Category: Education

Silk Road journal launched with call for papers

Silk Road journal launched with call for papers

UWP’s third journal title Silk Road: A Journal of Eurasian Development was launched last week with a call for papers.  The journal will ‘promote evidence-based scholarly research in social sciences and public policy studies that make the affairs of the Great Silk Road countries an area of significant interest, scholarship and impact.’

The journal’s editorial team is headed by Joint Editors in Chief Professor Peter Catterall, of the University of Westminster and Charles Becker of the Department of Economics, Duke University.  The journal’s base is at Westminster International University in Tashkent  (pictured) where Bakhrom Mirkasimov Dean of Research will act as Silk Road‘s Managing Editor.  Submissions for the first issue are due 1 December 2018.

 

 

History of University of Westminster series – all titles available open access

History of University of Westminster series – all titles available open access

The History of the University of Westminster in 5 volumes is now available as five separate free PDF downloads of each title for interested parties.

The final volume Educating for Professional Life: Twenty-Five Years of the University of Westminster is now distributed digitally by the University of Westminster Press.

All books are superbly illustrated courtesy of the work of the University’s Archive Services team so it may even be better to consider buying as (discounted) hard copies for staff, students and alumni). All University of Westminster Press published book titles are made available open access digitally.

 

 

UWP reaches 200,000 views and downloads of its publications

UWP reaches 200,000 views and downloads of its publications

On 29 March 2017 we reported that after 18 months UWP had reached six figures in audiences. It’s taken just a little over 11 months to notch up the second 100,000 with the auspicious day being close to the 5th of March and actual figures now in excess of 202,000. Subject to the usual caveats over forecasts we hope to hit the third 100,000 even faster next time as the scope of our publishing continues to grow.

To date UWP has published 9 book titles and distributed 4 others in the fields of media studies, law and history. All published book titles are available to read online, download as ePub and to purchase in print. It has published 2 journals with 56 new articles since inception also making available 392 archive articles from Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture and the Entertainment and Sports Law Journal. The majority of views and downloads are from these 448 journal articles, both of which were open access publications before being published by UWP and have built their audiences courtesy of the internet.

Some useful links are below:

2017-18 UWP catalogue
Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series
Law and the Senses series
All books

Distributed titles:
The History of the University of Westminster Press series (PDF only)

The University of Westminster Press is a micropress one of several new UK university presses that have developed and look like continuing to appear over the next few years in the UK in addition to academic-led publishing and scholarly communications initiatives from University libraries. It is a part of the Ubiquity Press partner network.

Multitasking: Teaching, Fiction, Research by Paul Breen

Multitasking: Teaching, Fiction, Research by Paul Breen

Novelist, educator, researcher and UWP author Paul Breen of the University of Westminster  (above undertaking radio media work) is our guest blogger today. He reflects on the principles underlying his own varied multitasking in academic life. 

For me, every form of writing is a journey. It begins with the spark of an idea, and progresses to a plan of action. Usually, I create a working title in my mind, then sketch a rough itinerary of the course I want to travel with a particular story or article that I’m working on. Then, to get me through the itinerary, I draw on a range of skills carefully developed over time to help me in writing, which like teaching, is a continuously developing craft.

Regardless of genre, I apply these principles almost universally. However, there are very clear differences in the various types of writing activities that I have been engaged in over these past few years. Since 2014 I have had two works of fiction published, and a number of academic works, including one edited collection of chapters and a recent publication in the area of teacher development with University of Westminster Press. Some might see this as trying to be a jack of all trades but I would argue that all of these works are drawn from the same knowledge base that shapes the singular craft of writing.

Each form of output has been different in its own way but the same underlying principles have shaped each one. Though different genres have different expectations, they share common ground. Firstly, research plays a vital role in laying the foundations for the writing journey. Though this plays a more substantial part in the academic domain, it also makes an important contribution to fiction. When I was working on my first book, The Charlton Men published by Thames River Press, I carried out so much background research on a combination of sporting and cultural events that now, half a dozen years later, my memory plays tricks on me. When I look back on the London riots that feature in the book, for example, I see them not just through my own eyes but those of my characters too.

Once the research has been done, in any domain, the next essential part of the plot, so to speak, is the power of storytelling. For example, Robert Yin, best known for his work in the area of qualitative research, likens the research journey to that of Christopher Columbus voyaging to the New World. This, for me, is a powerful image that I sometimes use in my own reporting of educational research.

Increasingly too, as academics, we also need to disseminate our message to a wider audience and do that in a way that never dumbs down the most important aspects of our research. For example, some of my most recent research as been on political identities in Northern Ireland, which began as a spin-off from studying teacher identities. As Northern Ireland is a hot topic right now because of Brexit, this often means writing for the popular media and here again, there is a need to draw on the same set of skills whilst producing content in a very different genre. That requires other skills too, such as critical thinking, creativity and editing ability.

Perhaps most difficult of all is the ability to express complex ideas in a simple language. Admittedly, this was one of my own greatest weaknesses at the start of my writing career, and one that I am still working on. That’s because writing, like teaching, is a craft which can never be perfected. We move along a professional continuum of skills and knowledge that is never quite completed, as I discuss in my most recent publication. This then is where teaching connects and indeed is threaded through my work in these different areas of writing. In the teacher education classroom, where I am primarily working at the moment, I draw on many of the same skills that I employ in my writing – creativity, research, storytelling, adaptability, organisation – and try to encourage my teacher trainees to do the same in their work. This is partly why I am such a passionate advocate of technology in the classroom, since new technologies are such a powerful medium for developing resources, sharing knowledge, accessing information and communicating ideas.

Here too, teaching and teacher education are part of a journey, one that is developmental but also inextricably linked with self-identity and the story of the self. Every student that I teach has their own story as people and as prospective teachers. Drawing on their own personalities and their own knowledge base in the classroom can make them better educators. To conclude then, maybe the ultimate comparison between teaching and writing – at least in the fictional sense – is that character is central to everything. Ultimately too, I would hope that the strongest characters I shape are the trainee teachers who pass through my classroom in the real world. Or pass through my classroom and then go out into the real world of their own classrooms using skills and knowledge I have helped them develop.

PAUL BREEN is a Senior Lecturer in the University of Westminster currently teaching on the MA TESOL teacher education course, and recent author of Developing Educators for the Digital Age, published by University of Westminster Press. Paul is on Twitter, in a personal capacity, @CharltonMen

New Education Title from UWP published

New Education Title from UWP published

Available now as an open access title free to view and download is a book by Westminster Senior Lecturer Paul Breen of interest to anyone concerned with new pedagogical skills and how knowledge with technology may be incorporated in better teaching practice. The author works at the University’s Professional Language Centre

The analysis is presented via the rich histories and observation of a diverse group of teachers engaged in the multiple dimensions of their profession. Drawing on the insights of a variety of educational theories and approaches (including TPACK) Developing Educators for the Digital Age presents a practical framework for capturing knowledge in action of these English language teachers – in their own voices – indicating how such methods, processes and experiences shed light more widely on related contexts within HE and may be transferable to other situations.

Developing Educators for the Digital Age is the University of Westminster Press‘s 8th published book title and its first on Education.

The University of Westminster Press also distributes PDF versions of the History of the University of Westminster series which tells the story series of thematic books tells the story of the University of Westminster and its predecessors beginning with the Polytechnic Institution that opened to the public in 1838.

Current Questions in Scholarly Communications

Much to debate during this quarter with many events assessing the state of scholarly communications. First up Press Manager Andrew Lockett delivered a presentation as part of Academic Book Week on the topic of ‘Open Access and the Humanities: A Long Revolution?’. The event, a part of Publishers Association Digital Publishing forum, in association with UCL Information Studies and EDITEUR addressed the topic of Selling Digital Affordances to Scholars exploring how humanities researchers could be encouraged to move to open access. At Sussex University the focus shifted to Open Publishing more generally and where the dynamic and increasingly diverse range of scholarly publishing options is moving. Under the microscope at the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers event How to Build a Successful Open Access Books Programme thoughts presented from UWP were on the related the topic of ‘The Micro-Press, the Publishing Network and Collaboration’ on the 22nd of February.

www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk