Welcome from the Editors

A warm welcome to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice. We are honoured and excited to be launching JPAAP as an open and developmental journal that exists to provide a platform for those in the disciplines, as well as educational specialists, to share their pedagogic research; learning, teaching and assessment interventions; approaches to academic development; and their responses to policy and challenges within the sector.

JPAAP is very much a journal by practitioners for practitioners, placing a particularly strong emphasis on supporting colleagues who may be new to sharing their work and research in the broad area of academic practice, and under the themes of the journal.

The idea for JPAAP stemmed from a plenary presentation at the Spring Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Conference in 2012 where Dr Helen Walkington (Oxford Brooked University) presented the development of the open access journal, Geoverse, which is a journal aimed at promoting the engagement of undergraduate students in research.

Helen’s presentation was a timely one for us, and directly informed our embryonic thinking about how to harness the potential of open publishing to capture and disseminate some of the excellent educational work we could see colleagues in our own institutions undertaking, but which was rarely being written up for potential publication. The factors inhibiting colleagues taking that final step are often to do with the challenges of writing in the discipline of education or academic practice for the first time, an uncertainty about whether their work is worthy of formal peer reviewed publication, and a relative lack of published outlets for those who are new scholars in the area. In the aims, ethos and approach for JPAAP, which involves the offering of ‘critical friend’ input for authors and a collegiate open review process, we have tried to address these barriers and replace them with opportunities. Thank you Helen, and your colleagues at Geoverse, for planting the seed that became JPAAP.

JPAAP aims to be an inclusive journal, and alongside the contributions from new authors in the area of academic practice that are featured in our first issue, there are also contributions from more experienced scholars and invited Opinion Pieces.

We are thankful to all our contributing authors for making the first issue of JPAAP such a rich and wide ranging one, and hope we can work with you again in the future.

We would also like to offer particular thanks to Professor Lorraine Stefani from the University of Auckland for her vocal support and inspiring Editorial for Issue 1.

The collective efforts that have allowed us to devise and launch JPAAP in really a very short space of time owe much to the work of Kirsteen Wright, our Publications Officer, who has overseen the technical and editorial development of the journal, and to Iain ‘Nico’ Bruce and Sharon Robinson both of Information Services at Edinburgh Napier University. We would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution of our publishing student Penny Armour for the copyediting and preparation of Issue 1.

Our final thanks go to our review board for JPAAP. Our reviewers, through application and invite, came together in a very short space of time and have offered not only constructive and transparent reviews to our authors, but also offered extremely valuable support and advice to the Editorial Board as we have developed and shaped JPAAP. This first issue is the culmination of collaborative effort on all sides then and, we hope, the start of a very interesting journey.

The Editors,
June 2013