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September 05, 2023

Exchanges and the International Advisory Committee Visit ‘23

An international event leads to discussions around the journal for the future.

Last week, the IAS – Exchanges’ host department – hosted a two-day event which incorporated a visit from its august International Advisory Committee (IAC). Despite our regular programme of workshops and symposia facilitated by our associated research fellows, and supported by the IAS, this was the first time we’d had help an event such as this as a department. Consequently, myself and my IAS colleagues were excited [1] to welcome such senior, internationally recognised scholars to Warwick to contribute to discussions, reflections and interactions. Day one was given over to a showcase symposium of presentations from various IAS’ fellows concerning their work, concluding with a poster presentation from a selection of our other scholars. Day two though, this was scheduled to have a greater focus on the work, ambitions and direction of the IAS itself, and to be fair, was the part of the scheduled visit in which I had the most interest.

As, a modest but mighty [2], aspect of the IAS’ activities, Exchanges – as represented by me – had the chance to sit in on these second day strategic discussions between our own Director and the IAC themselves. This was fascinating, as it gave a really clear picture of the direction of travel for the IAS in the coming years, and where our current director would like to see us heading in the decade or so to come. As a report on this part of the visit and IAC discussions will appear from the IAS in due course, I won’t cover it here [3]. However, towards the tail end of these discussions I was fortunate enough to be able to briefly talk to the IAC members about Exchanges and some of the work we do.

Given there was only so much time which could be allocated across two very busy days, we kept the discussions fairly light, although I will say it was a pleasure having the chance to discuss Exchanges with a group of interested scholars and gain a little of their insights. Especially, as readers of this blog and podcast listeners alike will know well, there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about Exchanges!

Now while there weren’t any drastic revelations or suggestions in these debates, my work and naturally by extension that of our editors, reviewers and authors alike, came in for some justifiable praise from the IAC. In particular, there was an especially warm reception for our ‘developmental rather than metric-chasing’ ethos which the journal embraces. Given this attitude alongside our overarching ‘academic altruism’ ideology lie at the heart of our operations, this felt like a validation of our longstanding efforts.

I am definitely looking forward to talking to the IAC again during next year’s visit. Having explored the basic remit of Exchanges this year, I am hopeful that we could move on to explore some of our more active developments. Perhaps even our ambitions for future growth! I’m hopeful the IAC might have some valuable suggestions for us to consider in achieving these goals too.

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[1] And maybe a little apprehensive.

[2] Probably EIC bias there.

[3] I wasn’t taking accurate enough notes to properly represent these discussions anyway.


May 02, 2023

New Exchanges Webpages Launched

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/exchanges/

New Exchanges IAS PagesAs part of a revamp of web presence for the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), where Exchanges is based, I am pleased to report that we now have a whole suite of new webpages as part of this project. Given for the past couple of years there’s only been a minimal presence of Exchanges on the IAS pages, I could not be happier in how we now have the chance to be a lot more visible as part of our wonderfully supportive department front-page.

You can find Exchanges’ new pages here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/exchanges/

The hope is, more people will be able to discover the journal in this way, and perhaps consider contributing or collaborating with us in some capacity. Given the IAS’ national and international reputation as a site of scholarly excellence, I expect we’ll likely have a much wider potential audience before – than with our journal pages alone.

However, don’t worry! The original journal site remains the main primary location for hosting our author guidance, the journal and its articles themselves. These new pages though, let us represent some of that information in a more ‘bite-sized’ format, which some people may find more illuminating or readily accessible. We have also taken the opportunity to expand out on some areas – like what our editors do, profiling the EIC and exploring the steps needed to initiate a special issue project.

Hence, on the new pages you can jump into information about things such as our operations and mission, how to contribute and engage with us, plus news and updates on our social media presence, training agenda and notably our podcast too. I hope you find them useful, and if there’s anything about the journal you’d wish we’d included – leave a comment or get in touch.


November 15, 2021

Session Reflections – Educational Podcasting Panel

Follow-up to Educational Podcasting Panel from Exchanges Reflections: Interdisciplinary Editor Insights

I am pleased to report the Accolade session on education podcasting, organised in collaboration with Exchanges, certainly exceeded my expectations. All of my panellists were as expected excellent contributors and I am naturally deeply grateful for the time and enthusiasm they provided over the hour-long discussion. I was, perhaps, even more satisfied in how I did not have to work my way through many of the pre-prepared panel questions, as those which arose from the floor came so thick and fast. As a consequence, I think the debate was more dynamic and wide ranging along with hopefully being more directly applicable to the audience’s interests.

The session’s format, such as it was, featured introductions from each of the panellists, highlighting their own take on podcasting. What was unexpectedly delightful from a contextual as well as a performative standpoint were the ways each introduction seemed to seamlessly flow into the next. I would love to suggest this luscious flow was directly the outcome of my careful curation of the panel members. However, I would counter it was most likely primarily a serendipitous outcome from gathering an assemblage of knowledge enthusiasts in one place and time. Nevertheless, the manner in which the panellists resonated with each other reinforced nicely why each was there alongside demonstrating from the outset how they would be contributing different perspectives on higher educational podcasting within education.

For my part, I was happy to have a few moments to chip in the odd comment, although from the outset I made it clear I was there as a ringmaster rather than performer for once. Understandably, keeping the conversations managed took up a little more of my main focus, additionally perhaps diminishing the pressure to contribute anything myself!

Regretfully, such was my focus on enabling the conversation I wasn’t taking any notes of the debate. However, thanks to the joy of a Teams based discussion, I was able to capture most of the questions asked. Hopefully, were you not present, the reader will be able to gain an appreciation of the discussions that were consequently sparked through the selection below:

How did you get into educational podcasting, as a creator, user or listener?

In what ways has podcasting played a role in your educational or research practices?

Do you have to pay to upload podcasts to, for example, Spotify?

Can we talk more about the technologies, platforms and techniques for creating a podcast?

Are people willing to listen to podcasts on multiple platforms, or are there ways to distribute them more widely from their original, native, upload host?

Have you experienced any barriers to introducing podcasts as part of the curriculum or within modules? E.g. as a form of assessment, as well as an information resource.

How can you make a podcast with a guest who is not in the same room as you? Is it best to interview via video and extract the sound, or are there other ways to capture good quality audio/performances?

What's the best length for a podcast? Especially in the light of guidance for recording 'long' lectures to chunk them into 10-20 minute segments.

What is your favourite podcast to listen to, and why does it appeal?

From the comments on the day, it was clear the session was very positively received by the audience, which is a credit to everyone who was involved. Hence, I think everyone who attended - including panellists - felt they gained something of interest from the discussions.

Additionally, I am exceptionally pleased in the way the Exchangesbrand has once again been able to be associated with the organisation and hosting of a useful workshop session. Hopefully this is not the last we will hear of podcasting within Accolade or indeed Exchanges itself! Perhaps we will be able to return to this topic afresh in a year's time and see what other lessons or experiences we all have to share by then.

Useful Related Resources:

A few links were shared during the session which included:


November 09, 2021

Educational Podcasting Panel

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/postdocs/accolade/calendar/autumn/

This Thursday I’ve the pleasure of hosting an Accolade Roundtable panel on educational podcasting. During the session invited panellists will share their personal experiences and perceptions on how they have engaged with podcasting within various higher educational and research contexts. Following this introductory exploration, the floor will be opened for participants to ask questions, add comments or share their own experiences with podcasting. The majority of the session though will be shaped through participant insights, comments and questions.

Hosting this panel naturally stems from my experiences creating and hosting the Exchanges Discourse podcast, but for once I’ve the pleasure of sitting back and let my invited guests hold forth. A bless’d relief for those who might be tired on my voice, perhaps, but more importantly an exciting opportunity to hear lots of different views on podcasting as a medium for professional development, research outreach and educational impact.

I am deeply grateful to the various panellists I reached out to who were able to participate, and a few who weren’t as they helped steer me towards others who were able to attend. For the session our panellists will include: Arun Ulahannan (Institute for Future Transport and Cities, Coventry University), Jessica Humphreys (Academic Development Centre, Warwick), Jim Judges (IT Services, Warwick), Julia Gauly (Warwick Medical School), Naomi Waltham-Smith (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, Warwick) and Rebecca Stone (Faculty of Arts, Warwick).

Some of this wonderful group are podcast creators and hosts, some have participated in podcasts as guests, and most if not all have found ways to incorporate, apply or embrace podcasting within their professional practice. While the panel is only an hour long, with so many engaging and interesting personalities on the panel, I suspect it will be a fun and informative session. I’m currently sitting here writing some provocations to get the conversation flowing, but I suspect I won’t need to use many of these before the audience start firing off their own inquiries. At least, that has always been my past experience of chairing Accolade sessions.

Will we inspire members of the audience to take up their own podcasting mics? Perhaps, although this is not the principal aim! Nevertheless, what the session does hope to provide is for everyone to gain a better understanding of educational podcasting principles, techniques and practice. At the same time, I would hope the audience and panellists alike will develop a greater appreciation for how, when and where podcasting can enhance pedagogical and research practices. Moreover, if nothing else, the delegates will become more aware of the ways in which podcasting can form a component of their career development strategy. And perhaps along the way we’ll all emerge with an awareness of some great academic podcasts we can all enjoy and from which we can profit.


October 08, 2020

Exchanges AMA 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 [1] 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 [2]. 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!

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[1] Well, I loved it and really want to run that session again, albeit, slightly reconfigured.

[2] 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.


September 12, 2019

Relocation Achieved and Open Participation Calls

Well the good news is the relocation to the new offices for Exchanges Headquarters this week has been pretty successful, although there’s the usual niggles. Not to mention getting used to a new location and finding all the important local amenities, along with working out the most logical and effective places to stash my office supplies. There is though a lovely view out of the office, and I’m writing to this entry to the happy sound of birds tweeting directly outside my window. Hence, I suspect this will be a splendid space to conduct the journal’s business.

As next week I’m speaking (Monday) at the Vitae International Researcher Developer conference in Birmingham, I’m tied up today with running through my talk, so apologies for a shorter than usual rumination on developments in scholarly publishing.

In the meanwhile – here’s a reminder of all our currently open calls for participation:

Themed call for papers for a special issue, inspired by the recent Utopia, Dystopia and Climate Change Utopian Studies Society conference. Deadline 30th Nov '19. https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/17

For the Spring 2020 issue, Exchanges particularly welcomes submissions which will contribute to a themed section on in-between spaces. Deadline 1st Nov ’19 https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/15

Of course Exchanges welcomes manuscript submissions on any research topic which fulfil our manuscript submission format requirements. This is an open call, with no closing date. https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/announcement/view/16

Finally, for early-career or post-graduate researchers at Monash University, we're looking for new recruits to join our editorial board. See details here, or speak to any of our current editors. Deadline 20th Sept. https://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/exchangesias/entry/call_for_editors/


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