Submission guidelines

Please read this page carefully for details on how to submit to Routes.

What work can be submitted?

  • Essays (independently written or part of class assignments)
  • Fieldwork/ NEA/ extended project (including individual sections such as methods or literature review)
  • Book/ film/ music reviews
  • Academic posters
  • Commentaries or perspective pieces
  • Poetry
  • Photo essays

Please see our page of resources if you need help getting started

Who can submit?

  • Current sixth form students (from school email)
  • Undergraduate students studying geography
  • Undergraduate students who have recently completed their course (<1 year after graduation)

It is possible to submit work with multiple authorship. This could involve co-authorship with an academic/ teacher who has helped with the article. Students should be primary author. This should be indicated on the submissions form when you submit your work.

What is the word limit for submissions?

2,000 words maximum. This is inclusive of in-text references and headings. It excludes captions, footnotes, abstract, key terms list and the full reference list at the end of the submission.

The focus is on concise pieces of work that summarise key ideas and distil down larger projects. This will mean longer pieces of work need re-writing for the journal.

There is no lower word limit.

What aspects of geography can be submitted?

The journal is open to submissions from all areas of physical and human geography.

Work that is a blend of theoretical and empirical work should be the focus of submissions.

The focus should also be on high-quality work that is carefully written and offers new perspectives of geographical themes.

Please see the article acceptance criteria for more detail on how we assess your submission. You should use this to help inform your writing.

Can I submit work that has been examined?

Yes. For work such as the NEA, you should wait until the examination cycle is complete before submitting, including the appeals process. You should submit this in or after the December of the year you receive your A level results.

It is very important that you do not submit work before the end of the examination cycle as this constitutes a breach of the examination guidelines.

For work not submitted for public examination, you can submit this at any time.

For work submitted for university public examinations, you should submit your work has been assessed and you have your results.

If you have submitted work for competitions such as the RGS Young Geographer of the Year Award, it is best to wait for the outcome of the competition before submitting to Routes. If you are a winner or runner up in the RGS Young Geographer of the Year competition or Financial Times Schools Competition, your work will be published in a future issue of Routes.

How many times can I submit?

Each piece of work can only be submitted once.

There is no limit to the number of times you can submit different pieces of work.

It is not possible to have more than one piece of work appear in a single issue.

Structure of submissions

Please do not include your details in your submission document. You will be asked to enter these when you submit your work via our submissions form. You should also enter any acknowledgements via the submission form.

  1. Title of article

This should be a simple, descriptive title

2. Abstract

All articles should contain an abstract of no more than 150 words.

3. Key words

Include a maximum of 6 key words/ themes with your article.

The structure of your article will vary depending on the nature of the submission, but we suggest the following outline for submissions:.

Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions

For more information on academic writing click here

Formatting

Articles should be prepared in Word or a similar word processing software.

Preferred fonts are: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier. Please also include double line spacing and page numbers.

Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Each heading should appear on its own separate line. Any subsections should be numbered according to the main section, e.g. 1.1, or 2.1, etc. Subsections should be given a brief heading.

House style

  • Include a full list of references at the end of the article under the heading References
  • Leave line breaks after every paragraph.
  • Explain abbreviations
  • Use double inverted commas “…” for direct quotations of speech and single marks ‘…’ for the regular quoting of text

Figure and Table captions

Ensure that each figure or table you include has a caption. The corresponding caption should be placed directly below the figure or directly above the table. Tables and figures should be numbered serially. Your figure or table captions need to acknowledge any material or ideas taken from a source that is not your own. For example:

Figure 2. Sea level change during the last 10,000 years for the Menai Strait (Roberts et al., 2011).

You should refer to your figure or table in your text as follows:

  • As shown in figure 3.
  • (Fig. 1) or (Table 2).Use this numbering for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to ‘the graph above’ in your text.

Submission size

Our submission form requires file sizes to be below 100 MB. If your file contains large photos, please ensure these are compressed so that your file is the correct size.

Research ethics

You should indicate the formal ethical approvals that your research has gone through.

If your submission contains photos showing individuals’ faces or discloses personal information about them, you will need to submit information that shows you have their consent along with your work.

If formal permission has not been obtained, you should blur faces in photos.

You should anonymise personal data of participants unless otherwise stated.

Referencing guidelines

Please follow our referencing guidelines carefully.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism includes copying someone else’s work, buying essays/ commissioning work, copying someone else’s phrasing/ structure, fabricating ideas that are factually incorrect and auto-plagerism (reusing work that has been published elsewhere).

This is a form of cheating, but often happens by mistake when the author fails to acknowledge or attribute where they obtained their information from. Plagiarism can occur in a few ways:

  • Through copy and pasting of text without alteration (verbatim) from a reference source.
  • By incorporating the words of others into your writing as if they were you own words.
  • By copying images, photographs, or data without acknowledging the original reference source. 

Plagiarised work will not be published.

How can I avoid plagiarism?

Re-write (paraphrase) the text in your own words. You still need to give in-text citations to acknowledge where the information has come from. However, by re-writing the information as you understand/interpret it, you are avoiding plagiarism

I am worried if my work is good enough- should I submit?

Routes is different to other journals as we believe that submitting work for publication is as much about the learning process as the final publication. Our expert team of peer reviewers and editors will provide you with constructive feedback to improve your work. If your work is ‘accepted with corrections’ or the outcome of the peer review process is ‘resubmission’, you can re-submit the same piece of work within two months.

How to submit work once it has been formatted?

Complete the submission form (Google Account required). 
The form will allow you to upload your work in Word or Pages format. Please use this form as it helps to streamline the submissions process. If you have any difficulties, please contact editor@routesjournal.org 

If you are in the sixth form, you will be asked to include a teacher’s email with your submission.

By submitting your work, you agree that it is your own, original work.

If you are re-submitting your work following ‘accepted with corrections’ submit it back to the Senior Editor. If you received a request for ‘resubmission’ resend your work to us via the online submission form.

What happens when I submit?

Your work will be sent to two peer reviewers who will either 1) accept, 2) accept with corrections 3) request resubmission or 4) reject the work.

Reviewers will be as constructive as possible. If your work is 2) ‘accepted with corrections’ or 3) a ‘request resubmission’, you will be provided with feedback on how you can improve your work. You should revisit your work and re-submit it within two months of having your work returned.

If your work is accepted, it will be included in a future issue. If it is not accepted, please do not be disheartened. Submit a different piece of work and try again!

Are there deadlines for submissions?

There are no deadlines. We review work on a rolling basis and will assign it to be published in a future issue once the submission has been accepted.

Who own the copyright to work I submit?

You, as the author, own the copyright to your work without restrictions.

Can I submit work if I study geography outside of the UK?

Yes, providing the submission is in English.

Can I ask any questions about the suitability of articles before submissions?

Please email editor@routesjournal.org with your questions.

Please submit your article via our submissions form