What do academics at university do apart from the obvious teaching and research? I suspect that both new academics and students think that this is focus of everything, and in a way it is. However, most academics have to engage with their field of study in order to bid for research grants, and to keep up-to-date with their subject and where new ideas may be developing. In my own case, my field is educational leadership and management, so I thought I would use our blog to tell you about two things that I do that keep me connected and engaged with research and events.
First, I am on the Board of a Journal. In my case it is Educational Management, Administration and Leadership (EMAL), published by Sage. You can download a free specimen copy from here. EMAL is a journal in the Social Science Index, which means it is highly regarded. As a member of the editorial board, my duties include meetings in London four times a year which look at the strategy of the journal, how it is being marketed, and what its current rates of acceptance for articles are. The Board then advises the editor Prof Tony Bush on these and other matters. I also review articles for the journal that are in my specialist area of expertise. This is a key role, as many of those submitting are new writers, and my reviews are important in helping them develop, whilst at the same time keeping the journal's high standards in mind.
I am also a member of a Professional Society, the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society BELMAS. The name may sound familiar? That's because it is BELMAS that runs EMAL, and publishers bid to work with them. As noted above, the current publisher is Sage. BELMAS publishes two journals, runs an annual conference, and has day events for researchers and practitioners. First year membership is free, if you are interested. The Society is run by a Council, and I was Chair of Council which was very good experience in understanding how learned societies work. If you are interested in this field of educational research and practice, BELMAS is a very good organisation to join.
I have found being a Journal board member and in BELMAS very useful for my teaching and research. If educational leadership is not something you are interested in, there are many other journals and societies. My recommendation would be to explore what's out there, as there is bound to be something that fits your interests.
Enhancing your research and teaching by Megan Crawford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.