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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
International Journal for Academic Development

For a Special Issue on
Beyond Academic Development as Institutional Practice: Advancing Community-led Approaches

Manuscript deadline
30 June 2023

Cover image - International Journal for Academic Development

Special Issue Editor(s)

Kathleen M. Quinlan, University of Kent, UK
[email protected]

Thomas Parkinson, University of Kent, UK
[email protected]

Klara Bolander Laksov, Stockholm University, Sweden
[email protected]

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Beyond Academic Development as Institutional Practice: Advancing Community-led Approaches

In this special issue, we will explore examples and implications of academic development approaches conceived and structured as community development.  Parkinson, McDonald and Quinlan (2020) proposed a reconceptualization of academic development as centred around particular communities of academics who exist outside of or across higher education institutions.  To illustrate, they reported on a study of the academic development needs of Syrian academics in exile, a group of academics who are bound by ‘common experiences, needs, expectations, and access to opportunity’ (p. 195), rather than an employing institution. These features, referred to as common interests, define and hold together a community (Kenny, 2016).

This framing invites the field to think beyond academic development as an institutional practice to instead consider approaches that listen to, empower and develop communities of scholars. Parkinson et al. (2020) proposed a model for designing and critiquing academic development activities that address the needs, experiences, choices, and structures of opportunity of communities of academics, especially those who have been marginalised in, or excluded from, the academy. Their model outlined three main dialectics that shape how such activities may be organised philosophically and practically: individual-focused vs community-focused; alleviating vs transformative; and needs-based vs asset-based.

We invite manuscripts that highlight and interrogate examples of academic development as community development.  These articles may focus on specific groups, such as women, racially-minoritised scholars, disabled academics, adjunct or precarious staff, discipline-specific communities, those with common interests in particular questions or concerns, or scholars in countries where academic development is not institutionally embedded.  The initiatives may be led by members of the academic community themselves rather than people who identify as academic developers. Academic development activities may be formal or informal, coordinated through grassroots efforts, grants, networks, national agencies, a university, or disciplinary associations or societies.

We seek to assemble a collection of articles that:

  • Situate academic development practices within a particular community, defined by common interests (Kenny, 2016) such as needs, assets, common experiences, expectations, and/or access to opportunity.
  • Critically examine the extent to which these activities are focused on individual or community development, embrace alleviating or transformative orientations, and emphasise needs or assets (Parkinson, McDonald & Quinlan, 2020). Are there other key dimensions that shape academic development practices?
  • Explore the specific tasks, tools, material infrastructure, social processes, conceptual resources/scaffolds and/or conventions that comprise the academic development activities. Which are the essential ingredients for this community? How do they work in synergy? What challenges do they pose?
  • Analyse how engagement with development activities allows participants to grow as individuals and/or as a community.
  • Show evidence of how participants come to better understand, enact, or transform academic practices in ways that are consistent with their community’s needs or assets.
  • Discuss how 'success' of the academic development programme is conceived and evaluated.
  • Contextualise the study in its broader environment for an international audience.
  • Are consistent with the aims and scope of the International Journal of Academic Development

Submission Instructions

We invite manuscripts of up to 6000 words. In addition, we welcome reflections on practice (1,000-1,500 words) or reflections on research (1,000-1,500 words) that address the theme.

At this stage, we are inviting proposals of up to 500 words, outlining the academic development activity under scrutiny, emphasizing how it relates to the special issue’s topic, indicating the literature upon which you will draw, and your research or evaluation approach.  Members of the editorial team will provide brief feedback on the extent to which your proposed study may fit the parameters of the Special Issue.

Authors are also welcome to submit full manuscripts without going through the proposals process.

ALL manuscripts will go through IJAD’s double-blind review process as normal once they are submitted.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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