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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.


December 04, 2019

The Oncoming Storm of Christmas and Other Workflow Challenges

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/19

As you may have noticed if you follow our twitter account, or have visited the journal’s home page, this week, we’ve announced an extension to the deadline for our climate fiction (CliFi) special issue. I confess I’d always built in a few buffer weeks post the original 30th Nov 2019 closing date for a few late submissions. However, over the last few days chatting with my Board, it’s clear there’s been a few hillocks unanticipated when we launched the call way back in Mid-August. Undoubtedly, the UCU HE strikes in the UK over the last couple of weeks are one of these – with reviewers and authors alike pulling back from all professional activity. Some of my Editorial Board are among the strikers too which, understandably, means they’ve not been able to work on the journal over this time either. All of which adds up to a potential to miss out or progress some great papers. Hence, now the closing date is 13th Jan 2020.

We could have pushed the date back to mid-late December, but I suspect many academics may have other things on their minds than finalising papers for a few weeks. Hopefully, refreshed by their Christmas/winter break a few might be inspired to make a contribution to the issue. We could, of course, have pushed the deadline back even further, but this would begin to put our anticipated Sept 2020 publication date at risk. So, for CliFi contributions, mid-Jan is going to be it. I’ve already spoken with one author who was unable to contribute in time, but had almost finished a manuscript for us, so I know we’ve already managed to secure one more contribution by the extension.

Christmas logically does mean that things here at Exchanges will get quiet for a few weeks, at least from myself as I’m spending some of my long banked, rarely expended, vacation days to have a few weeks off. As the only paid member of staff working on the journal, and in a part time capacity at that, I’m always acutely aware that when I’m out of office and away from email, visible activities and communications alike tend to diminish. However, while I’m away this doesn’t mean you can’t talk to someone about the journal or any potential contributions, as many of the Editorial Board will still be contactable during part of the break. However, if you’re looking for a conversation with the Editor-in-Chief, early January is going to be your best bet after Mid-December. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Meanwhile, behind the scenes preparations are shifting into the penultimate phase for the Cannibalism special issue, expected to see publication in late Jan [1]. We’re close on having enough articles ready to publish, but my intention is to get as many as possible through our editorial and review processes by the end of next month. My thanks, as always, to the editorial team members, authors and reviewers who are helping me make this happen!

In my EIC capacity I’m also currently developing various training, teaching and outreach activities for 2020. A little fewer than would be ideal, due to my limited working hours on the journal, but all the same great opportunities to engage with our local researcher communities on publication matters. I’ll talk more about one of these in particular, scheduled for late Feb 2020, in the new year.

I should also flag up my thanks to Monash Editor, Roy Rozario, who once again helped facilitate a PGR event in Australia last month on behalf of Exchanges. It’s really great when my editors can get involved in these kinds of events, and promote the journal alongside providing input to the professional development of their local research communities. I’m hopeful we’ll see more of these around campus, and the world, in 2020.

For now though, it’s back to the day job and updating myself on the progress of all the manuscripts we have currently under scrutiny and development! Don’t forget, we have two other open calls for papers – (1) on any topic from any discipline with no deadline and (2) one deadlined for 1st May 2020 for papers on the theme of Falsehoods, Misinterpretations & Factual Divergence. Get in touch or read the webpages if you want to know more.

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[1] Or just possibly, due to strike delays, early Feb. But we’ll have to see how things are progressing in the new year.


August 08, 2019

Summer Submissions & Editorial Changes

August is traditionally a quiet month, physically, around campus. It’s also fairly quiet electronically, as here at Exchanges HQ there’s been a noticeable tailing off of email traffic: beyond the regular out of office messages popping up when we get in touch with various people across the global academy. Unsurprisingly, many scholars are using this month to take a well-earned annual vacation.

Having just returned from a delightful staycation myself though, the quiet is giving me a great opportunity to pick up on and develop some of the developmental threads and projects that I’ve naturally side-lined due to more pressing term time work. It’s a slight peculiarity that despite not working with taught course students, Exchanges remains subject to the ebb and flow of the scholastic year. However, this is more of an artefact of the academics who are writing, reviewing and editing for us being AFK (away from keyboard). Although, I’ve had more than one email response in the past week from scholars nominally on holiday!

One slightly unexpected thing I’m finding myself dealing with as Editor-in-Chief in this quiet time is handling the fallout from a couple of my Editorial Board standing down on fairly short notice. While, understandably due to the rising pressures of their other professional commitments, I’m always sorry to see any of my team leave. Partly, because it means I’ve some shuffling of assignments to handle, but mainly because I know how much the journal has benefitted from their contributions and insight, alongside their editorial labour. However, Exchanges has always seen itself as a journal providing a training and experiential boost to our editors, so I can’t complain when it contributes to their career progression. Fair sailing and every future success, Andrew and Jane!

Of course, many academics take the summer break as the opportunity to catch up on all their writing and publishing plans. If you’re an early career scholar, or PhD student, then maybe take a moment to consider writing something for Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal. We’ve two currently open calls for publication (1) a themed in-between spaces one and (2) our regular open call on any topic or theme. I should mention, if you’re thinking of writing something like a critical reflection or an interview, these are the kinds of articles we can typically publish much faster as they don’t normally undergo peer review. Which means there’s a really good chance you could appear in print in a matter of a few short months in our autumn issue.


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