#Take5 #46 The Best Way to Shake Up Academic Publishing?

This #Take5 is brought to you from Dr Chris Little. Chris is a Learning Developer and Teaching Fellow in Keele University’s Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence and serves on the editorial board of Innovative Practice in Higher Education. Chris writes about the journal – with a special focus on their new poster section.

Publish Your Poster Presentations with Innovative Practice in Higher Education

nullInnovative Practice in Higher Education (IPIHE) is an independent online journal currently, and very kindly, hosted at Staffordshire University. The journal is an opportunity for any colleagues in HE to share their innovations in delivering teaching and learning, with our editorial board consisting of lecturers, learning developers, consultants and learning technologists. Our main aim is to promote and foster a research culture amongst all practitioners in Higher Education who have an interest in the development of the HE student experience. We have a broad readership and our editorial team features representatives from 10 universities from Birmingham City University, to Manchester Metropolitan University, to Ulster University and many in between.

The journal is interdisciplinary in approach and accepts papers of 3000-5000 words, short papers and ‘student voices’ papers (first-hand reflective accounts of innovative practices from the learners’ perspective). We double-blind peer-review all publications (except for book reviews) and the Journal is now, as of April 2020, into its fourth volume and ninth year! You can view that volume here: http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/issue/view/17

We are particularly proud of our posters section which is a new way of sharing innovation in teaching and learning. Each poster publication is presented with an accompanying podcast which gives more context and detail to the content.

How do we publish Poster Presentations?

We go beyond simply hosting the PDF on the website and expect our authors to produce an abstract, PDF poster and accompanying audio file, talking through the posters. You can view my very own MP3 audio file here. This gives authors the chance to fill in the gaps, as a good poster should not simply be an essay on the page after all! It also, in some instances, gives people the opportunity to do a more fleshed out presentation than they might do at an actual conference.

The big question – why do we publish Poster Presentations?

We have published posters in the Journal since the very beginning, in 2011. As we seek to promote innovative practice in HE, we are keen to accept work presented in an innovative format, such as posters, as this aligns with our purpose. Moreover, part of our mission is to encourage staff to start publishing their work, and for some, a poster is a more appropriate starting point.

Publishing your work with us also gives you an external, academic output, that can be used to support recognition schemes such as the ALDinHE Certified Practitioner and Certified Leading Practitioner schemes, Advance HE Fellowships, ALT Certified Member Applications and SEDA Fellowships, amongst others. These all require, and encourage, taking your work beyond your students and colleagues, we offer a place for this sharing of practice!

What’s the experience like?

We’ve published some excellent posters and our authors have had a really valuable experience in the process:

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“As for how I found the process, it was very smooth and clear. At that stage, I had not submitted any work to a publication and this was an ideal first step that gave me confidence and pride to be accepted. The feedback process was very good and supportive. I received some contacts from the poster and that led to networking with other academics. The process was invaluable to me” (http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/124).

Karl McCormack, Course Leader, Accounting, Staffordshire University, @@KMccormackSU

Some other excellent posters for you to browse:

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Poster by Dr Carmel Thomason, Senior Lecturer – Journalism, Manchester Metropolitan University (http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/155/276).

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Poster by Sarah-Jane Stevens, Lecturer in Public Health, University of Wolverhampton (http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/148/268)


Poster by Dr Chris Little, Learning Developer, University of Keele, @drlittle26 (http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe/article/view/203/313)

Speaking personally, as the author of this blog but also as an author of a poster in IPiHE, the process is really interesting. The angle for my poster (above) actually came from conversations at the 2019 ALDinHE Annual Conference in Exeter. I had some really thought-provoking questions at the end of my talk at that #aldcon19, extending beyond my topic – and more about who engages with my undergraduate conference at Keele. So, I did the digging, found IPiHE and got my poster together.

So, you have a poster – how can you engage with IPIHE and get your work out there?

For those colleagues with posters from previous conferences – providing you still have your electronic files – you can simply record an accompanying talk, proofread your abstract and get it over to us via the methods below.

If your conference has unfortunately been postponed due to the ongoing crisis, please do consider publishing it with us. Providing you have time and capacity to do so, reworking your poster to have an audio commentary is not a huge piece of work and can give your research further reach. It might give you the chance to fine-tune your pitch and poster ahead of any rescheduled conferences!

There are a growing number of pedagogical conferences out there that fully embrace the input and value of HE professionals such as Learning Developers, Academic Developers, Librarians, Learning Technologists and Independent Consultants as highly as they do colleagues who teach and shape learning from lectureships or teaching fellowships.

You guys sound awesome, where can I find you?

You can get in touch with our posters editors team through emailing one of the following people:

Ursula Chaney, Ulster University, u.chaney@ulster.ac.uk, @ursula_chaney

Chris Little, Keele University, c.w.r.little@keele.ac.uk, @drlittle26

Dave Thomas, Independent Consultant, theonlydaveathome@gmail.com

You could also visit our website and check out our brilliant April 2020 edition via http://journals.staffs.ac.uk/index.php/ipihe and give us a follow on Twitter via @IPiHE1.

We love our posters, and all our other sections for that matter, so please do consider publishing your posters with us and any full-length papers you might have. We have a passion for educational and pedagogical research, so next time you’re thinking about getting your work out there, think IPIHE! (Was that cheesy enough?)

Author bio

Dr Chris Little is a Learning Developer and Teaching Fellow in Keele University’s Institute for Innovation and Teaching Excellence. Chris currently offers undergraduate/postgraduate teaching and curriculum design consultancy across Keele’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, while lecturing and personal tutoring across all three years of Keele’s Masters in Higher Education Practice. Chris is also the creator and project lead for Keele’s annual JADE Student Learning Undergraduate Conference, now in its fifth year.

Chris has previously held lecturing and support posts in both further and higher education and holds a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Masters in Teaching and Learning Higher Education. Chris is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Certified Leading Practitioner of ALDinHE and a Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologists (CMALT). Chris is also a member of the LearnHigher working group.

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