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January 11, 2024

Most Accessed Podcast Episodes of 2023

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/podcast

Looking back on the most popular podcast episodes of 2023 from the Exchanges Discourse reveals a few surprises.

To paraphrase Shatner [1] ‘When it was 2023 it was a very good year. It was a very good year for author interview podcast episodes and soft academic chat’.

In 2023 I produced 13 new episodes of the Exchanges Discourse podcast, representing our fourth (!) production season. I know, I’m as surprised as you are that we’ve been going this long now - but also delighted too. Since we kicked off in the high-pandemic year [2] of 2020 with the intention to create a surrogate for the kinds of conversations we’d been having behind the scenes with authors – but were less able to enjoy so easily during the extended remote working period. Unlike a lot of things which arose during lockdown – banana bread, clapping for the NHS, panicking over the food shopping [3] – the Exchanges Discourse podcast is still alive and well.

Back in 2022 we produced 17 episodes [4] and 6hrs 49 minutes of content over the twelve months. Now you might think that with fewer episodes in 2023, this means there was less content for listeners to enjoy. Slightly less variety of voices, I’ll perhaps give you. However, checking on the episode statistics we clocked in with a grand total of 6hrs and 39 minutes of content produced - most which wasn't me talking! Hence, 2023’s podcast episodes were nothing at which to be sneezed. [5] Now if I were to make one behind the scenes observation, it concerns those conversations which continued followed the end recording. A lot of our guests, once we turned the mic off had a lot more interesting things to say - and while I enjoyed every minute, I wish I'd managed to capture them for our listeners to enjoy. So, my goal for 2024 is to try and let more episodes run longer this way.

Anyway, all this aside – what you want to know in this post are which were the most popular episodes we published this past year. As always, we pick a top five and with four episodes appearing in December I’m was curious myself to see if any of these made it into the list when I ran the stats:

Rank Title Duration Published
1 Across Two Professional Worlds: In Conversation with Intissar Haddiya 00:24:34 August 2023
2 Creating Critical Reflection Articles: The What, The Why, The How and The Where 00:23:58 January 2023
3 Environmental Humanities & Transdisciplinary Research: In Conversation with Justin Westgate 00:31:32 June 2023
4 Presidential History and Digital Pedagogies: In Conversation with Rebecca Stone 00:43:60 March 2023
5= ChatGPT, Reviewers from Hell & Linguistic Challenges: In Conversation with Beth Montague-Hellen 00:27:34 December 2023
5= Sustainability, Batteries & Pringle Cans: In Conversation with Jean Marshall 00:25:18 December 2023
5= Crossing the Creative Frontier: In Conversation with Sonakshi Srivastava 00:34:35 June 2023

Well there you go - and yes - a three way tie there for 5th place, with two of those being podcasts we launched in December! How especially gratifying to see them there, meaning a real potential for them to keep climbing up the ranks. I am personally a little delighted to see what occupies our number 1 slot, as it also happened to be the 50th episode of the podcast – which was a minor milestone all of its own. I think the one surprise for me is that my solo episode on creating critical reflections has proved so popular. I suspect, given we’ve two special issues which are critical reflection focussed, this episode likely had a bit of a boost from authors planning to submit to them. I can’t tell for certain, although I know one or two authors have mentioned listening to it ahead of submission - so there's some evidence to support this assumption.

Anyway, what was your favourite episode in our top 5? Let us know if it was, or even if it wasn’t, in the comments below!

And now on to Season 5 - which I start recording today with an author interview again. Do join me.

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Endnotes

[1] I know it’s by Sinatra originally, but I’ve only ever listened to Kirk’s version. It’s rather good. But no, I shan’t be performing it in karaoke any time soon.

[2] Rather than the pre-vaccination endemic COVID-19 pandemic we’re still experiencing.

[3] UK inflation being what it is, I don’t think this one’s gone away – it’s just evolved into a more fiscal than existential mode.

[4] 15 author interviews, two solo performances by myself

[5] For 2023 the average episode length is 30 minutes 41 seconds, for 2022 it was only 24 minutes 3 seconds – so we talked a lot more this year just passed.


January 10, 2024

Most Downloaded Articles of 2023

Follow-up to Top of the Articles: Exchanges’ Most Downloaded Articles 2022 from Exchanges Reflections: Interdisciplinary Editor Insights

The annual review of the most downloaded articles brings some new surprises and old favourites to the fore.

Welcome to 2024, a year which I suspect will be both a busy one and evolutionary one for the journal. As it traditional now, I like to start the new year by looking back at those articles which have been the most heavily accessed in the past year on the Exchanges site [1]. I always run off a report drawing this information together each October/November for our departmental IAS annual report. Naturally though, that doesn’t take into account those readers who might spend their winter holidays reading the journal! [2]. Hence, what follows is the definitive most accessed chart for the past year on Exchanges.

The following are based on downloads of the final article PDFs, rather than accesses to the top-level landing (summary) page. Consequently, they represent how many times the actual article itself has been accessed by readers.

Position Article Year: Volume (Issue) 2022 Position Type
1 Fedotov, Critical Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry: Five forces and strategic action fields. 2022: 10(1) #8 Article
2 Braddy, Utilizing the Octothorpe (#): Schizoanalytic cartographies recognized in War Games. 2022: 9(2) New Entry Article
3 Lewis, The Simultaneity of Loneliness and Popularity in Dear Evan Hansen. 2022: 9(3) New Entry Article
4 de Leeuw, 'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism': Julia Ducournau’s Raw and Bataillean Horror. 2020: 7(2) #3 Article
5 Benhamou et al., From the Advent of Multiculturalism to the Elision of Race: The Representation of Race Relations in Disney Animated Features (1995-2009) 2014: 2(1) #2 Criticial Reflection
6 Varwell, A Literature Review of Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation: Lessons for contemporary student engagement. 2022: 10(1) New Entry Review Article
7 Price et al., Multispecies, More-Than-Human, Nonhuman, Other-Than-Human: Reimagining idioms of animacy in an age of planetary unmaking. 2023: 10(2) New Entry Conversation
8 Schaper, Conquering the Meatspace: The lonely nerd in David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010) and Baran bo Odar’s Who Am I (2014). 2022: 9(3) New Entry Article
9 Opaluwah, Participatory Development: A Tool of Pedagogy. 2016: 4(1) New Entry Review Article
10 Khair Allah, Review: The Body in Twilight: Representation of the Human Body, Sexuality and Struggle in Contemporary Arab Art. 2023: 11(1) New Entry Book Review

Looking at the chart I can see how once again we have a very healthy range of new entries appearing. Many of these are from the past two years of Exchanges’ publications, with perhaps a smaller than normal smattering of old ‘classics’ in the list. That said, last year’s #8 has leapt up – considerably – to become our number one most accessed article of 2023. A round of applause for that article and its author! [3] It was also nice to see our newest submission format (book reviews) having a day in the sunshine with one of these articles popping up in our top 10 for 2023. I think that clearly demonstrates this kind of article is a welcome addition to Exchanges, from our readers' perspective.

You can check out the statistics for yourself this and every article if you are interested – we always make the last 12 months of information publicly available. It is, you will see, a long way clear of the second placed article – which indicates a very healthy and laudable level of readership.

In contrast to last year where there was a fine balance between peer-reviewed and editorially reviewed formats, this year the top 10 chart is very heavily dominated by peer-reviewed publications (7:3): which must be very rewarding for authors and reviewers alike given the long hours they will have worked on these pieces. That isn’t to say it isn’t challenging to get one of the editorially-reviewed pieces into print, but it is a much longer labour for the peer-reviewed texts!

Will any of these articles appear in 2024’s most downloaded articles chart? I bet a couple at least will, but we shall have to see what this year brings. With potentially 5 new issues of Exchanges scheduled for publication this year, all bets for now are well and truly off. We shall have to see who next year’s top dogs are in another 365 or so days. [4]

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Endnotes

[1] I did give away a few hard copies of the journal, but not to any degree that would have impacted on these statistics.

[2] I am not entirely kidding – I know we had an article submission on Christmas eve for example, long after I’d ‘downed tools’ for the year.

[3] I should note the author did an excellent job of sharing their article on social media over a protracted period last year, which I suspect helped them no end. My advice to authors – never be shy of sharing your research publications via your socials!!!

[4] There are an estimated 60-70 articles anticipated to appear across these issues, so there will be a lot of competition.


May 23, 2023

Reflections on the Publication Strategies & Metrics Panel

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/global/europe/eutopia

Reflections from last week’s EUTOPIA-SIF panel on a couple of fascinating academic pubolication topics.

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion session as part of Warwick’s contribution to the EUTOPIA-SIF programme of events. To this end, I was joined by delegates from across Europe, as well as from here at Warwick to discuss a couple of topics close to my own professional interests: publication strategies and metrics. For once though, and thankfully given the challenge of the session’s theme, I wasn’t on the spot to talk about my own views but rather to enable the discourse between four wonderful panel members and the attendees. I can report from comments in the session and subsequently, that this was clearly a much-appreciated discussion opportunity.

For those of you who weren’t in the room here’s the session overview:

A major part of developing an academic track career is taking a strategic approach towards one’s publishing outputs. This helps in ensuring visibility among key audience demographics, alongside achieving credible impact and public recognition alongside generating markers of personal and professional esteem. Hence, understanding and engaging with the various publication measures of esteems – be they journal, article or personal – intrinsically resonates with any such strategic approach.

Illuminating these discussions through personal and professional insights will be a diverse group of scholars, sharing their experiences and perceptions around these crucial topics. Adopting a panel discussion format, the session will be largely contextualised and driven by attendees’ interests, questions and comments. In this way, the panel’s debates will organically evolve and resonate with the interests and concerns of the attending audience members.

In tackling these topics I was joined by a collection of academic panellists, drawn from contributors to Exchanges as authors and editors alike. These were:

  • Dr Alena Cicholewski (Institute for English and American Studies, University of Oldenburg, Germany)
  • Dr Huayi Huang (Usher Institute of Health and Wellbeing, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)
  • Dr Ignaas Jimidar (CHIS (Chemical Engineering), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
  • Dr Sharon Coleclough (Department of Media, Performance and Communication, School of Digital, Technologies and Arts, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK)

Ahead of the session I’d made a call for questions, as well as developing a few provocations of my own to get the ball rolling. While I’d shared these with the panel beforehand as the session was also designed to be largely driven by the delegates’ thoughts, experiences and insights of the delegates a most dynamic session ensured. Hence, after an opening question to prime the pump asking generally about publication strategic approaches, we shifted very much to an dialogic and interactive approach for the rest of the 90 minutes or so.

Strategies

While I am not going to attempt to share the full session discourse – when you’re chairing there’s only so many notes you have time to take – to offer a flavour, in terms of overall strategies some of the suggested approaches included:

  • Bespoke: Remember there is no single strategic approach that works for all. Be adaptable with your publication approaches and ask yourself what you want to achieve - e.g., recognition, dissemination, career esteem or opportunities.
  • Interdisciplinarity: Balance the need for advancing complex and insightful niche work, with that which straddles interdisciplinary boundaries – in terms of readers or subject matters – for maximum impact.
  • Networking: View publishing as networking – consider who you are writing for and where, and use it to engender a discourse or dialogue between yourself and other key researchers. Can be the basis for an ongoing series of publications as a result.
  • Potential: Publication isn’t everything – it is possible to advance to a new role without an overtly strong portfolio of past works, but having the potential to achieve more in the future is always worth stressing.
  • Situtation: Understand where you are in the field, especially in terms of where you want to go and how you want to be perceived.

Following on there was also a fair amount of discussion contrasting the differences in perceptions of most esteem capital worthy works in different disciplines and fields. Certainly, comments around the (arguably unhealthy) predominance of STEM publication habits as ‘normative’ were richly represented here. These considerations were married with examinations of questions relating to single and joint lead-authors and the different advantages this might confer, alongside the challenges of breaking into an Anglophone [1] dominated publication field in some domains.

There were considerable discussions around metrics – their use and misuse in cases, and the importance of balancing your own career and output and trying not to be entirely dominated with chasing the illusive highest impact simply to amplify a quantitative score [2]. Of course, as any academic knows no matter how much we might try to resist such objectified metrification the reality is research assessment exercises such as the REF loom large in any scholar’s life. However, balancing the need to ‘feed the beast’ while still achieving the ongoing publication and research discourse you actually want to produce remains a nuanced topic.

Future Disrupters

During the panel discussions the topic of AI, as one might have expected, came under the spotlight. There was a smattering of debate considering how the panel and delegates saw it as part tool, but also something which might distort or disrupt academic scholarly communicative practices into unknown configurations in the coming years. As an ancillary to these discussions, the panel were challenged to explore those other publication technologies or developments which might be worth examining in greater detail. Suggestions included podcasts and non-textural publication routes able to reach and engage new and different audiences, alongside developments in normative peer-reviewing practices too. Certainly though, retaining a watchful eye on opportunities beyond the traditional journal and monograph vectors which might prove valuable routes to communicate research activities were agreed as an essential strategic awareness.

The session closed by the panel offering their final thoughts on, given a limited time resource, where they would recommend focussing professional attention to yield maximum result. Suggestions included seeking to be a solo or lead author wherever possible, considering how your publications promote your public, professional identity and create the backbone of your interpersonal networks. Alongside this the importance of always remembering where you were in your career journey and meeting both opportunities and need within your strategic publication aims was stressed. Certainly, the panel agreed opportunities abound in terms of being able to contribute and be recognised far beyond simply operating as an author of texts within the publication sphere.

Thanks

As always, my especial thanks to my panel quartet for their contributions and generous donation of their time and insights. From the reactions in the room, I can see that the delegates certainly were engaged by the discussions, and I hope we left them all with plenty to think over. As chair I certainly enjoyed the discussions and am still chewing over some of the comments and how they might relate to my own praxis and work on Exchanges. Naturally, I would like to extend my thanks to all the delegates too and especially to those posing questions or contributing to what was a very active chat-channel.

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Endnotes

[1] An Anglophone and high income economy perhaps?

[2] Alternatively, to amplify just a single quantitative score perhaps?


March 07, 2023

A Positive Experience with a Highly Regarded Journal: Author Feedback Review

It’s important to listen to contributors, and in this piece, the EIC reviews the formal author feedback from the past three years.

  • [I approached the journal because] A colleague spoke highly of the process and the journal's reputation. (author #1, feedback)

For many years now, we’ve asked every author who’s published in Exchanges to tell us about how they found the experience. Not all of them take up the offer, but many do, and I’m deeply grateful to each one for the thoughts they have shared. In fact, over the past three years[1] fully 53% of all authors have taken the time to reflect on publishing with us via our online survey form. As a result, it has been possible to create a snapshot of the journal’s perceptions within its core contributing community, along with a evaluative account of their experiences within the editorial journey. I recently collated and analysed the feedback for 2020-2022, and I have to say the result was wonderful! I certainly was not expecting the comments to be quite as positive as they were.

  • I was rejected by three discipline-specific journals, but realise actually that the interdisciplinary nature of my article made Exchanges perfect, and I was reassured by the positive, constructive and professional response to my informal query and the emphasis on ECRs (author #2, feedback)

What these results principally demonstrate is how Exchanges, its EIC and editorial team, along with its present operational ethos are all strongly valued by our contributing authors. Interestingly, the journal’s operational transparency, interdisciplinary remit and editorial regime were all stressed as particular highlights by authors. This is fantastic, as I would personally point to all three of these as specific strengths or perhaps unique selling points Exchanges offers to its current and potential authorial community. Even more gratifying, in response to questions about how we could improve, almost 70% of all those responding either said ‘nothing’ or took the opportunity to offer further praise for the journal and team. While I am proud of the journal and all my editorial colleagues, I was really not expecting to come in for such (all-but) universal praise in this part of the survey. Tea and medals all-around, I think!

  • I have no inhibitions in saying that out of the 6 peer-reviewed publications, and the 9 rejections (including an initial editorial rejection) I have had, Exchanges has been the most author-friendly experience by quite a margin. (author #3, feedback)

Seriously though, there were a few minor areas of unsatisfied technical or procedural development identified. I am not surprised, as the chief editor I am more than aware of many aspects of the journal, our hosting platform or even our operational protocols which could benefit from a re-examination. Certainly, for example, some authors felt the duration of review or time taken to obtain feedback could have been better. I would agree, my desire is always for speedy, but quality assured, reviewing. However, I must counter how from an editorial and reviewer standpoint, onboarding reviewers who are knowledgeable and willing to contribute their insights is never an easy task for my editors. Indeed, I’ve heard from other, larger and (dare I say it) more major journal editors how they face exactly the same problem.[2] So, while I appreciate this point, I fear it is more of a universal issue with reviewing than simply our title’s approach.

  • The journal seemed very welcoming to early-career researchers and researchers who were looking to publish their first article. The interdisciplinary nature also aligned with my research and the article’s content. (author #4, feedback)

Beyond their concerns, we also asked what journal authors would like to see developed by Exchanges in terms of services, options or features. More themed special issues or calls for papers were the aspects with most uniform degree of high interest, which is gratifying. I really relish working with colleagues on special issues – as editorial leads and associate editors alike, it really helps us deliver on our title’s missions. Altmetrics and the ability for readers to comment on articles followed in importance, which considering we introduced the former last year is gratifying. I remain conflicted as to the latter – personally I delight in the discourse on and around publications, but I am concerned how much monitoring or even active policing this might be on the platform.[3] Certainly, it is an interesting option but I’m not seeing a groundswell of demand for it yet. Conversely, where there was more limited interest was in terms of hard copies of the journal – which is a relief, as arranging print production is not that straightforward an endeavour. Very limited interest in multimedia abstracts appeared too, so I won’t be focussing on these any time soon either.

  • I've had a positive experience and fair and strict treatment here before, so I enjoy submitting here now. (author #5, feedback)

So, going on what does the outcome of this feedback review mean for the journal? Well, in part it will drive an update and refresh of the survey instrument to reflect the last three years of development for the title. It also underscores the importance for increasing the visibility and breadth within our potential contributing community. I strongly suspect there are many, many authors who would greatly value discovering Exchanges, but how and where we reach them has always been a challenge. I’m happy to report I’m talking actively with the IAS itself and fellow journal editors at Warwick about just how we raise our collective heads further above the parapet. The message here is clear: publishing with Exchanges is an excellent authorial experience…but you just need to know we exist first!

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My thanks to all the editors, associate editors, reviewers and authors[4] who have worked so hard to make the journal the successful experience it has been, and I would hope continues to be.

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Endnotes

  • [1] That would be for all issues published 2020-2022, or 7 journals in total.
  • [2] I suspect the recent UCU industrial action will not have helped matters – and that’s before you factor in the challenging work regime faced by so many of our colleagues.
  • [3] Let alone running through any legal liability this might open the journal to.
  • [4] Especially those who took the time to complete the feedback!

January 13, 2023

Top of the Articles: Exchanges’ Most Downloaded Articles 2022

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

In a companion piece to yesterday's post, the EIC takes a look at which articles proved the most regularly consulted by the readership in 2022.

Yesterday I focussed on the most popular episodes of the Exchanges Discourse podcast. Today I’m turning to the journal itself and asking the question: What were the most popular articles in 2022? Naturally, there are a variety of metrics that we could use here but I’ll be deploying the one with the most readily available data to me: raw downloads. [1]

For interest, here’s the 2021 chart.

We published a grand total of 28 new articles in 2022, but as always this new chart isn’t limited to these pieces alone. Although, it might be natural to assume that there will be a strong representation from the new material given its prominence in social media post issue launch, previous years have shown a lot of articles on Exchanges go on being actively accessed year after year. Indeed glancing at the stats for 2022, even the least accessed article had 36 downloads which is no small feat! [2]

This year in keeping with the podcast chart, I’ve also given a reader share figure. This is to give an idea of the proportion of downloads each article enjoyed in comparison to every piece we’ve ever published since 2013.

Without any more delay then, here’s this year’s chart:

  Article Reader Share 2021 Position Issue Year Type
1 Tokens, Writing and (Ac)counting: A Conversation with Denise Schmandt-Besserat and Bill Maurer 7.6% New Entry 5(1) 2017 Con
2 From the Advent of Multiculturalism to the Elision of Race: The Representation of Race Relations in Disney Animated Features (1995-2009) 6.1% #1 2(1) 2014 CF
3 'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism' 2.2% #3 7(2) 2020 Art
4 Gamestop 1.8% #2 8(3) 2021 CF
5 Challenges that Early Career Researchers Face in Academic Research and Publishing 1.5% New Entry 9(1) 2021 Art
6 The Social Stigma and the Challenges of Raising a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Greece 1.5% New Entry 6(2) 2019 Art
7 Reflecting on the Experience of Environmental Epiphany in the Lives of Aldo Leopold, Thomas Hill Jr., and Albert Schweitzer 1.3% New Entry 9(2) 2022 CF
8 Critical Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry 1.3% New Entry 10(1) 2022 Art
9 Interrogating Practices of Gender, Religion and Nationalism in the Representation of Muslim Women in Bollywood: Contexts of Change, Sites of Continuity 1.1% #7 2(2) 2015 Art
10 Myths of Male Same-Sex Love in the Art of the Italian Renaissance 1.0% #6 3(1) 2015 Art

Key: Art – Article, Con – Conversation, CF – Critical Reflection

As always, I’m delighted, if a little surprised, how a number of our older articles continue to maintain a strong grip on our audience, especially given the strong reader share of the top two items. That said items from the last three years are still strongly represented with five entries – two of which were only published in 2022 - making very commendable appearances here.

It’s also good to see both conversation and critical reflection articles appearing high in the chart. [3] We continue to receive a number of excellent pieces in these formats, if perhaps fewer of the conversations than I would like, and hence it is satisfying to see our readers continue to value them, at least extrapolating from this data. [4] There are two a good range of new entries and checking back to when I first started reviewing the downloads in 2019’s volumes they are all genuine first-time appearances at the top of the charts – well done those authors especially.

As always, I suspect some of these articles will appear in our 2023 chart. However, with a currently scheduled 5 new issues to appear this year it wouldn’t surprise me if there was more than a little more competition than ever from new pieces twelve months from now!

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Endnotes

[1] Bibliometric fans and scholars might want to adopt a different method, drawing on impact, half-life, citations or altmetrics, but with the limited time available to me I’m going down the easiest route.

[2] It was an editorial from 2016, should you be curious.

[3] The most popular editorial(one of mine) popped up at number 45 in the chart (out of 231 total entries). Surprisingly high, although it was in one of our largest issues in terms of articles. Personally, I’m happy anyone reads the editorials - as editor, one has to accept that your own prose is always going to be of lesser import than featured authors!

[4] I often mention how critical reflections especially are valued by our readership and it’s good to see the numbers back me up!


June 09, 2022

PlumX, Exchanges and You

Writing about web page https://plumanalytics.com/

Since the start of 2022 the Plum Analytics module (AKA PlumX) has been installed on Exchanges. You might have noticed on each of the articles’ landing pages, below the native download statistics, a new little graphic. If you haven’t noticed – don’t worry, you’re not alone! I only discovered this week that a plug-in to my Chrome browser meant I’d not been seeing these metrics myself – luckily a bit of testing means I now know PlumX is actually working well.

PlumX Example

If you’ve not come across the concept of altmetrics before, they’re loosly classed as alternatives to the traditional bibliometrics (e.g. impact factor and h-index) that many scholars are more familiar instead. They’re intended as, in part, an alternative perspective to these or perhaps compliment to these ‘hard’ metrics, and provide an insight into how and where people are talking about or interacting with publications. As PlumAnalytics, the creator of the app describe it ‘research output[s]…leave “footprints” to show the way back to who is interested in the research and why’.

Hence, for example you’ll find an altmetric app like PlumX tracks things such as social media interactions, online news media or online reference managers which relate to how an article is being used, discussed or referenced in a much more holistic sense than traditional bibliometric factors.

PlumX is one such altmetric system then, which offers authors new ways to see how people are engaging with their research. The widget we have is enabled across the Warwick University Press family of journals, so you should see it on our companion titles too. The PlumX tool draws on dozens of metrics mined from the open Web.

Hence, now you can learn a lot more about how a paper is interesting to other scholars than a simple download metric alone!


January 18, 2022

Looking Back at 2021: Most Downloaded Articles

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

We continue our look back to last year, and see what the 10 most downloaded articles were.

Continuing on from our last post, where we looked at podcast listening figures in 2021, this time we come to the heart of our operations. That’s right, it’s time for the Top 10 most downloaded articles on Exchanges in 2021. This chart is based on downloads of the articles themselves, rather than those individuals only visiting the landing page for each article – so is the closest figures we have to indicate the number of readers.

You can of course see 2020’s scores here.

For interest, I’ve also indicated where any of the following items appeared in 2020’s chart, or if they are making a new appearance this year. So, without any more delay – here are the values for 2021.

Rank

Article Title

Issue

Type

2020 Position

1

From the Advent of Multiculturalism to the Elision of Race: The Representation of Race Relations in Disney Animated Features (1995-2009)

2(1)
Oct-14

Critical Reflection

#2

2

Gamestop

8(3)
Apr-21

Critical Reflection

New Entry

3

'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism'

7(2)
Jan-20

Article

#8

4

Current Trends in Natural Products Research from the CBNP10 Symposium at Warwick

4(1)
Oct-16

Critical Reflection

New Entry

5

Re-performing Design

8(1)
Oct-20

Article

New Entry

6

Myths of Male Same-Sex Love in the Art of the Italian Renaissance

3(1)
Sep-15

Article

#4

7

Interrogating Practices of Gender, Religion and Nationalism in the Representation of Muslim Women in Bollywood: Contexts of Change, Sites of Continuity

2(2)
Apr-15

Article

New Entry

8

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

8(2)
Apr-21

Article

New Entry

9

Participatory Development: A Tool of Pedagogy

4(1)
Oct-16

Review Article

#6

10

‘The Sagacity of Words’

8(3)
May-21

Article

New Entry

Two things spring out immediately looking at these results in contrast with last year. Firstly, we have no fewer than 6 articles which are new entries in the top ten. Perhaps more significantly through, four of these new entries were published in 2021, meaning that in even a few short months they’ve been able to climb the league table alongside perennial highly read items. I am also pleased to see at least two of these items were ones for which there are accompanying podcast episodes. Did the podcasts help improve their readership? Possibly, although I couldn’t say for certain – I’d like to think they did though!

Our congratulations to all the authors of these titles.

That’s it for this year’s look back, but by next year we hope to have introduced a new level of metrics for all our articles. It’s currently undergoing testing but with any luck, by January 2023 we’ll be able to share a different dimension of usage and discussion relating to all our articles. Keep your eye on this blog for details as and when we launch this service publicly!


February 25, 2021

Top Exchanges Discourse Podcasts 2020

Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias

The Exchanges Discourse podcast series was first introduced last May, which means unlike our journal, we haven’t truly had a full year of availability against which to chart the download statistics. However, I thought, given we released 11 episodes in 2020, that it would still be worthwhile having a brief look at which were the top five most listened to episodes.

Rank

Article

Released

Theme

1

A Conversation with…Dr Julia Gauly

3rd Dec 20

Researcher interview

2

Art Students Then & Now

1st July 20

Special Issue

3

A Conversation with…Dr Ioana Vrabiescu

15th October

Researcher Interview

4

Do you want to build a Special Issue?

6th October

Special Issue

5

For Our Consideration

21st May

Author Guidance

It’s pleasantly surprising to see that a mix of episodes, including ones with guests, are all in the top tier for listeners. What you’ll be able to surmise too from glancing at the release dates is just how rapidly popular our discussion with Dr Gauly was. Now, the reasons for this may be the timing, released just as a very long autumn term was coming to an end when people were looking for something interesting but lighter weight to listen to. It might also be that Dr Gauly herself did a magnificent job of sharing the podcast episode with her peers on social media, for which we’re deeply grateful. I’d like to think it was the content though, as it was a really enjoyable discussion to participate in, as the interviewer.

Nevertheless, a year from now it will be interesting to return and see what will have been our most listened to episode for 2021!


January 19, 2021

Top of the Exchanges Scholarly Pops 2020

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

Last year might already feel a long time ago, which given the events it witnessed, might not be a bad thing. However, we’re not quite done looking back over what 2020 had for us here at Exchanges. Hence, once again, we’re delighted to bring you the top 10 articles based on the number of times they were downloaded by readers over the past calendar year. It’s notable looking at the table below, that while articles with a greater deal of maturity show up as retaining their popularity, many of the top articles last year were taken from three volumes of Exchanges we published in 2020. It’s especially wonderful to see that our number one article comes from our celebrated special issue from last January!

Rank

Article

Issue

2019

1

‘Funeral Baked Meats’

v7(2)

NE

2

From the Advent of Multiculturalism to the Elision of Race: The Representation of Race Relations in Disney Animated Features (1995-2009)

v2(1)

#3

3

Academic Fraud

v7(3)

NE

4

Myths of Male Same-Sex Love in the Art of the Italian Renaissance

v3(1)

#2

5

Tokens, Writing and (Ac)counting: A Conversation with Denise Schmandt-Besserat and Bill Maurer

v5(1)

#1

6

Participatory Development: A Tool of Pedagogy

v4(1)

#6

7

Consuming and Being Consumed

v7(2)

NE

8

'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism'

v7(2)

NE

9

Forêt de Guerre: Natural remembrances of the Great War

v1(1)

NE

10

Global Environmental Liability: Multinational Corporations under Scrutiny

v1(2)

#4

Our thanks to all our authors, not only those who appear in this chart, and here’s hoping our various issues this year contain some pieces which similarly climb to the heights in the 2021 charts. For contrast, you might like to see what were the top articles in 2019 in my post from a year ago too.


February 10, 2020

Fun with Metrics

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/issue/view/27

Today I’ve been having a quick exploration of the numbers around the most recent couple of issues of Exchanges. Metrics are for (most) journals a hotly contested topic, with their value quantitatively established and promoted with profound pride by editors and publishers alike. Regular readers of this blog will be aware than I’m from the qualitative school of research and have some deep ideological objections to the metrification and quantisation of academic publication, and consequential transformation in a highly fetishised quasi-market mode. Ahem. To read more on this topic, see my publications or come and have a chat with me, although I cannot promise not to get onto my soapbox!

Personally, I’d rather see the valorisation of an article through post-publication discourse in the social and public spheres, than watch the uptick of citations or downloads. However, for most of our authors and readers alike metrics and journal publications, love ‘em or loathe ‘em, are intrinsically linked. I can appreciate being able to see how people are reading the work author’s have slaved over for months, in an employment sector often detached from tangible esteem measures, can be a key personal satisfier.

As an editor-in-chief too, I confess I do get a little frisson of delight watching the download statistics slowly (and not so slowly) grow post-publication [1]. For the authors, seeing these figures climb mean people are at the very least reading their publications, although how they are using it, citing it, teaching from it, learning from it, remain to be elicited. As a journal publisher, it helps me to promote the journal as a publication destination for future authors, and to answer questions to my employers about the continued viability of the title.

In recent issues of Exchanges, we’ve shifted to include more ways within articles to recognise and identify authors, notably ORCIDs, twitter handles and biographical sketches. This means it has become easier to spot a portion of the buzz around an issue and its concomitant articles. Certainly, Vol 7.2 (Cannibalism Special Issue) has generated a highly visible amount of discussion following its publication, which I hope will continue as more people read the issue [2]. Including author twitter handles means I’m at least able to observe part of these conversations, even though monitoring discussions within departments, conferences and the like isn’t practical. I fervently hope this most exciting issue will continue to receive a suitably wide discussion, as we continue our promotional efforts over the next few weeks [3].

But back to my original point: metrics. I was curious this morning, now we’re just over 10 days post publication, to see how the issue was progressing. So, I ran some quick, back-of-the-envelope calculations to contrast v7.2’s readership numbers with the preceding issue. Here’s what I found.

Table 1: Download stats/article for the two most recent issues of Exchanges [4]

Issue V7.2 (Cannibalism) V7.1 (Regular issue)
Mean 34.2 144.9
Median 30.5 139
Min/Max 19/106 118/196
StdDev 20.1 28.9

This is by no means conclusive but these numbers suggest the level of interest in this issue is potentially above the norm for Exchanges. If this degree of reader engagement continues, it wouldn’t surprise me if after 100 days post-publication most of this issue’s articles will have developed an especially commendable download rate. Kudos to the authors, who through being associated with such a broad, critical mass of learned discourse, will be able to reap additional benefits. I’ll certainly endeavour to return down the line to see if my assumptions are being met.

Additionally, this also suggests how adopting a publication mode which embraces more special issues such as this one can be considerably beneficial to Exchanges health and longevity as well. The more readers we garner, the more likely people will cite the articles, helping enhance the title’s valorisation and recognition, which in turn encourages more submissions. As the managing EIC, right now, I couldn’t be more delighted with how all these efforts have turned out. Even if it has substantially increased my own workload!

[1] Incidentally, my own IP is masked from the stats, so it doesn’t matter how many times I open or download an article to check something, my interactions aren’t actually counted. But then, I’ve already read each article a handful of times already on its journey to publication…

[2] I’m still keen to develop post-publication commenting functions for readers and authors on our journal site, but currently, am awaiting an update to the platform before I can make any strides in this direction. If you’re one of our readers, authors or reviewers and you’d like to see article comments; drop me a line – as the more people who ask, the more I can lobby my lovely technical team to devote some time to it!

[3] Another medium-to-long-term goal is to introduce altmetrics scores for each article, to try and capture a value for how ‘talked about’ each issue is in the public domain. Watch this space for details as soon as I have them, but I can assure you, this is one of my ‘top 5’ goals for Exchanges in 2020.

[4] V7.2: 11 days post-publication, V7.1, 101 days post-publication


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