Conference Updates

Launching a new online open access journal with the RGS-IBG and Wiley has been an exciting and interesting process. It has also, at times, raised some unexpected issues. Not least, what does it mean to launch an online journal that, as yet, has no content? How best to share the news that we are now open – really open – as well as signal the content we are hoping to publish?

The opening editorial has been a key part of this early exchange. This sets out what we want the journal to achieve with research papers, agenda-setting review essays, and innovative data papers, which advance opportunities for interdisciplinary, online and open exchange.

We are also delighted to be sponsoring the following sessions at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference 2014. We have been inspired by their commitments to collaboration, their conceptual inventiveness, their interest in digital and visual methods, and their desire to push the boundaries of academic exchange in productive ways. This is very much in the spirit of what we want Geo to publish and promote.

We would like to thank the organisers of these sessions, and the contributors to them, for joining us in widening awareness of the launch of Geo. We hope to attend many of these sessions and contribute to the exciting conversations around them.

The conference will be also be an occasion for attendees to meet the editors and publishers of Geo, ask questions and explore opportunities for submission. The Wiley stand will be open during conference hours and we will be joining them on Wednesday morning. We are happy to answer your questions about our activities, at any time, during the conference, and of course by email after.

Finally, no journal launch would be complete without the sponsored conference drinks. We are delighted to invite you all to the opening drinks on Tuesday 26 August, at about 19.45, after the Chair’s Opening Panel on Co-Producing Public Geographies.

We look forward to celebrating the journal launch later this month and to continue working with you on generating the content that will realise the journal’s aspirations into the future.

Gail Davies, co-Editor

Introducing the Geo Blog

It’s hard to describe the excitement and trepidation one feels when being involved in setting up a new journal, never mind a journal which breaks the mould of traditional working practises and embraces Open Access from the outset. Part of the trepidation lies with the acknowledgement that the market for academic journals is already a very packed field, yet the excitement is knowing that with Geo we have something distinct and important to offer our discipline. This includes the addition of this blog which has the potential to provide further perspectives on published articles in Geo.

My own contribution to this blog comes from an environmental and physical geography perspective. I should confess from the outset that my own publishing record has not so far included papers in geographical society journals. This is in the main because physical geographers tend to publish in their own discipline-specific journals. This means that debates across disciplines can be rather restricted because readerships are usually discipline-focussed too. A major goal of Geo therefore is to break down some of these barriers by providing a medium where submissions are actively sought from both human and physical geography researchers to the one journal, and where interdisciplinary research findings are particularly encouraged. Blog posts can help to break some of these barriers down even further, because the language of communication is usually more accessible to a wider audience, resulting in wider readership and interaction. Today, this is especially important since tackling global issues such as climate change and its impacts, and environmental inequalities, needs us to collaborate across disciplines.

We hope to commission a whole range of blog posts for Geo. First and foremost, blog posts should address papers, or themes brought up by papers, recently published in Geo. These blog posts may be written by authors themselves or by members of the Editorial Board, to provide a broader perspective on the work just published and make it accessible to a wider readership.

We also welcome expressions of interest from Geo readers who would like to contribute post(s) that engage with papers published in this journal. We encourage interventions that consider how Geo papers shape or challenge wider geographical and environmental debates: for example, the nature of interdisciplinary research in geography; or the role that geography has in shaping policy relevant to the environment and human well-being.

Enquiries should be made in the first instance to either of the Geo Blog editors Martin Mahony (martin.mahony@kcl.ac.uk) or Anson Mackay (ans.mackay@ucl.ac.uk).

Anson Mackay, co-Editor