluctuations. Its format and standing allows to keep up with new developments in our field.in its broadest sense. For endless opportunities to critically reflect on every-day practices, concepts, models and visions EURODL shall remain to be a prefered space for publishing sound research.


Dr. Ulrich Bernath graduated in Economics. He holds a Dr. phil. from the School of Education of Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. From 1978 until his early retirement in 2006 he has been the Director of the Center for Distance Education at Oldenburg University. In 2006 he endowed the Ulrich Bernath Foundation for Open and Distance Learning and chairs the Board of Trustees and Directors.

From 2002 through 2009 he served the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) as an elected member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP), as an elected member of the Executive Committee as well as an EDEN Vice President. In 2009 EDEN awarded him the title of EDEN Senior Fellow. Since 2013 he is EURODL's Acting Chief Editor.

Uli Bernath is author of numerous articles reflecting organizational, conceptual, and pedagogical issues in distance education and open learning. Until recently, he has been the main editor of the ASF series on distance education. He currently serves as a member of editorial boards IRRODL, Distance Education, the American Journal of Distance Education, and the Journal of Distance Education/Revue de l'Education à Distance. He also is an auditor for EMD CEL Pogramme Accreditation for Technology-Enhanced Learning.

For more detailed information see his CV.


Read his 2012 interview  |  Dr Bernath on the EDEN NAP MA  |  About EURODL  |  About EDEN