The Regional Studies Association's open access journal, Regional Studies, Regional Science, 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.


The editors of the Early Career Papers Section are currently seeking submissions of paper proposals for short articles (max. 3,000 words).

Contributions are welcomed from any discipline in the field of regional studies or regional science and with any geographical focus. The ‘regional’ dimension may vary from trans-national spaces with fuzzy boundaries to clearly defined spaces at the sub-national level.

Authors (and co-Authors) can be students or Early Career Researchers who have completed their PhD in the last five years. RSA Members are particularly invited to submit a paper proposal for consideration; however, RSA membership is not a prerequisite for submission.



Submissions are invited in the form of a research summary consisting of (a) six ‘research highlights’ in bullet points and (b) six sections of max. 150 words covering the following points:


1. Introduction (150 words)

• Sets the wider context and the debates that the research is contributing to

• Explains the relevance of the issue to people outside the region covered

• Makes a clear claim for novelty and relevance

• Contains a clear research question

• Explains what data has been gathered • Sets out a flavour of the findings


2. Literature Review (150 words)

• Highlights the main field of literature to address the research question

• Identifies a tension in existing understandings that the research will attempt to resolve

• Sets out a limited number of key concepts that are used to interpret the data

• Presents a clear evidentiary framework, setting out how data can be analysed


3. Methodology & case study overview (150 words)

• Sets out precisely what evidence has been gathered and how

• Gives detail about the methods used and justifies this choice

• Provides information on the context of the region or regions covered in the paper.


4. Data / Empirics (150 words)

• Only presents the base data without analysis or reference

• Is arranged using the model, heuristic or framework developed in the literature review

• It is transparent and potentially verifiable with sufficient information for reader to judge it

• Uses text to point out the most salient issues and join up the dots of the relevance


5. Discussion (150 words)

• Makes claims about how the data can be interpreted using the analytic framework

• Uses the framework to argue that the situation is an example of a larger category (‘diagnosis’)

• Uses that diagnosis to indicate which aspect of the tension is most pertinent (‘analysis’)

• Explains how widely the findings can be generalised

• Explains what the relevance of these findings are for policy-makers and/ or practitioners


6. Conclusions (150 words)

• Answers the research question

• Tells us the implication for the empirical context (‘bigger picture’) described in the introduction

• Tells us how the research invites us to think differently about the issue at stake

• Explains the relevance of the findings for an academic, a policy-maker, a practitioner

• Points out the limits of its applicability and any remaining uncertainties


Submissions will be evaluated for their originality, novelty and quality: successful paper proposals will be invited to submit a full paper, with a maximum of 3,000 words, for inclusion on the Early Career Papers open access site. Using a constructive review process, accepted authors will be supported by a named corresponding editor who will produce supportive feedback to guide the author towards a high-quality article. In addition, all articles are reviewed by the entirety of the editorial team prior to publication.

Article Publishing Charges (APCs), normally payable for papers published in RSRS, will be waived for those who are accepted by this Early Career Papers mentored route to publication. All articles published in Regional Studies, Regional Science are published open access, which means that the article is freely available in perpetuity online. There is no additional subscription fee, article pay-to-view fee or any other form of access fee; and no publication embargo is applied.

Authors may also consider submitting to the journal through the normal route but in this case an APC will apply. Visit the journal’s website for more details.

To submit a paper proposal or for further information regarding any of the above-mentioned points, please contact: Marijana Sumpor, Abstract Manager of the Early Career Papers section:


SUBMISSION DEADLINES: 30th November, 31st March, 31st July

For more details see

Paul Benneworth, Paul Braidford, Marcin Dabrowski, Marijana Sumpor, Sabrina Lai & Lee Pugalis Editors of the Early Career Papers Section