All entries for September 2023

September 27, 2023

Special Issue Call Launch (Almost) Closes Research Culture Conference

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/special-issues

Second special issue launch for September sees the focus turn to research culture.

This week saw the hosting of the International Research Culture Conference 2023 at the University of Warwick. Naturally Exchanges was in attendance, and not simply to listen to the fascinating range of talks and speakers. This conference, which was open to attendees around the UK and across the world, followed a more local event which was hosted in 2022 for Warwick staff. The success of this event plus moves at Warwick in founding its National Centre for Research Culture, demonstrated the value in throwing the doors open to the wider community – and hence the broader remit of this event.

From the journal’s perspective of course, the most important development revolved around the Centre and Conference partnering with Exchanges to produce a special issue. This will be, we hope, launched over summer 2024 with content based on and around the papers delivered at the event. Hence, towards the conclusion of the conference[1], I was able to address the delegates to formally announce the opening of the call for participation.

Call for Papers - Research Culture 2023

Now, while Exchanges relatively brief talk [2] the conference’s end was naturally a focus for your Chief Editor, I was there throughout the day on a stall. This gave me the opportunity to talk to various delegates and prospective authors about Exchanges, our work and importantly how they can contribute to the special issue. I’m delighted to report I enjoyed a considerable number of highly energised conversations with some lovely, and thoughtful, colleagues and look forward to continuing some of these over the coming weeks. Even more so I am looking forward to reading the submissions as they come in.

Now, as the special issue will capture the discussions and presentations, and as other material is available on the conference site itself, I won’t try and recreate the event from my notes. That’s certainly something you will be able to enjoy without my filter. Nevertheless, I am sure there will be many other delegates with something to say, so keep an eye out on social media for initial reflections from the event.

In the meantime, my thanks to Prof Sotaro Kita and Dr Rika Nair for their invite to collaborate on this special issue, not to mention participate in Warwick’s ongoing research cultures work.

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For more information on the special issue, and its call for papers, contact the Editor-in-Chief at exchangesjournal@warwick.ac.uk or see our announcements page. A copy of the call for papers is now available.

Endnotes

[1] I wasn't quite the final talk, as there was an address from Warwick's Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Prof Caroline Meyer, which formally closed the event.

[2] I was offered 10 minutes, but suggested a modest 5 with questions would be best. Certainly, at the end of a long day, when I’m between the delegates and freedom, I didn’t think it was a good idea to build my part up too much.


September 21, 2023

MRC at 50 – Conference & Special Issue Contribution Launch

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/

MRC anniversary celebrations set the scene for an exciting future journal volume.

MRC at 50Yesterday I attended the 50th anniversary symposium in honour of the Modern Records Centre (MRC) at Warwick. If you’re not been previously aware of the MRC and its work, the website and indeed the Centre itself is most certainly well worth a visit: if only to marvel at the variety and breadth of their collections. This diversity was a key element reflected across the spread of topics discussed at yesterday’s event. Speaker’s talked about their research which had all been generated – in part or in its entirety through usage of the MRC’s collections. From sex workers to trade unions through the French Resistance, disability and cycling: it was an undoubted smorgasbord of themes.

I recall, many years ago and in a previous post at Warwick, I had the opportunity to be walked through the MRC’s archive itself by the then Archivist. It was a rare opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with the ephemera, communications and collected papers of many significant figures in political, social and national history alike. Certainly, being that close to historical documents was a thrilling moment.

Since its founding though, the MRC has clearly had an impact far beyond Warwick itself. This was undoubtably reflected through the international scope of the discussions and presenters represented yesterday. I shan’t try and capture the essence of the day: there was so much to take in. Plus, I suspect offering this kind of perspective is an element which the special issue call we informally launched yesterday will do to a greater degree.

An archive of thinking and research to honour the archive itself!

Hence, we will be approaching all of the presenters, and a few other selected people too, over the coming weeks to invite them all to contribute a paper to this forthcoming special commemorative issue of Exchanges. I can assure readers that if its contents are anything like as engaging as yesterday’s talks, then you are in for a real treat! We hope to bring you the issue sometime in early to mid-2024, so watch out on our social media for more news as we get closer to the launch date.

My thanks to Pierre Botcherby and the whole MRC team for inviting Exchanges to form a modest but valuable marker of the MRC’s first 50 years of success!

A copy of the call for papers is now available.

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For more information on the MRC’s work or collections, visit warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/ or contact archives@warwick.ac.uk. For more about the forthcoming special issue, contact Exchanges at exchangesjournal@warwick.ac.uk.


September 07, 2023

Crafting Future Themed Calls for Exchanges

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

Can themed calls encourage more submissions to a journal?

This week we hosted the semi-annual Board meeting(s) for Exchanges, wherein all our Board members and associate editors are invited to catch up with events and progress on the journal, and also bring new ideas to the table too. One recurrent theme, for us and indeed most smaller journals, is maintaining the amount of manuscripts we receive for consideration as papers. While Exchanges is blessed with a strong and steady flow of special issues [1], as Chief Editor I am always concerned about the amount of potential content we get which will be potentially appearing in the issue after next.

In the past we used to do semi-regular themed calls, but with the advent of the special issues programme in 2019, these have been largely – if not entirely – phased out. [2] However, after discussions at the Board we agreed it was perhaps a good time to try again. Of course this is where the question arises: for a broadly, interdisciplinary and general journal – what topics would interest the broadest spectrum of potential authors?

There were a few suggestions in the meeting on the day, but as not all of the editors were present I decided to poll them all on their thoughts and ideas – not just for this issue but for future ones too. It’ll be very interesting to see what ideas come forward, and even more fun shaping this into our first themed call for easily a year.

If you’ve any thoughts about the kinds of themed and focussed calls for papers you’d like to see from Exchanges, then please comment below – or get in touch via the journal. I’d love to hear from you!

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Endnotes

[1] A lot of news about developments in this respect coming soon!

[2] The forthcoming autumn issue for example has a number of papers responding to our birthday call.


September 06, 2023

For a Few Board Members More

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

One more new Board member brings us up to strength.

Over the summer we had an open call out to early career researchers based at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia to join our Editorial Board. Monash was the first of Warwick's partner institutions we recruited people to the Board back in late 2017, and over the years the team members there have made a stunning contribution to the journal. A couple of the longer standing Monash-originated members stood down from the Board earlier this year, and so the time was ripe to open the books to see if any new blood could be recruited from our Australian partners.

I am pleased to report that Jacob Thomas (Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science) came forward, and has as of the end of August joined the Board. Jacob's going through their induction and training period at the moment, but you'll be please to know you can read all about their career and research over on the Exchanges Board Profiles. And while you're there, why not refresh your memory about all the wonderful people who help make Exchanges the success it is today!


September 05, 2023

Exchanges and the International Advisory Committee Visit ‘23

An international event leads to discussions around the journal for the future.

Last week, the IAS – Exchanges’ host department – hosted a two-day event which incorporated a visit from its august International Advisory Committee (IAC). Despite our regular programme of workshops and symposia facilitated by our associated research fellows, and supported by the IAS, this was the first time we’d had help an event such as this as a department. Consequently, myself and my IAS colleagues were excited [1] to welcome such senior, internationally recognised scholars to Warwick to contribute to discussions, reflections and interactions. Day one was given over to a showcase symposium of presentations from various IAS’ fellows concerning their work, concluding with a poster presentation from a selection of our other scholars. Day two though, this was scheduled to have a greater focus on the work, ambitions and direction of the IAS itself, and to be fair, was the part of the scheduled visit in which I had the most interest.

As, a modest but mighty [2], aspect of the IAS’ activities, Exchanges – as represented by me – had the chance to sit in on these second day strategic discussions between our own Director and the IAC themselves. This was fascinating, as it gave a really clear picture of the direction of travel for the IAS in the coming years, and where our current director would like to see us heading in the decade or so to come. As a report on this part of the visit and IAC discussions will appear from the IAS in due course, I won’t cover it here [3]. However, towards the tail end of these discussions I was fortunate enough to be able to briefly talk to the IAC members about Exchanges and some of the work we do.

Given there was only so much time which could be allocated across two very busy days, we kept the discussions fairly light, although I will say it was a pleasure having the chance to discuss Exchanges with a group of interested scholars and gain a little of their insights. Especially, as readers of this blog and podcast listeners alike will know well, there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about Exchanges!

Now while there weren’t any drastic revelations or suggestions in these debates, my work and naturally by extension that of our editors, reviewers and authors alike, came in for some justifiable praise from the IAC. In particular, there was an especially warm reception for our ‘developmental rather than metric-chasing’ ethos which the journal embraces. Given this attitude alongside our overarching ‘academic altruism’ ideology lie at the heart of our operations, this felt like a validation of our longstanding efforts.

I am definitely looking forward to talking to the IAC again during next year’s visit. Having explored the basic remit of Exchanges this year, I am hopeful that we could move on to explore some of our more active developments. Perhaps even our ambitions for future growth! I’m hopeful the IAC might have some valuable suggestions for us to consider in achieving these goals too.

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[1] And maybe a little apprehensive.

[2] Probably EIC bias there.

[3] I wasn’t taking accurate enough notes to properly represent these discussions anyway.


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