Dear RSA friends and colleagues,

How time flies when one is the Chair of the Regional Studies Association…..

Let me share with you some of our many activities, innovations and achievements in 2018:

  • We have revamped our Members’ Magazine, Regions which is now freely accessible for all to read as an online magazine (e-Zine). Managed by three Early Career Editors, the Magazine is going from strength to strength and the first two editions had just under 10,000 page views.
  • We have continued to develop the RSA’s European Foundation (RSA Europe) and worked with key partners in the EU Institutions such as Directorate General Regional and Urban Policy and the Committee of the Regions on the EU Master Class on Cohesion Policy. We also worked in partnership with the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain and delivered a second conference on Smart Specialisation. In addition, RSA Europe ran its first Socio-Spatial Dynamics Summer College in partnership with the Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.
  • The RSA Blog has been reactivated by its new Editor and features now 4-5 posts per month. The Blog is also freely accessible online and welcomes your short articles on current research or projects. The office team will support the dissemination of your Blogs via our social media channels. The latter (Twitter), has seen a 44% increase in followers within 2018.
  • RSA journals continue to be popular and successful with greatly increased downloads and submission numbers. We are particularly pleased by the impact factor increase for Regional Studies now at 3.147, Territory, Politics, Government which gained its first impact factor of 2.023 and our youngest journal Area Development and Policy which is now listed in SCOPUS and has been included in the Clarivate Analytics’ Emerging Sources Citation Index. We are very grateful to our Editors for their hard work and support that resulted in these great results and also acknowledge with thanks the work of our many, many referees and authors.
  • 2018 saw the RSA’s first Networking Workshop for Early and Mid-Career Women in Regional Studies and Regional Science. This event was a member-led initiative adding to the many initiatives the RSA runs to support the career development of RSA members. The second workshop will be held at the 2019 Annual Conference in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
  • As a learned society, the RSA supports its members’ research with a variety of small grants and since 2012 we have funded a total of £866,000 GBP – in 2018 alone, we distributed £130,500 GBP in grant funding.
  • Working in different parts of the world we are regularly asked what regional studies is and thus we asked members to share their views in short video clips. The results are now available here.

2019 will be an exciting year for the RSA with

  • Opportunities to meet and network in New Zealand, Spain, Canada, Poland, the USA, Belgium, Italy, Russia, and China.
  • our first Policy Expo book ‘Towards Cohesion Policy 4.0’ to be published in the new book series. Books in the series will be accessible online and in hardcopy to all RSA members (China Division members online access only).
  • the Association will invest a further £130,500 in members’ research

Call for action

Over the holiday period you might wish to update your profile in the Members’ Lounge to update and increase the visibility of your expertise within the community. while you are there, you can also update your preferences to receive RSA journals in hardcopy or/ and online access and email communication.

I would like to thank you personally for your membership of the Association – we recognise that joining is a choice and we are pleased that you have chosen us. I encourage you to be active and engaged and to give us feedback on our performance and delivery to you – we may not always get everything right, but we are certainly highly motivated to try and to improve in all possible areas.

With my best wishes

Mark Tewdwr Jones RSA Chair