All entries for February 2023

February 28, 2023

Reflecting Back on Researcher Development: Spring Term

A few thoughts from last week’s researcher development session on publishing, editorial work and reviewing.

Last week I co-facilitated the second workshop sessions for the Leadership and Management Development course for early-stage researchers[1]. While the course is intended to take a look and share thoughts around various aspects of researcher development, my contribution was focused on publishing – specifically editorial and reviewing work. After the previous session in November I’d reworked my contributions, as I felt after that session how there was less interest in talking and quite a bit more desire for some learning and explanatory content. As matters turned out for this second version, this was a slight error on my part, as the delegates last week were far more interested in discussions. For early-stage researchers too, they also seemed to have a much broader range of experience within publishing, which meant I could have gone much deeper into some areas of argumentation than I did!

In terms of what was covered in the session by myself, this included:

  • Exchanges mission, purpose & opportunities
  • Metrics, esteem and publishing
  • Editorial workflows & processes
  • Peer-reviewing models & ethics
  • Trash publishers
  • Call for papers for a forthcoming special issue

On post-event reflection, I can see my next set of materials for the summer session are going to need revision once more – possibly finding a middle way between directed learning and discursive exploration. I confess, the online nature of the workshop rather reduced the degree of interaction I felt would have benefited my session, and certainly my ability to adapt on the fly to delegates’ specific interests. It’s one reason why last terms Exchanges AMA worked so well, as I was able to let attendees specific interests direct the entire event’s focus. Certainly, even after three long years of teaching online, while I note it offers some advantages, I feel for myself at least that it forms more of an effective barrier to learning than I would like.[2]. Undoubtedly, talking to a blank screen with slides on it utterly denudes the experience for me in gaining any affective resonance with the delegates, which I rather think is to the detriment of the experience for all.

It's not that it was a terrible session – far from it[3] – I just came away thinking there was a whole lot more I could have explored, or emphasised more, than I did. This is in rather stark contrast to last month’s CADRE session where I couldn’t have been happier with the delivery and delegate response. Of course, that session was face-to-face rather than online – so this might be a personal delivery style preference. Or it might have been that, for myself at least, online sessions work best when they are discursive rather than didactic in structure. A learning point I think for my own future delivery planning.

All this aside, there were however, some wonderful questions from the delegates – and if anything the discourse part of the session was a rich exchange of insight. I learned a few things myself too in the meanwhile. So, I don’t believe my time was squandered, but I am beating myself up slightly over offering a session which I didn’t feel like it reached my normal level of teaching excellence. I can, in the final evaluation, utilise the experience to improve the next session I deliver!



[1] The course lead’s preferred term for newly minted academics. Roughly analogous to early career researchers.

[2] Which is slightly concerning as, at time of writing, I’m hosting another lengthy workshop session this afternoon.

[3] Delegates may disagree!

February 22, 2023

New Episode: Creating Informal & Informative Academic Discussion Articles

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Last month we released a podcast episode looking at one of our two non-peer reviewed submission formats: the critical reflection article. Following feedback, it seemed a companion episode looking at the other of the formats was a good idea. Hence, today we launch a lengthy episode of the Exchanges Discourse dedicated to the conversation article. Listen in here:

(Also available on Spotify)

As it is once again a lengthy discussion, there is an episode index to give you an idea of where you might want to dip in – rather than listen the whole thing.

  • Opening: 00:00
  • Context: 01:07
  • Defining Conversation Articles: 03:33
  • Why Conversations Matter: 10:30
  • Writing Conversation Articles: 15:00
  • Conclusion: 23:45
  • Wrap Up: 24:48

The next episode of the Discourse is scheduled to be our panel discussion on interdisciplinary publishing – be sure to listen to that, as I suspect it might be our most exciting episode yet!

February 14, 2023

AI & Authorship

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Like many of you I've been following the discussions around authorship and AI, especially as it relates to ChatGPT and scholarly communications in recent weeks (for example: Haggart, 2023; Lucey & Dowling, 2023). You probably saw the splash in the news recently too when the major research journal Science took the position ‘banning the use of text from ChatGPT and clarifying that the program could not be listed as an author.’ (Sample, 2023). Naturally, as a journal editor thoughts on originality are rarely far from my mind, and while there have been tools around for some time which can be deployed by authors in the creation of text – I can recall playing with them as far back as two decades ago – ChatGPT does rather seem to have shifted the practice from a niche to a mainstream activity.

Given Exchanges regularly looks to COPE (the Committee in Publishing Ethics) for best practice guidance in maters of publishing ethics, I’ve been keeping our powder dry as far as any related policy for the journal is concerned. Certainly, during the last few weeks we’ve received our first – and I doubt last – article submission relating to the issue. Note about not by, being the important elements in this respect. Nevertheless, I suspect in the fullness of time we may will almost certainly have contributions from authors who will be making use of AI tools in the creations of their papers.

Hence, this morning I noted with particular interest how COPE have now produced a position statement on the issue of authorship and the use of AI in the creation of research publications. I confess I’ve been waiting on this with anticipation, and now it’s here am glad to report it is fairly elegant in its simplicity. The key elements of COPE’s position being:

  • AI Tools cannot be listed as paper authors given they cannot take any legal responsibility.
  • Authors utilising AI tools in a manuscript’s creation must disclose where/how they were used.
  • Authors retain responsibility and ethical liability for all of their paper’s contents

(COPE, 2023)

To my thinking this seems a rational, fair and workable approach. It doesn’t entirely exclude contributions from authors who may well wish to make a use of AI tools in the creation of their research outputs – which is good, because I wouldn’t want to preclude these from our considerations. However, it does clarify and demarcate the expectations of professional ethics, original contributions and the boundaries of authorship within any journal contributions. While I suspect questions around the use and misuse of AI tools within scholarship will not be evaporating any time soon, to my mind this position statement at least provides editors like myself with a framework upon which to consider and build our own related submission policies.

As such, with the hopeful agreement of Exchanges’ Editorial Board, we will be adapting and adopting a policy on AI tools and authorship, very much based on the COPE guidance. Given we as a journal typically look towards COPE for best ethical practice, this is line with the development of our extant policy frameworks. Authors seeking to explore these topics more, and how it may impact on the production of their submissions, naturally, are encouraged to contact myself for further discussions.



COPE, 2023. Authorship and AI Tools: COPE Position Statement. Committee on Publication Ethics.

Haggart, B., 2023. ChatGPT Strikes at the Heart of the Scientific World View. Centre for International Governance Innovation. 23 January 2023.

Lucey, B., & Dowling, M., 2023. ChatGPT: our study shows AI can produce academic papers good enough for journals – just as some ban it. The Conversation, 26 January.

Sample, I., 2023. Science journals ban listing of ChatGPT as co-author on papers. The Guardian, 26 Jan 2023.

February 01, 2023

Subscribe to the New Exchanges Newsletter

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There's a new regular way to get a monthly update on Exchanges direct to your inbox - a newsletter!

I'm delighted to announce there's now an Exchanges newsletter which people can subscribe to online. Each month the newsletter will highlight recent developments from the journal, along with a reminder of current and forthcoming calls for content, opportunities to get involved and all the very latest on our podcast series too.

The newsletter will, mostly, be reusing the content we post to the IAS' monthly newsletter - so if you're already subscribed to that, then you probably will be up to date on things. But if not, and you'd like the make sure you're always fully appraised of everything going on with Exchanges - then signing up to the newsletter is a great way to achieve this.

Full details of how to subscribe are here:

For interest in this issue of the newsletter:

  • Focus in on top articles and episodes
  • Review of Exchanges workshops and events
  • News about the Exchanges Discourse podcast
  • Reminder of open calls for papers
  • Somewhat on the new newsletter
  • Highlighting Exchanges' social media instances
  • Plus a regular guide on managing your list membership and what Exchanges is all about.

So, if you don't want to miss out on everything to do with Exchanges, and want to know more - subscribe today!

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