Last year I had the great pleasure of joining the Editorial Board of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (JLDHE). This started as a guest editor for the Special Edition, ALDinHE Conference Proceedings and Reflections. For this special issue I, alongside a team of other guest editors, had the opportunity to weave together the peer-reviewed conference abstract with community and author reflections. Based on my experience as a guest, I was excited to apply and interview for a permanent editor role. As you can safely guess from the title of this post – I was successful ?.
Become an editor
I’ve been an editor for a handful of months. I’m still early on in my journey, but have already found it very rewarding. It’s a fantastic opportunity to support and mentor new authors, alongside helping more established writers get their work into press. The biggest surprise, for me, has to be the dedication and generosity of our peer reviewers. I am often overwhelmed with the interest in review, and often find it challenging to choose who to allocate.
It was stupid of me to be surprised. After all, over the last couple of years, it had become clear to me that peer review was a form of community building. This particularly resonated for the Compendium of Innovative Practice where, as a reviewer, I had myself really felt part of something. This is something that I feel is very special about JLDHE. It is a community – an argument well established in Alicja’s contribution to the conference proceedings.
Teamwork = dream work
Perhaps the single most rewarding part of being on the Editorial Board is the opportunity to work with an amazing set of colleagues. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from them all, and getting to know them more through our work. I have to give Gita Sedghi, who has been my mentor a HUGE shout out. Gita has been the one who has answered my 200-300 questions about the journal, editing and our journal system. (Thanks Gita!).
Our Editorial Board is a great team (yes – I’m biased). We meet monthly to ensure everything is on track for upcoming issues, and there is a lot of work to keep on top of between these meetings. I’ve found the pace and challenge really refreshing. As you can see above – it’s also a rewarding role ?.
The year ahead
Today drew to a close our Editorial Board Winter Residential – and so I write this post sat on a train back to Hull after what has been an intense couple of days working on journal strategy and plans. It’s got me really excited for the year ahead! I also got a chance to use the LEGO I had sat in my suitcase (a staple for any work trip away!).
I’m really looking forward to developing in my role further. I’m also happy for the opportunity to take on more responsibility, and start to focus on different aspects of the journal’s work. Stay tuned! I really look forward to share more about this journey over the coming year.
I hope this post is encouraging for anyone who is thinking about getting more involved in journals – especially JLDHE. I recommend peer-review as a great place to start getting involved (it’s where I started!). It helps you contribute to a journal – and get a feel as to what is within it’s scope. JLDHE is always looking for more reviewers, so watch the LDHEN and SEDA JiscMail networks for future calls to review!