Reflections on work experience with a student-led journal

 

In this post, recent graduates Shaffi Batchelor and Mustafa Abdimalik tell us what it’s really like to work on the editorial team of the British Student Doctor Journal.  Shaffi’s role is Education Section Editor and Mustafa’s is Editorial Assistant.  You can download articles from the journal free of charge at: https://thebsdj.cardiffuniversitypress.org/


 I have always had a love of written language: it’s one of the reasons I spent three years reading English at the University of York prior to studying medicine. After graduating and feeling that I had left the arts behind during the course of studying medicine, the opportunity to become involved with the British Student Doctor Journal felt like a breath of fresh air.

I have been genuinely humbled by the scope and quality of the submissions that I have been called to review as Education Section Editor. For all that we frequently dismiss our own actions as being those of “mere” medical students, the depth, nuance and innovation that I have been privileged enough to see have all reassured me that my peers are the worthy successors to a long tradition of medical development and clinical research, one that has never before been so forward-thinking or exciting.
On a personal note, it has been enlightening to gain first-hand insight into the process of peer review, both as reviewer and editor. I find that I now have a greater appreciation for the many individuals involved in creating spaces where research and discourse can flourish, with our own BSDJ as just one example. 

I have definitely learned a great deal over the past two years as Section Editor, and now happily consider myself a champion of both the peer review process and student-led endeavours; with both, we are collectively working towards something far grander than ourselves.

Shafqat Batchelor


I first heard about the journal almost a year and a half ago. I was fascinated by the idea of a journal made and dedicated by students. To be honest, I knew very little about how to write a piece well (whether research article or reflection) and what happens after you submit it. All that changed when I expressed interest in working for the BSDJ.

Initially and for six months, I started as a peer reviewer. I still have and enjoy that role as it has provided me with insight into the process from submission to publication. Subsequently, I applied to work for the journal as peer review manager. The role involves managing peer review applications, updating the peer review database and helping section editors to identify peer reviewers during busy periods. 

I try to answer emails as promptly as possible and stay in contact with section editors to ensure articles are reviewed in a timely manner. With other work and life commitments, it is crucial to stay organised and maintain good communication on a regular basis with section editors. I have found the role both exciting and challenging at times. The work demands of the journal are not huge or difficult, but require attention and dedication.

I am grateful for the experience I have had with the journal. I believe it has improved many aspects of my academic development that are not often explored during clinical practice. I am also grateful to the amazing team we have. To sum it up, it is an experience that has been both educational and sociable.  

Mustafa Abdimalik

 

 

 

Advertisements

CardiffUP adds value!

Cardiff University Press is proud to be contributing to the University’s strategic vision of “continuous improvement of infrastructure to underpin the production of excellent research with impact”.

How do we do that? By:

  • Providing a sustainable online platform for high-quality Cardiff University journals and other publications
    We currently have 8 journals regularly publishing with us, and another 2 to be launched in the near future. We’ll also be starting to publish 2 working paper series this year. Do you have a proposal for another journal or series that we could add to our portfolio? Let us know at cardiffuniversitypress@cardiff.ac.uk if so!
  • Launching innovative publications using a fully Open Access ‘Diamond’ model of publishing
    Our Diamond OA model, meaning no charges to readers for downloading our publications and no charges to authors and editors for publishing with us, has been applied to all our journals and series. No other institutional publisher in the UK does this quite like we do, although UCL Press in London is a fully Open Access publisher too.
  • Relaunching established publications using a specialist Open Scholarship publishing platform (Ubiquity Press)
    In 2017 we teamed up with Ubiquity Press, also based in London, who created a new online space for us on their platform. Our publications have now been relaunched there to provide an improved service to our readers, authors and editorial teams.
  • Providing opportunities for monograph publication to add to the Open Access journals and series published through the Press
    We’re now piloting the publication of monographs, in the hope that we can offer this service more extensively in future. Exciting times!
  • Improving the IT and publishing skills of academic staff and students
    In addition to training staff and students to use our publishing platform, we’re planning an external training session soon which will focus on copy-editing and proofreading skills.
  • Professionalising students and enhancing their employability
    We offer students opportunities to gain work experience with us in a variety of different roles. These roles range from book reviewers, proofreaders and social media publicists to journal editors and student reps on the Editorial Board of the Press itself. Experience of this kind, and the skills gained from it, look amazing on a student’s CV and could lead to a fascinating career after graduation. Unsurprisingly, our work experience opportunities are much in demand!

    Follow this blog for updates….

Innovative publishing (ad)ventures: My experience of managing Cardiff University Press

In my capacity as Scholarly Publications Manager I have had the privilege to manage Cardiff University Press, our Diamond Open Access online publishing house, for the past 2.5 years.

During this time, we’ve grown from 5 to 12 titles, have moved from our initial open source hosting platform to a professional platform provider and have prepared the ground for launching monograph publishing. We have hosted events, registered our Open Access archiving policies on Sherpa Romeo and started depositing our content on Portico for preservation.

Managing a Press has been a new experience for me, and a steep learning curve, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge! The Cardiff University Press Editorial Board includes enthusiastic academic staff and students from a range of Schools and Colleges. This has allowed me to draw on their expertise and diverse perspectives on many areas of publishing, shaping our strategy, vision and mission for the Press. 

It’s been an absolute pleasure seeing the Press grow and develop and being part of this journey. I have learned a lot during my time with the Press, but if I had to summarise what has helped me most it would be these points below:

  1. Get the basics right at the start (workflows, policies, contracts), i.e. walk before you run
  2. Be open to change and adapt what you are doing, and how you are doing it
  3. Take your editors with you – keep them informed and supported along the way
  4. Be realistic and pragmatic – unless you have unlimited resources you will need to make important decisions on where your limits are
  5. Keep your enthusiasm – it’s vital!

I look forward to following Cardiff University Press and its next exciting steps from afar!

 

Sonja Haerkoenen

No.-23

Feature: Martial Arts Studies no. 5

We are pleased to announce that Martial Arts Studies no. 5 is now available at https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/6/volume/0/issue/5/. Martial Arts Studies is the premier scholarly source for interdisciplinary work on a variety of topics surrounding the practice, sociology, history and media representation of the modern combat sports and traditional martial arts. Published twice yearly, it presents the best research written and reviewed by leaders in the field.  

This issue begins with an editorial discussion, followed by five articles and three book reviews. The editorial asks how we as scholars can demonstrate to colleagues that the martial arts, and by extension martial arts studies, really matter. 
In Affective Mythologies and “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, Darren Kelsey asks what role mysticism, and the notion of the ‘monomyth’, might have played in the career of one of MMA’s most successful and famous fighters. He finds that it is probably impossible to understand this without tackling the role of mysticism, myth and ideology in popular culture. 

The second paper takes us to the kung fu schools of Singapore’s red-light district. Drawing on his extensive fieldwork in ‘Hong Shen Choy Li Fut’ kung fu, anthropologist D. S. Farrer asks searching questions about the purpose and outcome of taolu (also known as ‘sets’, ‘forms’, or ‘kata’) training in traditional Chinese martial arts. 

In the third paper, Thomas, Lugo, Channon and Spence investigate The Influence of Competitive Co-action on Kata Performance in Japanese Karate. Their paper adds to the literature on ‘social facilitation’ within competitive sports by demonstrating that co-action has a notable impact on measurable outcomes within the martial arts. 
Martin Minarik then discusses the relationship between theatrical performance, social values and the martial arts in Ideological Efficacy Before Martial Efficacy. While his basic findings are likely broadly applicable, in this paper Minarik focuses on Japanese gendai budo.

The final research article in the issue is Tales of a Tireur: Being a Savate Teacher in Contemporary Britain.  Produced by the practitioner/scholar team of Southwood and Delamont, this paper offers an ethnographic examination of the classes and career of one of the UK’s top Savate instructors.  The paper is also important as Savate (popular in France, Belgium and Eastern Europe) has been neglected in the English language martial arts studies literature. 

In the first of three book reviews, Emelyne Godfrey provides an assessment of Wendy Rouse’s recent volume Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement (New York UP, 2017). Russell Alexander Stepp brings his own medievalist background to bear in an examination of Daniel Jacquet, Karin Verelst and Timothy Dawson’s (eds.) Late Medieval and Early Modern Fightbooks (Brill, 2016). Finally Craig Owen reviews Embodying Brazil: An Ethnography of Diaspora Capoeira by Sara Delamont, Neil Stephens and Claudio Campos (Routledge, 2017). He also asks important questions about the role of video and other media sources in academic publishing.

As always, this issue is freely available at https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/6/volume/0/issue/5/. Visit our webpages to learn more about the journal or to find our call for papers. https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/ and http://masjournal.org.uk/

MAS

Feature: Welsh Economic Review volume 25

This most recent volume contains six interesting and diverse papers. 

The first paper, by Holtham and Huggins, explores the factors which are associated with regional economic development and prosperity, using data on over 450 regional economies from around the world. One result in particular is highlighted – that education expenditures are strongly associated with regional success.  For regions with relatively low gross value-added and productivity, the most important factor was found to be expenditure on primary and secondary education, while for higher prosperity regions, spending on higher education was found to be more important.

The paper by Henley and Lang explores the rise in self-employment in Wales, and considers whether this is related to growth in the so called ‘gig-economy’. The authors recognise that the emergence of internet platform-based businesses, such as Uber and Deliveroo, have resulted in pressure on some to work on an insecure self-employed basis. However they conclude that the gig-economy is only one part of a more complex story, and that self-employed business owners continue to form the majority of the self-employed, both across the UK and in Wales.

The experiences of people who participated in training programmes supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) in Wales are investigated in the paper by Davies et al. The training programmes are considered to have possibly succeeded less well in supporting some of the most vulnerable groups within the labour market, such as relatively young participants, with low levels of educational attainment. However, generally the ESF programmes are considered to have helped address some of the essential skills issues within the Welsh economy. 

The paper by Henderson reports on the initial findings from an ongoing research project to examine the economic impacts associated with business adoption and use of superfast broadband and enabled digital technologies. The findings to date indicate that firms using superfast broadband and digital technologies reported greater labour productivity and innovation rates.

The scale and characteristics of tourism foreign direct investment (FDI) in Wales are examined in the paper by Xu. Tourism was estimated to account for around 3.4% of total direct Welsh GVA in 2013, with 86,500 full-time equivalent jobs estimated to be in tourism industries. UK and overseas-owned tourism businesses were found to supply just over half of all tourism services and products in Wales, with these tourism businesses also having levels of productivity compared with domestically-owned businesses.

The final article in this volume is by Daglish et al.  This paper examines election issues, political party performance and geography. The authors discuss three factors that were important in influencing voting behaviour, and in shaping the result of the 2015 general election: perceived relative importance of election issues, expected performance of parties on each election issue, and the trade-off between election issues. The authors suggest that the Liberal Democrats lost significant vote share because of voters’ perceptions of their performance on the contemporary election issues.

This volume is freely available online at https://wer.cardiffuniversitypress.org/14/volume/25/issue/0/

currency-1018220_1920

Our ethical publishing guidelines

As part of Cardiff University Press’ partnership with Ubiquity Press, we’ve adopted the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

COPE was established in 1997 by a small group of journal editors in the UK, but now has over 12,000 members worldwide from all academic fields. Membership is open to editors of academic journals and others interested in publication ethics.

COPE advises publishers like ourselves, as well as the editors of individual journals and series, on a variety of ethical matters relating to publication. Its ethical publishing guidelines ensure a high standard of integrity, accountability and transparency in any publication activities, particularly with regard to the peer review process. Other ethical issues include plagiarism, copyright, or commercial use of content.

ethics

Student volunteering opportunities – your chance to work with the Press

Are you a Cardiff University student who’s interested in working with us? We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic students who can make a difference to what we do. In fact, you can see on our website that Cardiff University Press aims to support the professionalisation of Cardiff University students by connecting them to our editorial teams who can offer work experience.

Student working

In other words, we give students the chance to work alongside some of our editors to create and publish academic outputs, so that they can learn transferable skills and improve their employability for their future careers. If you have an ambition to work in academia and/or in publishing, this is a great place to start acquiring the necessary knowledge. You can plan the work around your studies, and in most cases it can be done remotely, without the need to stay on campus. 

Here are some of the ways that students can get involved:

  • Copy editing or proof reading of newly-submitted papers
  • Editing/co-editing student-led journals
  • Writing and submitting book reviews and conference reviews for publication
  • Writing and submitting papers for publication
  • Helping to design and lay out new journal issues and working papers
  • Maintaining web pages on external sites of our publications
  • Uploading back issues to the official Cardiff University Press website, as needed
  • Using social media to promote and raise awareness of our publications
  • Contributing guest posts for this blog
  • Serving as student representatives on the individual editorial panels of our publications
  • Serving as student representatives on our Editorial Board

Interested? Watch this space! As we have recently had a lot of applications from students wanting to volunteer for the Press we are currently not taking any further details, but we may call on you again in the future! Thank you so much for your interest!