August 06, 2020

Forthcoming Attractions in 2020/21

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

I thought it would be worth discussing, publicly, where we are with Exchanges, in terms of future journal issues. Those of you who read my editorial in the most recent, and slightly delayed, issue will be aware the pandemic has had some unavoidable impacts on our planned timescales. Hence, I thought rather than leaving this information on a spreadsheet on my machine, it’d be a healthy and productive to share with the wider community.

Oct/Nov 2020 (Issue 8.1): The next issue of Exchanges would normally be published in October. I would dearly like us to continue this tradition, especially following the delayed spring 2020 volume. Naturally, a lot depends on how many articles we have ready by this date. I am hopeful that as scholars have become more acclimatised globally to working under these current difficult conditions, our contributors and editors alike will be more able to deliver in a timely manner. It is notable we’ve already one article ready for publication, and I believe a second one will be ready in the next week or so. This is a significant improvement on where we were at a similar stage for the Spring 2020 issue and suggests we may be able to hit the deadline this time. Naturally, things may yet slow down again with the summer ‘break’ and new academic year affecting academic available writing time, alongside the ongoing pandemic conditions. Nevertheless, I would hope we would see a new issue produced by the end of November at the very latest with how things are progressing currently.

Jan 2021 (Special Issue 8.2: Climate Fiction): If there was one future issue whose production has the been most impacted by lockdown: it is our forthcoming CliFi issue. My associate and full editors have been working diligently behind the scenes, but we’ve hit a number of reviewer and author snags due to the global situation. We had initially targeted September 2020 for this volume to see publication, While there are a handful of papers ready, or close to it, there is as of yet an insufficient corpus of them to call an issue or indeed to make a 100% confident prediction on that issue’s publication date. I have to admit we have lost a couple of manuscripts under consideration for this issue, due to the authors’ personal circumstances requiring them to withdraw their participation. I cannot begin to describe how sympathetic we are to these authors, and wish them every future success, and perhaps a resubmission with us down the line. Nevertheless, for the editorial team members who’ve laboured over these papers, this has been a somewhat disheartening experience. Consequently, after talking it over with the special issue lead, we’ve agreed, with considerable regret, to push this issue’s anticipated publication date back to a likely January 2021 date. Hopefully, this means we will be able to bring together a great issue in the vein [1] of the cannibalism issue at that point.

April 2021 (Issue 8.3): Assuming we keep getting manuscript submissions arriving and passing through review at close to the same rate as normal [2], I would anticipate a regular issue of Exchanges should appear around this time. Naturally, with the pandemic and its devastating disruptive impacts, nothing is certain. All the same, this is the goal line towards which the whole editorial team is working towards.

May 2021 (Special Issue 8.4: Then & Now): This is point at which my prognosticative powers begin to fail. We have commissioned a special issue, in collaboration with Warwick’s Faculty of Art to appear in the first half of 2021 we hope. If the Fates smile upon ourselves and the contributing authors, this might even be an issue which appear sooner than expected. That is, if all the papers are submitted in the timely fashion myself and the special issue leads are hoping. Additionally, given our assumption many of the papers for this issue will need to undergo editorial rather than peer review, this could speed publication processes up considerably. At this stage though, we are still at the stage where we’re talking with potential authors about their submissions, and while I’ve seen a few outlines, I’ve yet to see a single paper even close to a first draft yet. Hence, I can’t make too many exact predictions for now. I am however, acutely aware that I personally need around a month between each new issue coming out to ensure I have sufficient time to deliver on my own editorial due diligence on each new volume’s content. Hence, there may need to be some gentle massaging of the timeline to ensure this and the proceeding expected volume don’t collide.

June/July 2021 (Special Issue 8.5: Lonely Nerds): Like the Then & Now volume, this is at a very early stage, although unlike that volume we went with an open call for abstract contributions. After this closed, the special issue leads selected the best submissions, and hence we’ve commissioned the authors who will be writing for this issue already. Excitingly we had TOO MANY potential submissions to include in this volume, which is a unique position for Exchanges. Unlike the preceding volume, the articles for this issue are largely expected to all be peer reviewed pieces, which means there’s going to be a longer editorial process before they’re publication ready. Although, hopes are high after examining the quality of the submitted abstracts, that we’ll be overseeing the editing of some very exciting, well written and impactful contributions to this special issue. Naturally, once I have the actual draft submitted manuscripts to hand towards the end of 2020, I’ll be ready with a keener idea on the likely issue publication date.

October 2021 (Issue 9.1): Right now, next October might only be 14 months away(!), but it feels like the far, far future, after everything 2020’s thrown at everyone [3]. Hopefully, we will all still be here to welcome in the 9th volume of Exchanges with this regularly scheduled issue. Currently, there aren’t any special issues planned beyond this point, so things might get a little quieter for a while as we return to our ‘regular’ schedule. But after two years of special issues…I’m not quite sure what that’ll look like.

There you have it - a potted guide to the next year and a half of planned publication for Exchanges, as things stand here from the ramparts of mid-summer 2020. Given the speed with which society has changed this year, and the uncertain impacts from that and other events on the higher education sector [4], nothing here is written in stone. Now though, at least you might be able to appreciate where our publication ambitions are leaning towards in the medium term.

---

[1] No pun intended. #SorryNotSorry.

[2] An assumption which might be foolish to make under the current circumstances but then there’s no other data I have to draw on. August is normally the quietest month for us in terms of new papers, as people take well-deserved summer breaks, so I’ll have a clearer idea in about 8 weeks on this.

[3] So far. There are still 5 months to go of this year, and so many known (and likely many unknown) global and national events which could throw a digital-sabot in the electronic printing press.

[4] Student numbers, ‘the B word’ and university finances alone being a major bump in the road ahead.


August 04, 2020

Keeping in Touch with Exchanges

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


One of the most important attributes each registered contributor for Exchanges lodges with us is their personal email address. Currently, the journal platform can only store a single address, which means if you are coming to the end of your doctoral studies or are about to change institution it’s vitally important that you update your details at the earliest opportunity. Notably, some journal contributors prefer to use their personal, non-institutional email with Exchanges instead as their primary contact address. This is absolutely is fine, as this usually guarantees a continued line of contact outside of any changing employment circumstances. Whether you register your personal institutional or non-institutional email address with us is very much a personal choice.

But this illustrates a simple fact: if your email address isn’t up-to-date on our system, we’re won’t be able to contact you about developments with your submission, requests to participate in reviews or highlight new publishing opportunities.

Thankfully, changing your contact email address only takes a few moments:

  1. Log into your Exchanges account at: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/login
  2. Click on your profile name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select View Profile
  3. Click the Contact tab and change the address at the top of the screen
  4. Finally, click save to confirm

My hope is in the longer term, as the OJS platform develops, that we may be able to allow contributors to register an alternative, secondary email address. This would certainly benefit the editorial team’s work in keeping in touch with all their respective author and reviewer contributors. For now though, the message is clear, if you’re about to or have recently changed roles, make sure you’ve got the right email address registered with Exchanges!

Naturally, if you have any issues with updating your address, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.


July 01, 2020

New Podcast Episode: Art Students Then & Now

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Art-Students-Then--Now-eg62eq

We've just rolled out our next episode of the podcast, and I'm really excited because it is the first time we've hosted a guest on the series. I'm joined in conversation with Pierre Botcherby from History, talking about the student-led Then & Now Project, which is collaborating with Exchanges towards a special issue we're looking to publish in 2021.

Listen online at: https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Art-Students-Then--Now-eg62eq

I'm lining up a few more guests for future episodes, so the series will hopefully continue to not always be solely my voice to which you're listening.



Volume 7.3 – Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3

Cover Issue 7.3After some months gestating, we're really pleased that the new issue of Exchanges arrived yesterday. As usual this issue contains an assortment of interesting, intriguing and informative articles. For your ease of reference, here's a short table of contents (TOC) to the issue:

  • Gareth J Johnson opens the issue with an editorial entitled ‘A Tale of Two Developments’. Exploring the challenges of publishing in an age of Covid-19, some insights into our podcast and highlighting our new CFP. Read the editorial here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.648
  • Theo Plothe responded to our ‘in-between spaces’ call with 'Dragons at Play', wherein he examines bearded dragon lizards playing computer games in terms a ‘personification of their owner’ and as conduits for play. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.523
  • Paul Wilson explores 'Academic Fraud' with insights into such activities & the counter measures deployed against them. Illustrated with exemplars, he explores the deleterious effect these have in undermining academic integrity. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.546
  • Ronan Hatfull considers 'Upstart Cannibalism' in Shakespearean Biofiction. He examines ‘metaphorical cannibalism’ of Shakespeare’s life & work in fictional representations, like Doctor Who, Upstart Crow & Philomena Cunk. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.481
  • Desmond Bellamy provides an engaging review article wherein he problematises the manner in which cannibalism has been perceived as a marker between ‘civilised and uncivilised’ societal forms. Read the article at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.456
  • Amy Hondsmerk provides a critical reflection 'Playful Presenting' examining 'The Present and Future History of Games symposium'. Alongside framing the discussions and interactive elements, she explores how research within this field may evolve. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.644
  • Mairi Gkikaki and Clare Rowan are in conversation with Quinn DuPont in a piece entitled 'DAO, Blockchain and Cryptography'. Discussions focus around the ‘Decentralised Autonomous Organisation’ and its wider societal implications. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.594

As a minor historic note, this brings the total of issues published under my time as chief editor to 6, which is more than any prior role holder. A reason for a minor celebration, before I move on to start work afresh on preparations for the next issue.

My thanks as always to all contributors to this issue as authors, reviewers and editors. You can read the whole issue via this link: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3


June 16, 2020

Podcast: Episode 3

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Having-Your-Manuscript-Declined--How-To-Avoid-It-efghnb

We're delighted to announce the third in our occasional series of podcasts, relating to the Exchanges journal.

https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/Having-Your-Manuscript-Declined--How-To-Avoid-It-efghnb

In this episode we look at some of the common author errors that lead to submitted manuscripts being declined by academic journals. After briefly examining why journals will decline work, the episode moves to consider some advice on how academic authors can avoid their manuscripts falling by the wayside. The episode is, as always, illustrated in the light of the experiences of the scholar-led, open access, Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal.

As always, we welcome comments, suggestions for themes or topics for future episodes, either here on the blog or direct to the Editor-in-Chief.


June 09, 2020

June 2020 Editorial Board Meeting

Today I hosted the first Exchanges Editorial Board video conference, and it was a success, a slightly qualified one perhaps, but a success nevertheless. Sure, it would have been nice if more of the Board had been free to join, although with the current global disruption I quite understand when many could not. Nevertheless, it was a really helpful exchange (no pun intended) for those who were there, and I certainly found it very useful, especially as I’d not spoken face-to-face with today’s participants before. Such is the nature of having as international an Editorial Board membership as us.

In terms of content, the meeting began with a discussion on current issues for editors, along with clarifications with assigned manuscripts, as well as examining some of the foibles experienced with using OJS (Open Journal Systems). I frequently deal with these kinds of concerns via email with individual editors, but it was far more engaging to be able to talk them through in a small group. It was helpful for me too in terms of exploring our policy approaches and response to various circumstances with reviewers, authors and manuscripts collectively. Hopefully, everyone who participated is a little clearer now on how and why we run things.

We moved on to the second part of the meeting, wherein I outlined some of the current activities with the journal, including our various special issues already in production or scheduled for launch over the next 18 months. I was able to highlight the news that we should have a new issue of the journal out in the next few weeks, something I was very pleased to be able to share, especially as each issue is the result of so much hard work from my editorial team. I also talked a bit about the podcast launch and my plans for future episodes, along with inviting suggestions for themes or topics for future issues.

Finally, we wrapped up the meeting by discussing the next themed call for papers. The Board agreed that a theme was desirable, alongside our open call. From our discussions there was an excellent suggestion, which I’ll augment over the next few days. More about this, once I’ve launched the next issue of Exchanges.

So, an excellent meeting, although I did realise after we closed that I’d failed to do some quick introductions. Learning from the experience it’ll be something I’ll make sure to schedule time for at the next meeting. And yes, there will be a next meeting, booked in for Tue 30th July. Fingers crossed more of the editors will be free to join us then.


May 21, 2020

Podcast: Episode 2

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias

Once again we're delighted to bring you another episode from our podcast. This time taking a look at the sorts of materials the journal considers for publication. Here's the episode details:

In this second episode, we look at the kinds of articles that the Exchanges interdisciplinary journal considers for publication, along with some guidance about what to think when writing them. The episode also lightly explores the difference between our peer reviewed and non-reviewed works.

Listen at: https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/For-Our-Consideration-eec8n6


May 12, 2020

Introducing the Editorial Podcast

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/ExchangesIAS


I am delighted today to introduce a companion to this blog, with the roll out of The Exchanges Discourse podcast. The first episode of this is now live for your listening pleasure and edification. You can find the podcast on a number of platforms.

Anchor | Breaker | Google Podcasts | RadioPublic | Spotify

Over the coming months we hope the podcast will be able to include discussions beyond those issuing from my own golden tones, but it is early days for now. There will be a second episode for the end of the month, talking about the kinds of material the journal takes.

We also welcome questions or suggestions for topics for us to cover. So, if you've a burning question you wanted to hear about from Exchanges, from the auditory comfort of your nearest headphones/earbuds/smart speaker - now's your chance!


April 30, 2020

Spring Issue Pushed Back to Summer

This is the post I didn't want to have to write.

Normally, the end of April along with heralding a season of better weather, also brings with it the new issue of Exchanges. However, with the challenging current working conditions for scholars around the globe, as I feared, this is not going to come to pass.

Right now many of our editors, reviewers and authors are working in environments which are far from ideal for academic productivity dealing with: caring responsibilities, home schooling, health challenges and the general background anxiety of the current world order. Understandably, this has impacted on the journal, as we’ve seen a concomitant slowdown in authorial and editorial work for Exchanges. As I posted a few weeks earlier we can only be sympathetic to our colleagues in these difficult times, and seek to accommodate them as best we can.

Practically though, what this means for the journal has been a general reduction in the rate of throughput to publication for many papers currently under review or copyediting. My Board and myself are doing all we can, as much as is possible for us all, to keep things moving and on track. Nevertheless, we remain deeply appreciative to every one of our contributors who have been engaging and responding to our requests over the past few months.

As things stand, we have a few articles ready for publication. However, we haven’t yet met our minimum threshold for publishing an issue, and currently our platform won’t accommodate publishing a partial issue to my satisfaction. As such, after discussion with the Editorial Board, we’ve agreed to push back publication of the next journal issue to the early summer. Hopefully in a month or two we should be able to bring you another vibrant issue of original thought and insight.

In the meanwhile though, I’ve been excited this week as some scholars have taken the lock-down time to produce some new manuscripts for us to consider. Exchanges has received three new submissions this week alone, and I am delighted to be in the process of editorial review with them today. I look forward to receiving many more manuscripts to consider over the coming weeks, as we remain open throughout the year for submissions from every discipline.

In closing then, to our whole reader and contributor community, let me say ‘thank you’ once again for continuing to work with us. We hope you’ll be seeing something fresh and exciting from us in the very near future.


April 28, 2020

New Fellows, New Reviewers

Last week we welcomed the latest group of early career fellows (ECFs) to the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), the fifth cohort to arrive since I joined the IAS myself. Naturally, with the current lock-down when I say ‘welcomed’ and ‘meet’, I am referring to a more virtualised engagement than we would normally enjoy, which limited the usual chance for informal discussions. As always, our ECFs seem an interesting and varied group, and I hope they get a lot of benefit from their time engaging with the IAS and their interactions with each other. I hope they also enjoyed the video presentation I prepared, explaining more about the Exchanges journal.

One of the things I usually stress to our new fellows in person when they come on board, is how they can contribute to Exchanges. While occasionally we have vacancies on the Editorial Board, principally we always encourage them to write for the journal: be it a peer-reviewed piece, an interview or a critical review; all contributions are warmly welcomed. Although, like every other contribution they will undergo significant scrutinization before we consider accepting them for publication - we do have a quality bar which has to be met, after all.

Unsurprisingly, given the track record of previous ECFs to progress their careers rapidly, many of them find contributing an article to our journal isn’t something for which they can always find sufficient time. However, many of them do take the opportunity to register as a potential reviewer with Exchanges. This pleases me immesely, because as an interdisciplinary journal we receive such a broad range of potential papers we need to ensure our reviewers’ database contains a similar varied range of scholars. I’ve discussed previously about how much we value our reviewers’ contributions, and that’s something which hasn’t changed. It’s also a great contribution from our fellows, as Exchanges was created as an offshoot of our ECF programme, and I’m keen to keep the links between the two healthy and active.

Who can review?

In terms of whom makes a suitable reviewer, we normally welcome early career and established researchers and scholars to register as reviewers. You don’t need to be from Warwick, and in fact, our reviewer community today is more globalised than ever, a diversity of voice which I’m keen to continue expanding upon. Certainly, we would especially welcome scholars from South America and Africa as new reviewers, as they are currently underrepresented in our database.

Registering as a reviewer

Hence, if you would like to become part of our community and potentially contribute to our journal in a small but vital way, then register today. Practically speaking, registering as a reviewer only takes a few moments

>Go to https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/user/register and complete the online form, noting on the second screen your wish to be added to our reviewers' register.

>Make sure you include your reviewing Interests as keywords and phrases, and ideally provide a short biography; as this helps our editors spot the right people to call on.

>Plus, if you're already registered (as a reader or author) with Exchanges, you can register as a potential reviewer by loging in and edting your profile.

Registered reviewers can update, edit or remove your reviewing account at any time online, or via contacting the Editor-in-Chief. If your main email changes especially, say due to a new job, this is important as we like to keep in touch with people for years to come as they develop their careers. I should add, reviewer profile information is never displayed publicly, and we use it solely to identify suitable people as peer-reviewers and to communicate with them about this.


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