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May 23, 2023
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.
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  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 . 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.
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.
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.
 An Anglophone and high income economy perhaps?
 Alternatively, to amplify just a single quantitative score perhaps?
November 02, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/69
It probably hasn’t escaped many of our regular reader’s attention, but last week saw the publication of the first issue in the tenth volume of Exchanges. This is an exciting moment as it officially kicks up the countdown to our 10th birthday issue in October 2023! Given that a lot of smaller, scholar-led journals such as ours barely make it a few issues once the initial enthusiasm dies down, that Exchanges is on the cusp of moving into its second decade 12 months from now is quite the achievement.
As always, this issue comes with a range of work from across the disciplinary spectrum. From academic fakery and citizen participation through collage and autoethnography to unpublished literary works and electric vehicles; there’s something to tantalise and engage most readers I suspect.
Access the issue here:
Or for direct article access – here’s the issue’s TOC:
Johnson, G.J., 2022. A Time to Broaden the Family: Editorial, Volume 10, Part 1. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), i-xi. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i2.1241.
Teixeira da Silva, J.A., & Al-Khatib, A., 2022. The Deontology of Using Pets in Academic Publishing-Related Sting Operations. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 1-20. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.843.
Redfern, N., 2022. Distributional Thinking About Film Style: Quantile comparisons of motion picture shot length data. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 21-42. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.853.
Fedotov, P., 2022. Critical Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry: Five forces and strategic action fields. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 43-56. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.362.
Huang, H., 2022. Reflections from Research Practice: Realism and its reality, coming to know this, and working out its mechanisms of socio-material change. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 57-93. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.815.
Hutchinson, C., 2022. End of the Line: The unpublished novels of Anita Mason. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 94-107. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.846.
Varwell, S., 2022. A Literature Review of Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation: Lessons for contemporary student engagement. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 108-144. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.1156.
Richmond, H., 2022. The Use of Collage in Autoethnography. Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal, 10(1), 145-154. Available at: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v10i1.1218.
That is probably our last issue for 2022, unless there’s a sudden rapid accumulation of completed work on one of our special issues. Nevertheless, as always, we’re delighted to receive new work for future issues in the meanwhile.
August 03, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/42
I am understandably delighted to announce that the latest issue of Exchanges is now live. This is our fourth special issue, and focuses in on experiences of lonely nerds around the world, along with explorations of their representation, perception and isolation within various media forms. I will confess it’s with a slightly heavy heart that I released this issue – mainly because it has been such a genuine pleasure to work with Ben and Filippo as the special issue leads. But, also because I’ve enjoyed many stimulating and enjoyable exchanges with many of the authors whose work appears in the issue too.
On the other hand, considering this issue started life with a conversation in November 2019, part of me is very grateful we have finally reached the finish line. In part because it releases the articles into the world, but mainly because after all this time it is great to have a little closure on the project. Only a little, because once I finish my promotional work on the issue launch, I move on to (hopefully) a number of podcast interviews with authors in the issue about their work. And after that, my focus is squarely returned to our next regular issue’s preparations as well.
Nevertheless, for this afternoon at least I’m going to back in the afterglow of the issue release and the lovely words of praise I’ve been receiving from some of the authors. Makes the job well worthwhile! Just a pity none of us are local so we could gather for a small celebratory drink or something as a capstone to the publication. Ah well, one day!
Meanwhile, to aid your reading, here’s a table of contents for the issue with DOI links to each and every article, along with the entire issue file too.
Volume 9 No 3 (2022) – Special Issue Lonely Nerd: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3
Table of Contents
Gareth J Johnson. Going Where My Heart Will Take Me: Editorial, Volume 9, Part 3. pp. i-xii. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.1186.
Filippo Cervelli & Benjamin Schaper. Socially Inept?: The perceived loneliness of nerds. pp. 1-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.946.
Benjamin Schaper. Conquering the Meatspace: The lonely nerd in David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010) and Baran bo Odar’s Who Am I (2014). pp. 11-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.866.
Janée Burkhalter. ‘Gus, don’t be the comma in Earth, Wind & Fire’: Understanding Psych’s (sometimes) lonely blerd Burton Guster. pp. 30-45. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.869.
Alena Cicholewski: ‘A place where everybody is a legendary hero… and a total dork’: Representing the American nerd community as an antidote to loneliness in G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel Comics (2014-2019). pp. 46-61. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.861.
Sharon Coleclough. So Many Ways to be an Outsider: ‘Nerdism’ and ethnicity as signifiers of otherness. pp. 62-83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.859.
Rebecca Lewis. The Simultaneity of Loneliness and Popularity in Dear Evan Hansen. pp. 84-103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.864.
Daniele Durante. From Misfit to Guide: Toward a corrective depiction of Otaku and Hikikomori in Japanese videogame Persona 5. pp. 104-123. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.854.
Natalia Rumak. Sherlock and Shārokku: ‘Nerdy’ detectives in the West and in the East. pp. 124-144. https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.860.
Kwasu David Tembo. Social and Spatial Representations of the Nerd in Donnie Darko. pp. 145-161. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.917.
Carolin Fleischer-Heininger. Loneliness as the New Human Condition in Murakami Ryū's In za miso sūpu: Otaku-ness, space, violence and sexuality. pp. 162-184. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.893.
Christopher Smith: Consumable Bodies, Consumable Self: The queer potential of otaku subjectivity in Kio Shimoku’s Genshiken. pp. 185-202. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.855.
Filippo Cervelli. Saved by the Nerd: Otaku and the space of family in Summer Wars. pp. 203-225. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i3.887.
April 29, 2022
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v9i2
We are delighted to announce the publication of the Spring 2022 issue of Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal. This is our 21st issue overall, and as a regular issue of the title, contains a range of articles, critical reflections and conversations on a broad spectrum of topics. It is, like all our past issues, entirely open access and free to read at point of publication.
This is the twenty-first issue of Exchanges, published in April 2022. This issue contains a variety of articles from different corners of the disciplinary academic traditions, from authors around the globe. Article topics within include: schizoanalytic cartographies, post-urban life in the Alps, factual divergence and expert trust, challenging stereotypical representation of Italian women, environmental epiphanies, disability representation in the media; along with two extended conversations with noted scholars. The issue’s editorial by the Editor-in-Chief briefly introduces the issue and provides an overview of the articles published within it. It also highlights two opportunities for participation through a reader survey and an anniversary call for papers on ‘authentic interdisciplinary’, alongside the regular open call for contributions to future issues. Ways for readers and authors to engage with the journal in-between issues are also highlighted.
As always, my thanks to all the authors, reviewers and editors who helped make this issue possible. Hopefully, the next issue you’ll be seeing will be one of our especially exciting special issues. Watch this space for news, or sign up to be an Exchanges reader and get emails directly.
August 03, 2021
Writing about web page https://doi.org/10.31273/eirj.v8i4
It may be high summer, but behind the scenes at Exchanges HQ we’ve been busy working away towards our third special issue. And naturally, as it was published today, we’re excited to share the news with the rest of the world. You can read the issue via the link below. Go on, I can wait until you’ve done that before I continue.
Good, now you’re all caught up. This issue is, as I highlight in the editorial, the culmination of 18 months of preparation work. It also, oddly, was a project we started on in the early months of 2000 when meeting in a crowded student café wasn’t a challenging prospect. The Then & Now project itself had to swerve direction somewhat with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and campus restrictions. I’m pleased to say though, how beyond the lack of face-to-face meetings, pretty much every aspect of Exchanges’ editorial operations for this issue continued as before.
Anyway, it’s been a genuine pleasure working on this issue with my three associate editors (Pierre, Josh and Kathryn), and I’m really delighted to have the fruits of their labour publicly available too.
Of course with the issue out, there’s no rest for the editor, as I’m off to start work training up some new associate editors to work on one of our future issues next!
May 06, 2021
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/issue/view/40
It is suggested that Christmas  is the most wonderful time of the year. I would argue for journal editors it is the small, fleeting moments following the publication of their latest issue. For a brief moment the headaches, niggles and concerns of encouraging authors, coaxing reviewers and corralling editors at large are behind them, and they can bask in the tiny amount of reflected glory that publication allows. It never lasts, because even as I’m writing these words, my thoughts are already turning to what I need to be doing to move forward with our next issue, how to promote this one, and perhaps most importantly of all, encouraging more authors to contribute their work to the journal. That latter one never really ends, so my apologies if you meet me in the flesh  and I go all misty eyes and enthusing about something you’re working on potentially appearing in Exchanges.
However, for now, huzzah and my grateful thanks to too many people to mention for helping to get the journal out the door once more. In case you’re wondering what’s in the issue – he’s the inside cover copy to give you a taste:
This is the eighteenth issue of Exchanges, published in May 2021. This regular issue brings an assortment of articles, reflections and discussions to our interdisciplinary readership. Articles in this issue tackle topics which include: Gandhi’s musical legacy, the #MeToo movement’s impact on society, artificial intelligence in the legal profession, amateur stock trading activism and questions of ethics in academic publication. The issue’s editorial also provides a range of guidance and key areas of consideration for first time academic authors from an editorial perspective, alongside reminding readers of the various routes through which they can contribute to and engage with the journal.
As always comments, collaborations or invitations to talk about the journal in all its multicoloured wonderment are always gratefully received.
 Please do substitute your own, preferred, culturally uplifting annual celebration.
 One day, maybe even soon…
March 31, 2021
Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/A-Conversation-withDoro-Wiese-etulpf
Delighted once more we have a new episode of The Exchanges Discourse live for your listening pleasure. This time I'm in conversation with Dr Doro Wiese about her work and publications. Doro’s one of our WIRL-COFUND fellows, based in the IAS and the School of Languages and Culture, and I will confess was an absolute to delight to chat with. I only regret I didn’t keep the recording going, as we talked almost as long once the interview finished about reviewing activities and the foibles therein. Possibly, we’ll need to come back to that in a later episode.
I’m also please to say I’ve got one future guest already signed up for after the Easter break, and a couple of others who are looking to find gaps in their schedules to chat with me on the record. Of course, we also have a new batch of IAS fellows coming along in April, so who knows, we may have some of these bright sparks looking to have a podcast chat as well.
Naturally, while we’ve been a bit ‘Warwick centric’ with the podcast guests, we always welcome approaches from academics near and far to come on the show. Drop me a line if you’d like to talk about your publishing, to an interdisciplinary audience with an interest in early career scholar development.
January 06, 2021
Welcome to 2021, and the first of this year’s blog posts. As is somewhat traditional to be in a reflective mood at the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be useful to take a look back at preceding 12 months as they relate to the Exchanges journal and highlight some of the developments and occurrences we experienced and enjoyed.
The year began with a glorious triumph! In what was arguably our biggest innovation since we launched, we saw the publication of our very first special issue, entitled Cannibalism. Packed full of intriguing, challenging and thought-provoking articles, it also represented the culmination of over 12 months of effort behind the scenes by the Board and our associate editors. We produced a few promotional copies in print too, just to appreciate quite how ‘meaty’ an issue it was. These were intended to be used to publicise the journal at lectures, meetings and conferences during the year, although sadly global events would transpire against us.
The next month began on a continued high note, as associate editors gathered at the IAS’ offices to celebrate and reflect on the lessons drawn from preparing the special issue. It was clear from the discussions here there was more to unpick here than a casual conversation would reveal. So, ever the ethnographer at heart, I engaged in some semi-structed ‘exit’ interviews with the team. The hope was these interviews would help us better understand what the associate editors had learned, but also help clarify any of the unanticipated challenges they met along the way. In this way, we could reshape the training and support offered for future cohorts, while also allowing me to pass along my personal thanks to each member of the team. The outcomes from these interviews would also inform a planned conference paper in April, although as the next month arrived, it became clearer that our plans for 2020 were going to need to be significantly restructured.
As we moved into the third month of the year, it had rapidly become clear to me and the journal team, as it had to people around the world, that ‘business as usual’ was about to take a back seat to more pressing concerns. However, there was some positive news at the start of March, for while we were bidding farewell to some of our associate editors, we also welcomed two new Board members from CY Cergy Paris Université in the persons of Dr Guilherme Sampaio and Dr Salvatore Monteleone. Nevertheless, with the onset of lockdown in the UK, things drastically changed for Exchanges as I bid a regretful farewell to my campus office and relocated to my home one for the duration. Sadly, my planned Article in an Afternoon workshop scheduled for the end of the month was a casualty of the enforced shift to remote-working. While I hope to revisit, rework or represent this workshop eventually, finding time to reconfigure it for online delivery was less of a priority than supporting our editors and contributors as their working environments shifted drastically.
As the unprecedented, distanced summer term began, there was a least one piece of normality among the uncertainty. The IAS welcomed its latest batch of early career fellows in an online event, within which Exchanges took its regular slot, albeit slightly hampered by technical issues. Thankfully, your editor-in-chief had planned ahead and prepared a pre-recorded video to introduce the journal in place of a live broadcast! Nevertheless, it was a happy event, among an unseasonably gloomy month. Normally, April sees the publication of the regular issue of the journal, but it became readily apparent that we were lacking in sufficient publication-ready content for the issue, and so the decision was taken to push to the issue back to later in the year. Not a choice taken lightly, but an understandable one as we heard about the impacts from Covid and the varied global responses were impacting on scholars’ life experiences and working habits. However, for the journal there was a positive note to end the month on as a new associate editor, Melissa Pawelski joined the editorial team.
Behind the scenes fevered preparations continued towards the new issue of the journal. Reviewers and authors alike were encouraged by the editorial team, although ever sympathetic to the diverse and challenging environments each contributor now found themselves operating within. However, the space provided by the delayed publication and the diminished physical interaction with scholars finally saw me drive forward on a long considered but as yet unrealised project of creating a companion podcast series for the journal. The Exchanges Discourse therefore launched in early May with two inaugural episodes. As might be expected, these were themed around an introduction to the journal and our mission, and then an overview of the types of material the journal would normally consider for publication. I was delighted how the podcast and initial episodes were very warmly received by the IAS and our contributor community. As a result, awe pressed forward with developing the format and content for planned future episodes, something which continues to this day. Although, the efforts on The Exchanges Discourse may serve to explain why there were slightly fewer blog posts produced here last year!
As summer arrived, we finally rolled out the delayed but much anticipated latest issue of Exchanges (Vol.7 No.3). While the Covid-related delay to its production had been frustrating for the editorial team, and some of the authors too, we were naturally delighted by how enthusiastically the issue was received across the readership. After the extra effort of for the first time of coordinating an issue’s production entirely at a distance, the whole team took a moment to celebrate a job well done. Trying to avoid falling into the trap of so many ‘pandemic themed calls’, the issue also incorporated a new call for manuscript submissions on the broader and hopefully more uplifting theme of challenge and opportunity. Alongside the new issue, we also rolled out our third podcast episode, on the timely theme of Having your Manuscript Declined, & How to Avoid It: a topic evergreen in my mind and editorial labours.
The early summer continued to be a rich time for new episodes of The Exchanges Discourse, as we published two more this month. The first out of the gate was our premier guest interview episode, which saw Pierre Botcherby in discussion about the development of the Then & Now: Art Student Experiences journal special issue. As a new style, and one which increased the diversity of voices on the podcast by 50%, we were thrilled by the successful creation and release of the episode. This release was followed up by the first of our reflective podcast episodes, where we took a look back at the most recently published issue of the journal, highlighting the articles within it. July was also a month where the first of a series of regular video conference calls with the Editorial Board took place, to offer support and advice, as well as discuss forthcoming developments with the journal. Alongside providing some peer-to-peer support with the difficult working conditions within which we all found ourselves.
Normally a quiet month for the journal, with many of the team and contributors taking a well-earned break. As a result, perhaps the most significant event in August took place almost unnoticed by our contributing and reader communities, but for the editorial team was a most welcome occurrence. A long-planned update to the underlying OJS platform on which Exchanges runs was introduced, which added some much-desired new functionalities alongside squishing the odd glitch here and there. That the introduction of the new version of the platform passed by quietly in the background is a testimony to the hard work and professionalism of the Library Scholarly Communications team in preparing for and executing the upgrade.
Another editorial team meeting was held during September, to pick up the various threads of development and support needed across the Board. Chief among these were reviewing our progress against plan on each of our various special issues under development. Originally, September was to see the publication of our Cli-Fi special issue, but the Covid curse meant the Board and issue leads mutually agreed to push this back by four months to early 2021. Nevertheless, editors, reviewers and authors alike continued to work on this, and other contributions, behind the scenes, as we moved towards the start of the new academic session.
After a pause the previous month for myself to catch up on regular editorial work, the new academic year brought with it two new episodes of the podcast. The first provided a potted guide on the considerations and best approach to initiating a special issue of the journal, inspired by conversations with our various issue leads. The second was another of our increasingly popular guest episodes, with Ioana Vrabiescu in conversation with myself about her publishing experiences and providing some advice to first time authors. Meanwhile, October saw us welcome another new cohort of early career fellows to the IAS, with this time Exchanges much more successfully being able to engage with them during their induction event. This induction event was followed the next week by an ‘Ask me anything’ session (AMA) hosted by myself for the fellows, giving them the opportunity to enquire about Exchanges and how we relate to their researcher development experience. It was a highly successful new format and a highly energised session, and hence will be one we’ll be repeating in future Accolade slots for Exchanges related content, even once we’re all back together physically once again.
What was a busy, busy month for myself and the journal was capped by the publication of Vol. 8 No.1 of Exchanges, to much relief on the part of the editorial team, and much delight on behalf of the readership and contributors. The issue included our new thematic call for papers A.I. Panic or Panacea? It was to be a theme which generated a flurry of discussions and emails from potential authors, so I’m hopeful we’ll be seeing some excellent papers relating to it.
There was though, no time to rest on our laurels as we headed into the final months of the year. For November, the undoubtable headline event saw me speaking about the journal and the outcomes from our associate editors programme at the prestigious international Munin Conference on Scholarly Communication in Norway. Sadly, the pandemic meant that rather than a trip to the most northerly university in the world, I spoke from my home office. Conversely though, the conference experience generated more than a little new interest in Exchanges and our work, which was a very exciting outcome. You can watch my entire talk online, if you missed the opportunity of attending the conference.
During November we also took the time to produce two further episodes of The Exchanges Discourse. The first, was a reflective look back at the recently published issue. The second by contrast introduced another new format for the podcast, with our first foray into having authors present an oral version of their article’s abstract. If this wasn’t enough activity for one month, we also hosted the final Editorial Board online meeting of the year, bringing together my team together from across at least 4 different time-zones and several thousand miles. A tip of my hat especially for my Australian colleagues for joining us at what was a late hour of the day for them.
Publicly the year ended what was probably a relatively quietly note. Although behind the scenes there was a lot of work going on towards the volumes of the journal planned for 2021. Training was held for two incoming associate editors, Josh Patel and Pierre Botcherby for one. It was also a month where I seemed to be very busy interviewing academics about their publishing experiences for the Exchanges Discourse podcast, with two new episodes coming out just before the Christmas break featuring Dr Julia Gauly and another with Isabelle Heyerick. Clearly, looking at the healthy listener figures for these episodes, they were either highly engaging, or scholars found themselves with more time to listen as the year ended. It was notable the statistics for all episodes of podcast went up during December, so perhaps a little of both reasons. A further episode was also recorded, but with the encroaching Christmas shut-down period, it was held back from release until early 2021. For me though, the last event of the year was a discussion with some scholars in the Netherlands about an open access project of potential interest to the journal. A fine way to cap off a strange and unexpectedly eventful working year on a note of authentic positivity.
So, that was Exchanges’ 2020 – and what’s ahead for 2021? More special issues being published, more regular issues too that’s for certain, as are more podcast episodes. I’m hopeful we’ll be opening the books to recruit some new editors and associate editors in the coming months, alongside contributing to a few conferences, workshops and forums in a professional capacity. We’ll also be quietly celebrating three years of the title under my stewardship, albeit at in a respectably socially-distanced manner, around Easter time. I do hope you’ll be at least joining us as a reader or may even be moved to contribute to a future issue. We are certainly looking forward to many, many new interactions with scholars old and new throughout the next year: via the blog, podcast, twitter, email or video-call. However, you approach us, know there’ll be a warm welcome!
August 06, 2020
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  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 , 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 . 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 , 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.
 No pun intended. #SorryNotSorry.
 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.
 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.
 Student numbers, ‘the B word’ and university finances alone being a major bump in the road ahead.
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.