21 Sep 2015

This is a guest post by RSA Student Representative, Eduardo Oliveira. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in strategic spatial planning & place branding at the Department of Spatial Planning, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
I am quite sure that the readers of this blog and my fellow colleagues are aware of the myriad of publications offered by Regional Studies Association (see the list here). RSRS is an interdisciplinary open access journal from the Regional Studies Association which offers to potential authors the opportunity to reach as wide an audience as possible through the open access publishing route. This open access means that the article will be accessible worldwide and perpetually. The RSRS welcomes submissions on regional issues in economics, geography, planning, political science, and related fields, produced, for instance, by early careers researchers. The journal has a section specifically devoted to Early Career Papers which focuses on publishing short articles from students and early career researchers to make their research accessible to a wider audience. Articles in the Early Career Papers section will have a regional focus and will succinctly present the research questions and results whether preliminary or final.
I found the Early Career section a great vehicle to publish intermediate results of my research project. Being an open access journal, following a rigorous and meticulous process of review by a notable and experienced editorial team as well as external peer-reviewers, I knew in advance that the manuscript could reach a larger audience. I would like to underline here that the publishing process was challenging, as academic publishing is, but very also a very rewarding one.
The aim of the editorial team is to publish novel, insightful and unique research findings. The team is highly committed to support early career researchers all the way through, from the paper proposal to the final version of the manuscript. It was a challenging process, as I had to improve the manuscript for several times bringing additional literature and highlighting the uniqueness of the findings. At the same time, it was also a very rewarding route as I have learned a lot during the revision - I have developed new ideas and consequently polish the theoretical framework. The 3000 words as maximum length for the articles challenges researchers to go straight to the point and indeed focuses on the most relevant findings – this particular element is also very relevant to boost readership as we all like to get new information in a fast, pragmatic and straightforward way. I have received great comments that have definitely helped me to bring the paper to a higher level. I can convincingly state there that I greatly benefit of the mentored route to publication the journal offers for early careers to publish their work.
I hope to have inspired some early careers to prepare a paper proposal. I would like to remind the readers that the editors of the Early Career Papers section are currently seeking submissions of paper proposals for short articles (max. 3,000 words as mentioned above). The next deadline for paper proposals is 15 of October 2015 (please read the information here and consider submitting).
Additional information of relevant interest for early careers is that the Regional Studies Association is currently organising the next - Early Career Conference 2015 - From Early Careers to Established Profiles: Strategies for Success, 29th - 30th October, 2015 at ICOSS, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK and also welcomes abstracts ( info. here). Read here the summary of last year Early Career Conference in Sheffield - Sheffield at a glance: widening career horizons through open access publishing.