About the Journal


Focus and Scope

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is an online, open access academic journal that adheres to the highest standards of peer review and engages established and emerging scholars from anywhere in the world. The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is a transdisciplinary journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect virtual worlds research. The field of virtual worlds research is a continually evolving area of study that spans across many disciplines and the JVWR editorial team looks forward to engaging a wide range of creative and scholarly work.

What are virtual worlds and what is virtual worlds research, within the context of this journal? These are evolving questions that we hope the formation of a community of scholarship will explore and expand. However, to provide a base to build upon, we consider virtual worlds to be computer-based simulated environment where users interact with other users through graphic or textual representations of themselves utilizing textual chat, voice, video or other forms of communication. The term virtual worlds includes, is similar to, or is synonymous (with extensive qualifications) to the terms of virtual reality, virtual space, datascape, metaverse, virtual environment, massively multiplayer online games (MMOs or MMOGs), massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), multi-user dungeon, domain or dimension (MUDs), MUD object oriented (MOOs), multi-user shared hack, habitat, holodeck, or hallucination (MUSHs), massively-multiuser online graphical environments, collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) or multi-user virtual environments (MUVES), and immersive virtual environments (IVEs).

We see the current predominance of the virtual worlds of Second Life and its competitors as the most recent iteration of a long lineage of developments in virtual reality and gaming both in terms of technologies and conceptualization. Finally, we do not pretend to be a gaming journal, and hope that through this forum we are contributing to the development of specific space within the scholarly and creative communities for discourse on the wide variety of topic areas that are involved in virtual worlds research, including history of virtual worlds, cultural and social theory, quantitative research, qualitative research, virtual ethnographies, pedagogy, education and virtual worlds, development, experimentation, ideas and the intersection of virtual worlds and society.

Peer Review Process

Manuscripts submitted to the JVWR will generally be reviewed by two experts in the field. We aim to provide a fast and thorough review, and the reviewers? assistance in this process is much appreciated.

Reviewers are reminded that the content of the manuscript they are reviewing is confidential and thus it should not be discussed with anyone. If a reviewer is joined by a colleague during the assessment of the manuscript, they should inform the editors.

An important goal of JVWR is to speed the review process. We aim to turn around papers as quickly as is consistent with a thorough evaluation of their contribution. We aim to adhere to the following standards for turnaround time.

* For papers of 25 pages or less: 20 weeks or less.

Publication Frequency

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research will publish 3-4 issues per year with special editions being published as agreed upon by the editorial team.

Open Access Policy

Open Access enables authors to obtain the maximum possible exposure for their work. Freely available papers are read more, cited more, and have more impact than ones available only to paid subscribers. As an experiment, enter a research topic into a search engine like Google and see how many links you obtain to papers published in traditional journals. You will find that most references are to working papers, not to published papers, because working papers are freely available.

The advent of the web has made free dissemination of research feasible and financially viable. Because existing specialty journals obtain revenues from selling subscriptions, primarily to libraries, access to the research they publish is limited. The attractive revenue stream that such subscriptions provide makes it unlikely that these journals will convert to Open Access. Thus a need exists for new refereed Open Access journals to replace existing journals. We believe that the establishment of a major Open Access journal in communication study will lead others to establish Open Access journals for many sub-fields and specialities in communcation, reclaiming full control for the profession of its research output. We hope that this will lead the profession to a new norm in which all research is freely available.


This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More