We see this blog as a brilliant means of engaging with other academics, publics, and audiences around the world and actively involve our MSc students as well as other PhD researchers, post-docs and staff, in this process both as contributors and editors.
Each term we ask students to produce a blog posting on a topic of their choosing, perhaps drawing on events they have attended, current affairs, or literature they are engaging with but this is by no means prescriptive and we encourage creativity throughout the process. Josh Holmes, for example, recently posted about the Secuitisation of Ebola, while Fumiaki Sonoyama drew on his experiences as a journalist to write about the Military Exercises and the Media.
Each term, masters students also join the editorial board. Overseen by managing editors, Elizabeth Alexander, Rachael Squire , Pip Thornton, Andreas Haggman, Steve Hersee, and Nick Robinson, the board holds termly meetings and works together, in conjunction with the author, to prepare posts for publishing either for this blog or our sister blog hosted over at E-IR.
Designed to foster a lively research community within the department and to familiarise students with the mechanics of publishing and peer review, blog posts go through the following editorial process:
Blog editing is intended to be a ‘light’ process. Editors reviewing a posting should not spend more than 20-30 minutes reading the submission and 15 minutes to document their edits, questions and suggestions. Blogs ought to be more accessible and less formal than essays, and the writer’s voice should come through.
Instructions for editors
Your primary task is to make sure that ideas of the author are clear, as evaluated by your own understanding from reading it. In other words, place yourself in the ‘shoes’ of a reader and try to consider what needs clarification, a bit of a clean-up, or does not contribute helpful information. It is not to rewrite or neutralize the author’s voice and opinions. Using ‘Track Changes’, you might suggest clarifying changes, text to cut, a reference or expansion of an idea. Please also ensure that there are links to external articles and other work where appropriate and that existing links work properly. Finally, check for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
When reviewing a blog submission, consider the following:
- Is there anything confusing, or unclear in the submission? If it is a specific instance, insert a comment in the document in the section you are unclear about.
- Do you have any suggestions for additional content?
- Are there any references or attributions missing? These should be in the format of hyperlinks. Insert a comment as needed.
- Did you identify grammatical or spelling errors? Make a correction in the text using track changes.
- Is the blog missing any useful links? Include a suggestion in a comment.
- Did the author include images such as photos and maps that provide interest and illustrate the subject well? If not, insert suggestions in a comment.
- General feedback – including positive observations.
If you have questions not covered here, please check with the managing editors for clarification.