Meet the MCAA Editorial Board - Gian Maria Greco: Strengthening the voice of our community

Newsletter

As the Coordinator of the MCAA Editorial Team and the Editor-in-Chief of MCAA’s Newsletter and IRRADIUM Magazine, Gian Maria Greco is planning editorial activities and inviting members to share their stories and expertise.

Gian Maria Greco,

in his own words

Currently, I am a research fellow at the University of Warsaw (Poland). I have a PhD in Philosophy and a PhD in Translation Studies and my area of research is access and accessibility studies with a focus on human rights, the media and translation.

I am also a practitioner with extensive experience as an accessibility consultant and accessibility coordinator for public institutions and private organisations regarding policies, live events, museums, and cultural heritage.

Gian Maria Greco
Gian Maria Greco

As the Coordinator of the MCAA Editorial Team and the Editor-in-Chief of the MCAA Newsletter and IRRADIUM Magazine, Gian Maria has been working towards strengthening the voice of the MCAA, both internally and externally. “I wish to create a space where MCAA members can express their different voices and experiences as well as make sure their expertise and stories are valued and heard outside our association,” he says. Gian Maria coordinates a team of MCAA members and professionals from an external company. He also works closely with the MCAA Board and Executive Committee to make sure the publications are in line with the vision of the association.

Gian Maria became involved in his current roles during the 2018 MCAA Annual Conference, after suggesting that MCAA publications become more inclusive and accessible as well as voicing some concerns by the Spain-Portugal Chapter about the need to improve their quality control. “A few days after the meeting, Valentina Ferro from the MCAA Board reached out and asked if I was willing to act as the interface between the association and the contractor,” he recalls. Up to that moment, MCAA publications had been entirely produced by an external company. He tells us that “at first, I worked alone. My main task was to supervise the production of each MCAA publication. One of the very first things I did was to draft some guidelines about the use of inclusive language and accessible style for all the articles we publish. After a few months, we started to build a team, devise editorial policies, and plan activities in the short-, mid- and long-term.”

There are many results he is particularly proud of. Under his tenure, the MCAA Newsletter and IRRADIUM have become officially registered publications. They both acquired an ISSN number, are indexed in the Royal Library of Belgium, and through this they are also indexed in the OPAC catalogue. “This was an important step to increase the formal value and visibility of the articles written by our members,” he explains. “We also released the guidelines for authors and put in place a more formal and organised process for the submission and evaluation of articles. The aim is always to provide the best service to our members,” he says. The result he is most proud of is the Editorial Team: “over time we were able to gather a group of MCAA members who are very motivated and engaged. They are all volunteers who devote a good portion of their free time as a service to our community.”

In line with his research and professional expertise, inclusion and accessibility of the MCAA publication are central concerns for Gian Maria. Thanks to the collaboration with the MCAA working group on Genders, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Editorial Team now includes a member whose task is to spot and correct discriminatory biases in language and images. More recently, adds Gian Maria “we redesigned the graphic layout of the Newsletter and IRRADIUM to comply with most accessibility and readability requirements. In addition, I personally take care of the technical revision of the file to make sure that the PDF version complies with the PDF/UA standard and is accessible through screen readers and magnifiers.”

Gian Maria and the Editorial Team have many plans for the future of MCAA publications. The major achievement concerns book publishing. Under their lead, a few months ago the MCAA became a book publisher with ISBN numbers. “Soon we will start to publish books. We are currently in the process of drafting the procedures for submission of proposals and the management process,” he tells us. Gian Maria believes that “our organisation is in a unique position. We gather highly trained experts with the most diverse areas of knowledge, from over 151 countries and at different career stages. As Sugosh said recently in one of our meetings, we are potentially a think tank able to provide top-level feedback on socially and scientifically relevant issues. Books can be a way to channel all this knowledge, increase the presence of the MCAA, and make the expertise of our members even more visible and valued.”

MCAA Editorial Team

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