All entries for Thursday 19 March 2020

March 19, 2020

Journal Management in Challenging Times

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/

When I took over running Exchanges back in early 2018, I expected to deal with various challenges. Getting to grip with the journal system, learning to work with my team of editors, tackling intricate author questions and resolving ethical publishing dilemmas: these were anticipated and, to be fair, encountered. Conversely, dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis necessitating personal isolation and remote working for an extended period of time wasn’t even at the back of my mind. Perhaps it should have been, but I suspect I wasn’t alone in my assumptions.

As readers will know, Exchanges is a scholar-led, editor-mediated academic journal, run by and for early career researchers. My editorial team, scholars all, are scattered around the globe in four different times zones and at least five countries. The Corvid-19 outbreak is also a global event, meaning each of us is dealing with unexpected challenging personal and professional circumstances of varying levels of severity. As of writing, this week the outbreak has especially impacted on the UK and its universities, and I’ve now been advised to work from home for the foreseeable future. Luckily, this is something I do on a regular basis, although I’m going to miss my frequent personal interactions with the Institute of Advanced Study’s staff, fellows and the rest of the Warwick university community. Not to mention my lovely office!

We are though, an international journal with contributors around the globe who are also likely finding their lives and work impacted by illness, closures and disruptions. We have always prided ourselves as a journal with an ethical empathy and understanding of challenges faced by our contributors, embedded within our professional ethos. Nevertheless, my team and I understand that our normal timescales for contributor responses may need to be more flexible for the time being. Personal and family health and well-being must come first.

What does this mean for the journal? I am thankful virtually all of Exchanges’ core editorial work can be conducted remotely, which means the journal can continue to function as close to normal as we can manage. However, there is no denying that through the uncertainties introduced into all our daily working lives, that our anticipated future issue timescales will have to be treated with a little caution. I’m hopeful that we will still produce the anticipated Spring volume of Exchanges on or close to our regular April publication date, but right now I’m treating this with a little caution.

Nevertheless, if you are currently or considering contributing to Exchanges and have any concerns about deadlines or timescales, please don’t hesitate to speak to your editor or myself directly. We are always happy to discuss your concerns.

I should note, all our currently calls for contributions – Nerds and Loneliness, Falsehoods as well as our general call, remain open and we look forward to reading your articles and abstract submissions.


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