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August 06, 2020

Forthcoming Attractions in 2020/21

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

I thought it would be worth discussing, publicly, where we are with Exchanges, in terms of future journal issues. Those of you who read my editorial in the most recent, and slightly delayed, issue will be aware the pandemic has had some unavoidable impacts on our planned timescales. Hence, I thought rather than leaving this information on a spreadsheet on my machine, it’d be a healthy and productive to share with the wider community.

Oct/Nov 2020 (Issue 8.1): The next issue of Exchanges would normally be published in October. I would dearly like us to continue this tradition, especially following the delayed spring 2020 volume. Naturally, a lot depends on how many articles we have ready by this date. I am hopeful that as scholars have become more acclimatised globally to working under these current difficult conditions, our contributors and editors alike will be more able to deliver in a timely manner. It is notable we’ve already one article ready for publication, and I believe a second one will be ready in the next week or so. This is a significant improvement on where we were at a similar stage for the Spring 2020 issue and suggests we may be able to hit the deadline this time. Naturally, things may yet slow down again with the summer ‘break’ and new academic year affecting academic available writing time, alongside the ongoing pandemic conditions. Nevertheless, I would hope we would see a new issue produced by the end of November at the very latest with how things are progressing currently.

Jan 2021 (Special Issue 8.2: Climate Fiction): If there was one future issue whose production has the been most impacted by lockdown: it is our forthcoming CliFi issue. My associate and full editors have been working diligently behind the scenes, but we’ve hit a number of reviewer and author snags due to the global situation. We had initially targeted September 2020 for this volume to see publication, While there are a handful of papers ready, or close to it, there is as of yet an insufficient corpus of them to call an issue or indeed to make a 100% confident prediction on that issue’s publication date. I have to admit we have lost a couple of manuscripts under consideration for this issue, due to the authors’ personal circumstances requiring them to withdraw their participation. I cannot begin to describe how sympathetic we are to these authors, and wish them every future success, and perhaps a resubmission with us down the line. Nevertheless, for the editorial team members who’ve laboured over these papers, this has been a somewhat disheartening experience. Consequently, after talking it over with the special issue lead, we’ve agreed, with considerable regret, to push this issue’s anticipated publication date back to a likely January 2021 date. Hopefully, this means we will be able to bring together a great issue in the vein [1] of the cannibalism issue at that point.

April 2021 (Issue 8.3): Assuming we keep getting manuscript submissions arriving and passing through review at close to the same rate as normal [2], I would anticipate a regular issue of Exchanges should appear around this time. Naturally, with the pandemic and its devastating disruptive impacts, nothing is certain. All the same, this is the goal line towards which the whole editorial team is working towards.

May 2021 (Special Issue 8.4: Then & Now): This is point at which my prognosticative powers begin to fail. We have commissioned a special issue, in collaboration with Warwick’s Faculty of Art to appear in the first half of 2021 we hope. If the Fates smile upon ourselves and the contributing authors, this might even be an issue which appear sooner than expected. That is, if all the papers are submitted in the timely fashion myself and the special issue leads are hoping. Additionally, given our assumption many of the papers for this issue will need to undergo editorial rather than peer review, this could speed publication processes up considerably. At this stage though, we are still at the stage where we’re talking with potential authors about their submissions, and while I’ve seen a few outlines, I’ve yet to see a single paper even close to a first draft yet. Hence, I can’t make too many exact predictions for now. I am however, acutely aware that I personally need around a month between each new issue coming out to ensure I have sufficient time to deliver on my own editorial due diligence on each new volume’s content. Hence, there may need to be some gentle massaging of the timeline to ensure this and the proceeding expected volume don’t collide.

June/July 2021 (Special Issue 8.5: Lonely Nerds): Like the Then & Now volume, this is at a very early stage, although unlike that volume we went with an open call for abstract contributions. After this closed, the special issue leads selected the best submissions, and hence we’ve commissioned the authors who will be writing for this issue already. Excitingly we had TOO MANY potential submissions to include in this volume, which is a unique position for Exchanges. Unlike the preceding volume, the articles for this issue are largely expected to all be peer reviewed pieces, which means there’s going to be a longer editorial process before they’re publication ready. Although, hopes are high after examining the quality of the submitted abstracts, that we’ll be overseeing the editing of some very exciting, well written and impactful contributions to this special issue. Naturally, once I have the actual draft submitted manuscripts to hand towards the end of 2020, I’ll be ready with a keener idea on the likely issue publication date.

October 2021 (Issue 9.1): Right now, next October might only be 14 months away(!), but it feels like the far, far future, after everything 2020’s thrown at everyone [3]. Hopefully, we will all still be here to welcome in the 9th volume of Exchanges with this regularly scheduled issue. Currently, there aren’t any special issues planned beyond this point, so things might get a little quieter for a while as we return to our ‘regular’ schedule. But after two years of special issues…I’m not quite sure what that’ll look like.

There you have it - a potted guide to the next year and a half of planned publication for Exchanges, as things stand here from the ramparts of mid-summer 2020. Given the speed with which society has changed this year, and the uncertain impacts from that and other events on the higher education sector [4], nothing here is written in stone. Now though, at least you might be able to appreciate where our publication ambitions are leaning towards in the medium term.

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[1] No pun intended. #SorryNotSorry.

[2] An assumption which might be foolish to make under the current circumstances but then there’s no other data I have to draw on. August is normally the quietest month for us in terms of new papers, as people take well-deserved summer breaks, so I’ll have a clearer idea in about 8 weeks on this.

[3] So far. There are still 5 months to go of this year, and so many known (and likely many unknown) global and national events which could throw a digital-sabot in the electronic printing press.

[4] Student numbers, ‘the B word’ and university finances alone being a major bump in the road ahead.


April 30, 2020

Spring Issue Pushed Back to Summer

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.


February 04, 2020

Special Issue on Cannibalism Published

Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2

I’m delighted to announce that we have published our first special issue, after a year of preparatory work behind the scenes. I couldn’t be happier with the way the issue has turned out, not least of which the fact that this is the BIGGEST ever issue we’ve published. By my calculations this issue contains 63% more peer-reviewed articles than its nearest comparator (v5.1 fact fans), and fully 38% more total pages than our previous longest issue (way back to v2.1). It’s also, incidentally, the fifth issue to come our under my stewardship, one more than any previous lead editor’s stewardship, so I’ll be basking in that minor glory for a few days at least.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the special issue, I’d strongly encourage you to do so. This is a really fascinating issue, on a topic I confess I’ve given very little thought to personally, before working on the collection. Nevertheless, there are some corking pieces in there and as you’ll see in the editorial, I’ve a few favourites among them. That’s not to denigrate the other pieces, which have all passed successfully through our rigorous quality filter and are filled with fascinating insight, but rather purely personal taste.

Maybe I shouldn’t mention taste in an issue on cannibalistic issues?

Nevertheless, the next week or so will see the usual post-publication activities of promoting the issue and each article as widely as possible. For ease of viewing, here’s a table of contents (TOC) for the issue.

Shorland, A., 'Bites here and there': Literal and Metaphorical Cannibalism Across Disciplines Conference Review. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.550

Ramos-Velasquez, V.M., Anthropophagic Re-Manifesto for the Digital Age: 10th Anniversary Rendition. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.465

Frost, D., ‘Provisions being scarce and pale death drawing nigh, / They'd try to cast lots to see who should die’: The Justification of Shipwreck Cannibalism in Popular Balladry https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.459

D’Antonio, C.S., Consuming and Being Consumed: Cannibalism in the Consumerist Society of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Edible Woman’ https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.446

Henderson, L., Anthropophagy of the Werewolf. An Eco-Feminist Analysis of Justine Larbalestier's Liar (2009). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.402

Moran, T.F., The Camera Devoured: Cinematic Cannibalism in Pedro Costa’s Casa De Lava (1994). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.461

Shames, D., Consumption from the Avant-Garde to the Silver Screen: Cannibalism, Fetish, and Profanation. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.466

Wheatley, M., For Fame and Fashion: The Cannibalism of Creatives in Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted (2005) and Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon (2016). https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.458

Jackson, K., Dejects and Cannibals: Postmodern Abjection in Ana Lily Amirpour's The Bad Batch. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.476

Alsop, J.S., ‘Funeral Baked Meats’: Cannibalism and Corpse Medicine in Hamlet. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.460.

Leta, M., Cannibal Basques: Magic, Cannibalism and Ethnography in the Works of Pierre de Lancre. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.408

Green, W.D., 'Such Violent Hands'. The Theme of Cannibalism and the Implications of Authorship in the 1623 Text of Titus Andronicus. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.462

Davis, H., ‘Monkey Meat’ and Metaphor in Shohei Ooka’s Fires on the Plain. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.457

De Leeuw, U., 'A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism': Julia Ducournau’s Raw and Bataillean Horror. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.463

Das, R., Haun-Maun-Khaun: A Postcolonial Reading of the Cannibals in Some Fairy Tales from Colonial Bengal. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.454

Johnson, G.J., 'But He Looked Suspiciously Well Fed': Editorial, Volume 7, Part 2. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v7i2.561

Phew. That really is quite the collection of work. And now if you’ll excuse me, I must return to catch up with the outstanding submissions for this issue, and the submissions for the next few issues of Exchanges. Safe to say, 2020 is off to a cracking start for the journal, and long may it continue.


May 08, 2019

Issue 6.2 of Exchanges Now Available

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/issue/view/25

Regular readers will have already spotted it, but last week marked our biannual publication of the latest issue of Exchanges (vol 6.2). My thanks as always to all contributors, reviewers and editors alike. While it was never our intention, for the most part there’s a rather eastern focus to the articles in the issue. Aspects of life and work in Greece, Indonesia, Vietnam and China are all the focus of a number of articles, which I think is fantastic in terms of my hopes towards increasing Exchanges’ international scope. We’ve not forgotten work closer to home, as there’s an article from and about an event here at Warwick in the pages too.

Exchanges Issue 6.2

There’s always a sense of satisfaction and regret when we publish a new issue. Satisfaction, as it represents the publicly visible cumulation of the past 6 months of behind the scenes work. Regret, because there are always those articles which are so close to competition but don’t make it in time for the publication deadline. In the previous issue, I quite literally had an article completed and signed off by the author on the day of publication. In that case, the author was lucky as I had enough time to rework the issue and include it in the pages. This time, perhaps more thankfully for myself, there wasn’t a repeated late delivery. None of the remaining articles my editorial team are still working away on at the moment are quite ready for publication, although with any luck, many of them should be completed over the next month or so.

Incidentally, transit time of articles from submission to publication, remains one aspect of our journal publication processes that remains extremely variable. Some articles are well prepared by authors, favourably received by external reviewers and relatively straight-forward to copyedit. Some need a lot more heavy-lifting by authors and editors in terms of language, syntax, content and formatting or are more challenging to move through the reviewing process in a timely manner. I think our recent record for identifying scholars willing to review an article was 22 people approached, making reviewing a process which takes a lot of time and effort by the editorial team before reviewers even commence their work. I’ll confess the speed at which authors respond and action requests for revisions is the other of the two biggest factors, in terms of how soon we can get a new article to publication.

To illustrate this practically, one of the articles this issue is actually a relatively recent submission, and was blessed by responsive reviewers and author alike, along with some top-notch editorial work by one of my team. I wish every article we accept for publication could have such an easy journey. Conversely, at least one of the other articles had a far longer traversal through pre-publication. Regrettably some articles do take longer to reach the endpoint, but be assured, we do everything possible at Exchanges HQ to expediate their publication journeys. We encourage all our contributors to do likewise.

Of course, there is the slight artificiality of twice-yearly publication dates, at least in part a result of the software but also our own preferred approaches to issue construction. Part of me keeps considering if there are ways in which we could revise this approach and build issues up as articles become publication ready. I remain unconvinced, given the volume of submissions we currently have to the title and the editorial labour available to us, that this would convey sufficient advantages over our current system. Then again, never say never to shifting the pattern of how Exchanges appears. Were we to become a much more favoured destination for scholarly outputs than we currently are, then, well, I think the time might then be ripe for a rethink.

In the meantime, please enjoy the latest issue, and let us know any comments, thoughts, suggestions or indeed article proposals you may have for the next one.


September 05, 2018

Deadlines for October

Time marchs ever onwards, and we find ourselves rushing towards the start of a new academic year, which also means the publication date of the next issue of Exchanges isn't far away either. Behind the scenes my editors, authors and reviewers are (no doubt) working feverishly to prepare work that is publication ready. To help motivate everyone, the following are the ideal copy dates for material that will appear in the October issue of Exchanges:

  • Monday 15th October: Deadline for articles to be copyediting and authors to be reviewing any final changes.
  • Friday 26th October: Editorial deadline for authors to agree copyediting layout and articles to shift to production ready.
  • Tuesday 30th October: New Issue of Exchanges is published.

Articles which don't quite hit these dates, may well still see publication this issue, but the later they arrive the less likely there will be time to deal with them once production is underway, which means those authors will have to wait until the next issue. So if you're an author and the editorial team has asked you to make some corrections, or we've contacted you to ask your opinion on something, please do respond as quickly as possible, so you don't miss out on being published as soon as possible!

And if you are an early career researcher, and your haven't already submitted an article with us, then why not find out more about publishing with Exchanges or drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you.


June 08, 2018

Exchanges Vol 5(2) is here!

Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/issue/view/17


I’m delighted to announce the (slightly delayed) launch of the newest issue of the Exchanges journal. The cause of delay has been (mostly) down to your friendly neighbourhood Senior Editor getting to grips with the systems, workflows and people who contribute to making Exchanges into a reality. That, and of course getting our authors, editors and reviewers all to the right point in our production and quality assurance processes, where I felt confident enough there was sufficient quality material to publish. The learning curve at times has been somewhat steeper than I expected, but yes, there is a sense of minor personal satisfaction rolling the issue out. Now comes the promotional side of things, as I work towards raising awareness of the new issue across our readership old and new.

Exchanges Vol5-2 cover

As getting this issue live has filled the majority of my work-time thoughts for the past couple of months, it’s a refreshing point to have reached, as for the first time since I started working on the title, I feel I can sit back for a few moments and reflect. Naturally, next comes the pre-production on the next issue, although it is fair to say in many cases this is already more advanced than the material was when I came on board in mid-April. There’s also now the big advantage of having personally gone through the publication and production process once, and consequently amassing a much deeper understanding of how we ‘make’ Exchanges on a practical level.

Not that myself and the Editorial Board are about to rest on our laurels. Far from it! Now I’ve put the issue to bed, alongside tackling the revision of our authorial guidance and support, I’m rather hoping to be able to dedicate some more time and thought to thinking. Thinking, that is, about some of the more experimental and evolutionary elements of what we could do with Exchanges: both as a journal title and an intellectual brand. As always, I’ll be discussing elements of these thoughts in these very blog pages.


May 02, 2018

Future Formats, Distillation or Dilation?


An interesting conversation this morning with one of my IAS colleagues about the future of academic publishing. As an ethnographer of scholarly communications, it is always most enlightening to hear about the ontological drivers underlying a fellow researcher’s publication praxis. It was particularly edifying to witness, again, a dedication to the pursuit of human knowledge for the betterment of society. Certainly a driver such as this, in an age of neoliberal marketization and corporatisation of the Academy, might be constructed as diminishing within the research community. Yet, I say again, because during my own research, this remains an oft expressed motivational imperative behind many academics’ endeavours.

That aside, one topic we chatted about for a while, concerned the future formats of research publication. Running Exchanges, as I do, we’ve followed to date very much a traditional, if entirely diamond (or radical, if you prefer) open access publication model. We have word limits, we rely largely on the printed word and we’ve not routinely incorporated research artefacts or data within our outputs. Nevertheless, for many researchers, especially in the arts and humanities, such prosaic distillations of their work and discoveries might at best be considered considerably reductionist, or at worst represent a barrier between communicating their meaning to society-at-large.

Is there an alternative? Are there forms of research outputs which could be captured, exposed to appropriate quality assurance and review processes, and thence shared with the world? Almost certainly, although technically and indeed procedural, how a title such as ours might go about achieving represents a considerable challenge I’ll be grappling with and exploring over the coming months in this post. Certainly, while Exchanges does contain some wonderfully written articles across a spectrum of inter-disciplinarily, my hope for the future is that it can achieve some measure of evolutionary, and even experimental, work in sharing new forms of media and research outputs.

For now, these are thoughts in my head and many discussions lie ahead of me with other scholars and practitioners within the scholarly publication field. Yet, I remain heartened in my efforts that despite intrinsically capital-enmeshed metric drivers of publishing praxis, like REF2021, scholars continue to embrace an ideological embrace of the societal value of their research. One more reason, I would argue, for the continued reclamation of publishing agency by scholar-led entities such as Exchanges.


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