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Learning to develop and grow a journal at the Australian Scholarly Summit

Dr. Maureen Perkins, Co-Founder and Editor of Life Writingwas at our recent Australian Scholarly Summit and found many of the sessions inspiring. 

Life Writing is a leading journal in autobiography and biography studies, published by Routledge. Dr. Perkins’ research covers interdisciplinary life writing, family narratives, memoir, and race. Furthermore, the research has an emphasis on whiteness and the history of mixed race identities.

Here Dr. Perkins shares what she learnt at the event. She also reflects on ways to develop journal ideas and how to increase your journal’s impact.

Practical tips for journal editors

I found the recent event in Sydney very useful. As the Editor of Life Writing, I was happy to see an agenda full of informative sessions. The aim of each was to help me in my role as editor.

At these sessions, journal editors could:

  • learn more about developments in the academic publishing industry
  • pick up practical tips on how to develop journals
  • find creative ways to boost the impact of the research you publish in your journal

How to develop your journal

The sessions made me think about practical ideas to help me develop and grow my journal, Life Writing.

For a start, I want to experiment with video content. I’m interested in how I can engage with readers using different formats.

There were also a number of other ideas on how to develop a journal including:

  • Refresh the Editorial Board
  • Find ways to involve Board members
  • Review your aims and scope to stay up to date in your field
  • Appoint a Social Media Editor to help build your brand and reach a wider audience
  • Work with media centers to bring your journal articles to public attention

How to raise the profile of your journal

‘Making an impact’ is a hot topic in academic publishing right now. There were plenty of top tips from the speakers at the event on this, covering areas such as:

The event made me realize I should keep in touch with our Taylor & Francis Managing Editor about articles that could be cross-promoted with other journals. A plan that fits in well with Life Writing’s interdisciplinary style.

From now on, I’ll certainly keep an eye on what other Taylor & Francis titles are publishing. It’s always worth trying to think of ways we can link their articles to ours.

Gain a better understanding of the industry

The Australian Scholarly Summit was also useful as it helped me to keep up to date with advances in the industry. It certainly helped me understand changes in our academic community.

One key development comes from Publons. They’re an organization who do a great job of making universities sit up and take notice of the value of peer reviews.

It was therefore good to hear Taylor & Francis have extended their agreement with Publons. Now even more journals will offer official recognition of the worth of peer reviewers to the academic community.

Even promotion panels have become more aware of what it means to be a peer reviewer. And the status that goes with it. This was great to see.

Finally, a personal highlight from the day was being ‘journal-famous’. It was exciting to meet up with people who had heard of Life Writing and was an ideal chance to network with other journal editors.

I look forward to the next event that Taylor & Francis host for their editors in Australia.

March 2, 2018

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