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September 05, 2023
An international event leads to discussions around the journal for the future.
Last week, the IAS – Exchanges’ host department – hosted a two-day event which incorporated a visit from its august International Advisory Committee (IAC). Despite our regular programme of workshops and symposia facilitated by our associated research fellows, and supported by the IAS, this was the first time we’d had help an event such as this as a department. Consequently, myself and my IAS colleagues were excited  to welcome such senior, internationally recognised scholars to Warwick to contribute to discussions, reflections and interactions. Day one was given over to a showcase symposium of presentations from various IAS’ fellows concerning their work, concluding with a poster presentation from a selection of our other scholars. Day two though, this was scheduled to have a greater focus on the work, ambitions and direction of the IAS itself, and to be fair, was the part of the scheduled visit in which I had the most interest.
As, a modest but mighty , aspect of the IAS’ activities, Exchanges – as represented by me – had the chance to sit in on these second day strategic discussions between our own Director and the IAC themselves. This was fascinating, as it gave a really clear picture of the direction of travel for the IAS in the coming years, and where our current director would like to see us heading in the decade or so to come. As a report on this part of the visit and IAC discussions will appear from the IAS in due course, I won’t cover it here . However, towards the tail end of these discussions I was fortunate enough to be able to briefly talk to the IAC members about Exchanges and some of the work we do.
Given there was only so much time which could be allocated across two very busy days, we kept the discussions fairly light, although I will say it was a pleasure having the chance to discuss Exchanges with a group of interested scholars and gain a little of their insights. Especially, as readers of this blog and podcast listeners alike will know well, there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about Exchanges!
Now while there weren’t any drastic revelations or suggestions in these debates, my work and naturally by extension that of our editors, reviewers and authors alike, came in for some justifiable praise from the IAC. In particular, there was an especially warm reception for our ‘developmental rather than metric-chasing’ ethos which the journal embraces. Given this attitude alongside our overarching ‘academic altruism’ ideology lie at the heart of our operations, this felt like a validation of our longstanding efforts.
I am definitely looking forward to talking to the IAC again during next year’s visit. Having explored the basic remit of Exchanges this year, I am hopeful that we could move on to explore some of our more active developments. Perhaps even our ambitions for future growth! I’m hopeful the IAC might have some valuable suggestions for us to consider in achieving these goals too.
 And maybe a little apprehensive.
 Probably EIC bias there.
 I wasn’t taking accurate enough notes to properly represent these discussions anyway.
May 09, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/guidance#formats
Following interest from a number of authors, Exchanges has introduced a new article submission format.
Exchanges has been approached a few times recently by authors asking if we would consider publishing critical and evaluative reviews of recent or significant texts. Looking back, over past issues, we have had some articles which arguably broadly fell into this category published as critical reviews. However, to date we had not set up a separate book reviews submission format. After a little consideration, and following a brace of recent submissions to the journal, I am happy to announce that from this latest issue of Exchanges onward we are now formally inviting authors to submit reviews of worthy and ideally recently published academic research texts. Such books may be author monographs, multivolume works or even textbooks.
Writing Book Reviews
Owing to Exchanges' audience, many of whom are early career post-graduate researchers, such book review manuscripts should be crafted by their authors to offer an introductory overview of the work under consideration intended for readers less or unfamiliar with a field. As such, as with all our articles, book reviews should seek to explore, clarify and unpick particular domain specific concepts, terms or ideas, rather than assuming automatic peer-familiarity.
Ideally, and initially, Exchanges is more interested in reviews of books published in relatively recent years, given their relative topicality and impact on scholarly discourse. However, we may consider reviews of older, established works or those of a more literary configuration too, but authors are advised to consult with the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) ahead of submission to avoid disappointment. Conversely, authors who are looking to review a spread of literature within a field, would be expected to submit a review article for peer-review consideration rather than a piece under this format.
As per our normal submission review policies Exchanges reserves the right to decline for publication consideration any book review submissions which do not meet our base quality controls, journal scope or other policy requirements. Moreover, while book reviews will be subjected to an editorial review and revisions process before consideration for publication acceptance, they will not undergo external peer review. Authors wanting to discuss a potential book review manuscript ahead of formally submitting it to the journal for consideration, are warmly welcomed to open a dialogue with the EIC at any time. However, such pre-submission discussions are not a requirement or prerequisite for any submission.
We look forward to reading your future book review submissions to this new category with considerable interest.
January 12, 2023
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/podcast
The EIC looks back at the Exchanges Discourse podcast listener figures to uncover 2022’s most popular episodes.
Happy new year Exchanges blog readers. As is tradition  at the start of each year I like to have a quick check of the stats relating to the journal. First up, it’s the Exchanges Discourse podcast. Last year (2022) we released 17 episodes with a total running time of 6hrs 49mins – almost double the duration of the content we released the previous year. Were our authors more loquacious? In part, yes, but also the four additional episodes probably helped to boost the total a little.
For interest – here’s a link back to last year’s charts.
Interestingly, 15/17 episodes in 2022 featured a guest  with only a couple being solo episodes featuring myself. Anyway, here are the top chats of the year:
- In Conversation with Elloit Cardoza (Feb ’22) [Total Audience Share: 16%]
- In Conversation with Mehdi Moharami (Jan ’22) [Total Audience Share: 13%]
- In Conversation with Francesca Brunetti (June ’22) [Total Audience Share: 8%]
- What Do I Get Out of Publishing with Exchanges? (Mar ’22) [Total Audience Share: 8%] 
- In Conversation with Alena Cicholewski (Sept ’22) [Total Audience Share: 7%]
Unsurprisingly, those recorded and released towards the start of the year do benefit from a longer lead time than the later ones, although I’m delighted to see my lovely chat with Alena in September is there among the most popular. I am also slightly flabbergasted to see one of my solo efforts charting so high. It’s not that they’re ‘less worthy’ entries, but I’ve rather naturally assumed the friends and colleagues of our guests would always boost the episodes they appear in above my own solo entries.
My thanks as always to all my guests, and of course the listeners too – I hope you all enjoyed and benefitted from the experience.
So, what’s coming up in 2023? The good news is the first new episode is only a day or so away from release as I recorded it just ahead of the Xmas break. After that…ah, spoilers sweetie!
 It’s not a long-standing tradition, dating back only a couple of years, but a tradition nevertheless.
 Including one author who came back for seconds!
 A very slightly lower overall number of listeners compared to (3), but not enough to shift the stats.
December 21, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/
The Editor-in-Chief of Exchanges takes us through a month-by-month rundown of the year in the life of the journal.
We are almost at the end of another calendar year here at Exchanges Command and looking forward to a Christmas and New Year’s break in activities. Before we get to that firstly we’d like to thank all the readers of our blog and the journal for your attention this year. Naturally, there’s also a big thanks to everyone who contributed in 2022 in some way to the life of the journal. There are far too many to thank by name but know that it was appreciated by me and the Board members especially.
So, for this final blog post of the year, I thought it would be interesting to draw together a rundown, month by month of what happened for Exchanges during in 2022.
In January as is typical we looked forward and back, starting with the launch of a new third season of the Exchanges Discourse Podcast, albeit with an episode recorded the previous December. We also explored what had been the most popular journal articles and podcast episodes in the preceding 12 months as well. Alongside this we closed the call for papers to appear in the forthcoming Anthropocene special issue, and began working closely with the associate editors for that volume.
Three more podcast episodes were published this month tackling a mix of topics, but there was also a long blog post concerning what makes Exchanges special for authors. Based on conversations with research fellows at Warwick, it made for a useful think piece that would be referenced throughout the coming year. It was especially interesting though to hear throughout 2022 from podcast guests how much validity they’ve found in these perceptions within their publishing experiences on the journal. Meanwhile behind the scenes, activity was speeding up as initial publication preparations were underway for the spring journal issue.
As winter began to give ground to spring, for Exchanges the focus on the new issue preparations continued and increased in scope. Yet it was still a healthy month for the journal’s aim to bring transparency to its operations with multiple blogposts exploring various issues. These included updates on the podcast’s branding, thoughts around the platform’s technical and developmental wishlist desires alongside a refresh of our open call for papers too. There was also a new podcast episode tied into February’s look at publishing with Exchanges from a prospective author’s perspective. Plus, the journal’s patron (the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) at Warwick) increased its funding to bring in more hours from the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) on the title, reflecting the need for greater staff time and attention on the journal.
Undoubtedly the big news for April was the publication of Volume 9(2) of Exchanges itself – the 21st issue of the journal to appear since its founding. This issue brought with it the announcement of call for papers for the 10th birthday issue, scheduled for publication in late 2023. As of writing we’ve had a few contributions already, but there’s still time for plenty more critical reflections to boost this issue’s scholarly content. There was also the launch of a readers’ survey, but this, sadly, wasn’t a resounding success. This month also marked 4 years at the helm for the EIC, a small personal milestone, especially given more issues (and articles) have come out under his aegis than during any previous lead editor’s tenure.
With the new issue out, there was a shift in editorial gear behind the scenes as authors whose work had just been published were now being approached to appear on the podcast and offer feedback on the journal. More excitingly, two online workshops were hosted by the Editor-in-Chief for Warwick researchers. The first was the latest iteration of the now biennial Ask Me Anything (AMA) session dedicated to exploring Exchanges entirely driven by audience members’ interests. A session the EIC hosts in a very freeform manner and is generally warmly received. This event was followed days later by a panel session entitled Developing your Publication Strategy. Chaired by the EIC with guest speakers, this made for a lively and illuminating debate on the methods and approaches different scholars adopt in producing their research literature outputs. If all that wasn’t enough, towards the end of the month, the EIC also hosted a session for arts undergraduates on the nuances, benefits and approaches to article writing.
As the summer arrived, and we got a taste of the very warm weather the UK would experience this year, it prefaced a busy month for the journal. New podcast episodes featuring authors from the recent spring issue started to appear online for listeners. Plus, over on the journal the altmetrics, PlumX metric package was formally rolled out for all articles, offering new insights into the discussions, links and social media impact of Exchanges’ publications visible to all. Behind the scenes the EIC was hard at work at some data cleansing activities. To this end he was locating ‘dead’ reviewer accounts – or at least those where the email address no longer functioned - and removing them from our active user database to save any confusion when locating potential article reviewers. Meanwhile there was also a chance for the associate editors working on the Pluralities of Translation special issue to meet up and exchange experiences on their progress to date. Finally, one more workshop was hosted by the EIC with guest panellists, this time focussing in on Developing a Monograph Proposal – a second iteration of which workshop is scheduled for late February ’23. On top of all this activity, there was also an opportunity for the IAS and Exchanges team to meet the incoming IAS Director and departmental head for the first time on campus, as we prepared to say farewell to our outgoing director in September.
A warm month, and also as the busy academic sessional year came to a close a relatively quiet one publicly. Behind the scenes though the EIC was hard at work bringing together the contents for the Nerds special issue. Sometimes the busiest months editorially are also the ones with the fewest public announcements – reflected in the mildly surprising revelation that there were no blog posts this month. Still, there were plenty of twitter tweets to keep people interested and informed about the journal’s activities.
A heat wave in the UK would make August a challenging month to keep working on the journal, but it was also a significant time for multiple reasons. Firstly, the long gestating Lonely Nerds special issue (Volume 9.3) was finally published to an eagerly waiting readership. It brought to an end three years of collaboration with the universities of Oxford and SOAS meaning it was a moment of celebration and mild regret that it had all come to an end. Looking to the future, August was also the month when Exchanges opened a wide call across the EUTOPIA partnership for new Board members, a call which received a high standard of applicants from around the world.
This month saw a split in focus. In part efforts to promote and celebrate the previous month’s special issue on social media and podcast episodes were a focus. At the same time, preparations were in full swing for the publication of the next regular issue of the journal scheduled for the end of October making for a busy time. September also saw the departure of editor Giulia Champion after three years working first as an associate editor, before progressing onto the Board. Among Giulia’s many contributions to the life of Exchanges had also been the instigation of our very first special issues (Cannibalism and ClifFi) – a remarkable feat for which she will be long remembered. Behind the scenes, the EIC was also preparing to shortlist and interview prospective new Board members.
The biggest journal news in October was of course the publication of Volume 10(1) of Exchanges, the 23rd journal issue to date and also the last one to appear this year. October was also the 9th birthday of Exchanges itself, meaning attention was once again drawn to the call for papers for the 2023 10th birthday issue. The EIC hosted two Board meetings as well, opportunities for editors and associates alike to share updates and issues, as well as hear about forthcoming developments for Exchanges too. Behind the scenes podcast interviews with the authors from the Lonely Nerds special issue continued to be recorded and released too. Weirdly, this month the EIC wrote his 2022 annual review for his host department mid-month, which had to make some educated guesses as to what the remaining 14 working weeks of the year would herald for the journal. Of course, beyond this for some the twin highlights would be the welcome to new IAS early research fellows and the subsequent Exchanges AMA workshop – hosted live and in person for the first time in three years. The latter session was certainly a riotously successful session, and exceptionally well received by the attendees – and the EIC himself! Alongside this the new Editorial Board members were agreed and prepared to be revealed to the world…
The penultimate month is often a busy one at Exchanges before the end of year slowdown. With the publication of an issue, there’s all the follow up and promotional activity which comes with it, and for Exchanges especially the recording of author interviews for the podcast. Certainly, all these things happened, but we also sneaked out an episode devoted to peer reviewing too, inspired from discussions at the previous month’s AMA. This November though was a little more special as we formally welcomed on board seven new members of the Editorial Board, and put them through their induction training programme. Alongside all this the EIC found time to contribute to Warwick’s Leadership and Management Development course for early-stage researchers focussing on editing and peer-review. Tied into this course, which is running twice more in 2023, was the announcement of a new special issue focussing on researcher reflections. More than enough to bring us almost to the end of the year, even as we launched our new Mastodon Twitter-alternative channel too.
Aside from our EIC celebrating his birthday , you’d think the ‘quietest month’ would see only a few minor highlights as the journal wound down operations for the year’s end. Not so, as behind the scenes a number of the new Editorial Board members got their first real taste of manuscript and author guidance. Meanwhile the EIC finally found the time to collate and review the feedback gathered from the last three years of author experiences . Incidentally, initial indications are very positive! On top of that after years of effort, the EIC was delighted when they were finally able to get together with all the editors of other journals at Warwick Journals for the first time in years. Discussions centred on plans for joint activities and operations along with sharing areas of mutual concern and debate. To say it was a useful meeting would be an understatement, and hopefully a harbinger of more such gatherings in 2023. December was also the month we said a fond farewell to one of our longest serving Board members, as Natasha Abrahams (Melbourne & Monash universities) stood down after around five years working on the title. And just to round off the year, and our 44 blog entries to boot, we also released three more episodes of The Exchanges Discourse, featuring our last authors of 2022 in conversation.
And that’s it –our busy and eventful 2022. What, I hear you ask is coming in 2023? Well, currently we have three special issues likely to see publication alongside our two regular issues to begin with, which will be a record if they all appear. Additionally, we have a handful of workshops to talk about Exchanges already in the diary. Hopefully we’ll be able to add a few more dates to these, and maybe a couple of conference papers as well . All this and the growing work with our colleagues across the Warwick Journals family too to look forward to means next year is already shaping into a busy and suitably active one for our 10th birthday year.
In the meantime, merry Christmas and happy New Year to all those of you out there! See you in 2023.
 One of the things planned for exploration in 2023 are different approaches to finding out what our readers, rather than our authors, value most about Exchanges. I suspect conversations with our fellow journal editors may help here.
 Not as of yet a public holiday but we live in hope that it will be one day.
 Finishing writing up the report on this feedback remains my final 2022 unfinished task after this blog post…
 Don’t ask me where – I’ve not as of yet spotted any suitable events! However, if you’re interested in having someone from Exchanges appear at an event – please do get in touch.
June 30, 2022
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/index.php/exchanges/FAQ#reviewers
The editor talks about one of those tasks that invariably ends up being tackled during the summer – data clean up!
Some time ago, I went through the database of all our registered reviewers for Exchanges. You see, one key bit of information we ask of each reviewer is to provide is a few keywords covering their areas of expertise as part of their profile creation. In Open Journal System (OJS) parlance this is known as their reviewing interests. Reviewers can update, revise and amend these at any time by logging on to their profile, although I suspect in practice few actively do this unless promoted . When my editors and myself come to look for suitable reviewers to examine a newly submitted manuscript, one of the first things we do is consult this reviewer database. In this way we hope to find someone with matching or closely related reviewing interests; although given the variety and variance in topics we tackle on the journal more often than not we have to do
Sadly, due to the way OJS operates it is entirely possible to create a new reviewer profile without this information being completed. It’s a technical oversight I’ve long hoped might be fixed, but for now it means over time as our database of reviewers swells, some will be running with incomplete profiles. Technically functional, but lacking that crucial interest information we need! Even more frustratingly as editor, there’s no easy way for me to press a couple of buttons and locate all the reviewing accounts which lack this information . Which is why once again I’m deeply grateful to resident ITS OJS Guru Rob T for managing to capture it for me.
As last time there were quite a lot of accounts lacking this information, albeit not quite so many. I’m hoping that represents the improvement in the dataset from when I last ran this exercise. So, as of a few minutes ago I’ve written to all of these reviewers asking if they could take a couple of minutes to provide this missing, vital information. It’ll not only make our lives easier, but will also help ensure we’re more likely to ask reviewers to consider papers which correspond closely to their research and professional expertise.
There’s also been a couple of knock-on benefits from this process, alongside hopefully a better reviewer dataset . Firstly, in offering instructions on how to update this information in the mailshot, I noticed the guide we provide on our FAQ was slightly outdated by the most recent system update. So, that’s now be rectified and clarified. Secondly, ever since I ran the mail merge to send out the messages my laptop has kept pinging every 30 seconds for quite a while. This is mostly bounce back messages from dead, defunct and otherwise formerly functional email accounts. Which means one of my follow up tasks will be to go through these ‘dead’ accounts and inactivate them as reviewers, so we don’t keep fruitlessly messaging them .
The end result though – hopefully – a tranche of improved reviewer data, some elderly accounts pruned and a better working experience for everyone involved! I can see I might try and make this an annual event at the start of each summer! Check back in June/July 2023 to see if I do…
 I could be wildly wrong of course; this is only an assumption. But I know personally how rarely I update profile information about myself on any system unless something or someone prompts me to do so.
 The management information on OJS HAS improved in leaps and bounds, but it is still years behind where it should be. This isn’t a problem for us to resolve easily, as it relies on the open-source developer community to recognise that editors using OJS, NEED a whole lot more, better and more intuitive ways to query the data held by the system.
 I suspect I’ll also be dealing with a smattering of emails from academics asking me to delete/deactivate their accounts (it happened last time) too. Not sure this classes as a benefit though.
 An additional frustration with OJS is it doesn’t inform me when I send system emails which accounts are bouncing. I believe the WUP chief and tech sees these messages, but I’ve never been able to. Hence, this is one of the few times when I can really discover which OJS profiles on Exchanges are now effectively defunct.
December 21, 2021
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/
Dr Gareth J Johnson, Managing Editor in Chief of Exchanges, reflects back on busy, eventful and successful year for the journal – while glimpsing ahead at the next twelve months.
When I served on various student societies and was partly responsible for writing their annual reports, we had a phrase myself and my best friend Simon used to use as the opening line: ‘Well, it’s been a year and what a year it’s been’. Today, this feels like a phrasing which is more than a little apposite when reflecting on the experience of running the Exchanges journal throughout the last twelve months. 2021 certainly has been quite a year.
It’s been a year when like so many others, we’ve continued to work under the most challenge work-a-day experiences of my working lifetime true enough. But it has also been a time for some considerable growth and expansion of our activities. During 2021 for example we produced four issues of the journal, from the Cli-Fi Special (Vol 8.2) back in February through to our regular autumn volume in October (Vol 9.1). Given Exchanges is resourced to produced two issues annually, doubling our output has required some not inconsiderable effort on my part to keep all the additional plates spinning in the air. Producing these issues has too required the ongoing contributions from my Editorial Board and wonderful associate editors who joined us to help produce one or more specific special issues. My thanks to each and every one of them!
This year we’ve also produced another thirteen episodes of The Exchanges Discourse podcast. There would have been more, but I found that my time was being used more often on the journal itself this year, so this side-project wasn’t perhaps given quite as full a flowering in 2021 as I might have liked. That said, in recent weeks we’ve had two new episodes launched, two others recorded and three more already scheduled for recording in 2022. So, it is safe to say, season three of the podcast has got plenty of content already lined up. You can of course catch the most recent episodes here:
- Looking Back at Volumes 8.4 and 9.1 of Exchanges
- A Conversation about Educational Podcasting with Jim Judges
Naturally though, my and the editorial team’s core focus remains on the journal. Behind the scenes we’re working towards three additional special issues which I hope will all reach fruition and publication in 2022. Special issues continue to be an exciting area of development for the title, and throughout this year I’ve also been regularly enjoying outline discussions about possible additional special issue projects. I can’t say too much right now as beyond the three scheduled volumes we’ve not (formally) agreed to take any others forward as of yet. Despite that caveat I can admit to having a number of meetings in 2022 pencilled in to change the status of some of these from possibilities to ongoing concerns.
Over and above all this publication and podcasting activity, have been the workshops and outreach sessions I’ve participated in, hosted or chaired. Some of these have been as part of our very own wonderful IAS Accolade Programme for early career researchers. Some of these though have been specifically allied to special issues: with both the Lonely Nerds two-day conference and the two Anthropocene academic writing workshops in September and November being particular standout highlights.
All this, plus the administrative and managerial overheads of running the journal…and all with only a modest amount of staff resource too! It’s been a great success, and while there have been bumps and learning moments along the way, if 2022 is anything like 2021, I think Exchanges can look forward to going from strength to strength in the new year.
So, at the close of this year, at least for me as I depart for a well-earned Christmas vacation, I’m raising a virtual glass to every author, reviewer, editor, workshop delegate and special issue lead I’ve crossed paths with this year. Not to mention all the staff at the IAS itself! You’ve helped make 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic and other crises human-made or otherwise, what it was for Exchanges: a great year. And hence, have my eternal thanks!
Looking to the future, well 2022 sees the beginning of our run up to our tenth anniversary issue with the journal numbering finally hits double figures in the autumn. What do we have planned to commemorate this august moment in October? Well, keep reading this blog, listening to the podcast, accessing the journal – or just talk to me – to find out for sure! Exciting times for me, the journal and all our contributing audiences too I would hope.
In the meanwhile, see you all for an exciting and hopefully less externally eventful 2022!
February 25, 2021
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.
3rd Dec 20
1st July 20
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 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!
December 22, 2020
Writing about web page https://anchor.fm/exchangesias/episodes/A-Conversation-withIsabelle-Heyerick-eo42dq
'Don’t be blinded by where you want to publish, look for people you want to publish with’
Well, it’s been a year, and what a year it’s been for us all. From the triumph back in January of our first special issue making it to publication, through the launch of the new podcast to speaking about Exchanges to the international community. A lot has happened.
You don’t need me to tell you 2020 has been a year like no other in living memory. It has changed how we work, but for the journal it has also reinforced the strengths of the links we have with contributing communities. From editors, to authors, reviewers and readers, I’ve probably enjoyed more direct interactions this year than I do when I’m actually sitting in my campus office. An office, I hope to see once more in the not too distant future, I may add.
We don’t know what the future holds, so I’m going to avoid any prognostication here, and perhaps introduce a mild sense of caution. I’m hopeful that 2021 will see the publication of two regular issues of the journal, alongside an unprecedented three (!) special issues – those are the plans as they stand right now. I know too that we hope to continue producing our Exchanges Discourse podcast, the latest episode of which went live this morning.
The next two episodes have already been recorded or scheduled for production early in the new year, so there’s plenty of content to come.
In the meantime, if you’ve read or in anyway contributed to the work of Exchanges this year, can I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and wish you a much, much better new year. Stay healthy, take care of yourselves, and I look froward to talking publishing with you very, very soon.
April 07, 2020
Writing about web page https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/about/journal-policies
Let’s talk about one of the earliest steps in the editorial journal of a submitted manuscript to our journal. One of the very first things we do for manuscripts submitted to Exchanges is to run them through Turnitin. This tool primarily provides us with an outline check to see if the script has been published elsewhere previously, which alongside breaching the Inglefinger originality rule , would also likely contravene another publisher’s legal rights and is to be avoiding. Moreover, it also lets us spot where an author might be running the risk of breaching good scholarly guidelines on the reproduction of someone else’s work as their own. The more closely the text matches with previously disseminated work, the higher the percentage score Turnitin ascribes. It’s not a perfect system, and you cannot rely on the score alone, but it is a very valuable tool for the scholarly editor .
Most papers pass through with a fairly low score, although commonly used references within a field can sometimes boost a perfectly legitimate paper’s percentage score by a few points. A handful of submissions though score big, and it’s at this point that I have to do some more investigation. Thankfully, to date under my editorship we’ve not (yet) had any manuscripts which have been clear plagiaristic efforts. Nevertheless, it remains something myself, my editors and reviewers do have to keep a constant, watchful eye out for as part of our quality scrutineering activities.
Some submitted works score highly because they’re making use of attributed quotes, which because they’re taken from or have appeared in prior works are flagged up for attention. A lot of my own published scholarship falls into this category, and I’m acutely aware this means my work would be highlighted in this way. Naturally, provided authors have clearly cited the original work, blocking it out from the main text for long quotes as appropriate, after I’ve read through the Turnitin detailed report, there’s usually little to prevent us from progressing the material towards peer review.
Well, that is, of course if it passes through editorial scrutiny in terms of essential quality. Sending very poor-quality materials to peer reviewers tends to irritate scholars; much as I’d prefer to send everything to review.
However, some submissions don’t use quotations and still shine brightly with very high Turnitin percentages, with the highest I’ve seen scoring 99%! Thankfully, in my experience these high scoring submissions (the 99%er included) tend to be work based on non-formally published student work. For example, essays, thesis or dissertation chapters and even conference talks can commonly cause Turnitin to sound the alert. Like most journals, our policy is ‘Accepted manuscripts will be published on the understanding that they are an original and previously unpublished piece of work’ , which we take to mean ‘has not appeared in another published journal or collection’. Where items might have had an earlier digital public existence, like a blog post for example, we expect authors to notify us on submission and we do include a caveat if published to direct readers to the earlier work.
Unlike published papers or blogs though, Turnitin doesn’t have permission to share the text of any identified student papers with us, which creates a state of initial uncertainty as to the author of the prior work. Naturally, if the author is repurposing their own earlier institutionally submitted coursework, this is usually not going to be a problem. We don’t consider student essays for example to be ‘prior publications’ However, we do need to check in case a different person is seeking to pass off someone else’s work as their own.
This is where the ability to request permission to view the matching student work via Turnitin is a valuable additional tool. It helps in identifying if the submitting author, and the student paper author, are one and the same. I only need to use it a few times each year, but it is so helpful when fellow scholars reply and share a requested paper. What has been a relief, is to date, every time I have received access to the student paper, the authors have been perfectly aligned. Great to see people taking good quality work they’ve developed for assessment and converting it into a paper, although by the time it’s passed through review and revision the finally disseminated work will likely be a fair bit more developed.
So, a tip of my hat to all those scholars around the world who’ve responded to my requests, you make my life as an editor and the progress towards publication of your former students an easier one.
 Relman, A.S., 1981. The Inglefinger Rule. N Engl J Med, 305, pp. 824-826. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM198110013051408
 Turnitin, 2013, 15 Misconceptions About Turnitin. 23 May. https://www.turnitin.com/blog/top-15-misconceptions-about-turnitin
 Exchanges, 2020. Journal Policies. https://exchanges.warwick.ac.uk/about/journal-policies