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A new journal for a new research landscape

Welcome to the first issue of Advances in Communication and Swallowing.

We are very happy to be launching the newly named journal of the Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists (IASLT) at this point in 2021, when the world is (hopefully) recovering from a global pandemic, and hope is on the horizon.

It seems however, that the ‘COVID-world’ has brought with it not only change but opportunity. Change to our lives includes the way we socially interact, the way we work, perhaps even the way we think about our work in academic, clinical, educational or other contexts. Such opportunities include a time to reflect, reconsider, even revise our ways of being, acting and doing. In our professional lives we may reflect on past practices while considering innovative ways to progress those practices, in areas such as pedagogy, professionalism and clinical work, for example. This first issue of Advances in Communication and Swallowing is arriving at this time of change and opportunity.

In our new title, both the terms ‘communication’ and ‘swallowing’ are intended to be wholly inclusive not exclusive terms. Research that considers clinical practices and education in speech, language, voice, fluency, eating and drinking, in clinical and non-clinical presentations are all part of the remit of Advances in Communication and Swallowing. Single- inter- and multi- disciplinary submissions to Advances in Communication and Swallowing are all welcome. However, the generic terms of ‘communication’ and ‘swallowing’ in the title of this journal must not overshadow the people and real lives behind these terms. Clinicians’ experiences and those of people with communication and/or swallowing disorders are relevant and central to any study of theseareas.

It seems, then, that the dual by-products of our Covid world – change and opportunity – are helping to establish Advances in Communication and Swallowing as a forum for the sharing and dissemination of editorials, research reports, reviews, and clinical case studies. We welcome submissions from researchers and practitioners in the wide world of communication and swallowing disorders at large, as we continue to consider change and opportunity as part of learning and progress.

The revamping of this journal is timely as the research landscape has evolved significantly over the last decade. There has been an international shift towards open access publishing which will increase accessibility and hence maximise the impact of research across all sections of society. The development of reporting guidelines for researchers has enhanced the quality of health research. Finally, the need for public and patient involvement has finally been recognised as service users provide such valuable expertise and insight which will enhance the quality and relevance of research findings. Each of these research developments have been carefully integrated into Advances in Communication and Swallowing.

In this first issue (Volume 24, Issue 1), Advances in Communication and Swallowing includes submissions that explore innovation and revision of ideas and practices which can help inform the way we work with people in speech and language therapy and related disciplines. This issue includes papers focusing on fluency, swallowing disorders, interdisciplinary education, and processes within everyday practice, such as waiting list management. This diverse range of papers in this first issue reflects what we want Advances in Communication and Swallowing to be, that is, a forum for the exploration and examination of many issues affecting clinical and educational practices in healthcare. We are very pleased to bring you the research papers in this issue as we kickstart what we hope will be an informative and stimulating journey ahead.