Following our previous discussion on the quality assurance mechanism and "acceptance rate" of our online journal (see the Preface of Volume 7 Issue 2), it is noted that there are 28 new submissions received for consideration to be published in this issue. 17 of which (plus one re-submission initially processed for the previous issue) are accepted for publication in three different sections of this issue after the authors have properly revised their papers in accordance with the referees' comments or suggestions. Apart from a few articles which will almost be sure for rejection, the remaining 6 articles will be re-considered for publication in the next issue. As compared with the corresponding figures for the 2 issues in the previous volume, both the number of submissions and the number of published articles have increased very substantially (roughly 100%). However, we should notice that a few of those articles actually came from the conferenc papers as presented at the XII Symposium of the International Organization for Science and Technology Education, Penang, Malaysia, 30 July – 4 August 2006.
Coming back to this June or First Issue of Volume 8, there are 18 articles contributed by 32 authors in 19 different universities or education-related organisations. It is our great honour to have Professor HU Bing-yuan written for us a very timely foreword article on "China’s physics education reform in the new century: Opportunities and challenges". Professor HU is professor of the East China Normal University and President of Research Association of National Higher Physics Education, China. He is also well-known for his active promotion of physics education reform in mainland China and pioneer research on assessment and teacher professional development.
Out of the 18 contributed articles published in the present issue, we have 4 in the Academic Articles section, another 4 in the Exemplary Teaching Methods section and 10 in the General Articles section. They cover a very diverse spectrum of topics on science education, including students' views of science and certain science topics, science teachers' images of science teaching, science teacher professional development, various ways of assessment, use of information technology and web-based education, student project activities, scientific investigation, technological innovation activities, creativity education, as well as new modes of learning and teaching such as intergenerational learning, teaching argumentation and science teaching for enlightenment.
For all articles published in the aforementioned 4 sections, their corresponding pdf files are freely available for access in our Download section.
Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the 45 external referees in 13 different countries or regions and all members of our Editorial Board who have carefully and critically reviewed those manuscripts considered for publication in this issue. Thanks are also due to all persons who have contributed articles in this issue and to all research assistants and colleagues in the HKIEd who offered their kind assistance in developing and promoting this online periodical. Besides, we must express our special thanks to the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the HKIEd for their approval of providing the "matching grant" of donation to support this scholarly activity.
Yau Yuen YEUNG
Editorial Board, APFSLT