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May 09, 2018
Names are always important. They clarify purpose, demonstrate intent and provide almost imperceptible social cues for readers. Two names in particular are occupying my thoughts today. The first applies to my dedicated assistant editors, who labour behind the scenes on Exchanges managing the quality assurance and copyediting processes. A fine body of scholars, who I’ve noticed are variously referred to as Exchanges ‘Editorial Team’ or ‘Editorial Board’. The former implies a more operational function. The latter meanwhile, confers a greater professional gravitas while reflecting the value their input and insight provides to Exchanges’ development as a serious, international, interdisciplinary journal of ECR research. This means, I’m schooling myself to use the latter as the default option, which means I’ll be updating all our supporting information in the coming weeks to reflect this shift.
Secondly there’s the name of the journal itself, or more acutely its subtitle. ‘The Warwick Research Journal’. If Exchanges only published research from IAS Fellows, and other Warwick researchers, then perhaps this name might still be suitable. Certainly, when Exchanges launched in 2013, this provided an encapsulation of how the journal operated and sourced its articles. However, today we’re increasingly publishing articles from researchers from a broader geographic region, within the UK but also internationally. This increased internationalisation and diversity of our authors can only be a good thing in terms of building up Exchanges prestige, and in turn, the value of publishing in Exchanges for authors. Consequently, this should also help enhance the diversity, scope and quality of articles submitted to us in the future.
This internationalisation agenda is operating behind the scenes too, as myself and the IAS Director, are looking to recruit more editors from Warwick’s global partner institutions. We already have two excellent Editorial Board members working with us from Monash University, Australia. They’ve made some great contributions to operations, along with encouraging colleagues to consider submitting to or participating in peer review processes for Exchanges. As with all my editors, the journal is enriched by their contributions.
All of which considerations lead me to the conclusion that the ‘Warwick’ part of the journal’s name increasingly doesn’t reflect the title’s full scope and direction, as much as it did in its early days. Hence, to reflect this growth and evolution of the journal, what I’m considering at the moment is shifting its name to something along the lines of “Exchanges: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research” (possibly with or without ‘the’ in front of ‘journal’). As a title I believe it projects a better statement of what the journal is about, and the kinds of articles we’d hope to host and hence our perception by potential authors and readers. It also doesn’t alter the strong brand associated with the core name, ‘Exchanges’.
While for now nothing is set in stone, Exchanges continues to grow and develop. Thus, I’d argue its name needs to do the same, as it moves forward into its next five years of exploration, revelation and discovery.