Call for Papers: Special Issue – The MRC at 50


Please Note: This special issue call is only open to speakers and invited contributors at the MRC at 50 Symposium in September 2023.


The MRC at 50 Symposium was a landmark event hosted at the University of Warwick in September 2023[1]. It brought together researchers, scholars and the public to celebrate the history and evolution of the MRC, along with highlighting the vast array of research informed and inspired by its collections.

To create a permanent record of these talks, as well to continue the conversations and propagate knowledge further we have partnered with Warwick’s interdisciplinary open-access journal Exchanges ( to produce a special issue based on the event. This MRC at 50 issue will contain papers derived from the symposium presentations sessions and the discourse which emerged around them.

Hence, all presenters[2] are warmly invited to submit pieces for publication consideration, with the special issue’s publication anticipated for summer 2024.

Manuscript Submission & Deadlines

Therefore, we invite submissions of papers based on conference presentations to be submitted to Exchanges by Friday 26th January 2024 to the online submission portal:

When submitting your manuscript, you will need to first login to your preexisting, or register a new, Exchanges account. During the submission process, in the Comments for the Editor box please add a note: This paper is for the MRC at 50 special issue.

Manuscripts are not required to be preformatted to the journal’s standard layout at submission[3], although authors are encouraged to minimise the use of any specialist plug-ins. Further brief guidance on creating your article is given below. Additionally, authors may find reviewing Exchanges’ policies on authorship, rights retention and conduct ahead of their submission useful:

Authors are also warmly invited to contact the Chief Editor (Dr Gareth J Johnson) via email ( with any detailed questions or clarifications.

Format Guidance

All manuscripts submitted for consideration should be between 1,000-4,000 words[4], normally reflecting the content of an author’s presentation. These will be considered under the journal’s flexible and popular ‘critical reflections’ format, which typically comprise discussions of the key ideas, debates and value written and addressed to a broad, interdisciplinary audience.

While scholarly in content, creating a critical reflection piece is intended to be readily achievable in a short timeframe. Moreover, as critical reflections undergo a generally swift editorial-review process this helps ensure a rapid transit to a publication decision, with author revisions normally achieved through a co-productive editorial dialogue.[5]

Critical reflections typically employ elements of critique, rather than present a simple narrative or illustrative recounting. Manuscripts should therefore aim to outline or introduce a topic, explore any key terminology, acronyms and jargon with which readers may be unfamiliar, before exploring any specific elements. Ideally the pieces should conclude with a critique, personal reflections or insights before a brief conclusion reiterating the key arguments, discussions or outcomes from the text.

Authors whose manuscript proposals might fall outside these guidelines are welcome to discuss their ideas with the Editor.


Exchanges is typically read by early career and post-graduate researchers across the disciplinary spectrum, along with members of the public with academic interests. As such, submitted authors are encouraged to address their work to people with this expected degree of expertise, rather than to senior peer-scholars. Manuscripts then should be written in a semi-formal to formal voice, although authors are encouraged to incorporate elements of personal voice or observations too, if desired or appropriate. Further advice on structuring effective critical reflections can be found in our podcast episode: Creating Critical Reflections[6], from past critical reflections published by the journal or via the Editor.

Images & Illustrations

Full-colour illustrations, pictures and images are welcome and encouraged in submitted manuscripts, provided accepted copyright practices are followed and source citations provided throughout. Please see our author guidance or speak with the Chief Editor for more on copyright clearance for third-party materials. Where archival materials are held by the MRC, please contact them directly for further advice.

References & Citations

References can and should be included as necessary and while these should adhere to a single style, there is no requirement to use a specific format in your submission. In text citations though should ideally adopt the (Name, Year) or (Name, Year: Page(s)) where specific page numbers are cited. Exchanges does permit the use of endnotes, although any directly cited or utilised sources should appear in the references list. Conversely, Exchanges does not use footnotes in its published articles, and any included will be converted to endnotes during the later editorial processes.

About Exchanges

Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal (ISSN 2053-9665) is a non-fee charging, open-access, scholar-led, interdisciplinary journal, published by Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) since 2013. It attracts articles from scholars and practitioners around the world, which are read by an international and multidisciplinary audience. The journal also has a particular mission to support the development of emerging authors, reviewers and editors within the research community. Past authors also regularly contribute insights and publication advice to its Exchanges Discourse podcast series, available via most podcasting platforms.

Contact & Further Information

In the meantime, for more information, advice or further author guidance, please visit our website or contact the Editor-in-Chief or the MRC lead directly. We look forward to reading your submissions.



[1] 20th September 2023,

[2] E.g., principally keynote speakers, presenters, along with specifically invited named contributors.

[3] A preformatted template is available for optional use on the Submissions page.

[4] Word counts include the main text, but not abstract or references. There is also a modest flexibility, although authors of manuscripts more than 10% outside these should contact the Editor for advice.

[5] Editorial review includes an initial scoping consideration by the Chief Editor, to ensure general suitability for the issue, along with a later revision dialogue with the author.

[6] Also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.