May 21, 2024

Early Stage Researchers, Peer Review and Editorial Skills Reflections

Reflecting back on early stage researcher training, and thinking about where it might go next year.

Last week I took part in the final workshop of this academic session’s Early Stage Researchers programme. As readers may recall, I’ve been contributing to this programme for the past two years and pop up during the session focussing on publication. My role here is to firstly contribute to the general discussions led by the estimated Harriet Richmond, who facilitates the programme as a whole with great skill. I’m also on-hand to present my own thoughts, reflections and experience on the subtle art of journal editing and peer-reviewing: something about which I do know a thing or two. I will note as well that the session delegates this times were particularly engaged and engaging, which meant contributing was even more of a genuine pleasure than normal.

Now like any good lecturer. each time I’ve presented this session my notes, slides and interactions have subtly evolved. This time around was different. Although I wasn’t planning a major overhaul, alongside a few informational updates, I did find myself doing a revision of the running order for my slides which I felt made for a more coherent narrative. [1] Certainly the reactions in the room on the day were positive, so I’ll take that as a win.

As I have 30 minutes to specifically contribute during the three-hour session, I do like to break up my monologue with some small interactive engagements. These breaks are partly to keep everyone’s attention because the programme is taught online, but also because not even I want to keep hearing my own voice for 30 unbroken minutes: I suspect the session delegates might agree with that point too. As Harriet deploys a lot of breakout group work during her own segments, I didn’t want to adapt the same approach, being ever mindful of offering a variety of content and engagement opportunities. I also realised that even a brief 10-15 minute breakout and any reporting back would use up most of my time. Much as it might create some interesting conversations, I concluded it did seem to be the most effective way to offer a rich vein of content to the delegates.

The first exercise which focussed on delegate perceptions of editorial key skills, and mapping them back to their own attitudes, has worked well as an ice breaker for a few iterations of my session now. I am certainly quite pleased about how it’s worked, so don’t feel there is any great need to change it up – currently anyway. Conversely, the peer-reviewer exercise I’ve used, which is where I got delegates to rank a number of statements on an axis never quite clicked the way I hoped it would. I’ve concluded while a useful tool, it is actually an exercise which would probably work better in a physical classroom environment - somewhere where we could dig into the perceptions and reactions in a lot more detail and perhaps spark off some debate. Hence, this time I decided to retired this venerable session tool, and move to a new intervention.

This new excersise centred on the introduction of some peer-reviewer case study conundrums – based on real world examples I’ve encountered – and then asked the delegates to offer their own solutions. Given most of the delegates had limited peer-reviewing experience, I estimated how exposing them to some real-world challenges would better contextualise what I had to say about reviewing praxis in the rest of the talk. Obviously, I had example answers on hand for how I actually approached the reviewing challenges, but I was delighted to see the delegates really getting to grips with these: in some cases offering some very enlightened solutions.

Notably, as I’d been talking through the ideas of ‘ethical reviewing practices’ just ahead of the exercise, I was rather hoping they might step away from purely functional answers and offer solutions embracing these sort of practices. I am pleased to report in this and other regards the exercise seemed to be a success. It also served to spark some ideas in my mind for a longer peer-review focussed workshop [2] alongside helping shape an excellent discussion among the delegate group. Indeed, I’ve also been talking to one or two them post-event about these areas, so I’m definitely happy with how it worked in engendering some great conversations.

Anyway, as the next iteration of this course isn’t now until the autumn term I can safely retire my notes for now. Well, – aside from thinking at the back of my head quite how I’ll reshape my contribution for the next version [3].

---

Endnotes

[1] Since imploring authors for a coherent narrative is a common feedback request I send out, I thought I should really practice what I preach here.

[2] Perhaps this might pop up in Accolade or elsewhere. Who knows – not overly sure I’ve sufficient time currently to really develop it anyway. Maybe if there’s a big demand for it from the researcher community…

[3] And this is assuming I’m asked back to contribute to the programme. I do hope so, but nothing’s set in stone!


May 08, 2024

New Episode: In Conversation with Simona Di Martino

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

After a break the first in a new series of Exchanges podcast episodes goes live.

It’s been a while since our last episode – mainly because I’ve been focussed in supporting our numerous special issues and editors over this time, and also because we’ve been awaiting a new issue of the journal. Now that’s out, I’ve been chatting informally with a few of the authors about coming onto the podcast to talk about their lives, research and publications – so hopefully a few more episodes are on their way.

Before that though, I was delighted to be approached by one of the IAS’ associate fellows to talk about a conference she was recently involved in hosting. While for once this isn’t directly related to any publications or issues of Exchanges, I think you’ll find there’s a strong resonance with a number of the projects we’ve got underway for future special issues.

Listen in here (or on most major podcast platforms):

Voices of Transnational Girlhood(s) on Identity, Gender, and Culture: In Conversation with Simona Di Martino [22:23]

This episode we talk with Associate Fellow Simona Di Martino (⁠@SimoDiMa1⁠) about the ⁠recent conference event⁠ she organised at Warwick which tackled questions of girlhood, transnationalism, identify, gender and culture. We talk about the challenges and delights of hosting such an event, and Simona reflects on the emergent themes and key messages discussed by the participants. Girlhood is, Simona argues, a neglected area of study, making an event such as this not just a crucial forum for current scholars, but a way to energise and enthuse the next generation of researchers in the topic.

Podcasts of the conference talks will be coming soon on the conference site.


April 26, 2024

Issue 11(2) of Exchanges Has been Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2

The spring issue of Exchanges is here, bringing with it a wonderful assortment of articles.

As many of you have noticed the new issue of Exchanges was published today. As always this is the end point of many months of effort by diligent authors, reviewers and editors, to whom I’d like to express my thanks.

This issue we are especially excited to be able to bring you many of the papers we hoped to include in a special volume on the effects of plurality on translation. Regrettably for one reason or another many of the papers we had for this issue (submitted a year or two back) didn’t make it to the end. What we do have though in this issue is a wonderful selection of those which have reached publication status. Rather than hold on any longer, we agreed to publish them as a special section in the journal.[1]

On top of this we’ve some other cracking articles outside the theme to share with you as well – here’s the TOC for your ease of access and reading.

---

Mark Pope et al. Pushing the Boundaries of Reflection: The Answer’s on a postcard. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 1-28. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1245

Rita Augestad Knudsen. Mental Health Exemptions to Criminal Responsibility: Between law, medicine, politics and security. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 29-54. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1369

Lisa M Thomas at al. Assembling with VR: Dancing in a more than human world. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 55-83. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1498

Cristina Peligra. Voices and/of Places: The English translation of Helga Ruebsamen’s Het lied en de waarheid (The Song and The Truth) as a case study of identity and plurality in translation. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2) 84-106. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1141

Natalia Rodriguez Blanco. Plurilingual Perspectives, Pluricultural Contexts: A case study on Agence-France Presse news coverage about the plurinational State of Bolivia in Spanish, French, and English. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 107-132. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1137

Alka Vishwakarma. Translating Ramayana: Plurilingual to pluricultural. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 133-160. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1144

Luis Damián Moreno García. Subtitling Hong Kong Code-Mixing and Code-Switching: The case of Netflix English and Spanish official subtitles for Hongkonese audiovisual creations. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 161-187. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1155

Jonathan Vickery. Critical Reflections on Universities, Publishing, and the Early Career Experience. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 188-202. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1583

Liam Greenacre. Postdisciplinary Knowledge, Edited by Tomas Pernecky. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2), 203-208. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1464

Gareth J Johnson. Five Minutes to Midnight: Editorial, Volume 11, Part 2. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 11(2) i-xiii. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2.1606

---

Of course you could always access the issue as a whole directly:

https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v11i2 & https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/98

The next issue of Exchanges will be one of our summer special issues – which one I can’t say for sure – so watch out for that as the days grow longer, warmer and maybe even drier here in the UK.

---

Endnotes

[1] There are two or three more papers for this special issue which are still under review and development, which we hope to be able to share with you in the October issue of the journal.


April 11, 2024

Sustainability Culture: Announcing Special Issue Call for Participation

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/announcement/view/61

Our latest international special issue collaborative project launches

Delighted to formally announce once again we're making a call for expressions of interest for a future special issue of the Exchanges interdisciplinary research journal. This time the theme is on and around ideas of Sustainability Culture. This is a topic which gloriously resonates with or earlier volumes on the Anthropocene and climate fiction, not to mention being a domain where interdisciplinarity is absolutely at the core of related research.

I am especially excited as we are preparing this issue in collaboration with the National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Taiwan. My special issue lead, Theodoor Richard who has previously published with us, is almost as delighted as I am by this issue – so we both have high hopes for some excellent pieces to appear in it. Interesting the impetus for this special issue comes from a highly successful series of conferences run at the NCHU/CANR in ’22 and ’23 (and forthcoming in 2024), so we have been able to specifically invite contributors to these events to submit work for consideration. However, the call is open to scholars around the globe, giving everyone a great opportunity to get involved and contribute to what is sure to be an exciting volume.

As a result, Theodoor and I have high hopes that we'll be able to incorporate some challenging, heterodox, cross-disciplinary and non-Western perspectives within this volume. Naturally, as with all special issues we shall have to wait and see who will be appearing in the pages, as we are currently waiting on expressions of interest, before we move to invite full submissions.

You will be able to read the full call via the link at the bottom of this post, but the key dates you might want to remember are:

  • Expressions Deadline: Sunday 16th June 2024.
  • Paper Submission Deadline: Sunday 15th September 2024

As always, we invite emails with questions or points of discussion with potential authors at any point during this process.



Celebrating 6 Years at Exchanges

Chief Editor commemorates their sixth year at Warwick, and looks to the future.

On a personal note for once, today marks my sixth anniversary of coming to work at Warwick as the Exchanges journal’s editor-in-chief. 2018 was a very different time for the world, when a Teams call was an outlier not a daily occurrence, and also a time when the journal was smaller, based in a very different building and with a much smaller editorial base.

Six years is also an auspicious moment for more than one reason. For starters Exchanges as it exists today is not the journal I first took on back in 2018 by many metrics. We have grown beyond measure over this time in terms of issues produced not to mention the range of activities we do and personal who are involved in the title. We’ve also evolved in terms of collaborations, as these have become very much at the heart of much of what we do – both with colleagues at Warwick but also with partners and contributors around the world. That I’ve enjoyed more than one breakfast meeting this week training up new associate editors from Australia stands as one example of this ongoing and lively international collaboration. Indeed, I did a back of the envelope calculation earlier which pointed out that I currently oversee the work of over 50 editors as part of our team – helped immensely by our incredible and expanding special issue programme!

Today, where once we produced a couple of annual issues, this year we potentially have upwards of four or five issues which will be seeing publication, which is a massive development for what is, after all, a relatively modestly resourced scholar-led title. Looking back at my own career journal too, entering the seventh year tends to be a moment of change of direction for myself also. Does this mean that the next 12 months herald big career changes for myself? Perhaps, perhaps not, it is hard to tell, as my magic eightball is not cooperating currently.

Nevertheless, it’s still a moment for some light celebration today, even as I keep my eye firmly focused on what the future brings. My grateful thanks to all of Exchanges’ contributors, editors and reviewers past, present and future for everything they have and continue to do which help keep making our little interdisciplinary research journal a going concern!


March 14, 2024

Another Special Issue Collaboration is Underway

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

A rich year for special issue collaborations continues to bring new surprises

I think I’ve made the joke about special issues and busses a few times already in past entries, but my heavens, if it doesn’t seem to have more than a grain of truth! You see, this week we signed on board our latest special issue collaboration for the Exchanges journal, which makes it our twelfth such project since 2019. Wow. When Giulia came along for a conversation back in January 2019 and pitched me the first couple of special issues, little did I realise that in five short years they’d become such a major part of our core activity.

That we’ve produced (five published to date) and are working on so many others, especially when you realise how tiny our staff-resource is, is undoubtably quite the accomplishment.[1] It certainly also speaks to the high regard Exchanges is held in by our past contributors, that they beat a line to our door when they want a title that’s ready, willing and able to work with them. You see, many if not all of our special issues tend to be working with people who’ve had a prior experience with Exchanges.

Now while quite a few of our special issue collaborations like the MRC@50 and Research Cultures are primarily, healthy Warwick-centric pieces of work, this latest one once again takes us half-way around the world with collaborators on the other side of the planet. Just like the recently launch Queerness as Strength special issue call, where we’re working with Monash in Australia as the principal partner – although this time, we’re working with researchers a little further north. This is very much to Exchanges benefit too, as this should help the issue introduce some insightful heterodox perceptions and experiences for our readers. This is an element, alongside with its diverse theme, which makes it a perfect match for the journal and our developmental, internationalisation and interdisciplinary missions

Naturally, I can’t say too much more at this point until we announce the call for papers in the not too distant future. But behind the scenes I’m working on writing the call at the moment, and that should be out…well before you know it! So, keep an eye open.

Endnotes

[1] It’s still just me, and in a part time capacity at that. Something one of my fellow editors I was speaking to yesterday was flabbergasted to hear – given the scope of what we’re involved in.


March 07, 2024

Strategic Publishing & Exploring Interdisciplinarity Panels

Two exceptional panel sessions for researchers explore questions around publishing strategically and examining what is interdisciplinary publishing anyway.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve chaired a couple of excellent panel discussions within the Institute of Advanced Study’s (IAS) ongoing researcher development remit.

Last week we had a wonderful online EUTOPIA Partners event for mid-career researchers discussing the knotty issue of publishing strategically for career, impact and engagement purposes. There was excellent attendance for the session with representation from almost a dozen different institutions, which helped make for a fascinating and engaging debate driven by questions from the floor. I think if I were to isolate any single takeaway from the discussions, is that there is no singular formula to achieve a perfect ‘output record’ and that being flexible, adaptable and willing to consider all avenues can pay major dividends. My particular thanks to all four of my gracious panellists: Alena Cicholewski (Oldenburg), Jonathan Vickery (Warwick), Kwasu Tembo (Lancaster) and Marcos Estrada (King Fahd)

Yesterday by contrast was another rich panel which looked at a question dear to my own heart: Just what IS interdisciplinary publishing? This Accolade Programme session was primarily a campus-based event, with a hybrid option for those speakers or delegates unable to attend in person. I am pleased to report that only one speaker and delegate couldn’t be there in the flesh, which made for an incredible dynamic and interactive environment.

Last year I hosted an Exchanges Discourse podcast episode getting into this interdisciplinary issue with one group of scholars, which naturally made for a fantastic topic to unpick and explore with our own early career fellow researchers. Given the depth and breadth of the debates, I am probably doing them a disservice by trying to reduce them to a few lines, so I won’t try. What I will note is that the five panellists tackled topics raised by the audience from questions of defining and quantising interdisciplinarity itself, through debates problematising disciplinary focussed vs interdisciplinary publishing outputs from a career-minded perspective alongside identifying significant emerging publishing technologies and trends. I found the discussions around the challenges of peer-review and quality assurance mechanisms and protocols within interdisciplinary publishing to be particularly exciting and varied, but such are my personal biases!

My thanks to my fabulous five panellists: Ben Schaper (Oxford), Fillipo Cervelli (SOAS), Jonathan Vickery (Warwick), Pierre Botcherby (Warwick) and Rupert Gatti (Cambridge).

Given the audiences reactions to both events, they were major successes, and I look forward to potentially reexploring these and similar issues in future EUTOPIA and Accolade events. Perhaps with a fresh set of keen academic minds!


February 20, 2024

What's Exchanges About? Your brief reminder

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

Having a conversation this morning with my line manager, who asked me to write a few words about Exchanges and what it does and offers for use in a general promotion. Thought it might be useful to share here, as a small reminder - given people often ask me to talk (briefly) about what the journal does.

---

Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journalis a non-fee charging, open-access, scholar-led, interdisciplinary journal, published twice-annuallyby Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study(IAS) since 2013. Primarily run by and for early-career researchers (post-docs and some PGRs), it attracts articles from around the world which are read by an international and cross-disciplinary audience. Since 2020 it has increasingly published a series of highly regarded special issues, dedicated to particular themes in collaboration with scholars around the world. Alongside its publications, Exchangesalso has a particular mission supporting support early-career researchers' development of high quality authorial, reviewing and editorial skills, as contributors and collaborators, alongside various contributions to workshop and seminar events. The journal also produces a companion podcast the Exchanges Discourse, featuring author insights, publishing advice and career explorations, now entering it's fifth broadcast season.


Contact the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Gareth J Johnson(gareth.johnson@warwick.ac.uk) to learn more about Exchanges.

---

Naturally, there's a whole lot more about the journal elsewhere - but if that taster above has gained your interest - get in touch!


February 15, 2024

February '24 Board Meeting Held

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

Periodic meeting of Board and associate editors held to share updates and inputs to Exchanges

As long-time readers and contributors will be aware, Exchanges tries to keep its behind the scenes operations as relatively informal as possible, while maintaining our quality bar and editorial standards. In part, this informality helps generate a better working environment and ethos among the editorial team, and it allows them each to be able to raise any matter of concern or questions with me at any time.

Despite this, periodically, in my role as Chief Editor, I like to draw everyone together for a more formal meeting to talk through the various activities going on across the journal and its activities. The major rationale is because other than myself I suspect most of my Board and associate editors are only partially aware of the scale and scope of Exchanges’ full operations. Hence, in the interests of transparency I like to give them all a chance to periodically get up to speed, to hear about what’s new, what’s coming soon and also to air any general points of discussion.

Those who have attended any of these meetings do know I keep them relatively brief – although from time to time we do have quite extensive discussions when there’s been a recent point of particular interest. Certainly, right now, with our growing editorial family [1], we’re moving through a phase where there’s a lot of activity going on but other than me, no one is involved with it across the board. Or indeed, the Board. Hence, the need for a Board meeting was rather pressing this month I thought.

Now because it’s quite challenging to find a time when everyone can gather, given our numbers and geographic distribution, my approach these days is every six months or so to schedule a couple of Board meeting opportunities in a week. Attendance is never mandated, but encouraged, and the meetings are open to anyone working in an editorial capacity with Exchanges.

This week’s meetings went well – with a stronger attendance than we’ve had for a while, with Board and associate editors both well represented. Topics for discussion included:

  • Practical steps towards the April issue of the journal.
  • Forthcoming workshops and projects with Exchanges’ involvement.
  • Special issues in progress/under discussion.

As always it was great to be able to share what we do across the team, and also to see their faces too. [2] I am looking forward to the next Board meeting in the autumn, but also to the interim meetings I’ll be having with our associate editors working on the special issues too.

---

Endnotes

[1] We currently have 39 editors, plus myself, on the team. With another dozen or so waiting in the wings as we move towards launching future special issue projects.

[2] I think we had editors based in 6 different countries in attendance – including one of our wonderful Monash based editors!


February 14, 2024

State of Play in February 2024 for Exchanges

A February update on the special issue fun and games, and everything that's going on with the journal right now.

My apologies to regular readers for neglecting the blog somewhat in recent weeks. I have had quite a busy few weeks dealing primarily with the submission deadlines for two special issues [1] coming at the end of January which has been followed by a huge wave of submission to Exchanges. I’ve also taught a couple of classes and had a filthy cold too. However, in terms of the manuscripts we have had far more submissions in a relatively short period than I’ve ever dealt with before. Certainly in all my years on the journal at least! Even our biggest issues to date – the Nerds and Cannibalism special issues, had submissions spread across a much broader period of time as I recall. In the past two weeks though with the two issues I’ve had at least 50 new articles to deal with – which for Exchanges equates to about the number we can have submitted in an entire year.

So, yes, it has been a busy old time. But I’ll say it’s been a really exciting one too. To have so many potentially fantastic papers by so many wonderful authors around the world, entrusted with the journal for consideration is deeply gratifying. It’s at times like these I wonder if Exchanges might be better off being a special issues journal all of the time, as each of these special issues have had such a high volume of contributions. Although perhaps not quite this high!

Of course, part and parcel of this workload for me has been training and supporting the small new army of associate editors we now have working on the two issues. I have to say they are all acquitting themselves superbly, and while there are a lot of questions – that is to be expected! And indeed, encouraged! I don’t expect associate editors to be able to run before they can walk, so such guidance is freely and gratefully given. It is also refreshing to have many new people working on the journal. Not only for the fresh energy and enthusiasm they bring, which they certainly do, but also for the new insights they offer. Things I might not otherwise have thought about. Elements I’ve not considered for a while. Or new perspectives from angles I might not even have otherwise taken. Consequently, they’ve gotten me thinking about a few tasks on the back end of the journal that would benefit from my attention. Tasks that otherwise might have sat on the back burner indefinitely.

We’re also in a week of Library Board and Team meetings, a chance for me to update all of the team about what’s going on broadly with Exchanges. But also for them all to reflect back on the experience and share their opinions on topics of mutual interest. There’s probably a separate post I’ll write about that next week.

In the meantime, it’s back to dealing with yet another new submission this morning. One thing I can say about February 2024 for Exchanges – it isn’t a quiet month – and all the better for it!

---

Endnotes

[1] The MRC @ 50 and Research Culture issues respectively. Read about them both earlier in the blog!


May 2024

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Apr |  Today  |
      1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31      

Search this blog

Tags

Galleries

Most recent comments

  • Follow up: Well, that could have been a lot worse – only 11.7% of accounts are 'deceased' or in need… by Gareth Johnson on this entry

Blog archive

Loading…
RSS2.0 Atom
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXXIV