August 03, 2021

New Issue Published: Then & Now Special Isse

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v8i4

It may be high summer, but behind the scenes at Exchanges HQ we’ve been busy working away towards our third special issue. And naturally, as it was published today, we’re excited to share the news with the rest of the world. You can read the issue via the link below. Go on, I can wait until you’ve done that before I continue.

https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/41

Good, now you’re all caught up. This issue is, as I highlight in the editorial, the culmination of 18 months of preparation work. It also, oddly, was a project we started on in the early months of 2000 when meeting in a crowded student café wasn’t a challenging prospect. The Then & Now project itself had to swerve direction somewhat with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and campus restrictions. I’m pleased to say though, how beyond the lack of face-to-face meetings, pretty much every aspect of Exchanges’ editorial operations for this issue continued as before.

Anyway, it’s been a genuine pleasure working on this issue with my three associate editors (Pierre, Josh and Kathryn), and I’m really delighted to have the fruits of their labour publicly available too.

Of course with the issue out, there’s no rest for the editor, as I’m off to start work training up some new associate editors to work on one of our future issues next!


June 17, 2021

It’s so funny, how we don’t talk anymore…

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/postdocs/accolade/calendar/summer/#story8

I was speaking today as part of the IAS’ Accolade programme in an AMA (ask me anything) segment about the journal and the podcast. There was an excellent question from the audience about the different formats we accept for publication, and I waxed lyrical for a while about interviews. Hence, I thought it was perhaps worth capturing some of the points of interest for future authors.

Interviews, or conversations as they’re termed in the journal, were very much Exchanges’ stock-in trade in the early years. If you look at those nascent years, you’ll see time and again interviews with significant figures and scholars cropping up in the pages. This was, in part, an artefact of the close association the journal enjoyed (and continues to) with the IAS’ fellows programme. Many of the participants would, as part of their research programme, arrange for a significant scholar to visit Warwick for a period, to engage with the local community and potentially spark an ongoing collaboration. During such visits, keen fellows would stage a recorded and transcribed interview with these visitors, which would then be submitted to Exchanges as a partial record of the engagement success.

In recent years, as the journal has consciously decoupled from Warwick somewhat as part of our move towards a greater internationalisation, these interview submissions have dropped away. It is not that they solely come from Warwick, but with our close organisational and operational links, I suspect we spurred more of our local scholars to produce them than the wider author community. I am racking my brain currently to think about the last time I actually had a conversation piece which we saw through to publication.[1]

Nevertheless, what I wrote in an earlier blog post about the value of these interviews/conversations stands. They are always highly read, often downloaded and very warmly received by the readership. They provide an accessible gateway into a subject area for scholars old and new alike, and do wonders for the authors in associating their names with that of their interview subject in print! They are also, relatively speaking, an easy format to create an article around and as such I remain surprised we don’t continue to get more of them. Compared to the weeks and months you’ll labour over a peer-reviewed article, a conversation piece [2] is a relatively easy ‘win’ to add to your publication record: while also making a valuable addition to the wider disciplinary discourse!

Which brings me to today and my discussions about formats for the journal. In the past we’ve generally had conversation articles which are comprises of a singular subject along with one or two interlocutors providing much-needed context, asking questions and steering the debate. It is a talking head format which works well, so well in fact that I’ll confess it forms the basis of The Exchanges Discourse’s configuration when we have guest speakers on the podcast. What we haven’t had though on the podcast or as interview papers in the journal are true discourses: that is, debates between a small coterie of speaking-heads in discussion. I’m know such discussions are frequent occurrences in formal and informal settings aplenty, not just at our home institution of Warwick, but within the various interdisciplinary-led early career researcher communities around the globe.

While part of me thinks such a format would be ideally suited to appear on our the podcast [3], I think such a discussion transcribed would also create an engaging, entertaining and informative article. If I’m being honest, I can almost see one now with three scholars: one drawn from within the STEM social science and arts and humanities disciplines apiece; debating what they envisage or perceive impactful and fruitful interdisciplinary research and practice to comprise.

Such a discussion represents a titular topic for the journal, but oddly not one with which we’ve ever had an interview specifically dealing. There are undoubtedly many other topics which might be debated in this collegiate manner as a conversation article for the journal. Certainly, I would strongly encourage anyone who is inspired by this idea to consider proposing or submitting it. Naturally, I stand ready, as always, to provide guidance and advice on the format, and to act as a sounding board for any potential authors considering such a submission.

Of course, we could take one step beyond this and actually have the discussions appear in both print AND as an episode of the podcast simultaneously. Now, this would not only enable readers and listeners alike to access the debate in whatever media format they preferred, but serve to link together these two key arms of the Exchanges operation. It seems, the more I think of it, as an idea whose time has come.

So, there’s my challenge to our readership and any budding authors out there: start thinking about a discussion topic or interview subject that could form a readable and valuable article for Exchanges next issue. They don’t take long and you’ve a few months ahead of our next scheduled October publication date to go through our editorial processes.

I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts, and even more so, reading any submissions.

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[1] It wasn’t that long ago – Vol 7(3). But safe to say they have been submitted exceptionally rarely in the past two years.

[2] Or a critical reflection, if I’m being honest about the work involved.

[3] If you agree, and have or two like minded scholars, get in touch and let’s see if we can feature your discussions in an episode.


June 10, 2021

New episode: 6 (or so) Ways to Get Involved with Exchanges

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/6-or-so-Ways-to-Get-Involved-with-Exchanges-e12ha66

A brief new episode of our podcast, which takes a look at some of the ways to get involved. Enjoy!

https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/6-or-so-Ways-to-Get-Involved-with-Exchanges-e12ha66

In this episode, our resident Editor-in-Chief talks about 6(ish) ways early career and established researchers can get involved in our scholar-led journal. While some are unique to our host institution and our partner organisations, there’s still more than enough different routes to contribute to the journal’s mission, while enriching your own career prospects too. Find out how – in this episode!



June 01, 2021

New episode: A Conversation with…M Onat Topal

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/A-Conversation-withM-Onat-Topal-e11vufe

M Onat Topal and HostThe latest* episode of The Exchanges Discourse is now live. This time I'm in conversation with another of our recent authors on the journal about their publication, research and thoughts on academic publication. The episode touches on the challenges of 'trash' journals and conferences, alongside some of the other pitfalls for new authors.

A Conversation with…M Onat Topal

In this episode we discuss the article, ‘Use of Artificial Intelligence in Legal Technologies: A critical reflection’ and some of its implications with its lead author. As usual we delve into the guest’s current research and publishing activities, before closing with some advice for first time and new academic authors.

*18th if you're counting


May 19, 2021

150th Paper Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v8i3

Running some background statistics during a quiet moment today, I was pleased to discover that our most recent issue (Volume 8.3) contained our 150th published article. Quite an achievement for a small, scholar-led journal run using one part-time member of staff and a volunteer workforce of sub and associate editors.

Here's to the next 50 articles, which I hope are winging their way towards us even as I type - certainly there's currently almost 25 articles in some form of preparation or development for future issues, many of which will see publication this year (I hope!). Naturally though, as lead editor I am always keen for more content.

So, if you wanted to write for the journal, either get in touch with me, or simply submit your manuscripts as soon as you think they're ready for consideration. It couldn't be simpler than that - there's no author fees to pay, you get to retain all economic and moral rights over your work and have the pleasure too of supporting a scholar-led publication initiative, dedicated to getting more early career authors into 'print'!

Find out how here: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/about/submissions


May 13, 2021

New Episode: A Conversation with…Mark Readman

Writing about web page https://open.spotify.com/episode/703IMMWbhkyUd2mZkFWHIo?si=z9k5Xyl0TCSULuXxT87xoA

Once again we have a new episode of The Exchanges Discourse Podcast, celebrating our first anniversary! This time we're talking to Dr Mark Readman about his work and publications. Listen here (and wherever good podcasts are hosted!):

https://t.co/ROY3Fab8M3

In this episode we talk with Principal Academic in Media Education, Mark Readman, from the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. We talk through Mark’s thoughts on publication as an editor and author, as well as exploring some of his current research and publication plans. Along with advice for first time authors, we also diverge into a brief discussion concerning 1980s UK sitcoms.


May 06, 2021

Issue 8.3 of Exchanges Published!

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/40

cover_issue_40_en_us.jpg

It is suggested that Christmas [1] is the most wonderful time of the year. I would argue for journal editors it is the small, fleeting moments following the publication of their latest issue. For a brief moment the headaches, niggles and concerns of encouraging authors, coaxing reviewers and corralling editors at large are behind them, and they can bask in the tiny amount of reflected glory that publication allows. It never lasts, because even as I’m writing these words, my thoughts are already turning to what I need to be doing to move forward with our next issue, how to promote this one, and perhaps most importantly of all, encouraging more authors to contribute their work to the journal. That latter one never really ends, so my apologies if you meet me in the flesh [2] and I go all misty eyes and enthusing about something you’re working on potentially appearing in Exchanges.

However, for now, huzzah and my grateful thanks to too many people to mention for helping to get the journal out the door once more. In case you’re wondering what’s in the issue – he’s the inside cover copy to give you a taste:

This is the eighteenth issue of Exchanges, published in May 2021. This regular issue brings an assortment of articles, reflections and discussions to our interdisciplinary readership. Articles in this issue tackle topics which include: Gandhi’s musical legacy, the #MeToo movement’s impact on society, artificial intelligence in the legal profession, amateur stock trading activism and questions of ethics in academic publication. The issue’s editorial also provides a range of guidance and key areas of consideration for first time academic authors from an editorial perspective, alongside reminding readers of the various routes through which they can contribute to and engage with the journal.

Link to: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/40

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v8i3

As always comments, collaborations or invitations to talk about the journal in all its multicoloured wonderment are always gratefully received.

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[1] Please do substitute your own, preferred, culturally uplifting annual celebration.

[2] One day, maybe even soon…


April 27, 2021

Communities & Communication Conference – April 2021

Writing about web page https://553f53b1-7a4c-4403-8bce-421ef7bc549f.filesusr.com/ugd/fe0c46_47e045df34e94dbab2ca5df70dfbfe6c.pdf

Title slide of conference presentationLast week, well Saturday [1] to be precise, I was a speaker at Staffordshire Universities Communities and Communication: Interdisciplinary international Conference and Festival. I was there to present a paper with the elegant title [2] of The Transformative Evolution of an Early Career Researcher Editorial Community. In essence, I aimed to briefly explore the configuration of our long-running institutionally based open-access, interdisciplinary journal published by the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick.

If you weren’t at the conference, you missed what was a very engaging and varied day. Alongside a series of insightful keynotes, there were two streams of breakout sessions looking at different aspects of ‘communities’ from local, to performative, through institutional and those in a learning configuration. It was in this latter category that my paper featured. Personally, a real highlight of the day was the keynote from Nicola Twemlow Who Knows Best: The Value in Communities. While Nicola had a lot of inspiring things to share from her own experience and activities, she also introduced me to the rather useful participation tool Vevox. Seeing a living, evolving world cloud appear organically from the delegates during Nicola’s talk, gave me some ideas on how to pep up some future training engagements of my own.

In terms of my own contribution, the paper began by exploring the genesis of the Exchanges journal, and the history of our editorial community. From its beginnings as a small collective offshoot from our local Early Career Fellows (ECF) programme in 2013, through to its international, expanded representational membership today. Interestingly, for the first time anywhere, I put together a potted history of how the journal had changed over time, which required a little bit of background digging in our archives, combined with a few conversations with longer standing Editorial Board members.

My discussions continued through an exploration of the special issues which have served to bolster and reconfigure our activities since the beginning of 2019. In particular, I illustrated how our title’s developmental and discourse twin missions resonated with this new direction for the title, alongside seeing a resultant revalorisation of our work in the eyes of our publishing institution. The paper offered a few suggestions about the tangible benefits perceived through our associate editors’ programme, stemming from a series of semi-structured interviews held with the post holders, considering what relevance their insights offered in terms of future projects, editorial training and scheme recruitment.

Moreover, the paper concluded with a brief examination of the unique operational, ideological and communicative challenges faced by the journal. Part of me feels this section in particular could be problematised in another paper at a future event, although likely to a different audience. Finally, the talk wrapped up with a few brief thoughts on the lessons learned by the journal, alongside its emerging new priorities and future plans.

While not the most ground-breaking of talks, it was deeply fulfilling to have the paper warmly received by the hosts and delegates to the conference. Hopefully, there will be a recording of the paper made live in the near future, but for the paper’s title link above will take you to the slides.

Overall, then, despite the (common) technically challenges faced by running online events, with participants around the globe using variable machine configurations, the hosts handled everything with good humour and great aplomb. If anything, they managed to convey a sense of calm, cool, and connected operations managing things behind the scenes – although from my own experience I expect this means they were all running themselves ragged to give such a polished performance. Certainly, in marked contrast with my somewhat frustrating experiences at the IATL conference the previous week, I had a seamless presentation experience, despite falling over my own words a few times. And as a delegate, access to papers and sessions was near faultless!

I think my one regret was not having any time to take part in the ‘random networking’ opportunities, and while ‘chat roulette’ might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, it was a great innovation to try and engender a feeling of ‘presence’ at a virtual event. My thanks therefore, to all the organisers and speakers alike for a day it was worth taking out of my weekend!

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[1] I remain baffled while culture and communications conference always seem to be hosted at the weekend! It doesn’t seem to be ‘a thing’ in the STEM disciplines.

[2] IMHO at least. It tied the paper into the conference theme quite neatly.


April 23, 2021

In Conversation with…Urmee Chakma

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/A-Conversation-with---Urmee-Chakma-evgqfv

Perfect for a Friday, here's an all new episode of the Exchanges Discourse podcast. This time I'm talking with doctoral candidate Urmee Chakma, from the Faculty of Education at Monash University about her recent publication with the Exchanges journal. We also talk about the challenges of teaching English to speakers of other languages, and her advice for authors approaching publication for the first time.

https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/A-Conversation-with---Urmee-Chakma-evgqfv

Enjoy!


April 15, 2021

Experiential Learning Impacts for Post–Graduates within Scholar–Led Editorial Practice

Writing about web page https://youtu.be/-dm52GoW5FY

Today I attended the Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference: 'Interdisciplinarity: Learning from Each Other', hosted online by IATL. I was supposed to be delivering a paper entitled Experiential Learning Impacts for Post-Graduates within Scholar-Led Editorial Practice, but sadly technical challenges were to frustrate my live performance. A real shame, as the twin pleasures of delivering a conference paper are in the transmission of information to the audience, but crucially, the comments and questions which follow. As an author I was talking to recently commented ‘It’s about testing the water, refining your ideas and exploring possibilities with your peers’, which is truly an invaluable experience.

Not to be entirely frustrated, having slaved over the content during the Easter break, I recorded the narrated slides. So you can enjoy fifteen minutes of me talking about Exchanges, our associate editors and some of the challenges we face as a journal. The link to YouTube can be found below:

Front page of slides

As always, comments and thoughts warmly invited.


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