By Dr C Nayeri (Editor-in-Chief) and Dr E Rushton (Managing Editor)
April 2021 marks the first birthday of Routes!
A year ago a diverse range of geography educators from universities and schools across the UK came together to provide a platform to support and uplift the work of student geographers.
Routes is not a magazine or blog. It is an academic journal in which each piece of work is carefully reviewed by at least two experts in that particular field. Routes provides a platform for student geographers anywhere in the world to write about any aspect of human or physical geography. This is made all the more remarkable because Routes is entirely free and it is an entirely voluntary effort in which everyone involved is motivated solely by a desire to nurture the next generation of geographers.
In the past year, Routes has become established in schools and universities across the UK and earned a reputation as a quality publication as both a place to publish and read geographical scholarship. By the time our third issue launches mid-April 2021, we will have published thirty eight articles representing essays, fieldwork and book reviews covering a diversity of topics from intersectionality to carbon storage. Routes has enabled students to transform their work, often beyond recognition. This is testament to the trust authors place in our editorial processes, our approach of treating each author as an individual and the dedication of authors to improving their work.
We are most proud of the fact that without exception our authors tell us about the positive experience they have had of publishing their work with us and how it has helped them become better geographers. The rich diversity of articles we have published also tells us that students see it as a place for exceptional geographical scholarship where excellence is defined by ensuring a plurality of voices, topics and perspectives can be showcased. We recognise this work is never complete and we will continue to work hard in the coming year to ensure our Editorial Board is diverse and all students who want to submit their work have the confidence to recognise their ideas are important and have a place in the Journal.
A few particular highlights to celebrate on Routes’ first birthday also include:
- Meeting so many geography colleagues through discussing Routes at the GA, RGS and at a GeogChat;
- Working with individual authors and publishers to give away books to geography students so that not having a books is not a barrier to writing for Routes;
- Partnering with the RGS to provide a home for the winners of the Young Geographer of the Year competition;
- Collaborating with over 300 teachers and academics who review student work.
We want to sincerely thank our Editorial Board for dedicating countless hours to ensuring authors receive constructive and timely feedback, our Advisory Board for your steadfast support, and our team of Reviewers for sharing their expertise to support authors to develop their work.
As we look forward, we have much planned for the next year including a Special Issue of Routes for January 2022 featuring the geographical research of teachers and a Special Issue on environmental sustainability that will draw on the contributions of young people (aged 16-18) from all parts of the UK established as part of a research commission announced by the British Educational Research Association (BERA).
Whether you are a geography teacher, academic or student, please do reach out and get involved!