For a number of years, Routledge has been a cultural partner of The London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP). As part of our support for this training initiative, we recently welcomed Katie Arthur, a PhD candidate at King’s College London, to spend some time with us on the LAHP placement scheme. In the post below Katie shares some of the surprising things she found out during her time with us.
“For a few weeks in September I was fortunate enough to abandon my PhD drafts to embark on a placement in the journal department at Taylor & Francis. Over the course of my time there I was surprised by some of the work publishers get up to, from sharing research in experimental new formats to innovating the ways to make information as accessible as possible. In this blog I share the 5 things publishers do that I didn’t expect:
1) Push for open access
We know open access (OA) is good for sharing knowledge, but I didn’t know it was good for the work publishers do. Open access removes the financial barrier for readers and, unsurprisingly, increases engagement with articles. This is an obvious win for information exchange but OA also makes it easier for publishers to share and promote work. Taylor & Francis offers a range of OA options for authors, journals, and institutions, so it’s worth looking into whether you can include OA article publishing charges in your next research project funding bid.
2) Champion alternative article forms
Publishing has gone digital – and it’s no different for academic journals. Taylor & Francis encourages and supports its editors and authors to experiment and innovate with new forms, from video abstracts to visual essays. There’s even the opportunity to include 3D models with articles, making it easier for researchers to communicate their findings and provide a range of ways for audiences to engage with material.
3) Encourage practitioner led research
Academia and publishing go together like bread and butter, but Taylor & Francis is keen to encourage a range of voices normally found in the periphery of academic publishing to come to the fore. This involves author support for Early Career Researchers but also a real push to include practitioner led research. The team work closely with Editorial Boards and authors to ensure their journals are structurally investing in research and perspectives that may have once been deemed outside the remit of academic articles.
4) Work on the digitization of primary sources
Along with the move towards open access, publishers like Taylor & Francis take on an important role in making existing information more accessible. Taylor & Francis works closely with partner institutions to publicize existing access or new products, including their recent work digitizing collections of primary sources including the mammoth 4.5 million pages of the South Asia Archive and an extensive range of documents from behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ during the Cold War.
5) Promote online peer review systems
Peer review helps ensure research is accurate and rigorous. Like many aspects of the publishing industry, the peer review process has been digitized and is now conducted through specialist programs like Editorial Manager and ScholarOne Manuscripts. These systems help maintain healthy reviewer pools, streamline work flows, and increase the accountability of the peer review process.
Being on the other side of academic publishing has taught me where the needs of academia and publishing meet as well as where there can be tensions. As both industries adapt to new technology, increasing global demand, and growing calls for accessibility, the forms and formats for academic publishing are continuing to evolve. These insights from the placement have enabled me to consider my own research outputs in new ways and I hope to put them into practice as I embark on the next stages of my PhD.”
Katie Arthur is a PhD candidate at King’s College London. Her research explores the links between queerness and obscenity in the USA throughout the mid-twentieth century focusing on the works of William Burroughs and John Waters. Katie would like to offer a warm thank you to Taylor & Francis for hosting an insightful, thought provoking, and endearingly friendly placement and to the London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) for their on-going support.