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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.


March 05, 2020

Editorial Entrances & Departures

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

This week we’re witnessing a slight changing of the guard with Exchanges. Firstly, some of my associate editors who have been working on our various special issues have come off the team. My thanks to Sophie, Freya and James for their various contributions to the title, and I hope they’ve found it a useful learning experience [1].

Meanwhile, behind the scenes at Exchanges I’ve been working these past two years to gradually increase the internationalisation of the Board, by talking with Warwick’s various institutional partners. It can be tricky overseeing and supporting a distributed editorial team around the globe, and it’s a time consuming (and occasionally frustrating) task to engage with those institutions where we don’t have any direct representation for the journal. Much as I’d like to do a spot of globetrotting and make some connections in person [2], it hasn’t been practical – so I’ve been involved in extensive chains of email correspondence. It probably won’t surprise you to read that Exchanges isn’t top of many scholars’ priorities. This might be understandable, but from a Managing Editor perspective, it can make for false starts and occasional stagnation.

Nevertheless, as of today, I’m delighted to welcome aboard our newest two members of the Editorial Board as Dr Guilherme Sampaio and Dr Salvatore Monteleone join us from CY Cergy Paris Université. Guilherme is an intellectual historian, specialising in particular on the French reception of Keynes and generally on the relation between economic thought and policy in Modern France. By contrast, Salvatore is a researcher focussing on cyber-physical systems, embedded systems, and network-on-chip architectures. I’m confident they’ll both bring some much appreciated new perspectives and insights, alongside their more practical contributions to the journal.

[1] More about that in a later post and conference paper next month!

[2] Perhaps less so currently, given the current global health crisis


August 19, 2019

Call for Editors: Monash University (Sept 2019)

Once again, Exchanges is delighted to announce that we’re seeking a new member for our Editorial Board, due the departure of some team members. This call is specifically for early career and post-graduate researchers registered with Monash University, Australia [1]. Thanks in part to the ongoing Monash-Warwick Alliance, Exchanges has long enjoyed a wonderful collaboration with members of the Melbourne based university, and it’s something I’m keen to continue.

You can download and read the formal call here [PDF], or alternatively chat to some of the current Monash based Exchanges editors for more details. Naturally, you can always drop myself as Editor-in-Chief a line directly (exchangesjournal@warwick.ac.uk), with any questions you might have.

The short version of the call is:

  • Open to early career or current post-graduate researchers based at Monash University
  • A 1 to 2 year commitment of time, working remotely
  • Role supports the editorial review and copyediting stages of publication
  • Editors also have a crucial role in promoting, commissioning and encouraging new article submissions to the journal
  • No experience in publishing required, but an enthusiasm for scholar-led publication is essential

Editors have the opportunity to be part of an international editorial board, forge extensive interdisciplinary networks and gain first-hand experience of editorial and publication production workflows. Further details of the role’s responsibilities and expectations are available on request.

If this sounds like you, then read the call and then get your application in quickly, because it closes Friday 20th September; although we may close if sooner if a suitable candidate is found sooner. I look forward to hearing from you!

[1] A call for editors from Warwick, is likely to appear later this 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.


June 12, 2019

Early Career Editors Learning Experience from Scholar–Led Publishing Involvement

It won’t have escaped most readers’ attention that Exchanges is an early career focussed, scholar-led journal. Given I write about this on a regular schedule in this blog, you’d be a rare visitor had you missed this aspect. As its Editor-in-chief, I passionately believe academics need to take a greater ownership for their publication processes if we are ever to ween ourselves away from the commercialised commodification of the publishing sector. This shift is far from the only consideration if the academy is to acquire a greater agency over publication, but I believe it’s an important one.

However, what might be less apparent, unless you’ve attended one of my lectures or thoroughly read our online guidance material, is how Exchanges serves an educational and professional development role alongside its publishing mission. The developmental role for those people working on the journal has been an intrinsic part since Exchanges founding in 2013 as output from the IAS’ early-career fellows programme. Since day one all members of the editorial board, and associate editors too, are drawn from the early career researcher community here at Warwick and further afield. This means all of us are still learning and growing as scholars in the post-PhD environment.

A key developmental need of course is to enhance our career prospects, which is where Exchanges provides the opportunity to deepen a practical appreciation of the processes, policies and ideologies which operate within the publishing field. Incidentally, serving on Exchanges’ boards delivers this sort of experience in spades, given members of our Board performs a greater ‘hands-on’ role than the more advisory structure of other journals’ boards.

This developmental mission for Exchanges, is a characteristic of the journal to which I’m devoting some considerable thought at the moment, as I’ve two forthcoming public engagements where I’ll be talking about the benefits to scholars from a closer scholarly publishing involvement. One is the session I’ve previously mentioned at the Utopian Studies conference in Prato at the end of June, while the other is a workshop I’m contributing to at the Vitae Conference in London this Autumn. Naturally, I’ll be sharing my slides and experiences from these events here afterwards.

I find though, as I sit down to write the outline for these talks, I’m left wondering to a degree about what exactly people such as my editors gain practically from their contribution of time and labour.

From a personal perspective, I feel I’ve learned more about the importance of patience and persistence with authors and reviewers alike, alongside deepening my practical knowledge of coordinating a publishing ‘empire’. I’ve also been polishing my relationship management skills, which are an essential adjunct to any manging editors’ toolkit. Alongside this, I’ve found it’s been illuminating to witness the authorial styles and voices deployed in our developing manuscript, especially as many diverge considerably from my own academic prose style.

That’s my perspective, and I must acknowledge it’s been understandably coloured by my managerial and editor-in-chief role. Hence, I’ve been talking to Editorial Board members past and present about what they’ve gained from their experience. Unsurprisingly, beyond developing the practical skills, the benefits from broadening their network of professional contacts are aspects which seem so far to be especially valued. However, it is early days and I’m still looking forward to more of my Board sharing their thoughts, and I expect I may well be surprised by some of the comments.

One thing has become clear from this simple critical reflection which is newly minted scholars do perceive benefits exist from taking up the reins to steer academic publishing endeavours. This must in part help explain why Exchanges has always had a steady stream of willing Board and associate editors. And I, for one, am delighted for their every contribution as well.


April 10, 2019

Welcoming our Special Edition Associate Editors

I had the pleasure this morning of spending a couple of hours training my newest members of my Exchanges Editorial Team. Sophie, Giulia and Fiona are post-graduate researchers based here at Warwick who will be supporting the production of our forthcoming Cannibalism: Bites Here & There special issue, scheduled for publication in early 2020. My hope is, like the members of the Editorial Board, that these three will not only contribute to Exchanges but have an excellent learning experience at the sharp end of publication. They’ll be working alongside and supplementing the work of my regular Board members, whom I’m sure will be supportive and grateful in equal measure for the newcomers’ contributions.

I strongly suspect that if all the papers relating to this issue for which I’ve received abstracts (30 and counting) are submitted as manuscripts, then I may well be recruiting a few more willing helpers onto the team. It’s great because this kind of community involvement really helps satisfy part of Exchanges remit as an academic training resource for emerging scholars, alongside its regular dissemination mission. I expect exciting and insightful times lie ahead for us all over the next few months as we pull the issue together.


August 07, 2018

Summer Time Developments Brings DOIs, Paper Metrics & New Licence Terms

The month of August is the time of year when, traditionally, UK universities slow down a bit. It’s the summer holidays, so staff with families take the time to go on vacation, meaning many an email goes unanswered for a while and progress can seem sluggish. Personally, as a former academic librarian, August was the month I was often the busiest as all those project tasks and new academic year preparatory efforts were always in full swing! As Senior Editor of Exchanges, I felt this slight pause in email traffic and article ingest was the perfect time to push ahead on some the developmental work and background research advancing the journal for the benefit of our authors and readers alike.

Exchanges sample download graph

The most exciting new addition is that you can now see the downloads from the past year of all the articles on Exchanges. This is a great way for authors to track their papers’ engagement, not to mention for the Editorial Board to identify the areas in which our readers are most interested. This is our first step towards providing more information about how well the material published with us is being received, and over the next year, hopefully, I’ll be able to highlight further new information in this area.

Secondly, coming very soon will be DOIs for every article on Exchanges, both past and future. DOIs (digital object identifiers) are a unique alphanumeric string which provide a persistent lifetime link to a particular location on the internet, a shorthand if you like, for each article on Exchanges. This means even if we alter the journal’s website location or change our domain address, the DOI will remain a stable and viable way for readers to access an article. Additionally, I think they also make citing articles look a little tidier.

From today, we’ve also changed the Creative Commons author publishing licence for Exchanges, from the more restrictive Attribution-Non-Commercial-Sharealike (CC-BY-NC-SA), to the more desirable Attribution (CC-BY) only. The prior licence was considered the bare minimum to meet funders and governmental agencies around the world’s open access requirements. Shifting to a CC-BY licence brings us more in line with the major interdisciplinary titles, such as PLOS One, and further demonstrates Exchanges’ adherence to no-author-fee diamond model [1] open access publishing. Previously published, or submitted articles, will retain their original licences, as agreed by their authors. Newly submitting authors from now on, will be asked to accept the new licence terms at the point of submission, as part of their publishing agreement with Exchanges.

Behind the scenes I’ve also rolled out our very first author feedback system. This ties into my previously discussed interest in our author and reader audiences, and will provide some initial data towards satisfying that curiosity. It will also contribute by identifying aspects of Exchanges’ platform and process which work well, or less so, for our authors, directing my attention to where the greatest benefit can be achieved. If you’re one of our prior authors (vol 5.2), and you’ve had one of my emails about this, please do respond as it’s a very short set of questions which won’t take a lot of time. If you’ve already responded, many, many thanks!

Finally, a big welcome to the new members of our Editorial Board, who I know will make a considerable contribution to the running and engagement of the journal, and I’m really looking forward to working alongside them. Hopefully, I’ll be able to announce a few more additions to the team in the coming months, as the title continues to grow.

Hence, as you can see, the summer is continuing to be anything except quiet for Exchanges!

[1] As per Fuchs and Sandoval, although some might call this the ‘radical mode’, if they’re more a fan of Gary Hall’s work.


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