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October 08, 2020
Today we rolled out the annual Exchanges session for the IAS’ Accolade programme, although with being online this year it was slightly different. Last year we had a fantastic  gamified workshop on publishing traumas, and the year before that more of a chalk and talk session. This time, well, the opportunity to host a Reddit style AMA (ask me anything) session seemed ideal. It was discursive, well suited to the online format, allowed for written or spoken questions and best of all, I didn’t need to do too much preparation.
Well, that is aside from ensuring I’d pre-written answers for the three outline questions I’d posed in the event blurb, to ensure we had something with which to kick off discussions. My thanks to my esteemed colleague Dr Sarah Penny for hosting and acting as session chair. Also, my thanks to those research fellows who listened and questioned me for what became a surprisingly fun 30 minutes of chat about the journal and publishing in general . I hope you all got something useful, interesting or at least vaguely entertaining out of the session!
So, reader of the editorial blog, you’re probably wondering what was asked. Well, and I’m slightly paraphrasing, here are the topics we touched upon today.
- ‘Are articles rejected by journal editors when reviewers actually suggested major corrections?’
- ‘Are you approaching people to take part in the podcast or are people approaching you?’
- ‘Do you have any advice for starting out reviewing in journals? [Especially] do you have any tips for overcoming imposter syndrome?’
- ‘Do you prefer outlines [abstracts] before the completed paper [is submitted]’
- ‘I’m interested in if [Exchanges] is interested in new methods to integrate data (rather than findings from research studies’
- ‘I’ve never published before, and it’s nerve wracking’. Can you offer any support to someone like me?’
- ‘What are the three best ways to really annoy an editor?’
- ‘What’s a/your journal impact factor?’
- ‘What’s the deadline for the upcoming issue?’
- ‘Why should I publish in Exchanges?’
As for the answers…ah, you really needed to be there. However, I might pick up on one or more of these themes in future posts and podcast episodes, so maybe I won’t leave you all entirely hanging. Safe to say one or two of the questions above could probably have filled the entire 30 minutes had I given them the full answer.
Will we run this session again? I’d be keen to, and I’m sure we might find time down the line for a later Accolade repeat. Or of course, a royal command performance elsewhere. As readers, and those who know me, are aware, I will talk about Exchanges and scholarly publishing until the cows come home, so I look forward to the next session – whenever or wherever it might be!
 Well, I loved it and really want to run that session again, albeit, slightly reconfigured.
 Not to forget the hirsute Dr Marcos Estrada, one of my two longest serving and most prolific members of the editorial board for his input today too.