Technical Communication Journal Coming To Tech, Aug. 18, 2008

By Roger Renteria

SOCORRO, N.M., Aug. 18, 2008 – Dr. Julianne Newmark, assistant professor of English, is bringing Xchanges to the New Mexico Tech Humanities Department. Xchanges is an interdisciplinary technical communication and writing journal.

Newmark helped launch Xchanges in 2000 when she was a student at Wayne State University in Detroit. She was named editor of the journal while she was a master’s student. The journal is a venue for undergraduate and graduate students to submit scholarly articles that are peer reviewed and published online.

Newmark and her student technical communication intern, Patrick Smith, recently completed moving the entire Xchanges website to New Mexico Tech servers and are working on a new design for future journal publications.

Newmark says that many publications, such as IEEE or Technical Communication, are for professionals and the purpose of Xchanges is to allow students an opportunity to submit articles for peer review and have real-world visibility.

Originally, the journal was linked with the American Studies program at Wayne State and it was a good fit for the interdisciplinary aspects. Now that Newmark is at New Mexico Tech, she wants to change gears and link it to the Humanities and Technical Communication programs.

“The ideal goal is to eventually attach it to the Technical Communication program as a client project and have students staff the journal,” she said.

Newmark would remain editor and would manage the journal’s team of student editors and handle the submissions. The aim is to publish interactive electronic works on various topics related to technical communication, composition studies, and rhetoric and writing.

“There is a lot of potential for us to reshape the journal in a way that fits the humanities department and the larger Tech community,” says Dr. Julie Ford, associate professor of Technical Communication and program director.

Newmark hopes to model the journal after two prospering scholarly technical communication journals — Orange Journal and Kairos — which publish their articles online. Orange Journal is a peer-edited student publication from the University of Washington. Kairos is a refereed journal from Texas Tech University.

“They are admirable models,” says Newmark. “Xchanges would focus on undergraduate and graduate students, emerging professionals, and professors to writing about writing.”

Additionally, she sees Xchanges as an innovative platform for “new scholarship on the intersections of community and technology made possible by audience-specific and purposeful communication.”

Newmark said the project will continue in the fall with Smith finishing work on the journal’s website. She hopes to publish articles online by fall 2009.

“In order to make the journal a success, I hope to involve students with the journal who are dedicated to online interdisciplinary publication and Technical Communication,” she said.

Back issues of Xchanges can be found at http://infohost.nmt.edu/~xchanges. Anyone interested in being involved should contact Newmark at jnewmark@nmt.edu.

– NMT –