Frequently Asked Questions
How to navigate?
The main page of Constructivist Foundations is http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/journal. On the left side there is the navigation and issue panel, as well as a search field for quickly searching using authors’ names or words from paper titles.
In the issue panel you can access a specific issue of the journal by clicking on one of the miniature covers. This will take you to the contents page for the chosen issue. It features the issue’s cover page as well as a list of all papers it contains. To each paper there is a link to its abstract and to its full text.
On the top of the contents page you find information about the publication date, about the cover art and acknowledgments (if any), as well as links for downloading the cover and the entire issue.
How to access full texts?
You can download the full version of a paper for free by clicking on the link "PDF" displayed below the paper title.
Since Constructivist Foundations is a free but subscription-based journal, you will be taken to the login screen if you click on a download link for the first time. If you don’t have a subscription yet, follow the link “If you haven’t subscribed yet please click here” in order to register. If you already have a subscription but have forgotten your password, click on the button “Email password” for the password be sent to you.
After filling in your email/password combination and clicking on the “Login” button you should receive the message “You are now logged in. Continue”. Please note that your browser program must accept cookies for you to stay logged in, which is required for the following steps. (You will stay logged in until you quit your browser program.)
Click on “Continue” to go back to the page you came from. You can now click on any of the download links (paper titles or download URLs) for the download of the chosen paper to commence, and won’t need to give your login information again.
Depending on the configuration of your browser, the pdf of the full paper will either appear in your browser window, be opened by an external application such as Adobe Reader, or be downloaded. In the latter case you need to locate it on your hard disk and open it manually.
In case of problems, please see the section Why can’t I log in?.
How to search?
As an alternative to browsing the contents pages of published issues you can search for a particular author (last name) or words from the titles of papers by using the search field below the table of contents. Using this search field will take you to the advanced search page, which will display all the papers that match your search criteria.
On this page, you have a greater range of options. Words can be searched for in authors’ names, titles, publication details, and abstracts. Results can be displayed either with or without abstracts and arranged by year. There are four sorting criteria: author, year, title and source, both ascending and descending.
Search tip: Use the prefixes + or – to include or exclude a word. For example, +maturana +determination will only show Maturana’s paper Systemic versus Genetic Determination, while +maturana –determination shows all other papers from and about Maturana except that one.
Are URLs reliable?
YES. All the URLs are comprehensible and stable. As such they can be used in bibliographies and reference lists. You can enter them directly into your browser to access a particular piece of information or paper. Some examples:
How to change email or password?
To change your email address follow these steps:
- Log in with your old email address
- In the grey status bar in the top left corner you see "You are logged in as". Click on your (old) email address.
- Now you can edit the email address associated with your profile
To change your password follow these steps:
- Log in
- In the grey status bar in the top left corner you see "You are logged in as". Click on your email address.
- Now you can enter a new password
Note that you cannot change your email address and password at once.
Why can’t I download texts?
You are required to accept cookies to use this site as a subscriber. If you can’t get past the login in page, here are some possible explanations:
- Your browser does not accept cookies. Make sure that your browser’s preferences are set to accept cookies.
- Your browser does not support cookies. You will need to upgrade your browser.
- You are using a program on your computer that automatically deletes cookies such as “Cookie Cutter” and “WebFree.” You will need to create an exception for Constructivist Foundations.
- The date is not correctly set on your computer. This may confuse the cookies as they have an expiry date. Check that your date is set accurately.
- You are accessing Constructivist Foundations via a “proxy server” that deletes cookies automatically. You should contact your IP/network administrator to determine whether your proxy server is the source of the trouble.
What are constructivist approaches?
The common denominators of constructivist approaches can be summarized as follows.
- Constructivist approaches question the Cartesian separation between the objective world and subjective experience;
- Consequently, they demand the inclusion of the observer in scientific explanations;
- Representationalism is rejected; knowledge is a system-related cognitive process rather than a mapping of an objective world onto subjective cognitive structures;
- According to constructivist approaches, it is futile to claim that knowledge approaches reality; reality is brought forth by the subject rather than passively received;
- Constructivist approaches entertain an agnostic relationship with reality, which is considered beyond our cognitive horizon; any reference to it should be refrained from;
- Therefore, the focus of research moves from the world that consists of matter to the world that consists of what matters;
- Constructivist approaches focus on self-referential and organizationally closed systems; such systems strive for control over their inputs rather than their outputs;
- With regard to scientific explanations, constructivist approaches favor a process-oriented approach rather than a substance-based perspective, e.g. living systems are defined by the processes whereby they constitute and maintain their own organization;
- Constructivist approaches emphasize the “individual as personal scientist” approach; sociality is defined as accommodation within the framework of social interaction;
- Finally, constructivist approaches ask for an open and less dogmatic approach to science in order to generate the flexibility that is needed to cope with today’s scientific frontiers.
A more detailed description can be found here.
How to submit articles?
Constructivist Foundations welcomes scholarly articles and book reviews dealing with constructivist approaches. Occasionally it publishes special issues focusing on a specific topic. Please refer to the main page for a list of special issues to which you can contribute.
Since Constructivist Foundations is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal, publication cannot be guaranteed in advance but depends on the quality of the submitted paper. However, the reviewing system in Constructivist Foundations is constructive, i.e., geared towards providing authors with helpful comments on how to improve a paper and towards keeping and even increasing the variety of constructivist approaches.
Please refer to the Author’s Guidelines for more details regarding structure and length of your text.
All submissions should be sent to submission/at/constructivistfoundations.info. Use “Constructivist Foundations” in the Subject header.
How can I become a reviewer?
The journal is only possible because there are peers who put effort into reading submitted papers and assessing their contents in the light of their expertise. If you are interested in being added to the pool of reviewers, please contact ariegler[at]vub.ac.be.
After the publication of an entire volume, all its reviewers are listed on the Acknowledgement to Reviewers page.
Shall I quote from C.F.?
YES. Extensively refer to and quote from published articles in Constructivist Foundations. Publishing means reaching out for a readership. The larger the readership, the bigger the impact on the scientific community. This applies to authors publishing in the journal as well as to the journal itself. To obtain the exact bibliographic details for papers you refer to in your own publications, simply use the search page.
Why doesn’t it cost anything?
Most academic journals either require an expensive mandatory personal or institutional subscription from the reader or a significant amount of money from the author who wants to publish in them. Constructivist Foundations, however, does not charge its readers nor authors!
How is this possible? To start with, most steps in academic publishing are carried out without payment. This includes
- writing articles (i.e., authors don’t get paid; rather they sometimes have to pay themselves to get published),
- managing the paper submissions (scientific editors work for free, too), and
- reviewing the submitted papers.
Only when it comes to printing a journal, packing it, posting it, and advertising it do commercial publishers charge money. By skipping this part and gathering editors with the know-how for the technical details of electronic publishing, Constructivist Foundations forgoes the commercial part of academic publishing and can keep its costs relatively low. Consequently, it can offer its content for free to its readers.