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March 07, 2024

Strategic Publishing & Exploring Interdisciplinarity Panels

Two exceptional panel sessions for researchers explore questions around publishing strategically and examining what is interdisciplinary publishing anyway.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve chaired a couple of excellent panel discussions within the Institute of Advanced Study’s (IAS) ongoing researcher development remit.

Last week we had a wonderful online EUTOPIA Partners event for mid-career researchers discussing the knotty issue of publishing strategically for career, impact and engagement purposes. There was excellent attendance for the session with representation from almost a dozen different institutions, which helped make for a fascinating and engaging debate driven by questions from the floor. I think if I were to isolate any single takeaway from the discussions, is that there is no singular formula to achieve a perfect ‘output record’ and that being flexible, adaptable and willing to consider all avenues can pay major dividends. My particular thanks to all four of my gracious panellists: Alena Cicholewski (Oldenburg), Jonathan Vickery (Warwick), Kwasu Tembo (Lancaster) and Marcos Estrada (King Fahd)

Yesterday by contrast was another rich panel which looked at a question dear to my own heart: Just what IS interdisciplinary publishing? This Accolade Programme session was primarily a campus-based event, with a hybrid option for those speakers or delegates unable to attend in person. I am pleased to report that only one speaker and delegate couldn’t be there in the flesh, which made for an incredible dynamic and interactive environment.

Last year I hosted an Exchanges Discourse podcast episode getting into this interdisciplinary issue with one group of scholars, which naturally made for a fantastic topic to unpick and explore with our own early career fellow researchers. Given the depth and breadth of the debates, I am probably doing them a disservice by trying to reduce them to a few lines, so I won’t try. What I will note is that the five panellists tackled topics raised by the audience from questions of defining and quantising interdisciplinarity itself, through debates problematising disciplinary focussed vs interdisciplinary publishing outputs from a career-minded perspective alongside identifying significant emerging publishing technologies and trends. I found the discussions around the challenges of peer-review and quality assurance mechanisms and protocols within interdisciplinary publishing to be particularly exciting and varied, but such are my personal biases!

My thanks to my fabulous five panellists: Ben Schaper (Oxford), Fillipo Cervelli (SOAS), Jonathan Vickery (Warwick), Pierre Botcherby (Warwick) and Rupert Gatti (Cambridge).

Given the audiences reactions to both events, they were major successes, and I look forward to potentially reexploring these and similar issues in future EUTOPIA and Accolade events. Perhaps with a fresh set of keen academic minds!


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