npj Science of Learning - a new open access journal launched by Nature Publishing Group and The University of Queensland
29 January 2015
Nature Publishing Group has partnered with The University of Queensland (UQ) to publish npj Science of Learning, a new open
access research journal that will explore the neurobiology of learning in experimental and educational environments.
UQ researcher Professor Pankaj Sah of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the new
Professor Sah’s work centres on understanding the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in emotional processing, and he is
Deputy Director (Research) at QBI, and Director of the Australian Research Council's Science of Learning Research Centre
"The merger of neuroscience with education we are currently seeing has the same potential that the union of medical science had with biology in the health revolution of the last century," Professor Sah said.
"These are exciting times for neuroscience, and the science is taking us from the molecular and cellular understanding of brain
function all the way to the classroom, and the journal is about trying to understand not only how we learn, but how we can learn better."
Despite record funding – $63.7 billion was invested in Australian schools over three years from 2009-10 - educational outcomes
have not improved, with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures showing that Australian
educational results have slipped behind.
Professor Sah said that education needs to be treated like health, and the outcomes of new teaching strategies should be tested
and evaluated before implementation in classrooms.
"You would never release a new drug to the market without it going through clinical trials, and likewise education methods
should be properly tested," he said.
Martin Delahunty, Global Head of Partnerships, Open Research at Nature Publishing Group said: "At Nature Publishing Group,
we're committed to science and education – the science of learning seemed like the obvious choice for a new Nature Partner
Journal. It’s an area which is currently underserved, with most authors submitting to broader neuroscience journals, and we
wanted to offer an open access option.
"We're delighted to partner with The University of Queensland, who in in conjunction with the Queensland Brain Institute are
conducting some incredibly interesting research in this area."
UQ President and Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the University was proud to support the npj Science of Learning
which would disseminate scholarly literature in one of the most exciting frontiers of modern education.
"The insights gained from neurobiology and the ‘science of learning’, including big data from our edX MOOCs offerings, will help educators all over the world to refine approaches to learning and support better outcomes for students," Professor Høj said.
"UQ is proud to host the Australian Research Council's only Science of Learning Centre which combines education, psychology and neuroscience to improve learning outcomes and we are delighted to support this open access research journal to widely distribute emerging knowledge in this important field."
The open access format of the journal means that all articles will be free to read upon publication, enabling greater reach to the
wider community interested in this topic, from researchers to school teachers.
UQ is currently collaborating with universities and state governments across Australia under the SLRC, with funding until the end of 2016, and has built its own Educational Neuroscience Classroom to understand the biological processes that occur during learning situations.
To launch the journal, UQ, QBI and Nature Publishing Group, will hold a symposium on the Science of Learning on the 24th
April 2015 in Brisbane, Australia, attended by Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief
and Senior Vice President of Scientific American, as well as Dr Jonathan Sharples from the Institute for Effective Education, The
University of York and other leading academics and researchers.
The journal is online here and open for submissions now.
You can visit the journal website at: http://www.nature.com/npjscilearn/
About the University of Queensland
The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia's premier research and teaching institutions. It is consistently ranked in
the top 100 in the leading independent global rankings. UQ is tracking as the lead Australian institution for publications in the
With more than 45,000 students and 7500 staff, UQ's teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight
research institutes. For more than a century, UQ has educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge
leadership for a better world.
Emboldened by a record of success and the prospect of contributing to the answers to the world’s great challenges, UQ people are aiming ever higher to deliver benefits to society and the environment worldwide. UQ delivers international standards of excellence across the spectrum of research, from fundamental, curiosity-driven work that builds the stock of knowledge and
leads to new research questions to applied research and innovation with direct applications to industry and communities.
About Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific information in print and online. NPG publishes journals,
online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences.
Focusing on the needs of scientists, Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. NPG
publishes a range of Nature research journals and Nature Reviews journals, and a range of prestigious academic and partner journals including society-owned publications. Online, nature.com provides over 8 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and services, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board Naturejobs.
Scientific American is at the heart of NPG's consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches over 5 million consumers and scientists. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.
Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific community and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Science and Education, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and
Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sao Paulo,
Cairo, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Barcelona, Madrid, Basingstoke, Heidelberg,
Munich and Paris. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.