For the last few weeks I have been on placement with JPAAP – the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, based at Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus – which “aims to provide a supportive publishing outlet to allow established and particularly new authors to contribute to the scholarly discourse of academic practice.”
The online journal publishes several issues a year, and the May/June issue I worked on had a special focus on student transitions, discussing topics such as: transitions from high school, college, or full-time work to university; from undergraduate to postgraduate studies; from overseas education systems to UK higher education; and the re-adjustment faced by students returning to university degrees after mandatory long-term work placements or internships.
I have long had an interest in academic publishing, which, together with my desire to focus on my editorial skills this year, meant I was delighted to secure the placement with JPAAP, but without knowing exactly what to expect. It proved to be an excellent learning experience however, providing first-hand industry experience, considerable editorial practice, a lot of learning and a great environment to work in. Journal Manager Kirsteen Wright was extremely supportive and made sure myself and the other intern were made welcome, and always felt challenged by the work but never overwhelmed.
My main responsibilities included proofreading and copyediting… Continue reading “My Placement with JPAAP”
The Journal of Perspectives on Applied Academic Practice (JPAAP) is an open-access, online journal which aims to provide not only a platform, but a “supportive publishing outlet” for both established and new authors who want to contribute to the investigation of current academic practices. In accordance with the stated objectives, JPAAP thus supplies specific editorial support to the journal’s contributors: and here is where I came into play for my placement.
To the numerous students attracted to the fiction market, academic publishing might not sound the most glamorous part of the industry, yet the first lesson I have learned from my time at JPAAP is how rewarding and creative working for an academic publication can be.
Under the knowledgeable guidance of Kirsteen Wright (Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement here at Edinburgh Napier), I had the chance to get involved in the process of publishing an issue of the journal from beginning to end. This involved three months of hard work, but of great satisfaction too (as, for instance, the joy of reading my name in the issue!). From copyediting to setting the layout and maintaining contacts with the authors (and even some hints of html coding), my placement has been an invaluable, comprehensive, first-hand experience on the workflow of an open access journal.
My main task was the copy-editing of articles. With my career aspirations inclined towards the editorial sector, the hours spent on the works of scholars gave me a new confidence in dealing with subjects I am no expert in, but am willing to familiarise with as far as possible to enhance the articles within the journal.
I would like to thank Kirsteen for her kind advice, as well as for the trust she put in my work from the beginning.
You can find JPAAP’s current issue here, or find out about their work here.
I had a couple of false-starts with this placement module. Two of the companies that I originally selected I later found out had either gone out of business or had closed down their Edinburgh offices. This sent me into a bit of a spin and caused me to re-think my priorities with regards to the placement. Originally, I had selected three houses which specialised in various different genres of fiction publishing. This tied in perfectly with my career aspirations, as it is trade fiction publishing I would like to work with. However, as time marched on I found myself considering taking a placement in an area I had never previously thought about; journal publishing. I had noticed during my own job search that journals have a much higher recruitment rate than book publishers, and I had already had previous experience of working with trade fiction several years ago. So I decided to take the plunge and apply for a placement at the Journal of Perspectives on Applied Academic Practice. I am so glad that I did!
The Journal of Perspectives on Applied Academic Practice (JPAAP for short) is a small, online-only journal which aims to provide a platform for first-time authors to have their papers published. While some of the authors do have previously published works, JPAAP still provides a high level of editorial support to its contributors, making it a perfect publication for me to try out copyediting for the first time.
I had shown interest in the editorial side of the journal during initial communication with Kirsteen (my line manager), and I was very excited to hear that JPAAP’s resident copyeditor was due to go on holiday for several weeks and that the plan was for me to stand in for her. This was the perfect situation for me; I would be able to work in-depth with the articles and I would also have a level of responsibility above what I was expecting. I felt it would really put me through my paces and I was looking forward to the challenge.
I am currently halfway through my placement and I can honestly say that coming into the JPAAP office is the highlight of my week. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and I can spend the working day doing a job I love. I have been assigned six articles to copyedit, all of which are being prepared for a special edition of the journal which will be published at the beginning of June. I’m in charge of all of these articles, as well as overseeing and updating the master database of articles for both the special edition and the regular edition. I’m liaising with authors and editors and I have even been complimented by an author on the good work I did editing their article!
This placement with JPAAP has change my outlook towards my career somewhat. I know I am destined for an editorial position, but I am not so focussed on trade fiction as I was. I have enjoyed working on a journal more than I could ever have expected and I find that I have begun including journals in my job searches. So my biggest piece of advice for anyone taking this module is: select a company which is outwith your comfort zone—you might get a brilliant surprise.