In my role as Editor for Psychology at Palgrave, I commission and publish scholarly books across the discipline in a variety of formats, including research monographs, edited collections, handbooks, major reference works and Palgrave pivots. A key part of my job is to stay up to date with recent trends and developments within the field, and I use opportunities such as exhibiting at local and international conferences to meet new authors for our books program, as well as keeping in touch with existing authors and series editors.
In the face of local and international travel bans, networking in this way is clearly not possible. In addition to this, many of our authors are affected by the host of personal and professional challenges being thrown up worldwide in this pandemic, and are not necessarily able to focus on book writing at the moment. Things clearly won’t be “business as usual” for some time to come.
Written by Grace Jackson, Editor, Psychology, Palgrave
While I am very much feeling the personal loss of regular physical meetings with psychology researchers and practitioners, there’s a huge amount that can be done virtually; and I’m continuing to meet almost daily with academics from across the field to hear about the latest developments in their research, and to discuss possible new book projects, via video conferences and collaboration tools. In some cases new projects have actually stemmed from circumstances created by COVID-19 – including edited collections inspired by conference proceedings that can no longer take place, or special projects which are being given an unexpected opportunity to be written up by authors who have some unplanned time on their hands.
There are also fantastic opportunities for staying in touch with the psychological academic community through online activities that have sprung up in the stead of physical ones. As our social worlds are temporarily moved online, a greater number of virtual lectures for the public, YouTube videos promoting research fields and blogs discussing recent developments in the field are appearing, presenting a wealth of ways available to keep on top of the latest research in the field.
It’s also crucial I keep in touch with existing authors and series editors throughout the lockdowns, to continue to provide author care and support in promoting our new publications and book series. Formal meetings and informal chats over coffee are both still possible virtually. And while video calls aren’t a true replacement for meeting in person, speaking to someone in their own – and your own – office space brings a personal dynamic to a meeting that can be lost in the rush of a conference. Not to mention the potential bonus in a virtual meetings: pets or other family members sometimes join the call!
Similarly there’s a wealth of ways we can help our existing authors to promote their books despite not being able to assist in person. We encourage authors to take part in our regular marketing campaigns, which feature clusters of books around a topical theme. We also hold virtual social media events such as live Twitter author Q&As, as well as promoting our authors’ own activities via our social media channels. With so much to learn from the societal impacts of the current pandemic, our blog space Social Science Matters presents a great opportunity for authors to discuss their research in relation to current global circumstances.
We’re also keeping authors up to date with what Springer Nature is doing to help in a small way with the global pandemic. These initiatives include making thousands of research articles on the coronavirus freely available to accommodate the need for access to essential research; making key textbooks free of charge for educators, students and academics affected by lockdowns; and making digital resources available for free for teachers and learners while schools remain closed.
For me, consideration and flexibility are absolutely key in continuing in my role during the current climate. Whether in relation to modes of communication or expectations of others; additional thought is needed at every step for what other people may be facing in their family, home, city or country. With this in mind I’m very grateful and excited to continue to engage with and publish the most cutting edge research across psychology over the coming weeks and months.
Authors interested in working on a new book can take a look at our resources on Palgrave.com, including our Early Career Researcher Hub and Mid-Career Scholars' Hub for tips on writing a book proposal, editing an essay collection, revising the dissertation and more. New authors can also submit a proposal via our website, learn about the publishing process, or talk about a book idea they have by contacting an editor.
About Grace Jackson