All 6 entries tagged Guidance
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November 29, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/guidance
Updated guidelines means easier submission experience for authors
A task I’ve been meaning to get around for some months  has been to go through our Author and Style guidance pages and refresh the content. Finding the right moment has been trickier than I thought, but in the wake of our recent 10th birthday issue, it seemed the ideal time to revisit this vital guidance to our authors, and make some judicious changes. Going through I could spot areas where the advice has been lightly tweaked over the years, and as a result some elements of it were mildly contradictory. Indeed, I strongly suspect it hasn’t come in for anything like a systematic review since I first came aboard the journal, and I don’t believe I’ve really had a look at the style guide quite as closely as I have in recent weeks.
The good news is that the changes are all now live, and both guides are – hopefully – a lot clearer.
Now, if you’re an author whose article is already underway – don’t panic! We’ve not made any major changes! We’re the same journal with fairly broad and welcoming requirements which make it as easy as possible for authors to contribute. This exercise was rather about bringing this online guidance more closely into line with what we advise authors in our 1-2-1 consultations.
Naturally though, we can’t claim to be perfect – so if there’s any aspect you’d like to see more about on these pages, let us know. We’re only too happy to keep refining and improving this guidance to ensure it continues to be fit for purposes for the next decade of Exchanges.
 Maybe even years.
November 07, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/about/submissions
A new video offers to smooth the route to paper submission.
As part of the preparations for our various special issues, I’ve been working on some new advice for submitting authors on the practical steps they need to take. I strongly believe in diminishing as many of the mechanical barriers to submission as possible, and offering a stepwise guide is one way to address this. While I might not be able to tweak the underlying OJS code on which we run Exchanges, there are still at least some ways I can try and make the submission experience easier.
Case in point: While writing the two page ‘here’s what you do next’ guide for the authors, I found myself thinking ‘I wish we had a handy video talking people through the steps involved in manuscript submission’. Such a compulsion might be a holdover from my long-ago days as an academic librarian – I wrote so many printed and media guides back then – but as I said, any barrier is a barrier too many in my book (journal). I thought this would be an easy task, maybe taking a couple of hours or so at most to script, record edit and share.
I was wrong. But you can click on the screenshot below to watch the final video all the same:
You see, as part of the process of writing and creating the guide I had to go through the actual submission process myself with a dummy paper. I have to do a submission when I add the editorial each issue, but I generally don’t pay a lot of attention to what I’m doing – just need to get the paper into our workflows! However, this time going through the process more carefully, and observing each aspect was really helpful because it caused me to notice a couple of elements of our ‘submission wizard’  which I wasn’t happy about.
One of them was the wording on our clickthrough publishing licence’. The phrasing here seemed less than clear in places, and I confess I suspect no one has looked at this since the journal first launched. As a result, after a little fiddling around on OJS I found where I could edit and revise them. Hopefully, now the phrasing is better than it was – let me know your thoughts on this if you have them.
I also discovered a strange glitch which was restricting the article submission types which were visible to non-editors. This isn’t too much of an issue in the editorial process, as we can shift the type easily – but at submission, I suspect this might be off-putting to an author. As I normally look at the site in ‘uber’ editor mode, this is the sort of detail which is easily missed too. In preparing for my video though, I switched to my alt-author account which as a result highlighted the issue! It appeared from what I could see that the article type categories available to authors clearly weren’t as they should be – with some options not displaying – and others erroneously still showing. Certainly, they were far from clear and as far as I was concerned – a barrier to submission!
My apologies to our authors if you’ve experienced this glitch! I’ve no idea when it arose – I’m hoping it’s not been too long, but I have my suspicions. Nevertheless, I can assure you it’s been cleaned up. Now, the options to submit are in our five major formats: peer-reviewed article or review, and editorially revied conversation, critical reflection or book review.
With this sorted (and despite a computer that insisted in BSODing me once) the new guidance video still went live last week. And while this might have all taken me much longer than I anticipated to resolve, hey, at least it also means I had an opportunity to hopefully streamline the submission process slightly.
 More is the pity here.
 It doesn’t wear a pointy hat, nor an eight-pointed star.
 I was fairly sure we weren’t interested in submissions to the special section of the journal published in 2014.
February 22, 2023
Last month we released a podcast episode looking at one of our two non-peer reviewed submission formats: the critical reflection article. Following feedback, it seemed a companion episode looking at the other of the formats was a good idea. Hence, today we launch a lengthy episode of the Exchanges Discourse dedicated to the conversation article. Listen in here:
(Also available on Spotify)
As it is once again a lengthy discussion, there is an episode index to give you an idea of where you might want to dip in – rather than listen the whole thing.
- Opening: 00:00
- Context: 01:07
- Defining Conversation Articles: 03:33
- Why Conversations Matter: 10:30
- Writing Conversation Articles: 15:00
- Conclusion: 23:45
- Wrap Up: 24:48
The next episode of the Discourse is scheduled to be our panel discussion on interdisciplinary publishing – be sure to listen to that, as I suspect it might be our most exciting episode yet!
February 22, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/about/submissions
With so many journals published today – what makes choosing to publish with Exchanges a worthwhile experience for potential authors?
It’s a good question!
Certainly, this is an existential topic I believe every editor-in-chief will probably have considered explicitly or implicitly at some point in their tenures atop the editorial tree. It’s certainly a regular point of debate I hear when talking with early career scholars or running my various academic writing workshops. It is undoubtedly a very valid question and hence well worth giving more than a few moments’ reflection in answering.
I might reconfigure it slightly to reframe the root of the enquiry as: Given there are so many (many!) journals out there for potential authors: what makes our title different, valuable and worthy of the labour in becoming one of our contributors. In essence, what makes it worth potential authors taking their hard-won, hand-crafted manuscripts and offering them up to be considered for publication in our pages than somewhere, anywhere else?
Firstly, in my perception, I should say there is no singular answer to this question which will satisfy every scholarly author. If there were, well, let’s say my job promoting the journal as a destination for quality research writings for an interdisciplinary audience would be a lot easier. However, like Soylant cola, the answer which satisfies differs from person to person. It is more of a matrix containing various elements which will appeal to greater or lesser degrees to different authors. I can’t claim this is a complete list either! But from my various conversations with past authors, including those on the Exchanges Discourse, along with casual and formal feedback these are the aspects which I best answer the question: what do you get out of publishing with Exchanges?
Early Career Focus: Exchanges has always aimed to not only appeal to early career authors, but also to take account of the additional support and understanding they sometimes need early in their publication career. This means not only are we willing to consider every submission we receive as a potential publication, but that our editorial team readily aim to provide support and guidance to newer authors. Alongside this, we’re more forgiving than the average journal where authors haven’t quite got our format and styles down correctly at the outset. Heck, we might event overlook a few typographical and spelling errors that can sink a paper at the first hurdle elsewhere. Why? Well, it’s because we know we’ll work on these together as the piece progresses towards, hopefully, publication.
Personal Mediation: This leads neatly to my second point, which is we are very much a journal with a human heart. What I mean here is every submission will be read, considered and progress based on a decision made by one, or more, living entities. Living entities which are willing to enter into a dialogue over your work, rather than making decisions based on metrics, or similar, numerical ‘fit’. With many top-flight titles deploying algorithm-derived selection methodologies, potentially good papers can fall because of a machine-driven evaluation. Okay, this might mean we take a *little* longer to respond, but be assured every submission will be personally considered and appraised, by the Editor-in-Chief at the very least.
Open Access: Articles need readers. It’s as true now as it has ever been, and as a diamond open access title, from our birth, that’s something we’ve always made as easy as possible. For Exchanges, there have never been any author fees to pay and all of our publications are provided without financial barrier to the readers of the world. Propagating good scholarship should not be restricted only to those with deep pockets or the ability to pay to publish. Additionally, as repeated studies have shown publishing in an open access title increases the reach, impact and citation of published work too.
Copyright Retention: Authors licence their work to be published in Exchanges as a condition of submission. But, and it’s a big but, we don’t make any claim over the exclusivity of the work once it’s published. Authors retain their moral and economic rights over their writing. Hence, you will be free to make derivative works from it, exploit it commercially or even republish it in some other organ. That’s right – you get to KEEP the fruits of your own intellectual labour – do the top journals in your field let you do that?
Counter-Commercial Ideology: I won’t prolong discussions on the commercial hegemonic dominance of scholarly publishing , but if you, like myself, want to take a stand against this – publishing in our scholar-led, institutionally funded, diamond-OA title is an obvious route to a win. By ourselves we might not be able to ‘disrupt’ the capitalised control and commodification of the scholarly publishing sphere. Nevertheless, each article we publish is one which the commercial titles are denied! Strike a (small) blow for academic publishing freedom – publish in Exchanges!
Stable Identifiers: Okay, slight nerd alert – but every single one of Exchanges’ articles is ascribed a stable unique resource identifier – a DOI. This means you can put a link to it in your CV, on your website, on other papers and be assured access will be maintained. Even if the journal was to be (gulp) discontinued, we’ve made archival arrangements to ensure as so long as there’s an Internet, access to your paper is stable and assured. It also helps in your paper being found via search engines and other indexes too, all of which enhances its discoverability.
Funder Compliance: Exchanges is compliant with most, indeed virtual all, funder requirements for open access work – including those proposed by cOAlition S. We adhere to the international standards for openness and copyright, alongside our efforts to produce a quality-assured publication destination. This means in terms of research assessment exercises, work published in Exchanges is perfectly viable for consideration. Incidentally, if you are aware of any major funder whose mandates for open publication we don’t meet – I would be very interested in hearing about it!
Interdisciplinary Audience: Let’s talk enhanced visibility! Writing for Exchanges means your work is going to be seen and read by scholars around the globe, and not only within your own discipline. While a reader might land on one article, many like to browse the rest of the issue too. This means they can and often do serendipitously discover work they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. Given all of our readers, authors and reviewers receive a publication notification each time the journal comes out there’s a chance for hundreds, even thousands, of new scholars around the world discovering your work. All of which raises awareness of both it and yourself, and we would hope an increased chance of being cited elsewhere.
Personal Promotion: A poorly kept secret about Exchanges is how every successfully published author is invited to come on our podcast to talk about their article, research and adventures in publication. Without wanting to head off into a secondary article about the benefits of podcasting – appearing on the podcast is a great way to raise professional visibility – both for yourself as a scholar and for your published work. Alongside this, we encourage all of our authors to provide a personal mini-biography and picture alongside their article, helping readers discover more about the people behind the names. We include these specifically to enhance your personal and professional recognition among peers and potential collaborators.
Partnership: Did you know we publish special issues? Did you know each special issue came out of a collaboration between people who had published, reviewed or otherwise previously contributed to Exchanges? As a past journal contributor, you are perfectly positioned to propose some form of collaboration with the journal. Be it a special issue, conference, seminar or research project. Exchanges likes to go beyond being a destination – we’re interested in becoming your scholarly partner! Plus, if there's a need for some academic writing teaching, the Editor-in-Chief loves to talk about this subject with interested audiences too!
Scholar Led: Finally, we are robustly and defiantly scholar-led, from the top down. This means we editors are a community of scholars, many drawn from the early career ranks, who understand the trials and tribulations of academia. We also appreciate the personal importance of the work each author has entrusted with us for consideration. In our own professional research capacity, we also publish and review, so we know what it is like to be on the other side of the author equation. We sincerely desire to offer then an authorial publishing experience configured to operate as the kind of journal we ourselves would wish to publish in. We sincerely hope that’s the experience of our authors too, and always welcome comments on what we’ve done well, and how we could improve.
Okay, that’s the areas which I think from a few minutes reflection make our journal one to consider. There probably are many more, and I welcome any suggestions in the comments below for other positive and attractive aspects we offer. Likewise, if there are areas we should aspire towards adopting, I am always interested in hearing about those from potential authors.
No matter what though, one thing I always remember as Exchanges’ Chief Editor is how every author has made a positive choice to try to appear in our pages. This conscious act is something we welcome, celebrate and applaud each time. Not primarily for any vainglorious reasoning because it inflates our own self-importance , although there is a measure of satisfaction in knowing our efforts continue to draw in new authors and their scholarship. No, it is mainly because the choice of an author to publish with us means Exchanges’ value, reputation and audience continue respected and appreciated by members of our potential author community old and new.
We were created to offer a route to propagate new and emerging scholars’ voices within an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue. That people continue to choose to contribute to this – means we must be doing something right.
Although, there are always new things we can learn to make things better!
 Subject of course to whomever is publishing this second time’s own rules on prior publication and originality. Read the author guidance for the title or publisher, or ask their editor for more details. You will need to give us a link-back though to the Exchanges article 😊
 Read my thesis and published works for more on my distaste for this aspect of the field.
 And real-life travails and challenges too. See the note on our shared ‘human’ approach above.
 Some of us more than others. I know I’m long overdue a few articles or a book or two elsewhere…
 We are after all, a small fish in a very, very large pond. But there is a marked satisfaction I cannot deny.
August 04, 2020
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/FAQ
One of the most important attributes each registered contributor for Exchanges lodges with us is their personal email address. Currently, the journal platform can only store a single address, which means if you are coming to the end of your doctoral studies or are about to change institution it’s vitally important that you update your details at the earliest opportunity. Notably, some journal contributors prefer to use their personal, non-institutional email with Exchanges instead as their primary contact address. This is absolutely is fine, as this usually guarantees a continued line of contact outside of any changing employment circumstances. Whether you register your personal institutional or non-institutional email address with us is very much a personal choice.
But this illustrates a simple fact: if your email address isn’t up-to-date on our system, we’re won’t be able to contact you about developments with your submission, requests to participate in reviews or highlight new publishing opportunities.
Thankfully, changing your contact email address only takes a few moments:
- Log into your Exchanges account at: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/login
- Click on your profile name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select View Profile
- Click the Contact tab and change the address at the top of the screen
- Finally, click save to confirm
My hope is in the longer term, as the OJS platform develops, that we may be able to allow contributors to register an alternative, secondary email address. This would certainly benefit the editorial team’s work in keeping in touch with all their respective author and reviewer contributors. For now though, the message is clear, if you’re about to or have recently changed roles, make sure you’ve got the right email address registered with Exchanges!
Naturally, if you have any issues with updating your address, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
March 21, 2019
Writing about web page http://www.plotina.eu/plotina-documents/
Delighted to announce that the Introduction to Peer Review I co-wrote last year has finally been published by PLOTINA and the EU. It’s, you’ll be pleased to know, a relatively brief introduction to the art, practice and ethics of peer review, with a target audience of post-graduate and early career authors. Naturally I’m delighted to see it finally available, and deeply grateful to Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies, and the PLOTINA Project, for asking me to contribute to it.
Naturally, I retained the film rights and first refusal as to who plays me in the film of the book!
The booklet pulls on, among other sources, the wonderful contributions from last year’s summer school on peer review that I was honoured to be involved in facilitating.