All entries for April 2022
April 29, 2022
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i2
We are delighted to announce the publication of the Spring 2022 issue of Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal. This is our 21st issue overall, and as a regular issue of the title, contains a range of articles, critical reflections and conversations on a broad spectrum of topics. It is, like all our past issues, entirely open access and free to read at point of publication.
This is the twenty-first issue of Exchanges, published in April 2022. This issue contains a variety of articles from different corners of the disciplinary academic traditions, from authors around the globe. Article topics within include: schizoanalytic cartographies, post-urban life in the Alps, factual divergence and expert trust, challenging stereotypical representation of Italian women, environmental epiphanies, disability representation in the media; along with two extended conversations with noted scholars. The issue’s editorial by the Editor-in-Chief briefly introduces the issue and provides an overview of the articles published within it. It also highlights two opportunities for participation through a reader survey and an anniversary call for papers on ‘authentic interdisciplinary’, alongside the regular open call for contributions to future issues. Ways for readers and authors to engage with the journal in-between issues are also highlighted.
As always, my thanks to all the authors, reviewers and editors who helped make this issue possible. Hopefully, the next issue you’ll be seeing will be one of our especially exciting special issues. Watch this space for news, or sign up to be an Exchanges reader and get emails directly.
April 28, 2022
As part of our Accolade and EUTOPIA-SIF training programmes, I’m hosting a pair of workshop sessions next week.
The first on Tue 3rd May, is the return of the ever popular – Exchanges: Ask Me Anything session. As in previous iterations this is a freeform session, wherein I invite the audience to ask me pretty much anything about the Exchanges journal and related areas. Experience has shown half the questions tend to veer off into general topics of academic publication, but that’s fine as I’ll always be interested in a hearty discussion about that broader domain. Additionally, it’s a safe bet I will likely get up on my soapbox about the importance of early career scholars, open access and scholar-led, non-commercial journals disrupting the hegemonic commodified academic communications field.
Ahem. Or maybe this time will be a first and I won’t!
The second session, Thu 5th May, is the return of the Developing your Publication Strategy panel event. We ran this last in March 2021 and it was a very lively discussion. This time I’m joined by four panellists to answer questions, discuss comments and explore all aspects of their personal publication strategies, processes and experiences. The last running of this workshop was an excellent packed hour of discussions, and I’ve every hope this time will be much the same – even though it’s an all new panel!
Now, cynics among you might notice that both these events require fairly light preparation on my part. That’s deliberate, as running the journal – especially around an issue launch – takes up a lot of my time. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be bringing my customary showmanship and polished hosting skills to the fore on the day! I very much expect our audiences will have a highly informative and energised time.
After those sessions, in this role at least I can then switch to preparing for the end of the month, when I’m running an undergraduate workshop on academic publishing and writing skills. Now that one, I DO need to prepare some materials for, but thankfully there’s a few weeks between then and now for me to fit that in. So more on this later session towards the end of the month.
 In my other job I’m running two workshops in May on preparing and delivering an effective conference paper. No pressure there then.
April 12, 2022
48 months in, the Editor-in-Chief pauses to celebrate his progress and progression
It was my Warwickversity yesterday, commemorating that day back in 2018 when I first took on the mantle of senior editor for Exchanges. A lot has changed, not least my official job title and that of the journal itself, since then. There’s also been a lot more home-office working than I anticipated, and while I miss seeing a lot of the Warwick campus crew in the flesh right now, I’ve not missed the countless miles of the commute down the M69.
There weren’t any celebrations – hopefully if I make it to year 5 that would seem a suitable moment to make a mark – other than a quiet reflection on job (mostly) done well. It is great to acknowledge that having come into the post as what was a fixed term 2.5 year role, that I’m still here and loving the job more than ever today. Probably in part because what the journal is and does has evolved, but mainly because of the editors, authors and other contributors or supporters I’ve met along the way. Not to mention the IAS’ unflinching backing of the title and myself through good times and adverse too.
Right, enough omphaloskepsis – time to get back to work for the next 12 months of effort – starting with the call for papers coming out in this month’s new issue of the Exchanges journal!
April 06, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/
How much does creating a conversation between articles in a journal volume rely on luck, authors or the editors themselves?
This morning I was interviewing one of my associate editors (hi Anna!) who had reached the end of her time with the journal. As I’ve probably mentioned in previous posts, I always like to run exit interviews with my editors to explore what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown and perhaps most importantly what were the challenges they faced. All of which feeds into my plans and support for the journal team going forward. The interviews are also a great point at which I can personally thank the editors for their efforts: literally without them we are nothing as a journal, so it’s always worth saying.
While we talked over various issues in our chat, one point today’s editor made concerned not being able to see the ‘whole’ journal as she was only working on a few papers. Hence, for an associate editor how the journal comes together is seen from a very ‘fragmentary’ perspective. I thought this was an interesting point, worth a few minutes’ reflection of my own. I must confess, how collections of articles become more than an assemblage of text and evolve into a conversation, where pieces almost speak to each other, can be an incredibly illusive element of the editorial process. For our regular issues there have been a few glorious, serendipitous moments where articles can be seen to resonate with each other, occasionally even between issues. I say ‘serendipitous’, as our regular issues comprise articles usually submitted and developed entirely in total isolation from each another. I will acknowledge how on a rare occasion we have pieces submitted which are responding to earlier texts, but although these are worthy contributions, they are the exceptions rather than the rule.
For our special issues though, there’s a much greater chance its articles will exist in some form of cogent metanarrative. The articles are often framed as outputs from an event, most notably as in our first three special issues for example, or may instead emerge from a call for contributions. For the former option this means while articles might have been finalised by authors in private, there’s been some degree of interchange and interaction ahead of their creation with their fellow contributors. All of which will have influenced their thinking and writing to a degree, making the appearance of threads of commonality or counterpoint in the prose more likely. For those responding to an open call though, I’ll acknowledge there’s going to be less immediate interrelationship within the texts.
Certainly, though, as editor-in-chief it’s also part of my role to maximise any resonance between individual articles too. This might be achieved through how they are assembled within the running order of the issue, but also most notably within my editorial overview of the issue’s contents too. It’s often when I’m writing this guide, as I am currently for issue 9(2) that I begin to identify some of the common threads of discussion and debate within the pieces.
The benefits stemming from a well-curated and highlighted collection of articles has been one of the stronger arguments for the continuation of the journal as a form of scholarly publication. Rather than expecting readers to only use an article level accesses to specific texts, co-locating articles within a single journal issue, serves to enhance people’s awareness of other works of interest. Hence, a collection of thought from disparate writers, aggregated within a single volume, can potentially offer something more insightful as a whole than the individual components. Or at least that’s how the common argument goes.
I am perhaps in awe, and slightly jealous, of those journal editors who make this work look effortless though. For some perhaps it is easier due to the volume of texts they receive and publish far exceeds that of Exchanges: with more work to pick and choose from, and a likely greater regularity of publication, collating these pieces to form volumes with a stronger central narrative core becomes a less-complex achievement. It also forms a powerful incentive for readers and contributors alike to turn to their journals knowing the volume will contain multiple points of interest.
Then again, attempting to achieve such a narrative for a disciplinary title – rather than one trading in interdisciplinary contents such as ours – is also likely an easier, if not entirely facile, task too.
That said, coming up in the next issue of Exchanges will be a call for papers on a singular theme. I have high hopes this may well offer the creation of such a coherent discourse. Naturally, whether it succeeds or not I suspect will be largely down the coherency of the call that I write, but more than anything on the perceptions and scholarship of the issue’s contributors. Hence, we will have to see what fate, and our prodigious and generous authors, provide!
 Due for publication at the end of April '22