We are very pleased to announce that after several months of intense work the first fully English issue of the journal Envigogika is ready to be shared with the community of those interested in the field we strive to systematically cultivate! Envigogika has been an important communication and knowledge-sharing platform on educational topics regarding the environment and sustainability in the Czech- and Slovak-speaking professional community since 2006. English abstracts were previously included, but full texts were available predominantly in Czech and Slovak (with a few exceptions in English).
Now, in 2013, the journal is taking a big leap forward by starting publication of additional issues in English alongside the Czech/Slovak issues. This is possible thanks to teachers at various educational levels in the Czech Republic involved in environmental education/ESD who are becoming more active and fostering a dialogue in this field that will support its ongoing development.
The number of authors from different disciplinary backgrounds that publish their articles in Envigogika is growing, and some of them even plan their research with regard to our readership. We are happy that these authors thus contribute to a common pool of knowledge, share their experiences “from the field” and provide up-to-date information necessary for joint initiatives. We are also grateful to have numerous anonymous reviewers who are willing to undertake the difficult task of contributing to the quality of the published articles. Thus, we feel that the quality of our articles has been consistently improving since the journal’s inception, which has also enabled us to step onto the international stage recently.
This first English issue is primarily focused on the specific context of the Czech Republic: not only environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD), but also awareness raising and the wider cultural context and political conditions necessary to achieve a transition towards sustainability. We are constantly challenging historically constructed and economically justified barriers to this development that also prevent deeper changes to habits, customs, lifestyles and ethical approaches; we concentrate on our field of expertise where fresh new ideas, teaching/learning methods, assessment techniques etc. could provide inspiration for and a critical view into the educational system per se. Thus, we are endeavouring to become a part of the international ESD community while also anticipating its support; any more profound innovation is based upon broader (in our case, European-wide) discussions, theoretical considerations, shared strategies, and joint initiatives. And we hope to involve colleagues from abroad (from other Central and East European countries, as well as further afield) in future English issues.
During past few weeks, we have been working hard towards strengthening the position of the journal internationally and therefore, as part of further developments, we have transferred the content of Envigogika from the original Joomla system to the new Open Journal System (OJS)  – an open source journal management and publishing system. OJS assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submissions through to online publication and indexing.
For Envigogika, using OJS means a qualitative step forward – now you can immediately download metadata from articles to EndNote, Zotero and other reference management software, it is already indexed in Google Scholar and, in the near future, we plan to add it to other important databases such as DOAJ, etc. In cooperation with Charles University’s publishing house Karolinum, Envigogika will also soon be included in the CrossRef database and each article will have a unique DOI.
A number of English-only issues will be prepared in 2013 and 2014 and these will be marked “ENGLISH ISSUE” in the volume name for easy identification. Based on our experience from this period, we will decide whether to publish articles based on language (Czech/Slovak vs. English) or whether to produce bilingual (possibly thematic) issues in the future instead.
But for now, in this first 2013 English-only issue, you can read about:
1) An evaluation of an interactive exhibition for secondary education students, focusing on global problems and consumer responsibility by Jan Činčera. The author comes to an interesting conclusion: even if the exhibition was successful in terms of involving students and increasing their awareness of the problems, it was evaluated as being manipulative by some students while some of the others experienced a feeling of hopelessness. Modification of the exhibition and related activities is proposed in the article.
2) Educational aspects of Environmental Economics – a course taught at the University of Economics in Prague for environmentally as well as non-environmentally oriented specialisations – are explored by Petr Šauer and Martin Zahradník. The focus of attention of their research is especially on what aspects of the course the students valued, what benefits they got from the course, how they managed the information resources and what role this played with regards to students’ concern for environmental issues. The authors come to the conclusion that the students clustered as both ‘environmentalists’ and ‘non-environmentalists’ (or even ‘anti-environmentalists’) advocate environmental economics as a beneficial part of the curriculum.
3) Intergenerational differences in personal relationships to nature are examined by Markéta Vacínová and Tomáš Matějček. They concentrate their research on pupils and their parents on selected aspects of their personal relationship to nature. They discover certain differences between these two groups of respondents in feeling a need to be in the countryside: while parents prefer more "classic" or "traditional" pursuits, the students practice mainly "modern” activities in the countryside.
4) Anna Polášková’s article offers an insight into the environmental literacy and attitudes of young technically-oriented Czech university students at a faculty of pharmacy in preparation for non-teaching and non-ecological professional careers. The author believes that environmental literacy and consciousness among university students in technical fields is very important, since it is usually among middle managers and executives with technical education that environmentally friendly policies and strategies more or less begin. She found that positive relationships to environmental protection and education in this faculty prevailed; however, the level of environmental knowledge gained from their secondary education seemed to be low in most cases.
5) Information texts: Andrew Barton and Jan Vávra report on the proceedings of an academic conference held in Prague in April 2013 called Our Common Present which focused on the array of current challenges facing Central Europe. In addition, Andrew Barton also writes about a workshop on Transdisciplinary Research on Sustainability held in Prague in May in collaboration with the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, UK.
We wish you inspirational reading,
The Envigogika editorial team
In Prague on 28.8.2013
With special thanks to those who contributed to the publication process on the part of publisher, including Charles University which has been supportive in the archiving of Envigogika and providing DOI for future issues. The editorial team would, moreover, like to thank all who made this important step possible with financial support obtained via the project Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development Network (MOSUR, OP VK) for all issues published since 2011, including the current English issue.
 OJS is open source software development by the Public Knowledge Project (http://pkp.sfu.ca) funded by Canadian Government and made freely available to journals worldwide for the purpose of making open access publishing a viable option for more journals. About 12 000 titles of scientific journals are using this system worldwide.