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June 17, 2021
Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/postdocs/accolade/calendar/summer/#story8
I was speaking today as part of the IAS’ Accolade programme in an AMA (ask me anything) segment about the journal and the podcast. There was an excellent question from the audience about the different formats we accept for publication, and I waxed lyrical for a while about interviews. Hence, I thought it was perhaps worth capturing some of the points of interest for future authors.
Interviews, or conversations as they’re termed in the journal, were very much Exchanges’ stock-in trade in the early years. If you look at those nascent years, you’ll see time and again interviews with significant figures and scholars cropping up in the pages. This was, in part, an artefact of the close association the journal enjoyed (and continues to) with the IAS’ fellows programme. Many of the participants would, as part of their research programme, arrange for a significant scholar to visit Warwick for a period, to engage with the local community and potentially spark an ongoing collaboration. During such visits, keen fellows would stage a recorded and transcribed interview with these visitors, which would then be submitted to Exchanges as a partial record of the engagement success.
In recent years, as the journal has consciously decoupled from Warwick somewhat as part of our move towards a greater internationalisation, these interview submissions have dropped away. It is not that they solely come from Warwick, but with our close organisational and operational links, I suspect we spurred more of our local scholars to produce them than the wider author community. I am racking my brain currently to think about the last time I actually had a conversation piece which we saw through to publication.
Nevertheless, what I wrote in an earlier blog post about the value of these interviews/conversations stands. They are always highly read, often downloaded and very warmly received by the readership. They provide an accessible gateway into a subject area for scholars old and new alike, and do wonders for the authors in associating their names with that of their interview subject in print! They are also, relatively speaking, an easy format to create an article around and as such I remain surprised we don’t continue to get more of them. Compared to the weeks and months you’ll labour over a peer-reviewed article, a conversation piece  is a relatively easy ‘win’ to add to your publication record: while also making a valuable addition to the wider disciplinary discourse!
Which brings me to today and my discussions about formats for the journal. In the past we’ve generally had conversation articles which are comprises of a singular subject along with one or two interlocutors providing much-needed context, asking questions and steering the debate. It is a talking head format which works well, so well in fact that I’ll confess it forms the basis of The Exchanges Discourse’s configuration when we have guest speakers on the podcast. What we haven’t had though on the podcast or as interview papers in the journal are true discourses: that is, debates between a small coterie of speaking-heads in discussion. I’m know such discussions are frequent occurrences in formal and informal settings aplenty, not just at our home institution of Warwick, but within the various interdisciplinary-led early career researcher communities around the globe.
While part of me thinks such a format would be ideally suited to appear on our the podcast , I think such a discussion transcribed would also create an engaging, entertaining and informative article. If I’m being honest, I can almost see one now with three scholars: one drawn from within the STEM social science and arts and humanities disciplines apiece; debating what they envisage or perceive impactful and fruitful interdisciplinary research and practice to comprise.
Such a discussion represents a titular topic for the journal, but oddly not one with which we’ve ever had an interview specifically dealing. There are undoubtedly many other topics which might be debated in this collegiate manner as a conversation article for the journal. Certainly, I would strongly encourage anyone who is inspired by this idea to consider proposing or submitting it. Naturally, I stand ready, as always, to provide guidance and advice on the format, and to act as a sounding board for any potential authors considering such a submission.
Of course, we could take one step beyond this and actually have the discussions appear in both print AND as an episode of the podcast simultaneously. Now, this would not only enable readers and listeners alike to access the debate in whatever media format they preferred, but serve to link together these two key arms of the Exchanges operation. It seems, the more I think of it, as an idea whose time has come.
So, there’s my challenge to our readership and any budding authors out there: start thinking about a discussion topic or interview subject that could form a readable and valuable article for Exchanges next issue. They don’t take long and you’ve a few months ahead of our next scheduled October publication date to go through our editorial processes.
 It wasn’t that long ago – Vol 7(3). But safe to say they have been submitted exceptionally rarely in the past two years.
 Or a critical reflection, if I’m being honest about the work involved.
 If you agree, and have or two like minded scholars, get in touch and let’s see if we can feature your discussions in an episode.
July 01, 2020
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3
After some months gestating, we're really pleased that the new issue of Exchanges arrived yesterday. As usual this issue contains an assortment of interesting, intriguing and informative articles. For your ease of reference, here's a short table of contents (TOC) to the issue:
- Gareth J Johnson opens the issue with an editorial entitled ‘A Tale of Two Developments’. Exploring the challenges of publishing in an age of Covid-19, some insights into our podcast and highlighting our new CFP. Read the editorial here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.648
- Theo Plothe responded to our ‘in-between spaces’ call with 'Dragons at Play', wherein he examines bearded dragon lizards playing computer games in terms a ‘personification of their owner’ and as conduits for play. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.523
- Paul Wilson explores 'Academic Fraud' with insights into such activities & the counter measures deployed against them. Illustrated with exemplars, he explores the deleterious effect these have in undermining academic integrity. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.546
- Ronan Hatfull considers 'Upstart Cannibalism' in Shakespearean Biofiction. He examines ‘metaphorical cannibalism’ of Shakespeare’s life & work in fictional representations, like Doctor Who, Upstart Crow & Philomena Cunk. Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.481
- Desmond Bellamy provides an engaging review article wherein he problematises the manner in which cannibalism has been perceived as a marker between ‘civilised and uncivilised’ societal forms. Read the article at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.456
- Amy Hondsmerk provides a critical reflection 'Playful Presenting' examining 'The Present and Future History of Games symposium'. Alongside framing the discussions and interactive elements, she explores how research within this field may evolve. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.644
- Mairi Gkikaki and Clare Rowan are in conversation with Quinn DuPont in a piece entitled 'DAO, Blockchain and Cryptography'. Discussions focus around the ‘Decentralised Autonomous Organisation’ and its wider societal implications. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3.594
As a minor historic note, this brings the total of issues published under my time as chief editor to 6, which is more than any prior role holder. A reason for a minor celebration, before I move on to start work afresh on preparations for the next issue.
My thanks as always to all contributors to this issue as authors, reviewers and editors. You can read the whole issue via this link: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i3
April 30, 2020
This is the post I didn't want to have to write.
Normally, the end of April along with heralding a season of better weather, also brings with it the new issue of Exchanges. However, with the challenging current working conditions for scholars around the globe, as I feared, this is not going to come to pass.
Right now many of our editors, reviewers and authors are working in environments which are far from ideal for academic productivity dealing with: caring responsibilities, home schooling, health challenges and the general background anxiety of the current world order. Understandably, this has impacted on the journal, as we’ve seen a concomitant slowdown in authorial and editorial work for Exchanges. As I posted a few weeks earlier we can only be sympathetic to our colleagues in these difficult times, and seek to accommodate them as best we can.
Practically though, what this means for the journal has been a general reduction in the rate of throughput to publication for many papers currently under review or copyediting. My Board and myself are doing all we can, as much as is possible for us all, to keep things moving and on track. Nevertheless, we remain deeply appreciative to every one of our contributors who have been engaging and responding to our requests over the past few months.
As things stand, we have a few articles ready for publication. However, we haven’t yet met our minimum threshold for publishing an issue, and currently our platform won’t accommodate publishing a partial issue to my satisfaction. As such, after discussion with the Editorial Board, we’ve agreed to push back publication of the next journal issue to the early summer. Hopefully in a month or two we should be able to bring you another vibrant issue of original thought and insight.
In the meanwhile though, I’ve been excited this week as some scholars have taken the lock-down time to produce some new manuscripts for us to consider. Exchanges has received three new submissions this week alone, and I am delighted to be in the process of editorial review with them today. I look forward to receiving many more manuscripts to consider over the coming weeks, as we remain open throughout the year for submissions from every discipline.
In closing then, to our whole reader and contributor community, let me say ‘thank you’ once again for continuing to work with us. We hope you’ll be seeing something fresh and exciting from us in the very near future.
November 06, 2018
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/issue/view/19
The Institute for Advanced Study, and myself on behalf of the Editorial Board, is delighted to announce a new issue of Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journalhas been published. The autumn issue contains a number of articles, including some addressing the theme of Narrating, Nation, Sovereignty and Territory.
Exchanges, in case you didn't know, showcases peer-reviewed research articles, critical reviews and interviews with significant disciplinary figures, written primarily by early career fellows across all disciplines. Managed and published by IAS at Warwick since 2013, the Senior Editor (that'll be me) is always happy to speak to prospective authors or scholars with an interest in publishing with us. There is an open call for submissions 365 days a year.
To read the articles, contact us or find out how you can contribute to future issues go to: https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk
There's also a general call for papers you might like to read too: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/ias/activities/exchanges/cfp-exchanges_nov_2018.pdf
June 14, 2018
A few weeks ago, I was approached by a fellow scholar over in Warwick’s School of Law, who was running a conference on Plant Variety Protection. Now, while I have considerable knowledge in the field of IP, I confess the biological side of things is not one of my strengths. Thankfully what they were enquiring about, was whether I’d like to come along to the conference and speak for a few minutes to the delegates about Exchanges and what we do as a research publication. Naturally, because I will always jump at the chance to speak to people about scholar-led publishing, this was a fabulous opportunity which I was very keen to attend. That is, until I checked my calendar and found I had an unskippable day-long conference planning meeting in Birmingham wearing my Mercian Collaboration hat the very same day.
Having sent my regretful apologies and an offer of some printed literature, it was at that point my delightful colleague suggested if I couldn’t be present, would I perhaps like to send a video along about Exchanges for their delegates. Notably, there had been a video about Exchanges produced in the very early days, which had remained on the front of the IAS’s Exchanges page since then. To be fair, while clearly well intended at the time, today it was pretty outdated content, and certainly not something I wanted to reuse in 2018. I’ll confess one of the first things I did when I took over the running of the title was to take the video link down, as part of my initial re-write of the pages.
Hence, this approach proved to be the spur to action I needed! Having more than a decade long heritage of producing videos, podcasts and audio-plays in my professional and personal life, audio-visual media isn’t a medium I’m unfamiliar with producing. Moreover, I’ve also been having some initial discussions within the IAS (Institute for Advanced Study) about how we could incorporate, explore or exploit visual media in some way under the Exchanges banner. Very early days at the moment on this initiate, so I can’t as of yet go into more details, but as and when, I’ll talk about it more here. Consequently, producing a brief video about Exchanges would provide a handy proof of concept for our plans, along with providing a useful additional promotional tool.
With any luck the video will have had its world-premiere today to a (hopefully) engaged audience, and I’ll be adding it to the IAS Exchanges pages next week. But that doesn’t mean I can’t give my loyal blog reading audience a sneaky preview. So, here it is, the snappily titled Exchanges Promotional Video Summer 2018. As always, I’d be interested in your thoughts about this, and how video can be used within a quality assured research dissemination environment.