18 Mar 2014

Regional Studies, Regional ScienceIssue 4(2) of Regional Insights marked the end of a 4-year long successful history of publication of short articles from Early Career scholars. As in the myth of the Phoenix, that was actually not an end, but rather the beginning of a new ambitious project, since the magazine is now being substituted for a dedicated section in the RSA’s new Open Access journal Regional Studies, Regional Science.

One of the consequences of the transition is that paper proposals accepted for the magazine are now in the pipeline of papers progressing towards publication in the journal, albeit at different stages in the constructive reviewing process which was at the core of Regional Insights and remains unaltered in RSRS. Therefore, the Early Career section of RSRS has inherited a pipeline consisting of 17 papers, out of which 14 come from European scholars (from Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK ) and only three from the rest of the world (Canada, Korea, New Zealand).

Under the first RSRS call for paper proposals, which closed on February 15, 28 proposals were submitted: 20 from European scholars (from Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Republic of Kosovo, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, UK ) and 8 from non-Europeans (from Colombia, Ecuador, China, Nigeria, USA). If this first RSRS call is anything to go by, then we hope that many more Early Career scholars in the Americas, in Africa, in Asia or in Australia will grasp the terrific opportunity that RSRS offers, that to have their article published in an online journal freely available to the wider scientific community, and to have a deeper understanding of the craft of writing thanks to the constructive review, and therefore we do look forward to an increasing number of submissions from these countries in the next calls for paper proposals.

In order to be accepted, a paper proposal must compete with the others, and we are delighted to remark that the scientific level of proposals has risen in parallel to the number of submissions, so the competition for acceptance is even harder than it was in the past. For this reason, I would like to close this post with some tips on what we, as editors, look forward to seeing in a paper proposal.

First, proposals should follow the instructions - this means that authors are strongly invited to read carefully the call: if, for instance, you send an abstract or a full paper, you’re definitely bound to rejection. Second, make sure that your proposal has a clear regional dimension and geographical focus - after all, you’re submitting to a journal titled “Regional Studies, Regional Science”, aren’t you? Third, clearly state your fresh idea and make a case for the reason the paper would be of interest to the readers, for instance novelty in terms of topic or place. Fourth, show signs of excellence in your proposal: good and recent references, sound methodologies, robust reasoning are always sought for and very much appreciated!

Sabrina Lai, Cagliari, 14th March 2014.

Sabrina Lai is a Research Fellow at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture of the University of Cagliari, Italy, and one of the editors of the Early Career Section of RSRS.