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Nordic Journal of Literacy Research set for launch

Nordic Journal of Literacy Research is a new Open Access periodical which will seek to bring together and develop Nordic research in the fields of reading, writing and literacy.

Professor Atle Skaftun, associate professor Oddny Judith Solheim and professor Per Henning Uppstad are the interim editors of NJLR. Professor Atle Skaftun, associate professor Oddny Judith Solheim and professor Per Henning Uppstad are the interim editors of NJLR.

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The Nordic Journal of Literacy Research is published by Cappelen Damm Akademisk and is a Nordic scientific periodical which aims to bring together Nordic research in the fields of reading, writing and literacy. The portal with access to editorial articles was published on Wednesday 23 September at nordicliteracy.net.

?"NJLR aims to be the natural first choice for those wishing to disseminate or acquire knowledge and insight into literacy in the Nordic region", says Professor Per Henning Uppstad from the Norwegian Reading Centre at the University of Stavanger (UoS). He is one of three interim editors working on the periodical, together with Professor Atle Skaftun and Associate Professor Oddny Judith Solheim at the Norwegian Reading Centre/UoS. An editorial board has been established, consisting of key and active literacy researchers, primarily from the Nordic countries, who represent a broad range of backgrounds and projects within the field. ??

"Literacy research has traditionally been split into three categories. Research concerning access to the written word and to text is the most widespread, and is conducted in a school context. An interest in culture-oriented literacy, which looks at access to the written word and text in society in general, has also emerged. We aim to bring these different approaches together. By looking at the fields in a specific Nordic context, we will create a critical and dynamic picture of literacy in our part of the world", says Uppstad. ??

A young but mature research field
In the article entitled Nordic literacy – towards an integrated perspective of literacy, the editors note that the links between literacy and learning in the modern information society are becoming ever closer. NJLR aims to cover the entire spectrum of access to the written word, from the first encounter with the written word and the experience of "breaking the reading code", to understanding texts and finally mastering and participating in modern text culture.?

"We are increasingly hearing that we live in a society characterised by text-intensive communication, yet we still lack concrete descriptions and analyses which underpin such abstract notions. We need pictures of literacy practices in different areas of life in the Nordic region in order to understand both the age in which we live and ourselves. By knowing more about text access and text usage in modern society, we will also be better able to study the past. Together, these analyses of past and present practices will provide us with firmer foundations on which to take wise decisions, while we work to further develop Nordic societies", say the three editors in their leading article.??

The editors are inviting participation both from researchers from established reading and writing traditions in the Nordic region, as well as researchers who are closer to New Literacy Studies, where access to the written word and text in life outside school is examined more closely. NJLR places emphasis on respect for methodological differences and is open to articles which represent a broad spectrum of methods.

?"Literacy is a relatively young discipline in the Nordic region. This periodical has its origins in the initiative behind the research conference Skriv! Les! (Write! Read!), a conference which, over a six-year period, has become a well-known meeting place for Nordic literacy research. The challenge has been to get reading, writing and literacy researchers to the same table. The establishment of NJLR is also an indication that literacy has become a mature research field in the Nordic region", says Uppstad.