Dr Anna Williams has taken over as the new Editor of Crime, Security and Society. Their latest issue was published in December 2018.
I was delighted to have taken over the Editorship of the Crime, Security and Society journal from Dr Jason Roach earlier this year.
I am currently Principal Enterprise Fellow (equivalent to Reader) in Forensic Anthropology and Deputy Director of the Secure Societies Institute at the University of Huddersfield. In both of these roles, I am passionate about furthering multi-disciplinary research into crime prevention, detection and analysis, so that criminals can be brought to justice quickly and correctly.
My background is in Archaeology and Anthropology (MA, Oxford, 1998), Forensic Anthropology (MSc, Bradford, 1999) and my PhD (Sheffield, 2005) was in estimating the trauma-death interval of bone fractures using immunohistochemical and histological techniques. This had particular application to the diagnosis of child abuse, when the ‘age’ of the fracture can be compared to the care-givers’ testimony. I worked at Cranfield University as a post-doctoral researcher (2004-6) and then as a Lecturer in Forensic Anthropology (2006-13). I joined the University of Huddersfield in 2013 as a Senior Lecturer and was promoted to Principal Enterprise Fellow in 2015. I currently run the MSc in Forensic Anthropology and am Module Leader for the BSc and MSci Forensic and Analytical Science courses.
My specialism is in decomposition and taphonomy research – I do empirical research to determine the effect of certain conditions on decomposition rate for more accurate post-mortem interval estimation. I am currently investigating the possibility of creating the first Human Taphonomy Facility in the UK, a safe, outdoor laboratory where rigorous, scientifically and ethically sound empirical research can be carried out on donated human cadavers to understand decomposition in UK climates, conditions and soils. I am also very interested in mass disaster management, and run the Forensic Aspects of Disaster module on the MSc Risk, Disaster and Emergency Management. As an anthropologist, I tend to take a holistic approach to research and analysis, and I am acutely aware of the value of looking at problems from different perspectives.
I am excited about the opportunities for cross-pollination and collaboration that the Crime, Security and Society journal will provide. The journal is meant as a forum to bring together academics and practitioners (for example: police, law enforcers, crime analysts, policy makers, security personnel) to share their current findings and experiences and ideas. Challenges aired and shared can be tackled. Cutting edge research disseminated through the journal could put into practice for everyday crime investigation. The Editorial Board and I have big ideas for the future of the Crime, Security and Society journal, and want it to be an engaging, motivating space. We welcome contributions about current news items, such as responses to newspaper or online articles; profiles of professionals in related fields; reviews of books or articles in other journals; and commentaries.
Please contact me if you would like to contribute anything relevant.
Find out more about Crime, Security and Society
This issue of TiLL is somewhat different from previous ones in that it is a special edition publishing four papers by project teams who were involved in The Education & Training Foundation’s (ETF) funded Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment (OTLA) Phase 3 programme in the north-east and Cumbria. I had the privilege of being the evaluator for the programme and very early on I offered to publish papers in a special edition of TiLL, and I am delighted that five of the project teams accepted my invitation and submitted their papers for review.
David Powell, Editor of Teaching in Lifelong Learning
Volume 8 Issue 2
Alex Brown and Judy Hunter
We are excited and proud to be the first university press to officially launch on the new Janeway publishing platform – all our publications are now available open access on the new platform, which offers a beautifully designed and highly intuitive reader and author experience.
Working with the Open Library of Humanities
Today is the culmination for over 12 months of hard work behind the scenes to get the platform ready, and we would like to thank Martin Paul Eve, Andy Byers and Mauro Sanchez for their endless enthusiasm for the vast amount of work involved. The team at the Open Library of Humanities, based in Birkbeck, University of London’s Centre for Technology and Publishing, have been supportive throughout the process and we are thrilled to have a portfolio of journals and monographs now all available on the new platform.
Professor Martin Paul Eve, CEO of OLH and Director of Birkbeck’s Centre for Technology and Publishing said:
“we are thrilled to be able to collaborate with Huddersfield University Press. When we started the Janeway project, it was for our internal use; we simply wanted an open-source platform that we could control ourselves. For others to now benefit from that same system allows us to spread the infrastructural side of open access much further than we would otherwise have been able.”
Celebrating the success of the University of Huddersfield Press
To announce the launch of the platform, and to mark the recent achievements of the Press, Huddersfield’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton, Chair of the University Press Board, opened a celebration event this morning attended by Deans, Directors, authors and editors. The Press has recently achieved two impressive milestones in research dissemination:
- Over 100,000 article downloads (since 2016)
- Over 6000 book downloads (since 2016)
This is a significant achievement and shows how the Press can play a part in ensuring high quality research is accessible for everyone. We look forward to seeing the dissemination and impact of our publications improve even further as we publish our new content on this improved platform.
As part of our blog series for Open Access Week 2018, we caught up with Geoffrey Cox, Editor of Soundings: documentary film and the listening experience, to chat about OA monograph publishing is changing the way documentary film research is discovered and read.
Documentary film research
The sharing of knowledge and discoveries is a fundamental of all scholarly research and especially so when it involves the illumination of practice, since it then can have an effect on the practice itself. Documentary film research involves those studying the medium as well as those involved in the making of non-fiction films, with the notion of practice-as-research sitting at the heart of the continuum between the two. Unlike fiction film, this has been true from the beginning of the form in the late 1920s, since the ethical dimension of documentary has always required philosophical thought by the filmmakers themselves. This is evidenced by numerous scholarly articles and books written from the outset by the likes of John Grierson (‘Father’ of the documentary), Basil Wright, Paul Rotha (all filmmakers) and numerous others in journals such as Cinema Quarterly and Sight and Sound in the 1930s. The issue of sound and music in documentary was and remains a key concern, since the development of documentary crossed over with sound’s introduction and early development, and so became bound up with the central concern of documentary of ‘truthful’ representations of the real world.
How does open access publishing impact filmmakers?
These ruminations in written form had a profound impact on what the filmmakers did as they developed different approaches to documentary style and elucidated different aims. Though commercial documentary practice today takes less obvious account of such thinking due to its more directly commercial and educative nature (especially on mainstream television), and the fact that the principles elucidated early on are still in play and naturally drawn on, this still remains very much true in more experimental forms (especially in cinema) and amongst those wishing to revisit and expand on those early forms. The issue of open access is therefore important as the dissemination of scholarly writing, whether from researchers or filmmakers has a direct impact on documentary practice. The intertwining of scholarly thought and practice is still a crucial dimension of documentary film so the availability of such writing to those outside of academia is very important since the cost of non-open access materials can be prohibitively high.
How can open access monographs increase dissemination?
I am both a documentary filmmaker and scholar of the medium, and coming from a music composition background, I have a keen focus on sound and music in documentary. I ran a conference at the University of Huddersfield in 2017 on documentary sound and this lead to the idea of an edited collection on the topic. Dedicated collections on sound and music in fiction film are numerous but rare on documentary so the idea seemed especially prescient. Given the importance of access and dissemination described above, the policy of Huddersfield University Press to offer free download versions of their publications was a key reason for approaching the press in the first place and I am glad to say that since publication in July 2018, the book has already had over 800 downloads. The book has therefore almost certainly been far more widely disseminated than would have been the case for any paid version.
As part of our blog series for Open Access Week 2018, we caught up with Hamid Merchant, Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacy, to chat about how important and revolutionary OA publishing can be in the sciences.
A fantastic piece of research can only be appreciated fully if it can be accessed and read freely across the globe. Often healthcare issues of developing nations are published in journals which are far beyond the reach of those nations, for instance Malaria and HIV. Open access publishing bridges this gap and allows anyone to access recent advances in science and medicine. In recent years, the ability to access scientific literature instantly using portable devices has made research more accessible, and open access publications can dramatically enhance this readership. Moreover, a great proportion of research is funded through research councils, non-governmental and charitable organisations, in other words, from public money; and it is unfair if it is not freely accessible by the public.
Thinking about impact and open access publishing
One of the major obstacles in open access publishing in science, however, is the poor quality and reputation of many open access titles, as many would compromise in quality if authors pay their publication fees. Another major factor is the ‘impact-centred’ research assessment in academia, which drives researchers to steer away from new but reliable open-access journals where a typical impact factor has not yet been established. However, the evolution in impact assessment and emergence of new open-source impact metrics is likely to strengthen and support ‘newer’ open access titles.
BJPharm is a fee-free open-access initiative to support the science and research in pharmacy supported by the University of Huddersfield Press. The fee free model for Open Access publishing is not easy. No income from publication means the journal needs an incredible amount of voluntary support. The success of the BJPharm lies behind the honorary team of editors, peer reviewers, and the invaluable support from the university press. The journal would not have been possible without invaluable contribution from the whole team.
As part of our blog series for Open Access Week 2018, we caught up with Franc Chamberlain, Editor of Performance and Mindfulness, to chat about how advances in open access publishing are impacting the way we think about research.
The impact of open access outside academia
By making research from a wide range of disciplines available to me, Open Access enables me to broaden and deepen my knowledge not only only in my own field but across other disciplines. But does it do that in a way that is substantially different from the old subscription model? I don’t think that it does because one of the privileges of working within an academic institution has always been access to the latest research via institutional subscriptions to relevant journals. The shift from paper copies of journals to electronic versions improved access, but only within the academic community. Open Access makes this material available to everyone and, as such, is less about making research material available to me and more about improving access for those outside of the academy. I was reminded of this latter point the other day when my partner, a freelance dramatherapist, was writing a report on some work that she’d been doing with a client and wanted to access an article that examined a particular issue that had arisen. The article wasn’t available through Open Access and it was going to cost her $35 just to be able to read it online. The result was that she submitted her report without being able to examine the research findings presented in the paper and without being able to discuss whether her own work supported, contradicted, or extended them. In this case, and in many others, the inability to access research publications lessens the quality of the debate within the public sphere.
Has open access had an effect on my attitude towards my research?
Do I behave differently as a result of OA? When I first started publishing in academic journals I took comfort in the fact that some of the things I wrote would only be viewed by a small number of people. I can imagine that if I was just starting out now that I might be paralysed by the thought that anyone with access to the internet could read my paper rather than a small constituency of like-minded researchers but, on the other hand, if download and citation figures are anything to go by, most papers in my field only have a small readership even now.
Time for a change in mindset?
As I think about it I wonder if I really ought to change something in my attitude towards open access. Most of the things I write are in a reasonably clear and accessible language and, I think, are open to a non-specialist readership but I still publish too much of my text output in books which are not open access. Why is that? I think that I’m holding onto an idea that books and book chapters are more accessible to the general public than journal articles but OA has changed that. I don’t mean that I should give up on books (in whatever format), but that I should pay more attention to whether what I publish should be Open Access. As soon as I ask my self that question, though, I realise how little social media has appeared in my thinking as I have been writing this short piece. The only moment that I remember thinking of it was when I was thinking about the accessibility of my work and I thought about the various social media groups where I share ideas.