All entries for Wednesday 03 October 2018

October 03, 2018

Expanding Internationalism & Representation

In recent months there have been a fair few changes with Exchanges’ Editorial Board membership, with some of my seasoned editors departing for pastures new. This has been largely due to exciting new developments arising within their professional careers reducing the time they had available to work with us. While I’m always sad to part with a member of my team, I can’t help but applaud as they move forward to new, exciting and intriguing roles. I can but hope they carry the positive experiences of involvement with our scholarly-led publishing endeavour with them.

Consequently, I’ve been working in the background to recruit and expand on our team of editors. Welcome aboard everyone, I’m looking forward to a long and productive working relationship with you all! Interestingly, my Editorial Board doesn’t just conduct editorial, review and copy editing work. They have an integral role promoting Exchanges as a resource for readers, reviewers and, crucially, potential authors. It’s this latter role which saw me meeting with the delightful Mike Haymes of Warwick’s European Engagement team this morning.

One of Exchanges underlying aims since I took over as Senior Editor, has been to expand our Board to include more members from Warwick’s international partners. For myself and Mike then, this was the crux of our discussions: how we could practically work towards expanding the Board in this manner. The timing of our conversation couldn’t have been more apposite, as Mike’s about to head overseas for various conversations with our partner organisations. Hence, I’m really hopeful that part of these discussions will help open up some dialogues at some of the institutions that don’t yet have representation on our Board between key institutional influencers and myself.

For the journal, this will potentially benefit us in terms of new authors and reviewers, but it will also help us promote the journal to readers who might not as of yet been aware of us. For the new editors, there’s a plethora of benefits, not least of which being the advantage of having an editorial board involvement appearing on their professional CV. This is alongside the experience gained through editing a scholar-led title and the opportunity to expand their professional networks, working alongside the editorial team. On top of this for our partners and Warwick, there’s benefits from establishing further networks of communication, collaboration and collegiality. Who knows what spin-offs, projects or endeavours might emerge from these? I’d argue it’s a win-win-win scenario for everyone!

I look forward to talking more about our expanding Board then, in the coming weeks. Once again, it seems exciting times lie ahead for Exchanges, and the IAS’ scholar-led publication activities.


Peer Review Finalé

The final day of the PLOINA Peer Review Summer School saw me spend most of the day working with the delegates. In the morning I was contributing to a session alongside some other esteemed journal editors, where we each contributed our thoughts on the process of being a reviewer from an editorial standpoint. My session was a development of a talk I’d given earlier this year to some of Warwick’s STEM post-graduate researchers, but it was still fascinating listening to the other talks (from Professor Cath Lambert and Dr Joan Marsh) and hearing their different points of view. Even as an editor, I feel there is still so much to learn about the art and application of peer reviewing, all of which is very much to the benefit to my continuing quest of quality assurance for Exchanges.

After lunch, myself and the hard working event host, Dr Charoula Tzanakou, facilitated a session wherein documents from delegates underwent a live peer review by other attendees. The idea behind this was not only offering a direct benefit to those brave souls willing to contribute their work in progress, but also to cultivate an attitude of constructive but empowering critique from the delegates. Interestingly, one of the lessons which emerged from this session was very much the amount of time and effort that goes into making a constructive peer review critique. It certainly isn’t a trivial exercise, and I hope the delegates were all able to take on board that while it can be a challenging exercise it is also a deeply satisfying one. Satisfying, especially in terms of being exposed to new thought, but also in helping to shape scholarship and assist fellow scholars in the development of their authorial voice.

Over the three days I was in attendance, I was deeply honoured to have been involved in what was clearly a much needed, well-received and valuable summer school. My thanks to Charoula, and Polina Mesinioti, for the invite to participate and their extensive hard-work in organising and hosting this excellent event. That is, if the conversations I had with delegates were anything to base feedback on! I also feel I’ve learned a great deal about peer review myself, and will be spending more than a few minutes looking to apply this increased expertise with Exchanges and our practices. I also hope some of the delegates will consider registering with Exchanges as part of our peer reviewers’ network: it only takes a few moments, and there are so many benefits in terms of enriching your personal scholarship and contributing to developing the scholarly literature.


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