Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I mentioned in my first post that my "output will be a publishable research paper that discusses the usability of open source software and the results of a case study." I've been thinking about the audience that I'd like to reach in my publication.

Who would be most interested in a usability study of open source software? Certainly, a journal focused on usability (such as JUS or UX) would be an excellent opportunity. However, while publishing an article in such a journal would be a great idea, I think the community or audience that would benefit from a usability study on open source software is the open source community itself. So as I consider options, I find myself leaning towards journals that serve the open source community.

There are several possible venues for a "deep dive" on the usability of open source software user interfaces. Some possible candidates, in approximate order of visibility and applicability:

Linux Journal
LJ is a front-runner among Linux and open source magazines. First published in 1994, LJ used to be a traditional subscription print journal, but recently (2011) switched to electronic only. LJ focuses mostly on Linux, but discusses open source projects in general. Articles published in LJ will see the widest distribution in the open source software community. Senior Editor: Doc Searls. Associate Editor: Shawn Powers.

Journal of Usability Studies
From its website: "The Journal of Usability Studies (JUS) is a peer-reviewed, international, online publication dedicated to promoting and enhancing the practice, research, and education of user experience design and evaluation." Ginny Redish and Jakob Nielsen are among several on the Advisory board. Co-Editors in Chief: Joe Dumas, Marilyn Tremaine.

UX Magazine
UX is an online magazine focused on topics about user experience. Managing Editor: Jonathan Anderson. Deputy Managing Editor: Josh Tyson.
An edited online magazine sponsored by Red Hat Software, this site is geared for all topics related to the open source community. While the site tends to avoid very technical details, an article about the usability of open source software would appear to be a welcome topic. community moderator: Jason Hibbets.

Red Hat Magazine
Despite its name, RHM is not specific to Red Hat Software or to Red Hat Linux. RHM addresses topics surrounding open source, software freedom, intellectual property, copyright, and education. An article about the usability of open source software would likely be a good topic, but may not see a wide distribution. Editorial team: Josh Gajownik, Bascha Harris, Jonathan Opp, Ruth Suehle, Adrienne Yancey.

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