All entries for May 2023
May 24, 2023
Writing about web page https://open.spotify.com/episode/21ZeAct9Negsa9qzQFTK67?si=P0RZT3hKQHuQHyGyKEx1dg
A new podcast episode tackles issues around publishing design and textile based research practice.
With great delight I can reveal we've released the latest episode in our Exchanges discourse podcast series. In this new episode I talk to past journal author Berilsu Tarcan (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), about the paper she co-authored Repositioning Craft and Design in the Anthropocene: Applying a More-Than-Human approach to textiles as part of our recent special issue. We discuss the challenges of publishing design and artefact related research, as well as exploring Berilsu’s current research focus. We close with considerations and advice for authors looking to submit their papers to Exchanges and other academic journals.
Listen in here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/21ZeAct9Negsa9qzQFTK67?si=P0RZT3hKQHuQHyGyKEx1dg[32:36]
For those of you who are pressed for time and would like to skip to the salient portion of the episode - here's a time index to aid your navigation.
- 00:00: Opening
- 00:52: Introduction
- 05:55: Article Perspectives & Insight
- 14:34: Current Research Activities
- 19:00: Publication Feedback Experiences
- 25:00: Article Publication Advice
- 31:06: Closing Conversations
- 31:50: Outro
May 23, 2023
Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/global/europe/eutopia
Reflections from last week’s EUTOPIA-SIF panel on a couple of fascinating academic pubolication topics.
Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion session as part of Warwick’s contribution to the EUTOPIA-SIF programme of events. To this end, I was joined by delegates from across Europe, as well as from here at Warwick to discuss a couple of topics close to my own professional interests: publication strategies and metrics. For once though, and thankfully given the challenge of the session’s theme, I wasn’t on the spot to talk about my own views but rather to enable the discourse between four wonderful panel members and the attendees. I can report from comments in the session and subsequently, that this was clearly a much-appreciated discussion opportunity.
For those of you who weren’t in the room here’s the session overview:
A major part of developing an academic track career is taking a strategic approach towards one’s publishing outputs. This helps in ensuring visibility among key audience demographics, alongside achieving credible impact and public recognition alongside generating markers of personal and professional esteem. Hence, understanding and engaging with the various publication measures of esteems – be they journal, article or personal – intrinsically resonates with any such strategic approach.
Illuminating these discussions through personal and professional insights will be a diverse group of scholars, sharing their experiences and perceptions around these crucial topics. Adopting a panel discussion format, the session will be largely contextualised and driven by attendees’ interests, questions and comments. In this way, the panel’s debates will organically evolve and resonate with the interests and concerns of the attending audience members.
In tackling these topics I was joined by a collection of academic panellists, drawn from contributors to Exchanges as authors and editors alike. These were:
- Dr Alena Cicholewski (Institute for English and American Studies, University of Oldenburg, Germany)
- Dr Huayi Huang (Usher Institute of Health and Wellbeing, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)
- Dr Ignaas Jimidar (CHIS (Chemical Engineering), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
- Dr Sharon Coleclough (Department of Media, Performance and Communication, School of Digital, Technologies and Arts, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK)
Ahead of the session I’d made a call for questions, as well as developing a few provocations of my own to get the ball rolling. While I’d shared these with the panel beforehand as the session was also designed to be largely driven by the delegates’ thoughts, experiences and insights of the delegates a most dynamic session ensured. Hence, after an opening question to prime the pump asking generally about publication strategic approaches, we shifted very much to an dialogic and interactive approach for the rest of the 90 minutes or so.
While I am not going to attempt to share the full session discourse – when you’re chairing there’s only so many notes you have time to take – to offer a flavour, in terms of overall strategies some of the suggested approaches included:
- Bespoke: Remember there is no single strategic approach that works for all. Be adaptable with your publication approaches and ask yourself what you want to achieve - e.g., recognition, dissemination, career esteem or opportunities.
- Interdisciplinarity: Balance the need for advancing complex and insightful niche work, with that which straddles interdisciplinary boundaries – in terms of readers or subject matters – for maximum impact.
- Networking: View publishing as networking – consider who you are writing for and where, and use it to engender a discourse or dialogue between yourself and other key researchers. Can be the basis for an ongoing series of publications as a result.
- Potential: Publication isn’t everything – it is possible to advance to a new role without an overtly strong portfolio of past works, but having the potential to achieve more in the future is always worth stressing.
- Situtation: Understand where you are in the field, especially in terms of where you want to go and how you want to be perceived.
Following on there was also a fair amount of discussion contrasting the differences in perceptions of most esteem capital worthy works in different disciplines and fields. Certainly, comments around the (arguably unhealthy) predominance of STEM publication habits as ‘normative’ were richly represented here. These considerations were married with examinations of questions relating to single and joint lead-authors and the different advantages this might confer, alongside the challenges of breaking into an Anglophone  dominated publication field in some domains.
There were considerable discussions around metrics – their use and misuse in cases, and the importance of balancing your own career and output and trying not to be entirely dominated with chasing the illusive highest impact simply to amplify a quantitative score . Of course, as any academic knows no matter how much we might try to resist such objectified metrification the reality is research assessment exercises such as the REF loom large in any scholar’s life. However, balancing the need to ‘feed the beast’ while still achieving the ongoing publication and research discourse you actually want to produce remains a nuanced topic.
During the panel discussions the topic of AI, as one might have expected, came under the spotlight. There was a smattering of debate considering how the panel and delegates saw it as part tool, but also something which might distort or disrupt academic scholarly communicative practices into unknown configurations in the coming years. As an ancillary to these discussions, the panel were challenged to explore those other publication technologies or developments which might be worth examining in greater detail. Suggestions included podcasts and non-textural publication routes able to reach and engage new and different audiences, alongside developments in normative peer-reviewing practices too. Certainly though, retaining a watchful eye on opportunities beyond the traditional journal and monograph vectors which might prove valuable routes to communicate research activities were agreed as an essential strategic awareness.
The session closed by the panel offering their final thoughts on, given a limited time resource, where they would recommend focussing professional attention to yield maximum result. Suggestions included seeking to be a solo or lead author wherever possible, considering how your publications promote your public, professional identity and create the backbone of your interpersonal networks. Alongside this the importance of always remembering where you were in your career journey and meeting both opportunities and need within your strategic publication aims was stressed. Certainly, the panel agreed opportunities abound in terms of being able to contribute and be recognised far beyond simply operating as an author of texts within the publication sphere.
As always, my especial thanks to my panel quartet for their contributions and generous donation of their time and insights. From the reactions in the room, I can see that the delegates certainly were engaged by the discussions, and I hope we left them all with plenty to think over. As chair I certainly enjoyed the discussions and am still chewing over some of the comments and how they might relate to my own praxis and work on Exchanges. Naturally, I would like to extend my thanks to all the delegates too and especially to those posing questions or contributing to what was a very active chat-channel.
 An Anglophone and high income economy perhaps?
 Alternatively, to amplify just a single quantitative score perhaps?
May 10, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/journal-policies
A formalisation of a longstanding operational ethos is seen with the introduction of a new contributor conduct policy
Informally ever since Exchanges was founded and certainly even more so since I took over the reins of power, the journal has been run with an operational ethos of enlightened collaboration. The idea has been that we wanted the journal to standout within the academic publishing field not so much for academic excellence  but more for being a title with a polite, positive and enabling demeanour attitude to contributor interactions. I am happy to report, as evidenced within our recent feedback report,  this approach has paid considerable dividends. From a personal perspective too, I can report how greatly I’ve enjoyed the mutual respectful and engaging interactions I had and continue to have with our contributing community – which is a credit to each of them.
Understandably though, there have been a limited number of occasions where we have experienced some issues within these interactions, with a very few not quite engaging within the same envelope of mutuality. Thankfully, we usually found a way through and back to more cordial working relationships, much to my professional relief. Nevertheless, the occasional but recurrent nature of these events suggested how more formally stating the journal’s position with respect to interpersonal engagement may be of benefit to everyone. Such a formal statement, or policy, to which we can direct people would assist everyone involved with Exchanges in maintaining our operational effectiveness and collegiality.
We are lucky, being based at the University of Warwick, to have an institution which takes matters of professional conduct and positive personal interactions seriously. The Dignity at Warwick Policy for example is a cornerstone statement demarcating the expected norms of interpersonal conduct and respect between colleagues here. Hence, even though Exchanges deals with scholars around the world, this policy strongly resonates with the attitude the journal has long espoused itself and to its contributors.
All of which is a long preamble to announcing how this week Exchanges has introduced a new, brief, policy statement, drawing on Warwick’s framework and our own operational philosophy, outlining the conduct expectations for all journal contributors. It is a policy to which I suspect I will rarely need to directly refer, given how cordial and professional are the vast majority of our working relationships and interactions. Nevertheless, I hope it will serve to clarify our expectations on contributors, and hopefully continue to help frame the journal’s operations within an effective and enlightened scholarly mode.
You can find our Contributor Conduct Policy along with all our other key operational statements, on the Journal Policy section of Exchanges' website. As always, where there are any questions, as always, the first port of call is myself as Editor-in-Chief.
 Although, that would be delightful too, and certainly an ongoing aspiration for us.
 See also my recent editorial for discussions about this report.
May 09, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/guidance#formats
Following interest from a number of authors, Exchanges has introduced a new article submission format.
Exchanges has been approached a few times recently by authors asking if we would consider publishing critical and evaluative reviews of recent or significant texts. Looking back, over past issues, we have had some articles which arguably broadly fell into this category published as critical reviews. However, to date we had not set up a separate book reviews submission format. After a little consideration, and following a brace of recent submissions to the journal, I am happy to announce that from this latest issue of Exchanges onward we are now formally inviting authors to submit reviews of worthy and ideally recently published academic research texts. Such books may be author monographs, multivolume works or even textbooks.
Writing Book Reviews
Owing to Exchanges' audience, many of whom are early career post-graduate researchers, such book review manuscripts should be crafted by their authors to offer an introductory overview of the work under consideration intended for readers less or unfamiliar with a field. As such, as with all our articles, book reviews should seek to explore, clarify and unpick particular domain specific concepts, terms or ideas, rather than assuming automatic peer-familiarity.
Ideally, and initially, Exchanges is more interested in reviews of books published in relatively recent years, given their relative topicality and impact on scholarly discourse. However, we may consider reviews of older, established works or those of a more literary configuration too, but authors are advised to consult with the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) ahead of submission to avoid disappointment. Conversely, authors who are looking to review a spread of literature within a field, would be expected to submit a review article for peer-review consideration rather than a piece under this format.
As per our normal submission review policies Exchanges reserves the right to decline for publication consideration any book review submissions which do not meet our base quality controls, journal scope or other policy requirements. Moreover, while book reviews will be subjected to an editorial review and revisions process before consideration for publication acceptance, they will not undergo external peer review. Authors wanting to discuss a potential book review manuscript ahead of formally submitting it to the journal for consideration, are warmly welcomed to open a dialogue with the EIC at any time. However, such pre-submission discussions are not a requirement or prerequisite for any submission.
We look forward to reading your future book review submissions to this new category with considerable interest.
May 04, 2023
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3
Spring brings with it the next regular issue of Exchanges
While it barely feels like five minutes since the last issue (it’s been about 6 weeks actually) we are pleased to announce the publication today of the Spring 2023 issue of Exchanges. This is the regularly scheduled issue of the journal, and contains a variety of articles on various topics. It also includes our first overt book review – of which more in my next blog post.
You can access the issue directly here:
And in case you were wondering what’s in it – here’s the table of contents.
- Birkett, I., 2023. Literature in Politics: The Appropriation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in contemporary British parliamentary debate. pp. 1-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1197.
- Minoli, A., 2023. An Aesthetic Portrayal of Republican-era Shanghai: The exciting and discordant beauty of the metropolis in Zhang Ruogu’s Urban Symphony. pp. 48-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.920.
- Wakefield, M., 2023. McGahern: Lover of words, creator of worlds. pp. 62-76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1182.
- Khair Allah, R., 2023. The Use of Miro in Teaching Practice. pp. 77-91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1277.
- Jabri, A., 2023. The Doctor-Writer Experience of Intissar Haddiya: A Moroccan figure. pp. 92-98. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1280.
- Yi, R., 2023. Review of Wang and Munday (2021) Advances in Discourse Analysis of Translation and Interpreting: Linking Linguistic Approaches with Socio-cultural Interpretation. pp. 99-104. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1290.
- Johnson, G.J., 2023. Feeding Back, Looking Forward: Editorial Volume 10, Issue 03. pp. i-xiv. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i3.1351.
My thanks to all contributors and editors for their work on this issue, and we look forward to seeing you back for our next issue hopefully over the summer with the Pluralities of Translation special issue.
May 03, 2023
Writing about web page https://open.spotify.com/episode/0FSi6N6Uc1lICgk044UgwS?si=bKXxryr4SKiwygwLuCF_8Q
After a short break, we're back with the latest in our series of author interviews on the podcast.
Once more we bring you a discussion with one of our past authors. This time I am talking with journal author Rebecca Stone about her paper Scaling Up: The pedagogical legacy of Then & Now, as well as her work on US presidential history – especially pertaining to Harry Truman. The episode moves on to discuss pandemic lessons for effective digital pedagogies - both online and in the classroom, as well as an exploration of why it can be good in the long term for students to learn about trying and failing. As always, we touch on personal publishing experiences - good and bad - alongside offering some advice for early career and first-time academic authors in publishing a journal article.
As it's a long chat - here's the episode index so listeners can jump straight to the bit they're most interested in.
- 00:00: Opening
- 00:49: Introductions
- 02:48: Article Perspectives
- 06:15: Lockdown Pivot
- 14:52: Harry Truman & Higher Education
- 20:55: Post-Pandemic Digital Pedagogies
- 31:50: Publishing Horror Stories
- 39:02: Publishing Advice
- 43:03: Outro
As always, you can find past episodes on the journal pages: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/podcast
May 02, 2023
Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/exchanges/
As part of a revamp of web presence for the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), where Exchanges is based, I am pleased to report that we now have a whole suite of new webpages as part of this project. Given for the past couple of years there’s only been a minimal presence of Exchanges on the IAS pages, I could not be happier in how we now have the chance to be a lot more visible as part of our wonderfully supportive department front-page.
You can find Exchanges’ new pages here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/exchanges/
The hope is, more people will be able to discover the journal in this way, and perhaps consider contributing or collaborating with us in some capacity. Given the IAS’ national and international reputation as a site of scholarly excellence, I expect we’ll likely have a much wider potential audience before – than with our journal pages alone.
However, don’t worry! The original journal site remains the main primary location for hosting our author guidance, the journal and its articles themselves. These new pages though, let us represent some of that information in a more ‘bite-sized’ format, which some people may find more illuminating or readily accessible. We have also taken the opportunity to expand out on some areas – like what our editors do, profiling the EIC and exploring the steps needed to initiate a special issue project.
Hence, on the new pages you can jump into information about things such as our operations and mission, how to contribute and engage with us, plus news and updates on our social media presence, training agenda and notably our podcast too. I hope you find them useful, and if there’s anything about the journal you’d wish we’d included – leave a comment or get in touch.