Dr Maureen Perkins is Co-Founder and Editor of Life Writing, a leading journal in autobiography and biography studies, published by Routledge. Her research covers interdisciplinary life writing, family narratives, memoir and race, with an emphasis on whiteness and the history of mixed race identities.
From journal development ideas to increasing journal impact, Dr Perkins reflects on what she learned at our recent Scholarly Summit in Australia.
I attended the Taylor & Francis Scholarly Summit event in Sydney this year, and found it very useful. As the Editor of Life Writing, I was delighted to see how packed the agenda was with interesting sessions designed to help me in my role. From the range of sessions on the day, I learned more about developments in the academic publishing industry, picked up practical tips on how to develop Life Writing, and was inspired to find creative ways of boosting the impact of the research we publish.
Developing your journal
The presentations at the event made me think about practical ideas which could be implemented on Life Writing to develop the journal and help it grow. I’m interested in experimenting with video content, and using different formats to engage with our readers more creatively. Other suggestions included:
- Refreshing the Editorial Board, and finding ways to involve Board members;
- Reviewing your Aims and Scope to stay up-to-date in your field;
- Appointing a Social Media Editor to help build your brand and reach a wider audience;
- Working with media centres to bring your journal content to the public.
Raising the profile of your journal
‘Making an impact’ is clearly a hot topic in academic publishing right now. From using Altmetric to measure impact by tracking online conversations, to ways of increasing the real-world impact of academic research, there were plenty of top tips from the different speakers at the Scholarly Summit.
Bearing in mind Life Writing's interdisciplinary approach, the Summit made me realise that I should keep in touch regularly with our Taylor & Francis Managing Editor about articles that could be cross-promoted with other journals. From now on I’ll be keeping an eye on what other Taylor & Francis titles are publishing, thinking of ways we can link their content to ours.
Understanding the industry
The Scholarly Summit was particularly useful in helping me stay up to date with developments in the industry and understanding changes within the scholarly community. One major development comes from Publons, an organization who are doing an amazing job of making universities sit up and take notice of the academic value of peer reviewing. It was great to hear that Taylor & Francis have extended their agreement with Publons, so now even more journals will offer official recognition for the contribution that peer reviewers make to the whole academic community. Even promotion panels are becoming more aware of what it means to be a peer reviewer, and the status which goes along with that, which is great to see.
A personal highlight from the day was being ‘journal-famous’ – it was so exciting to meet other delegates who had heard of Life Writing, and a great opportunity to network with other Editors. I’m looking forward to hearing about the next event Taylor & Francis will be hosting for their Editors in Australia!
Did you miss out on attending the Scholarly Summit? Don’t worry – explore the day further by looking at our latest Story Behind the Picture. You can also catch up on the panel discussions here on Editor Resources, by watching the videos and reading through our key takeaways from each session: