3 min read

Compiling the Chronology of Digital Journals in Writing Studies

Doug discusses the methodology for compiling the chronology of digital journals (and updates to it).
Blue Kairos logo superimposed over binary numbers and a sillouette of a person with a megaphone

—Douglas Eyman

After publishing our chronology (part 2), we immediately received notice of several early journals we had missed (such as Meat and The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy) and some journals that had appeared to be defunct but had been recently revived. It was also quite challenging to find archives for some of the older venues that have ceased publication (and even for some print journals, there are only traces online, with almost no evidence aside from references and citations that appear elsewhere that these journals actually existed). To generate the list of journals, I started with my own experiences and histories—but that also is a limitation, as I'm not as well-versed in international venues and areas of writing studies outside of composition, technical writing, and computers and writing as I would like. I consulted several lists of journals compiled by librarians at about a dozen university libraries and the list of journals posted by the The Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition, as well as the Scholarly Journals page at the WAC clearinghouse.

After the post went live, I continued searching and tracking down some of the missing entries, and I also found some useful lists of journals from past publications—notably Louis Weatherbee Phelps's "Rhetoric and Composition: A Brief History of the Field" (2004) and Doug Hesse's College English article, "Journals in Composition Studies, Thirty-Five Years After" (2019). I also consulted several lists of journals compiled by librarians at about a dozen university libraries and the list of journals posted by the The Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition.

One of the key challenges of compiling a list of publication venues in this field is that writing studies encompasses a wide range of subfields: rhetoric, composition, technical communication, computers and writing, community writing, literacy and pedagogy, among others. In a sense, the choices for inclusion (and exclusion) represent my own understanding of the discipline and demonstrate some of the boundaries I attempted to employ when working on the history. These boundaries are quite fuzzy though, as I added The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy because it was founded in part by writing studies scholars and includes work important to the field, but left out other journals that also influence our work but would not necessarily be categorized as focusing on writing or writing studies (and, of course, as I've noted elsewhere, I take a very broad view of what constitutes writing, as embodied in text).

Doug Hesse's article provided an example of delineating disciplinary boundaries based on experience of the field, and this is essentially the method I used, rather than a data analysis or bibliometric approach (that's a big project for another day). This does mean that some decisions are somewhat arbitrary: does Rhetoric and Public Affairs belong to writing studies via rhetoric, or is it more in the public affairs realm? Should I have included more communication studies journals, or just those that include a strong focus on rhetoric (as opposed to quantitative analyses)? The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is arguably important to the field of digital rhetoric, but it already appeared in part 1...should I have added an entry for it in part 2 as well? (I may still do that, actually).

As with all of our posts here, we welcome feedback and commentary (and also suggestions for any other journals that you think should be on the list).

Publications Added to the Chronology (part 2) after February 27, 2024

Digital Journals

CCC Online (version 2)
Dangling Modifier
English Teaching: Practice and Critique
Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy
The Journal of Peer Tutoring in Secondary Schools
Journal of Writing Analytics
Latinx Writing and Rhetoric Studies
Lore: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing
Meat: A Journal of Writing and Materiality
Relevant Rhetoric

Print -> Digital

CCC Online (version 1)
CCC Online Archive
Open Words: Access and English Studies

Print Journals

Business and Professional Communication Quarterly
Dialogue: A Journal for Writing Specialists
International Journal of Business Communication
Issues in Writing
Philosophy and Rhetoric
Quarterly Journal of Speech
Rhetoric Review
Text and Talk


Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization


Eyman, Douglas. (2015). Digital rhetoric: Theory, method, practice. University of Michigan Press.

Hesse, Douglas. (2019). Journals in Composition Studies, thirty-five years after. College English, 81(4), 367–396.

Phelps, Louise Weatherbee. (2004). Rhetoric and Composition: A brief history of the field. In Louise Wetherbee Phelps (Ed.), The case for rhetoric and composition as an emerging field. The Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition. https://ccccdoctoralconsortium.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/appendicies.pdf