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About the Journal

What is Kairos?

Kairos is a refereed open-access online journal exploring the intersections of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. The journal reaches a wide audience—currently 45,000 readers per month—hailing from Ascension Island to Zimbabwe (and from every top-level domain country code in between); our international readership typically runs about 4,000 readers per month. Kairos publishes bi-annually, in August and January, with regular special issues in May. Our current acceptance rate for published articles is approximately 10%.

Since its first issue in January of 1996, the mission of Kairos has been to publish scholarship that examines digital and multimodal composing practices, promoting work that enacts its scholarly argument through rhetorical and innovative uses of new media. As the longest continuously-publishing online peer-reviewed journals in the field, Kairos is one of the premiere journals in English Studies, made so by its dedication to academic quality through the journal’s extensive peer-review and editorial production processes.

We publish "webtexts," which are texts authored specifically for publication on the World Wide Web. Webtexts are scholarly examinations of topics related to technology in English Studies fields (e.g., rhetoric, composition, technical and professional communication, education, creative writing, language and literature) and related fields such as media studies, informatics, arts technology, and others. Besides scholarly webtexts, Kairos publishes teaching-with-technology narratives, reviews of print and digital media, extended interviews with leading scholars, interactive exchanges, "letters" to the editors, and news and announcements of interest.

Because questions of copyright, intellectual property, and fair use often arise for scholars who wish to create digital publications, we have developed a statement of copyright that encourages authors to carefully consider their rights and responsibilities while advocating for a strengthening of fair use. Our copyright statement also provides authors with the opportunity to build upon and republish their work because we are committed to the continuing development of intellectual work and believe that authors should retain the rights to scholarly production.

We invite you to share your views about Kairos, and we hope you'll consider submitting your work for our editorial review.

A Brief History of Kairos

Originally called Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments, the first issue was released in January of 1996 and has continually published between one and four issues per year. Although Kairos is not the first peer-reviewed online journal in the humanities (or in composition/rhetoric), it is one of the oldest continually-published venues and the first to focus on the development of work that drew upon the new media of electronic networks as key elements of digital scholarship.

Founding editor Mick Doherty explained the impetus for the creation of the journal and the decision to name it Kairos in an early essay called Kairos - Layers of Meaning:

This new journal has a great deal to do with kairos, particularly in terms of its appropriateness and timeliness in our field at this time. As we are discovering the value of hypertextual and other online writing, it is not only important to have a forum for exploring this growing type of composition, but it is essential that we have a webbed forum within which to hold those conversations. With this journal, the Kairos staff and authors intend to push many envelopes--of theory and pedagogy, of technology, of composition, and of professional scholarship--at a time when these efforts are vital to continued growth of our field. In essence, we've tried to make this the most kairotic journal we could.

Kairos now boasts over 45,000 readers per month (which is a respectable circulation for an academic journal in a fairly specialized field); these readers come to the site from every country in the world, and there are now over 2,500 specific links to the journal and the webtexts that have been published in it over its history.