Category Archives: academic relevance

List of OA journals in geography, political ecology, anthropology, planning, area studies, and various social sciences

Update 29  sept 2021

March 2020  Covid-19 sees suspension of submissions, OA, non OA, corporate, non corporate journals to allow for self-care by staff and reviewers. example

March 2020  French journals, many OA, on strike about proposed government reduction/targeting  in higher education support and jobs, Jan 2020

13 Jul 2019  updating WoS scores, Goodbye Sage Open – APC now raised to $800. Also Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy bought by Taylor & Francis and too expensive. Goodbye Bandung, sold to Brill and suddenly paywalled and expensive to publish OA.

12/4/2019  Note – all MDPI journals mentioned here rose to $994 APC after end June 2019. A bit sneaky. 

“…….So things might have happily continued, had not the corporate interests within this limited, subsidised economy pushed journal subscription prices to the point where access to the knowledge went into a state of decline, at a time when new publishing technologies enabled researchers to take publishing back into their own hands. These new technologies have been used to demonstrate how access can be greatly increased, improving the circulation of knowledge, restoring the researcher’s control of knowledge, and extending its value as a public good by making it far more widely available.” Willinsky J. 2003. The Nine Flavours of Open Access Scholarly Publishing . J Postgrad Med  49:263-7.

Academics write most of their work in scholarly journals. Journals should publish and curate good quality work, but unfortunately the majority are also used to make money for commercial publishers. This is not a win-win situation. Corporate profits are frequently high because although this is changing, companies retain author copyrights, and sell the material to (mainly) scholarly and university libraries, that frequently struggle to stock key journals because of the cost.  Five companies are now dominating the field, and buying out smaller ones. Financing of this form of scholarly publishing is opaque. Academics do not rock the boat on this very often, because their  prestige and careers are linked too much to the journals they publish in, and most of the prestigious ones are commercial and expensive. Our systems of merit and performance measures are not yet geared to rewarding publishing that is ethical, or based on social justice criteria  (Cahill and Irving 2015). This is especially bad at research universities. (good ref. here, a depressing study here that shows social scientists in particular don’t care as much about OA as they about the rank of outlets).

To make some contribution to the debate about whether social scientists can avoid the big commercial, firewalled journals and high price open ones [where authors pay] , I list below decent academic journals that are free or cheap to publish in, have proper refereeing, and are Open Access – free for readers. Copyright is retained by the author in most but not quite all of them. Open access journals can also impose substantial fees on authors instead of readers. Those  with high fees above cUS$500 for authors are excluded- like most social scientists I don’t have more than this to contribute to a publication and I don’t think more is justified. There is a long debate about whether in our internet world, we should be paying at all, which I won’t get into here.

The list began with fields my students and I publish in, hence the small number of themes [environment & development, human geography, anthropology, urban studies and planning, area studies, general social science, and the university research/teaching/publication process], but it should be useful as a starting point. Further discussion on journals and open access here.  Journals are the main systems of prestige,  ranking and hierarchy that we have, much as it would be fairer to ignore them and just publish in the most appropriate venue for the readership. I have included Scopus and its useful impact factor derivative Citescore (started Dec 2016, now called Scopus Sources), Web of Science (formerly ISI) and the newish Emerging Sources Citation Index listings. *

For the majority of my colleagues reading this who have not thought much about OA and publishing ethics (and are manically trying to publish in the best places), I hope you find something you can contribute to. In brief, open access is the best way to publish scholarly material – more readers, and articles under authors’ control. It is a logical outcome of the invention of the web, and the Academic Spring protests of 2012 (analysis, reasons), which have had echoes – eg the  Lingua  debacle over the resignation of an editorial board that was dissatisfied with Elsevier’s control of copyright and high OA charges, and all the Netherlands universities’ fight with the same company in 2015 about high charges. In 2019, the focus was on California state system, who did not strike a deal (see Walter & Mullins 2019).

Most of the journals on the list are run by the “community economies” of unpaid academics, university libraries or departments, or scholarly societies, and a few are commercial but still have acceptable author fees that mere mortals could afford (APCs) **. Only if the big publishers are able to offer OA at reasonable fees, is it worth considering publishing an OA article with them. That said, as Sir/Prof. Tim Gowers argues, journals these days exist only to accommodate author prestige – you can publish anything online, or easily just email the author for a copy of an article (or use or Sci-hub). So OA journals need to be as good in quality and meticulous as those conventional ones that are costing our libraries a fortune. I hope I only list good ones here.

The invention of the web and its rollout in the early 1990s spelled the end of the need for conventional firewalled journals. Printed copies are no longer required (although they may be desired by a few)  and the culture among scholars has changed to storing individual article PDFs and only printing them if needed. There are few costs for hosting a journal online – storing its files is easy. Costs, or value, are all in the labour.  To suggest there are major cost implications of OA is not true, unless professional editors or translators are used. If publishing is done largely by academics and their institutions, which is my hope, the cost of running journals is absorbed into regular workloads or taken up by grants, and we have a true change in publishing underway. “The commitment of scholars everywhere to finding new ways of improving access to knowledge” (Willinsky 2003) need not be commercialised or costly. The ‘big five’ publishers (who now  control 66% of articles in social sciences in the WoS, and rising…) and some of the smaller ones will have to adapt or perish (but they do produce indexing, which is useful for now). We will have our copyrights and a larger potential readership, and university libraries will have more money to spend. We will also be able to support smaller and multilingual world periphery journals.

Useful sites

Journals in political ecology, environment, development and associated areas (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500)

[Ecology and Society is the highest impact factor in this field, but its APCs are well over $500 $975 in 2021 and an extra $100 for 1000 more words!!]

  • Acta Regionalia et Environmentalica. Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra. Not indexed. Free. Regretfully, 6 pages A4 max, not long enough for most social sciences. Currently mostly regional articles.
  • AgBioForum: the journal of agrobiotechnology management and economics  Univ of Missouri-Columbia with a federal grant. Critical articles on GM tech etc. allowed. Free. Straightforward website. Copyright – read the details, used to be CC-BY. Scopus Y (2019: 0.6) 
  • Ambiente e Sociedade. National Association of Graduate Courses and Research in Environment and Society, Brazil – ANPPAS. Mandatory publishing in English since 2013 (original language can also be included). Some big authors have published here. Scopus  (2020: 0.7 dropping). Cost – $53 [R320] if you are published from outside Brazil (Brazilian state cutbacks are responsible).
  • Anthropocenes. University of Westminster Press. Free. New in 2020.
  • Arcadia: Explorations in Environmental History. Refereed short articles curated by the Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.
  • The Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. Student run, no indexing. (law schools are often quite wealthy and they like to have their own online journal. Nothing wrong with that but only a few are listed on this site
  • Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Manila.  Emerging Sources Citation Index Y, Scopus & (2020: 0.3). Slightly annoying interface, but takes 8,000 words.
  • Bandung: Journal of the Global South. Was an Open Access Springer journal. I added it here because it was free to authors from developing countries (but $980 for western authors).  Sold to Brill in 2019, and, frrustratingly, articles are now paywalled by default and OA now costs $2550 – and $34.95 to read one. No closer to being indexed, I think. New site  
  • Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l’alimentation. French/English, Canada/Canadian author focus [a bit limiting].  Univ of Waterloo, Canada. Unindexed.  CA$100 fee for most authors, CA$800 if you have a grant or uni that pays.
  • Challenges in Sustainability Swiss company Librello, edited at York University in Canada. Started 2013. APC listed in DOAJ as CHF 156. But on publisher’s site, €300 a year to publish as many articles with publisher as you like [of course most people will only do one] or APC of €350 [weird- should be the other way around?] . Articles >8,000 words. Reviews: >12,000. In Scopus 2020: 0.2.
  • Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems (CASES) European Land Use Institute. Free (for now). Unindexed.
  • Conservation and Society Indian publisher, international editors, one is in my School.  Scopus Yes (2020: 3.8), Web of Science yes (2018: 1.79).  Was free for a long time, but now  US$600 APC from 2021, for people in the Global North.  Rejected me twice!
  • Culture, Climate and Change: Biocultural Systems and Livelihoods
     Did not proceed but was being revitalized from Peru in 2016 – watch their site, it may return.
  • Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente Post-Graduate Programme in Environment and Development (PPGMADE) of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Brazil. Multiple languages, some big names and good papers. Web of Sci no, Emerging Sources Citation Index yes, Scopus (2019: 0.1).
  • Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Run by Duke law students. Good site. Since 1991. Scopus Y (2019: 0.4)
  • Ecozon@ “is a journal devoted to the relatively new field of literary and cultural criticism called ecocriticism”. Since 2010. University of Alcalá, Spain
  • Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities Started 2020. Cappadocia University Environmental Humanities Center, (in the middle of) Turkey.
  • Ecological Citizen  Ecocentric perspectives only, host has a blog that is quite extreme.  Free, volunteer run. probably not indexed. Refereed articles of about 3,000 words  accepted.
  • Ecology, Economy and Society—the INSEE Journal  Indian Society for Ecological Economics. Some good articles. Free, Scopus from 2021.
  • Economía Agraria y Recursos Naturales. Spanish Association of Agricultural Economics (AEEA) &  Universitat Politècnica de València. Spain. Rural and food systems, environmental challenges, nutrition, consumer behaviour,  innovation, poverty, regional systems, marine resources and agri-food policies. Social research. Free. English or Spanish, approximately 8,000 words. Scopus (2020: 1) & ESCI.
  • Ekológia (Bratislava) The Journal of Institute of Landscape Ecology of Slovak Academy of Sciences, published by deGruyter.  Some human impact articles. Scopus Y (2020: 1.5).
  • Electronic Green Journal General environmental, UCLA library. Scopus Yes (2020: 0.4 dropping). Web of Science No. Free.
  • Empowering Sustainability International Journal. University of California, Irvine. New, not many papers yet.
  • Environmental Health Perspectives Web of Sci. yes with index of 8 (2018), Scopus yes (2019: 15.9), free to publish and read. One of the top public health journals in the world. Publishes only 15% of submissions.
  • Environmental Humanities. Newish offshoot from the AustHumRev below.  Remains university sponsored mainly from UNSW and Sydney, but now published by Duke University Press.  Web of Sci no, Emerging Sources Citation Index yes, Scopus no (too new), free (for now? depends on continuing university sponsorship).
  • Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability One of the new Institute of Physics journals. They publish Environmental Research Letters which has expensive APCs. Started in 2021, currently free [2021]. It will attract a giant APC as soon as it gains traction. No word limit!
  • Environmental & Socio-economic Studies Univ. of Silesia, Poland. Urban and industrial focus. Free, but copyright transfer to the university.
  • Environnement Urbain/ Urban Environment. founded 2007, bilingual, Canadian, free I think.   Scopus and WoS, no. Takes long papers up to 10,000 words, hurrah!
  • Episodes  Interntional Union of Geosciences. Yep it is geosciences, but there is one mention of ‘social sciences’ and a few articles eg on geoscience education, resource management. Scopus yes (2020: 2.8) and WoS (2019: 1.4). Free.
  • Espace populations sociétés  French and English. Published by University of Lille 1  Web of Sci no, Scopus yes (citescore 2019: 0.4), Free.
  • Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics. Publisher is Inter-Research in Germany, funded by the late Otto Klinne (it also has a foundation). Some of their journals are author-pays, but this one is still free for the moment (2019). Scopus yes (citescore 2019: 1.3), Web of Science no.
  • Ethnobiology Letters  International board. Also does mini-review papers. Scopus Y (citescore 2019: 0.8).
  • eTropic James Cook University, Australia. “new research from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and allied fields on the variety and interrelatedness of nature, culture, and society in the tropics.”  Equatorial Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean Islands, Latin America [some of which is not tropical!] , the Pacific, and the deep South of the USA. Indexed in Scopus (2020: 0.6).
  • European Countryside. Mendel University in Brno, Czechia, published by de Gruyter.  €120 APC. Scopus (2020: 2.1) About 9000 words taken.
  • Forest and Society Universitas Hasanuddin, Indonesia. Social, political and economic research relating to people, land, and forests in Southeast Asia. Free, in DOAJ, CCBY, International Board  and begun in 2017, in ESCI and scopus (2020: 3.5).
  • Forest Systems  Multidisciplinary, forest management, policy etc. included. So some social science papers. Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria, Spain.  8,500 words max. Scopus Y (2020: 2.3)
  • Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society. Univ. Kassel and Union of German Scientists. Free, young scholar focus. WoS  Emerging Sources citation index. Scopus (2020: 0.5).
  • Global Journal of Environmental Science and Management  Not a predatory journal despite the look.  Edited from Tehran, university linked,  and a lot of work goes into dissemination by the OA activist editor. Articles are largely scientific, but not exclusively.  CC-BY, free, Scopus Y (2020: 3.9) and WoS Emerging Sources citation index
  • Green Theory and Praxis Journal US college based. Progressive and green (environmental justice, Earth liberation, revolutionary environmentalism, social justice). Runs on a WordPress platform, free and not indexed.
  • HARVARD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW   Free, as with many US law school journals. WoS yes (2017: 0.8) Scopus Yes  (2019: 1.2)See also the Environmental Law Review Syndicate 
  • Human Ecology Review  This US journal was always available online and free at a website, but is now published by ANU ePress in Australia.  current website . It was still listed in WoS masterlist but as a US publication (). Scopus Y (2019: 1).
  • International Journal of the Commons. Supported by IASC and in honour of Nobel winner Elinor Orstom who was involved before her death.    Scopus yes (2020: 2.6), Web of Sci yes (2017:1.87).  Author charges now seem to have gone over $500 for an article (in 2017 they went up to €600/$710 and more with VAT – too much for this page,  in 2019 $972)
  • International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves New in 2017. VIU Press at Vancouver Island University, Canada. Pretty specific mandate, let’s see it evolve. Horrible mobile phone friendly interface that continues to frustrate me on a laptop in 2021. Why not just list what is in each issue? Free and too young to be indexed.
  • International Journal of Environment. Nepalese, not indexed. Free. 
  • The International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food Research Committee on Food and Agriculture of the International Sociological Association. Not indexed, been through some title alterations.
  • International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management Aalborg University Press, Denmark. Free. Nicely ranked, and takes some social science on energy issues. Scopus (2019: 5.9). WoS N.
  • International Journal on Food System Dynamics  University of Bonn. Scopus Y, (2019: 1.6)
  • Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development. Published in Italy since 1907, but made online and free only a few years ago. Social science papers rare but possible. Scopus Y (2019: 0.8), Emerging Sources Citation Index Y.
  • Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics University of Kassel, Germany. Includes articles on ‘rural economy and farm management, forestry and forest economy,’ 8000 words max. Free. Scopus Y (citescore 2019: 0.9).
  • Journal of Asian Energy Studies was new [2018] non-commercial diamond open access journal that focus on energy issues in Asia. HK Baptist University, driven by Kevin Lo. Too many out of date websites. Correct one is
  • Journal of Ecological Anthropology.  University of South Florida. Free, unindexed but some good papers. 
  • [Journal of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology University of Georgia, seems to have disappeared. Used to enjoy that one.] 
  • Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People. Hosted in Romania by the ACEU (Alliance of Central and Eastern Universities). E100 APC fee unless an ACEU member. Unindexed. The site and the grammar could use improvement. Papers “up to 20 pages”.
  • Journal of Economic and Environmental History Association of Croatian economic and environmental history (Zagreb). Unindexed. Takes moderately lengthy papers.
  • Journal of Energy History/ Revue d’histoire de l’énergie (JEHRHE)  France based, Fondation Groupe EDF, bilingual. New 2018.
  • Journal for the History of Environment and Society. Society for Environment and History in Belgium, Brepols journals.  Not indexed, and building on previous multilingual society journals. Multiple entrypoint – use  or
  • Journal of Management for Global Sustainability official journal of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools, and Ateneo de Manila University. Unranked, since 2013. >7,000 words.
  • Journal of Natural Resources and Development. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile with German support, nice layout but should be CCBY copyright.  Excited when it started, but it has not taken off, if you look at numbers of articles. Web of Sci no, Scopus no, Free.
  • Journal of Integrated Coastal Zone Management  – Revista de Gestão Costeira Integrada UNIVALI (Universidade do Vale do Itajai). Portuguese and  English. Free. Scopus Y (2020: 0.9)
  • Journal of Political Ecology  Everything is done by academics, and published through U. of Arizona library.  I edit this one and it is a labour of love and hours. Scopus yes (Citescore 2020: 3.9), Emerging Sources Citation Index Y, Free. New site 2021
  • Journal of Population and Sustainability  Produced by ‘Population Matters’ and has some good articles, Unindexed.
  • Journal of Rural Social Sciences Southern Rural Sociological Association USA. APC $30.
  • Journal of Water and Land Development  Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute of Technology and Life Sciences, Falenty. Scopus (2019: 2.2). Rivers/water agriculture etc.
  • Land One of the commercial MDPI journals which means standard format (footnoted refs!), and higher APC once the journals become established.  This one cost about $350 in 2017 but rises to CHF 1000/$994 in June 2019 so now off the list. Edited by Prof Andy Millington so trustworthy.  No length restriction.  Scopus not yet, WoS No, Emerging Sources Citation Index Y
  • Madagascar Conservation and Development Free.
  • Mountain Research and Development. Scopus (1.56, 2018) and WoS y (2017: 1.22).   Base charge of US$ 750 for the first 25,000 characters, which is nothing, about 4000 words, so really it is too expensive to be here anymore.
  • Mundo Agrario Rural questions and social aspects.   Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina. Scopus 2020: 0.2, Emerging Sources Citation Index Y .  Four languages but mostly in Spanish.
  • Natural Resources Journal. University of New Mexico. “The NRJ welcomes articles on natural and environmental resources and the law, especially as it relates to policy and interdisciplinary efforts.” Scopus (2019: 1.1) Web of Science Yes (2017: 0.35, nothing 2018)
  • Nature Conservation. Pensoft, a Bulgarian company. Publishes social and natural science articles. Price of publication was €200 but just went up to €550 in July 2016 and now € 800. However various discounts take it down 10%, esp. for PhD students and waivers for retired and lower/middle income country residents. Scopus (2019: 2.3) and Web of Science, yes (2019: 1.58).
  • Natures Sciences Sociétés French and English. Stresses interdisiplinarity. Became OA and free in 2020. Pity those who paid for OA in the past! Scopus 2020: 0.6. Could be higher, but made low by the preponderance of french language articles I suppose.
  • New Medit. Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo – Bari, Italy. Economics, agriculture, and environment in the economy and the agriculture of the Mediterranean countries. English and French.  Free. Scopus (2020: 1.6).
  • Pacific Geographies   Small German online journal.  Free, and generally does themed issues on Pacific topics. I’m on the Board. WoS N, Scopus N.
  • Papers on Global Change IGBP. Scopus Y.  Polish Academy of Sciences, was then published by De Gruyter, can’t find it 2021. Seems to be free but unsure if it has survived.  Scopus (2018: 0.4, 2021 nothing).
  • Places Journal. Architecture and landscape architecture/planning  focus. Peer refereeing option. Very stylish but hard to navigate different types of contributions. Web of Sci applied for, Scopus Yes (2020 n/a), Free 
  • Polish Journal of Environmental Studies. Really a journal about ‘problems of environmental protection’ rather than other aspects of environmental studies. Page charges €30  per page. Scopus (2020: 2.4) and Web of Science, yes. (2018: 1.19)
  • Present Environment and Sustainable Development Romanian journal published by Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania. SOme regional focus.  Free and unindexed. 
  • Primate Conservation published by Conservation International and IUCN. Scopus (Scopus 2019: 1.4), WoS Yes.
  • Problemy Ekorozwoju/Problems of Sustainable Development. European Academy of Science and Arts (Salzburg, Austria). Scopus yes (2020:1.6) , Web of Science yes (2018:0.58). Polish/English, about 7000 words, and free.
  • Resources One of the commercial MDPI journals which means standard format (footnoted refs!), and higher APC once the journals become established.  This one cost about $350 in 2017 but $994 from June 2019. No length restriction. Scopus Yes (2017: 2.69), WoS No, Emerging Sources Citation Index Y.
  • Riparian Ecology & Conservation. [stopped 2019] DeGruyter pubs. Free. Not indexed yet, quite scientific orientation.
  • RISUS-JOURNAL ON INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY. Center for Future Studies NEF/Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo,  Brazil and five partner universities.  Portuguese, English or Spanish. Free. Emerging Sources Citation Index Y.
  • Recreation and Society in Africa, Asia and Latin America (RASAALA) Univ of Guelph.  Free. WoS No, Scopus No.
  • Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability EDP publishers, France. liberty APC [pay what you can] .Not indexed.
  • Rural Landscapes: society, environment and history  Stockholm University are the publishers.   Newish but without many submissions, very professional format – DOAJ seal, which means best OA principles.  Research article fee was £250.00, then £375 with half paid by authors, then £187.50 in 2018, and in 2020, £420 – there is a fund if you cannot afford that.  Will monitor this.  Scopus (2020: 0.2), WoS No.
  • Socijalna ekologija (Social Ecology) Croatian Sociological Society, Institute of Sociology in the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Free. Scopus (2020: 0.4). Croatian, German, English. 
  • Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria, Spain.  Mostly a science journal but not completely. Scopus Y (2019: 1.9)  Wos Y (2018: 1.04). Free.
  • Suburban Sustainability  Hofstra Univ.  Not much information on site. Assume Scopus No, Web of Sci No, Free.
  • Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy. Scopus listed (2018: 1.35).  It used to be a cheap journal but now APCs apply unless you can get a waiver. Bought by  Taylor and Francis in 2018 – what were they thinking?   Under T&F, it was   £460/US$600/ €530 to publish in 2018, then in 2020, £615/US$800/€705 so  comes off the list. Really is amazing how the big 5 publishers, after they have bought a journal or taken it over, leave it a while and then put up the APC.
  • Sustentabilidade em Debate/ Sustainability in Debate. Universidade de Brasilia. Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. Entirely free. Scopus: 0.3 2020.
  • The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies  Roskilde University Denmark.  Free. One of the early ones, now needs a spruce-up and many more contributions – eg. ‘advance access’ doesn’t work. Scopus No, Web of Sci no,
  • Transitional Waters Bulletin.  Mainly hydrology of coasts, estuaries etc.but some impact studies. University of Salento, Italy. Scopus Y (Citescore 2016 0.28, N/a 2018).
  • Tropicultura  Longstanding multilingual Belgian journal published by AGRI‐OVERSEAS in Brussels, with state support. Only publishes on the tropics and while many articles are scientific, rural development is also a focus. Many deal with Central and West Africa in English and French.  OA since 2013. APC is €200-500. Scopus Y (2020: 0.6).
  • The Trumpeter – Journal of Ecosophy.  un-indexed.
  • VertigO Pour les francophones seulement. Recherches et d’analyses scientifiques sur les grands problèmes environnementaux contemporains. Non indexed. VertigO
  • Water Alternatives International board and team. Excellent independent journal.  Scopus Yes (2020:3.4), WoS  Y (2020: 2.13). Articles up to 12,000 words. Appears to be free to publish.
  • Web Ecology. Published by Copernicus for the European Ecological Federation. The focus is ecology, but there have been a few papers with social science content. Web of Science yes (2018: 1.15) and Scopus yes (2.4, 2020). Currently free to publish, but this might change now it has a WoS listing. Check here first.

Geography (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500)     

Current Geographical Publications

Turkish Geography journals – there are three, but the website is not yet up to date. [to update]

Anthropology (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500)

Best list, better than mine, is here


  • AnthropoChildren   Université de Liège. “Ethnographic perspectives on children & childhood” French/English/Spanish. Free, not indexed.
  • Anthropology in Action. Berghahn for the ASA. Free.  Been through a lot of changes-in the 1990s quite an amateur publication, can still be patchy.  ESCI & Scopus [2020 0.6].
  • Anthropology of Food Free. Not indexed. Dedicated team in France, on the French OpenEdition site. French or English.
  • Anthropology Matters  Student/early career – run UK journal, part of the ASA. Free.
  • Anthropology & Materialism: a Journal of Social Research. From Université Paris 1  Sorbonne and other partners. On the French Revues site. Free and in English, French, German or Spanish. Themes issues yearly (modest number of papers). Free. No indexing yet.
  • Anthropological Notebooks  Slovene Anthropological Society. WoS Yes (2019: 0.15 dropping), and Scopus (2020: 0.8). And free! Articles up to 10,000 words.
  • Anthrovision “…visual anthropology and the anthropology of the visual”. Visual Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. free, unindexed yet. 
  • Antipoda   Anthropology/archaeology journal with Latin America focus. Univ. Los Andes, Bogota, best one in S. America). All papers appear free. Mostly in Spanish. Scopus (2018: 0.06)
  • Antrocom: Online Journal of Anthropology  Italian, english/italian. some good long articles. No word limits found.
  • Anuac –  international peer-reviewed OA journal of the Associazione nazionale universitaria degli antropologi culturali, Italy. Not indexed, but some very good articles. Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia). Published since 1853. Brill, Netherlands. Web of Science yes (2019: 0.43), Scopus (2020: 1). Commercially published but free, due to a professional society subvention.
  • Bulletin de l’APAD  Association Euro-Africaine pour l’Anthropologie du Changement Social et du Développement. Actually this is a really good bilingual journal of development and anthropology. Web of Sci no, Scopus no. Free http://apad.revues.orgre:
  • Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena Web of Science (2019: 0.65). Scopus  (2020: 1.43)
  • Collegium Antropologicum Croatia. Journal of the Croatian Anthropological Society. Quite a lot of biological anthropology. Fee suggested: €200. Web of Science N (dropped from 2013?), Scopus Yes (2020: 0.4).
  • Commoning Ethnography  “Commoning Ethnography is an off-centre, annual, international, peer-engaged, open access, online journal dedicated to examining, criticizing, and redrawing the boundaries of ethnographic research, teaching, knowledge, and praxis.” Started 2018 so not indexed. Worth considering given events at HAU. Victoria University Wellington.
  • Cultural Anthropology American Anthropological Association.  OA since 2013. Submission fee $21 if a non-member (member fees for AAA and SCA and vary by income).  Web of Sci Yes (2019: 3.6) and Scopus Yes (2020: 5.2). Free to read now, for recent years only- it was previously firewalled.
  • Etnográfica Based in Portugal,  Portuguese, English, Spanish and French. Scopus (2020: 0.3). Website says WoS, but not found. 
  • Global Ethnographic Nothing published for years. Was 3,000wd limit.
  • HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory After lots of turbulence and resignations and accusations in 2017-2018 – read here and Dave Graeber here – deleted from my list.  They moved to “one month free access after each issue’s release, green open access …, gold open access to each issue’s key articles, and subsidized or free subscription for institutions in the Global South”. So it is no longer an OA journal.  Sold to University of Chicago Press  Scopus y (2017: 1.51) . Old site ]
  • IK: Other Ways of Knowing. The Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge, Penn State. Free, Unindexed.
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Journal of Law, Culture & Resistance is a student run law journal, UCLA School of Law.
  • Indigenous Policy Journal Indigenous Studies Network, mainly based in Western USA. Web is still slightly confusing, with articles being shifted about and a lot of other material. Not indexed.
  • The International Indigenous Policy Journal   Editor is at Western University,  Canada and it is listed in Erudit [Canadian aggregator for OA]. In Scopus.  Appears to be different to the above, probably better.
  • Intersecciones en Antropología (Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires). Spanish and occasionally English. 7,000 words max. Scopus (2018: 0.61)  Web of Science yes (2017: 0.58)
  • Istanbul Anthropological Review (IAR) – İstanbul Antropoloji Dergisi. new 2021. Istanbul University Department of Anthropology.
  • IZA Journal of Development and Migration. De Gruyter since 2019. Scopus Y (2018: 1.18). No fee unless your university can pay (if they can, $1,105)
  • The Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography For undergrad work. You need a faculty sponsor to attest the work is genuine.
  • Journal of Extreme Anthropology is an “international, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, open access and indexed journal that publishes articles written in the fields of anthropology, social sciences and humanities, specializing on extreme subjects, practices and theory.” Free, new 2017, unindexed.
  • . Not yet indexed. Really good issues.
  • Kritisk Etnografi Swedish Journal of Anthropology Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/Uppsala University. New in 2018. Articles in English. Good issues.
  • Mathematical Anthropology and Cultural Theory: The Journal for the Scientific Study of Culture. Rather specialised. Poor website and a few papers published each year.
  • Medicine Anthropology Theory medical anthropology and science and technology studies. University of Edinburgh and Paris. Unindexed 2020. 
  • Omertaa, Journal for Applied Anthropology. Associated with Leuven U. through Expeditions, Research in Applied Anthropology. Unindexed, free, some good papers, but the format annoying – no issue or volume numbers.
  • Re:think:  journal of creative ethnography. University of Edinburgh publishing.  “…exploring the potential of ethnography as a form of creative research practice and expression” . Aimed at undergrad research.  Various formats up to 5000 words.
  • Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana (AIBR) A few English articles, one by Escobar. Free. Indexed in Scopus (2020: 0.5) and Web of Science (2019: 0.3)
  • Sociologisk Forskning Swedish sociology association. Some really good papers in Swedish and a few in English (site is in Swedish). Up to 10,000 words. Scopus (2020: 0.8) and Web of Science (low, 2019: 0.3)
  • Structure and Dynamics eJournal “aspects of human evolution, social structure and behavior, culture, cognition, or related topics”. University of California, Irvine. Free, open.
  • Suomen Antropologi Finnish Anthropological Society.
  • Tempo Social Sao Paulo Univ. sociology journal. c.8500 word max. Scopus (2019: 0.4) and Web of Science yes  (2018 low: 0.16)
  • Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America. Trinity University, Digital Commons. Unindexed. Free.
  • TSANTA Swiss Anthropological Association journal. Current topics in ethnology as well as in social and cultural anthropology in four languages: English, French and German. Articles up to “40’000 signs” whatever than means. Not indexed, I think. OA downloads but no info on copyright.
  • The University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology Peer-reviewed, student-run journal of anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario
  • Urbanities: journal of urban ethnography Founded in Italy, University of Kent base. Free. Does not offer CCBY copyright but it is there in spirit. Scopus (2018: 0.14) . .
  • Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology  Brazilian Anthropological Association. English, French and Spanish. Free. Unindexed.

  • World Anthropologies Network ejournal  The WAN (Arturo Escobar et al) since 2005. Mostly in English and some big names.   No indexing and I am not sure how you submit.  Cannot see much past 2012

  • World Cultures eJournal University of California. An anthropology journal, open and free, but few papers published each year. (looks to have died in 2017)

Urban studies and planning (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500) [most checked June 2021]

Area Studies [checked June 2021]

  • Central and Eastern European Migration Review  Warsaw University. Not indexed. 6,000-9,000 words.
  • China Perspectives Centre d’étude français sur la Chine contemporaine. free. Scopus y (2019: 1.2). [should not really be here because there is a timelag]
  • Contemporary Southeastern Europe Looks good, see website for regional coverage. University of Graz, Austria. Unindexed.
  • Coolabah official journal of the Observatori: Centre d’ Estudis Australians i Transnacionals / The Australian and Transnational Studies Centre at the Universitat de Barcelona. 6,000 words, many special issues, broad journal about Australia. Unindexed.
  • The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies. Copenhagen Business School. “..economic, political, managerial and socio-cultural transformations of contemporary Asia”.  Free, Scopus yes (2019: 0.8),
  • Critical Reviews on Latin American Research (CROLAR). Does seem to do theme issues. The format is reviews of key works. Latin American Institute, Freie Universität Berlin. Free. Multilingual. Not Indexed.
  • eTropic James Cook University, Australia. “new research from Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and allied fields on the variety and interrelatedness of nature, culture, and society in the tropics.”  Equatorial Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean Islands, Latin America [some of which is not tropical!] , the Pacific, and the deep South of the USA. Indexed in Scopus (2019: 0.2).
  • European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (ERLACS) Geographers involved, edited from CEDLA Amsterdam since 1965. Appears to be free.  Max 8000 words. Bilingual.   Scopus yes (2020: 2.3).
  • GIGA journal family (German Institute of Global and International Affairs, Hamburg)  All Free. Africa Spectrum (in Scopus (citescore 2019: 1.8) and Web of Science (2019: 0.9)
  •  Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (Scopus 2020: 1.5); Journal of Politics in Latin America (Scopus 2019; 1.4); Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs (Scopus 2020: 1.4). Unfortunately, published by Sage from 2019, but still free.
  • Economy of Region Regional economics. Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Ural Federal University. Title could use some work. Scopus Y (2018: 0.71) Emerging Sources Citation Index Y
  • Griffith Asia Quarterly. Griffith University, free, not indexed.
  • Himalaya  Articles up to 8,000 words. Managed from the USA.  Scopus Y (2018: 0.29).
  • Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies  Stockholm University Press, since 1977. Free. Unindexed but they are working on that. Spanish, English, Portuguese from 2018. 12 articles per year.
  • Indialogs, Spanish Journal of India Studies Free. Fairly new. Unindexed. 7,000 words max. UAB and the Spanish Association of India Studies
  • Journal of Asian Rural Studies.  Hasanuddin University, Indon. and Asian Rural Sociology Association. New in 2016, still needs better quality articles. Unindexed.
  • Journal of Contemporary European Research UACES, which is an academic European Studies network. Scopus (2018: 0.73). High quality.
  • Journal of Current Chinese Affairs German Institute of Global and International Affairs, Hamburg (see Giga journal family above. ) Unfortunately, published by Sage from 2019, but still free. (Scopus 2019: 1.3)
  • Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs German Institute of Global and International Affairs, Hamburg (see Giga journal family above. ) Unfortunately, published by Sage from 2019, but still free. Scopus 2019: 2.8
  • Journal of Human Security Swiss company Librello, edited at HSI, Canada. Started 2013. APC listed in DOAJ as CHF 156. But on publisher’s site, €300 a year to publish as many articles with publisher as you like [of course most people will only do one] or APC of €350. 8,000 word articles, >12,000 review articles. In Scopus 0.33 2019.
  • Journal of Politics in Latin America German Institute of Global and International Affairs, Hamburg (see Giga journal family above). Unfortunately, published by Sage from 2019, but still free. Scopus 2019: 1.4
  • Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights  University of Jember, Indonesia. Some erudite articles. Free, started 2017 so not indexed.
  • Journal of Vietnamese Environment, environmental themes, published online by Technische Universität Dresden, no APC, unindexed.
  • Karib:  Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies for work on “all aspects of research on Caribbean culture”.  English, Spanish or French. Published since 2015 by the emerging Stockholm University Press. Currently free. Unindexed.
  • Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online. Published by T&F for the national Society, but free to submit and to read online. Generally for papers with relevance to NZ. Scopus Y (2019: 1.2)
  • London Journal of Canadian Studies UCL Press. Many former issues, only some online, and site needs sorting out onto one page. “UCL Press journals do not at this time currently charge an Article-Processing Charge (APC). Authors of accepted papers will not be requested or required to make an APC payment before publication of their article.”
  • Made in China  This progressive and accessible journal began in a different form in Italy, and is gradually becoming an academic journal with a focus on labour issues. Seems to be published by ANU press now.  Some of the entries are short. Unindexed.
  • Nokoko African studies journal. IAS, Carleton University  Canada. Unindexed. Free and OA.
  • NORDEUROPAforum : Journal for the Study of Culture. Articles must relate to northern Europe. Published by Humboldt University, Berlin. Free. Emerging Sources Citation Index  yes, Scopus yes (can’t find).
  • Nordic Journal of Francophone Studies. New in 2018, by the emerging Stockholm University Press. Unindexed, free, probably bilingual. You are supposed to demonstrate some relevance to Nordic work or perspectives.
  • The Northern Review “a peer-reviewed journal publishing research and book reviews that explore human experience in the Circumpolar North.”  Yukon College, Canada. No Indexing.
  • Pacific Geographies Small German/Austrian  online journal. WoS N, Scopus N. Free and generally does themed issues on Pacific topics.
  • Radical Americas New from UCL Press, edited from Oxford. “UCL Press journals do not at this time currently charge an Article-Processing Charge (APC). Authors of accepted papers will not be requested or required to make an APC payment before publication of their article.”
  • Revista latinoamericana de estudios urbano regionales (EURE) Produced by stalwarts at Universidad Católica de Chile. Mostly Latin American, and  in Spanish but some English papers. Think about it, because in both Scopus (2020: 1.6) and Web of Science (2018: 0.93) and free!
  • Silk Road: Journal of Eurasian Development  University of Westminster Press, which has a very good journal platform.  “the Great Silk Road countries” . New in 2019, thus free.
  • South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic JournalCEIAS. Free, Scopus (2020: 0.1).
  • Southeast Asian Studies   Japanese journal, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.Up to 15,000 word manuscripts, free and open. You don’t keep copyright though. Scopus yes (2019: 0.8).
  • Stichproben. Vienna Journal of African Studies Unindexed. Can submit in English. University of Vienna.
  • Studia Orientalia Electronica Finnish Oriental Society. Some specialisations, but they say “Original research articles and reviews in all fields of Asian and African studies.” not indexed.
  • TRANSMODERNITY: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World  University of California Press.
  • Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies. University of California, Los Angeles. Reasonably vibrant journal, multiple fields. Unindexed.

Other social science of interest (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500) [most checked June 2021]

  • Abolition: a Journal of Insurgent Politics  new in 2016. free.
  • Academy of Management Discoveries. Prestigious brand, this is their new OA journal. Allows links to audio/visual material and other innovations. “digital whiteboards, editor’s comments, embedded video and author interviews, and AMD paper commentaries.” listed here but actually you can’t see the full texts without being a member. Yet, we will have to lobby
  • AD ALTA: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research. Published by  MAGNANIMITAS, Czech Rep. €167 APC, 7000 word max in English only.  Scopus yes?, and Emerging Sources Citation Index.
  • Agathos: An International Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences University of Iași, Romania. Quite a lot of philosophy among the articles.  Free, English, Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Alternautas Critical development theory with a Latin American focus, but in English. Being taken by Warwick University Press from 2022 with longer articles. Combined with a blog.  Refereed, unindexed currently.
  • Alternative Routes. Canadian progressive journal, from Carleton University. Publishes some big names, with a Canadian focus and with themes issues. Free, 8,500 word max, Unindexed.
  • Análise Social  Instituto de Ciencias Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa. Social science disciplines, most with a Portuguese focus. Portuguese and English. Scopus (2020: 0.4  search on Analise Social).
  • Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies “new and emerging perspectives in anarchist thought and practice from or through a cultural studies perspective”. Currently hosted by U Vic, Canada.Themes issues.  Not indexed.
  • Angle Journal From Imperial College London. Not strictly a peer-reviewed academic journal, but like Yale’s equivalent 360environment, good coverage and format, on a  range of societal issues. Short articles with references. No indexing, obviously. as of 2021, not taken off massively.
  • Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies. Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. Free- has a subsidy, fairly new.  WoS 2020: 2  and Scopus (2020: 2.7).
  • Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice/Études critiques sur le genre, la culture, et la justice sociale Women’s and Gender Studies journal.  Mount Saint Vincent University Library.. Emerging Sources Citation Index (one below WoS).  (there are other journals called Atlantis,  like this one on literature 
  • Australian Humanities Review Web of Sci no, Scopus no, Free
  • Australian Review of Public Affairs. University of Sydney. Articles were up to 6000 words, Free, Unindexed.  Archived and shut down in 2016 citing lack of funding.
  • Austrian Journal of Political Science. Another rare one – Scopus (2018: 0.25), Web of Science Yes (2017: 0.06), and free. German and English,  published by Austrian Political Science Association (ÖGPW)
  • Bandung: Journal of the Global South. Was an Open Access Springer journal. I added it here because it was free to authors from developing countries (but $980 for western authors).  Sold to Brill in 2019, and, frrustratingly, articles are now paywalled by default and OA now costs $2550 – and $34.95 to read one. No closer to being indexed, I think. New site  
  • Behavior and Social Issues Behavior analytic theory (which I don’t know much about). Univ. of Illinois Library.
  • Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas. Since 1864. Scopus yes (?). PDF downloads are on
  • Borderlands eJournal UNSW, Australia, free, some big papers; ‘Spaces between disciplines’ and new forms of writing [not mine, sadly: rejected after revisions!] Scopus Y (?possibly) WoS N. new site old site 
  • Revista de Economia Politica/Brazilian Journal of Political Economy Scopus (2018: 0.4). Seems to be free online, but also a printed subscription journal. Portuguese and English.
  • Brazilian Political Science Review Brazilian Political Science Association. “the only political science and international relations journal published in English in Brazil” Unindexed as of 2017. Could get into Scopus soon.
  • Brussels Journal of International Studies University of Kent. Not about Brussels. Published yearly, needs a bit of development. No indexing.
  • Bulletin de l’APAD  Association Euro-Africaine pour l’Anthropologie du Changement Social et du Développement. Actually this is a really good bilingual journal of development and anthropology. Web of Sci no, Scopus no. Free
  • CADAAD Journal – Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines Currently edited from Lancaster University. Unindexed.
  • Cadmus  South-East European Division of The World Academy of Art and Science, based in Italy. Not indexed I think. Interesting themed issues on big issues  – ‘economy, security and global governance’ is the official focus. Free. Sister journal of Eruditio
  • California Agriculture. University of California. Since 1946. California only focus. Scopus (2019: 02.4).
  • Capricious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry About ‘affect studies’. Attracting the work of younger and less established scholars, up to 5,000 words. First issue 2017.
  • Catalyst: a Social Justice Forum Produced by the University of Tennessee. Topics fairly open but mostly in education and social work  so far. Unindexed, free.
  • Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience . Feminist STS.  [there are other journals called Catalyst too]
  • Canadian Journal of Sociology. U of Alberta. Appears free to publish. Scopus (2019: 1.4), WoS No. French/english
  • Cities People Places : An International Journal on Urban Environments. New 2015. Sri Lankan, University of Moratuwa. Unindexed.
  • Class, Race and Corporate Power “…critical analyses of corporate power from a range of scholarly approaches with the goal of assisting social justice movements in dissecting and combating concentration of power and privilege within political systems and within the global economy.” Eds. R. Cox, Florida International University and David Gibbs, U. Arizona. Radical and unindexed.
  • Cogent Social Sciences published by Taylor&Francis as one of their OA series, like Sage Open.  Included here because you could choose your fee, have not tested this yet. A little bird told me the “minimum” fee is outside my range [recommended payment is $1250]”…minimum APC of $625 to ensure we cover the costs of the peer-review process, copyediting, […etc.]. However, this is still dependent on an author’s circumstances and funding availability. We would not turn away a good quality paper if the author did not have funding available.” that was 2017 – in 2018 this information had disappeared, rewritten ans in 2020, flat fee of $1000. bye.  Emerging Sources Citation Index (one below WoS) yes, Scopus (2018: 0.66).
  • Collaborations: a Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice  Rutgers and Miami Universities. Since 2018 . Unclear if there is an APC, but they do nto mention one [improve information to authors!].Not indexed.
  • COLLeGIUM  Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies,  University of Helsinki. Themes issues only. English,  Free, and unindexed. Last issue 2017
  • Colloquy  A postgrad journal on ‘theoretical humanities’ run from Monash. Free, unindexed.
  • Colombia Internacional.  Universidad de los Andes. Portuguese, Spanish, English, 10,000 words max. Political science and international relations. Some quite good english papers.  Scopus Y (2019: 0.7).
  • Commonwealth Journal of Local Government. “…providing a forum for researchers and practitioners interested in local government ideas and practices.” Cardiff University, and UTS Centre for Local Government. Not indexed. Free.
  • Communication, Politics & Culture. RMIT University. Free. Emerging Sources Citation Index, y, Scopus No.–culture-journal/
  • Conflict Studies Quarterly. College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Free. They published some papers with bad grammar. Emerging Sources Citation Index y, Scopus No.
  • going against the trend [Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest Edited from UK universities, was published by Punctum Books, with online copies free to download. Moved to a subscription model with Berghahn Books in 2017, fees for OA unknown. Unindexed.]
  • Convergencia: Revista de Ciencias Sociales. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. Some English, mostly Spanish.  Web of Science yes (2017: 0.47) Scopus (2019: 0.5)
  • Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. UTS, Sydney. “concerned with developing a better understanding of social change and cultural cohesion in cosmopolitan societies” Free, Scopus (2018: 0.76) ( & Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Cosmos and History: the Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy. Welcomes “philosophically oriented thinkers”. Australian university editors. No APCs. Scopus (2018: 0.27)
  • Criminological Encounters  Vrije Universiteit Brussel, New in 2018.  Good approach to publishing.  No charges (2018)
  • Croatian Journal of Social Policy / Revija za socijalnu politiku. Web of Science Y (2017: 0.3), Scopus  (2019: 0.8). Many English papers, hit box on right to convert to English. full list of OA Js
  • Culture and Local Governance University of Ottawa. new 2020. bilingual.
  • Култура / Culture Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies, Macedonia. Not indexed, max 5000 words.  No issue since 2016 (in 2018) Free.
  • Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural since 1978,  Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia. Free, cannot interpret the word limits. Scopus (2020; 0.3), Web of Science yes (2018: 0.3 low). Multiple languages of which Spanish is dominant. English example
  • Cultural Logic: A Journal of Marxist Theory & Practice  UBC Canada. Free. Unindexed.
  • Culture Machine – Relaunched (2018). Part of OAPress.
  • Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research  by Linköping University Electronic Press     Scopus (2019: 0.7)
  • Dialogic Pedagogy   Univ of Pittsburgh. “dialogic pedagogy” is “any scholarship and pedagogical practice, from educational researchers, philosophers, and practitioners, which values and gives priority to “dialogue” in learning/teaching/educating across a wide range of institutional and non-institutional learning settings”. Unindexed, free.
  • Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society “..committed to supporting and advancing decolonization scholarship, practice, and activism within and, more importantly, beyond and against, the academy”.   U. Toronto base and much praised since 2011 with an intro article cited over 3000 times. Sadly no papers since 2018. no longer functioning. Unindexed, free.  
  • Digital Studies / Le champ numérique   Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH/SCHN). A digital humanities journal, free and unindexed.
  • Društvena istraživanja : journal for general social issues Croatia. Scopus (2019: 0.7) and Web of Science yes. (2017: 0.25)
  • e-cadernos CES Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (Portugal). Not indexed. Does take English, eg the 2019 issue, otherwise mostly Portuguese/Spanish. OpenEdition platform.
  • Economic and Political Weekly Shouldn’t really be included because there is a small subscription fee for access to archives ($18 for 3 months) while current and recent issues are open access. No publishing fee. Scopus Y (2018: 0.23)
  • ECONOMICS-THE OPEN ACCESS OPEN-ASSESSMENT E-JOURNAL“Economics is an open-access journal that does not charge any author fees. This is due to support by its founding institutions, the Kiel Institute for World Economy and the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics” Web of Science Yes (2019:  1.1), Scopus (2018: ?)  bought by DeGruyter in 2020. now submission fee of 1000 EUR
  • Economics and Sociology Economics, social economy, institutions and culture. Produced by universities in Lithuania, Romania and Poland since 2008. Free. Scopus (2019: 3.1). Well edited.,26  
  • Economy Transdisciplinarity Cognition  George Bacovia University, Bacau, Romania.  Articles seem to have some basis in economic frameworks, but are rather idiosyncratic and focussed on Romania at present. Site has some odd phrasing and errors, suggesting a native speaker needs to assist in editing.  Unindexed.  Free to read, but an author fee of €50 for publication is mentioned but then denied
  • e-Cadernos CES Critical social science. Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. themed issues not indexed 2020.
  • E-Journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies. An Italian press, one editor in UK, the other in Italy. 10,000 words max but refs through footnotes. Not indexed and free.
  • electronic International Journal of Time Use Research (eIJTUR)  International Association of Time Use Research ( – free at the moment. Sociological. Scopus N 2017: 0.31, then discontinued). Cannot see a coherent page wit content, may have ceased.
  • Engaging Science, Technology, and Society Started in 2015, not indexed yet. Free. Science and technology studies. 
  • Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning  Interesting. Canadian. since 2015
  • Ephemera: theory & politics in organization Good Board etc. but not indexed. Free  
  • Eruditio World Academy of Art and Science journal, editor in Florida. Not indexed I think. ‘Leadership in thought that leads to action’. Free. Sister journal of Cadmus.
  • Estudos Avançados  or Revista Estudos Avançados.  Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo. Brazil. Free. Scopus (2018: 0.31 cannot find 2019), Web of Science N (?). Mostly in Portuguese.
  • Ethics and Global Politics  Web of Science Y (2019: 0.26), Scopus Y (2019: 0.5). Been taken by Taylor and Francis,  but basically it is free.  Online interview
  • Evidence Base: a journal of evidence reviews in key policy areas. Australia and New Zealand School of Government. Offers systematic reviews of policy areas in Aus and NZ, max 8,000 words. Few articles. No indexing (?).

  • Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal. Warwick Business School.   Free of charges and APCs.  CC-BY-NC-SA licence. 5000 word limit. Targets ’emerging domain experts and early career researchers’.  Looks good, not indexed [need to check again].

  • Fast Capitalism Critical journal on new IT technologies and their impacts, edited by Tim Luke and others. Free and unindexed.
  • Feminist Dissent New in 2016 at University of Warwick. Not out long enough to be indexed.
  • Feral Feminisms  Toronto, Canada. Unindxexed, themes.
  • Field ACTions Science Reports “A unique international instrument that provides a platform for spreading good practices of development actions” Institut Veolia with major sponsors. Free.
  • Footprint: Delft Architecture theory journal TU Delft. Free. Themed issues only. Scopus (2018: 0.29).
  • Le Foucaldien  “publishes interdisciplinary research along the lines of the philosopher and historian Michel Foucault (1926–1984) in English, German, and French” since 2015. Published from Zurich in the Open Library of Humanities template. Unindexed, too new.
  • Finance and Society  Edinburgh University Library. Since 2015.
  • Forum: Qualitative Social Research/
  • Foucault Studies Copenhagen Business School. First issue 2004. Scopus (2018: 0.48) Y.
  • Fronteiras: Journal of Social, Technological and Environmental Science Centro Universitário de Anápolis, Brazil. Free. 3 languages, a little english. Scopus (2020: 0.5 ).
  • Global Journal Al-Thaqafah Kolej Universiti Islam Sultan Azlan Shah, Malaysia. Islamic-based sciences, social science, arts and humanities in Malay, English or Arabic. $200 APC. Scopus (2020: 0.4)
  • Global Societies Journal Undergrad and graduate student journal from University of California, Santa Barbara. [last volume 2018]
  • Glocality  Undergrad journal in social sciences. Refereed, free to submit and publish. Ubiquity Press (good) with a subsidy from Windesheim Honours College. >9,000 words. CCBY.
  • Revue Gouvernance / Governance Review Centre d’études en gouvernance de l’Université d’Ottawa. Bilingual.
  • Historic Environment International Council on Monuments and Sites.  Might have gone OA in 2020. Not indexed.
  • Human Affairs Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia, published by deGruyter.  5000 words. Not indexed.
  • Human Architecture “Human architecture is about tearing down walls of human alienation, and building integrative human realities in favor of a just global society”. OKCIR: the Omar Khayyam Center for Integrative Research in Utopia, Mysticism, and Science, Massachusetts.  Unindexed in 2017 but a decent Board and articles, despite the forgettable Center name.  Looks like the editor took a  break in 2013 and has not returned? Free, but rather confused about whether you can submit, or have to be asked, and whether there is blind refereeing or another form.
  • Humanities One of the commercial MDPI journals which means standard format (footnoted refs!), and higher APC once the journals become established.  This one was $350 to publish in 2017 but $994 after Jun 2019.  No length restriction.  Unindexed.
  • Ibérica Revista de la Asociación Europea de Lenguas para Fines Específicos. Multilingual and Free;  Scopus Y (2020: 1), Web of Science Y (2017: 0.7). Website is a bit deficient.
  • Iberoamerican Journal of Development Studies University of Zaragoza, Spain. Scopus Y  ( citescore 2020: 0.9 dropping) Emerging Sources Y.
  • Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration  University of Iceland. Free, bilingualEmerging Sources Citation Index  Scopus N.
  • IK: Other Ways of Knowing. The Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge, Penn State. Free, Unindexed. 15,000 max length
  • Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems : INDECS Croatian Interdisciplinary Society .Free, Emerging Sources Citation Index.
  • Inscriptions Art, philosophy and psycho-analysis. Independent Scandinavian journal with some useful articles.
  • Interface: a journal for and about social movements  Free, originally a British team. Articles are good, but website still needs some work. E.g. why is there a list of other publications by all the editors? CCBYND. Not indexed.
  • International and Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Sciences A Hipatia Press journal – Barcelona based. They have some successes getting journals indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index and Scopus (2020: 0.9). It could do with slightly better English for some papers I read (best citation to a paper: 95 in 2021). 9,000 words max.
  • International Development Policy  Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. English French Spanish with trans into English, up to 7,500 words. Unindexed. .
  • International Indigenous Policy Journal scopus N, WoS n.
  • International Journal of Communication. upper quartile in its field. Founded by M. Castells at USC. WoS (2017: 1.13), Scopus Yes (2020: 2.4).
  • International Journal of Community Currency Research community currencies work – sponsored by the Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Complementary and Community Currencies (
  • [International Journal of Qualitative Methods Scopus y (taken on by Sage in Oct. 2015, now a $1,000 APC…..disappearing from the list soon ]
  • International Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science. Seemed ok, and principled scholars like Brian Martin publishes there – but nothing published past 2016. Unindexed, obviously.   2017.
  • International Journal of Illich Studies. He of ‘conviviality’ and ‘deschooling’ fame. Website is a bit basic, and review of >8000 wd. articles is by board members etc. Interesting pandemic issue in 2020.
  • International Journal of Social Sciences and Educational Studies  Tishk International University, Iraq. No fees, no indexing. Some moderately decent articles and Tara Brabazon publishes there!
  • International Journal of Wellbeing. NZ/USA/Aus editors, Free, interdisciplinary, published since 2011. Scopus N, WoS N. Article about journal
  • International Review of Social Research University of Bucharest,  sociology and social anthropology, says now published by de Gruyter but I cannot find it [2021]. Free, not indexed. 4,000 to 8,000 words. Some decent articles.  Old site still active [ignore others]
  • Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. Scopus (2020: 0.9) Some excellent papers. 8000 words max. Eastern European focus to most articles.
  • Interstitial: A Journal of Modern Culture and Events. “a peer-reviewed, open access, and post-disciplinary journal dedicated to exploring the myriad expressions, impacts, and genealogies of modernity”. Not indexed and needs some more recent articles to build on 2013 ones [could be dormant, 2019]. Seems to be a free and independent publication but is it active?
  • Island Studies Journal.  Was University of Prince Edward Island, now  Fróðskaparsetur Føroya/University of the Faroe Islands.   CAN$30 to submit says DOAJ, but n mention on the journal submission page. Scopus (2020: 4.3) and Web of Science yes (2019: 1.1)
  • Italian Sociological Review University of Verona, Italy. Scopus Y (2018: 0.45).
  • Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies.  North-West University,  South Africa. Was free but in 2021 $80 a page, and “This journal does not offer waivers or discounts. We request that you evaluate your potential to obtain funding for the Article Processing Fee before submission, not after acceptance.” so will disaapear from this list. Scopus yes (2019: 1.1) and on the RSA approved journals list.
  • Journal of Alpine Research / Revue de géographie alpine. Institut de Géographie Alpine, Grenoble. Published since 1913. A social science journal. Two languages, one of which must be French, Italian, German or Spanish, the other being in English (you are supposed to do your own translation, this may be a constraint, certainly is for me). No CC-BY! Web of Science Y (2019: 0.22 dropping), Scopus Y (2020: 0.5)
  • Journal of Australian Political Economy (JAPE). Since 1977 and associated with the Dept. of Political Economy, U. of Sydney. “.Since 1977, the Journal of Australian Political Economy (JAPE) has published political economic alternatives to orthodox economics and analyses of key features of contemporary capitalism. “ Free, although they also print copies. Scopus Y (2020: 1), Web of Science Y (2019 0.69).
  • Journal of Controversial Ideas  Started 2021. Edited by Jeff McMahan, Francesca Minerva and and Peter Singer, and with an extremely heavyweight editorial board. Unaffiliated, funded through donations. Possible to publish using a pseudonym. Early papers tend towards philosophical arguments but “We welcome submissions in all areas of academic research insofar as the topics discussed are relevant to society at large. We aim to publish papers that are likely to advance knowledge and promote free inquiry and rational argumentation. The main criterion for acceptance will be the quality of the arguments given.”. 
  • Journal of Current Chinese Affairs  see GIGA journal family
  • Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs. See GIGA journal family
  • Journal of Futures Studies Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan. Up to 8,000 words. free. Scopus Y (2020: 0.8) and WoS Emerging Sources Citation Index.
  • Journal of Globalization Studies Uchitel Publishing, Volgograd, Russia. Free, Scopus (0.2, 2020). Paper by John Urry!
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary Methodologies and Issues in Science French journal started in 2016. French and English. Unindexed. Uses special issues. Submissions go through HAL, the French archive and coordinated by Episciences. .
  • Journal of International Social Studies Appears genuine and sponsored by the National Council of the Social Studies in the US which has a pedagogical focus. Free, unindexed, 6,000 words max.
  • Journal of International Women’s Studies. Bridgewater State University, USA.  (Scopus 2020 0.5). Good global coverage and editing. Free. Offer a small Fellowship program.
  • Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies. Romanian. Scopus Y (Citecore 2020: 0.7).
  • Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation. Associated with the polymath Michael Scriven. No Scopus or Web of Science. Useful OA source in this field, free.
  • Journal of Peer Production ” the commons and peer production are two names for describing the same thing: a particular kind of labour relation. This labour relation is predicated on voluntary participation and the selfselection of tasks”. Hosted in Manchester. Free, unindexed.
  • Journal of Political Studies. University of the Punjab, Lahore. The Pakistan focus renders it pretty much a regional journal. Unindexed, but internationally recognised (eg by the UK’s Sherpa-Romeo) . Few  prepositions in articles!
  • Journal of Politics in Latin America See GIGA journal family
  • Journal of Postgraduate Medicine I am not doing medical journals on this list, but you can do a bit of social science in here and look at this listing of other online med. journals on their ‘about us’ page. Published by Medknow in India. Scopus Y (2020: 2.4), WoS 2019 (1.2),  Free in html versions.
  • Journal of Public Deliberation US based.   Scopus  (2018: 0.82). Free and OA.
  • Journal of Public Transportation Free, papers up to 5000 wds. Scopus Y  (2020: 4.5), Web of Science Y (2019: 1.3). University of South Florida.
  • Journal for Religion, Film and Media. University of Graz. Some themes to issues. Indexing – believe none.
  • Journal of Resistance Studies Irene Publishing, Sweden. Website a bit sparse, and previous articles are found under ‘shop’ – but they were all free to read, not sure in 2021. Resist APCs!! Submissions up to 12k words. Unindexed.
  • Journal of Rural and Community Development Brandon University, Canada. Unindexed. Free.
  • Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues. Discontinued. The General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. Some international authors, well ranked, but could use some more English editing. Appears to be free. Scopus Y  (2020:  n/a). 
  • Journal of Social Intervention. mostly in Dutch, some English. No indexing.
  • Journal of Sociotechnical Critique  Old Dominion University, USA.  Unindexed, free. First issue 2020.
  • Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights  University of Jember, Indonesia. Some erudite articles already,  up to 12,000 words. Free, Started 2017.
  • Journal of Transport and Land Use. University of Minnesota. Scopus Y (2020: 4.8), Web of Science Y from 2015 (2019: 1.42). APC $1000 in 2019 [but if you join their society for $75, waived – very confusing].
  • Journal of World Systems Research University of Pittsburgh, American Sociological Association support. free, not indexed (?)
  • Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences. Kasetsart  University, Thailand. APC$100. Was published by Elsevier- but stopped in 2018 and back to the university, fortunately. General social science with a Thai leaning.   Scopus (2020: 2.4).
  • Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies  Some good, mainly themed issues. Quite promising but not indexed.  8,000 words. free.
  • Kome Hungarian Communication Studies Association. 10,000 words max, communication studies only. Scopus Y (2019: 1.1), WoS Emerging Sources Y. No charges. DOI numbers.
  • Krisis   Dutch journal for contemporary philosophy. Published in both English and Dutch since 2008. Free. Not much cited – Scopus (2019: 0.2)
  • Laboratorium: Russian journal of social research. Interesting duel language Engl/Ru. Bruno Latour is on the Board! Scopus (n/a 2018)  and Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Labour/Le Travail  Canadian labor history, mainly.  Canadian Committee on Labor History. recent 2 edns not online. Scopus Y (2019: 0.4), Web of Science Y (2017: 0.2).
  • Law, Environment and Development Journal. SOAS, London and India. Web of Sci no, Scopus no. Free.
  • Law, social justice and development.  Warwick University. Free, but only one open issue a year- others themed
  • LES Online “…aims to contribute to the study of lesbian issues and to promote actions that improve lesbian equal opportunities and civil rights.  Portuguese, Spanish, English or French.  Unindexed, free
  • Lex Localis – Journal of Local Self-Government. Institute for Local Self-Government Maribor, Slovenia. Author fee €340, >8,000 words. Scopus Y (2019: 1.1) WoS Y (2017: 0.82)
  • Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies. University of Western Australia. Free, unindexed. The ‘editorial collective meets once a week’! Great.
  • Locale: The Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies. Southern Cross University, Australia. Unindexed. Good regional feel, WordPress site only. (nothing since 2018 though).
  • The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History  – Dutch-Flemish journal of social and economic history.  On the excellent Utrecht University OA platform. Unindexed, free, subsidised.
  • LSE Review of Books. Social sciences book reviews, and occasional essays. CC-BY and anybody can contribute up to a 1,200 word review by agreement. UK address if you want a receive a book.
  • M@n@gement French or English, free, Revue officielle de l’Association Internationale de Management Stratégique, France. Does not seem to be indexed, but I wonder if that is because of the unique name not coming up in searches. Organisational and corporate research.
  • Masculinities & Social Change. The Barcelona publisher seems sound. Recently lost their founding editor. In Scopus (2020: 0.9) and Emerging Sources Citation Index. From 2020, E400 APC.
  • Media and Environment University of California Press. Free journal with sponsorship. Started 2019, ‘focus on ‘ecomedia’. Not indexed yet.
  • Media theory New in 2017. a true, free, CC-BY “independent, online and open access journal of peer-reviewed, theoretical interventions into all aspects of media and communications”. Edited by Simon Dawes. Too new to be indexed.
  • Mediations Marxist Literary Group (which I had not heard of – apparently part of the Modern Language Association in the USA). Unindexed. Appears to be free to submit and read.
  • Melbourne University Law Review. Run very well by their top students, but with a diverse authorship and readership. So far remains free and out of the clutches of a major publisher. Scopus Yes (2020: 1.4), Web of Science Yes (2019: 1.3) (Law schools are often quite wealthy and they like to have their own online journal. Only a few are listed on this site. Most use Scholastica for submissions, which charges a fee)
  • Michigan Law Review Scopus (2020: 2.3), Web of Science 2019: 3.35.  (law schools are often quite wealthy and they like to have their own online journal. Only a few are listed on this site. Most use Scholastica for submissions, which charges a fee)
  • Minnesota Law Review Scopus Yes (2020: 1.9), Web of Science 2019 1.6 (law schools are often quite wealthy and they like to have their own online journal. Only a few are listed on this site. Most use Scholastica for submissions, which charges a fee)
  • ›mcsj› Mobile Cultural Studies Journal. Published yearly, on a theme, by the Swiss Mobile Cultural Studies Assn.  in English and other languages. It highlights: mobilities of people, things, ideas, information and finances, cultural and social phenomena of mobilities,  historical evidence of people’s mobile practices and changing concepts of mobility, representations of mobility. University of Graz, Austria. Unindexed to my knowledge, fairly new.
  • Movements: Journal for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies German journal. From München. I can’t read German very well, but it looks to be German/English and there is a good issue on Turkey in English. CC BY-SA 4.0.
  • Movimento Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). “…topics pertaining to the field of physical education and its interfaces with the social sciences and humanities – focusing, in particular, on their pedagogical, historical, political, and cultural dimensions” 6,000 word max. APC $100. Scopus Y (2020: 0.7), Web of  Science Y (2019: 0.36). Portuguese, English, Spanish.
  • New Diversities Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (various former iterations by UNESCO). Deals with multiple forms of diversity, unindexed. 8,000 wds.
  • New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of  Central and East European Politics and International Relations  Institute of International Relations, Czech Republic. Long articles OK. Free. Vague on copyright. Moved to Sage 2020  and now behind paywall-  boo
  • New Proposals: journal of Marxism and interdisciplinary inquiry UBC, Canada. Unindexed. Free although if your institution pays, ask for $350.   
  • Noésis: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades from Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.  Free, unindexed. English and Spanish, but mainly Mexican authors.
  • NORDEUROPAforum : Journal for the Study of Culture. Articles must relate to northern Europe. Published by Humboldt University, Berlin. Free. Emerging Sources Citation Index  yes, Scopus yes (cannot find, 2018).
  • On_Culture: The Open Journal for the Study of Culture  International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen.  Themed.
  • Open Library of Humanities. By an important  library-subscriber outfit of that name established by Martin Eve, that publishes several journals, now in partnership with Birkbeck from 2021. Emerging Sources Citation Index Yes, Scopus (2020: 0.3). No charges.
  • Qualitative Sociology Review University of Lodz, Poland. Scopus (2020: 0.6).
  • Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research. Canterbury University, NZ. New in 2016, so unindexed. Free.
  • Palaver. University of Salento, Italy. Cultural dynamics, intercultural relations, diasporas and related literary production, migration, and translation. Unindexed. English and Italian.
  • PArtecipazione e COnflitto [PArticipation and COnflict] is an International Journal based in Italy specialized in social and political studies. Scopus Y (2020: 1.8). Free.
  • Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences    WoS yes (?) Scopus (2020: 1). Largely scientific, but does publish on coastal management in the Americas only.
  • Peace and Conflict Studies  Nova Southern University. Appears to be ok and free. Scopus Yes (0.4, 2020)
  • Philosophy Activism Nature: PAN  Not indexed (there is actually no journal with ‘activism’ in the title in Scopus!). Had some heavy hitting authors and archived at Monash University. Poetry as well as text.
  • People Place and Policy. Sheffield Hallam University. ‘no rigid house style’ – hurrah! unindexed. Free.
  • Pléyade. Humanities and social sciences. Chilean. Not indexed.
  • Política y gobierno. Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), México City. Scopus Yes (2020: 1.3), Web of Science Yes (2019: 0.7). Bilingual (they seem to translate) Spanish and English. Latin America focus.
  • Political Research Exchange  European Consortium for Political Research, published by Routledge. APC is US$487 or £350 in 2021 [was free in 2020!]. Allegedly in Scopus but can’t find. ESCI.
  • Politics and Animals    Lund University
  • Politics of Place “…is a peer-reviewed journal for postgraduates. …. the relationship between culture and spatiality in works of literature, engaging particularly with issues of nationhood, community, class, marginality, and the self”. Not indexed. University of Exeter. Free.
  • Policy and Practice:  development education review. Centre for
    Global Education, Belfast.
  • PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies. UTS Sydney. Free. Not indexed yet.
  • Postcolonial Text unindexed
  • Public Philosophy Journal New in 2017.  By Christopher Long, Michigan State University. Innovative public communication software and reviewing.
  • Radical Criminology  Not indexed.   Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver. Free but hard copies sold by Punctum Books. 
  • Radical Philosophy In 2018, 45 years of this ‘alternative’ journal were made open access, and it moved to a free to read and publish, with a print-on-demand service as well. While free, subscriptions of $1 a month upwards are encouraged to sustain the journal. They do take articles of up to 9,000 words so I am including it here, although it is often referred to as a magazine, with shorter pieces and reviews, and refereeing is by the volunteer editorial collective. The new website is a bit confusing  I find. We just need a listing of what is each issue, and a search button. Scopus Y (citescore 2020, 0.1) WoS Y (2019 0.86).
  • Real-World Economics Review.   Lots of articles, some by very famous people,  critiquing mainstream economics for its mathematics, modelling, and lack of real world awareness. Big supporters, good papers, free and open except must subscribe to see current issue. Bad website, not indexed.
  • Recerca: Revista de Pensament i Anàlisi. Spanish, Catalan or English.  Dept Philosophy and Sociology, Universitat Jaume I  (Spain).  Scopus (1.5, 2020)  and well regarded in Spain.  Quite a few English articles. No longer than 8,000 words.
  • Refuge-  Canada’s Journal on Refugees/Revue canadienne sur les réfugiés  York University, Canada. Free and on Erudit. This is the Canadian one ISSN: 1920 -7336 – there is another called Refuge.
  • Regional Barometer/ Barometr Regionalny. Analizy i Prognozy. Regional economic development focus. Not indexed. Poor webpage – downloads are kept separate from the issues.  no indexing
  • Review of Agrarian Studies Indian journal,  Foundation for Agrarian Studies. Applied for indexing 2018. Free for the moment.
  • Revista de Economia Politica/Brazilian Journal of Political Economy  see under Brazilian
  • Rural and Remote Health  James Cook University.  Free. Scopus (2019: 1.5)
  • Sage Open  The first big commercial OA journal for social science (called a megajournal). Not free- I paid US$99 APC, but from mid 2015 this suddenly went to $395. and to $480 in 2019. But then they got into the Web of Science with a low score, and jacked it up to $800. So, Avoid. Scopus Yes (2020 1.6), Web of Science Y (0.7 2019)
  • Santa Clara Journal of International Law Santa Clara University. About 10 articles a year, interesting content. Not indexed.
  • Scholar and Feminist Online Barnard College, New York. Special issues and there are no submission details. Html/xml only. No indexing.
  • Science and Technology Studies “dedicated to the advancement of scholarly studies of science and technology as socio-material phenomena. European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and the Finnish Association for Science and Technology Studies. OA and seems to be free to publish due to a grant. Scopus Y (2020: 2.3), Web of Science applied for.
  • Sentio  A postgrad social science journal. New in 2018. Short articles up to 1,500 words, early career people.
  • Serendipities, Journal for the sociology and history of the social sciences  “interested in papers on any aspect of a sociological or historical analysis of the development of the social sciences.” University of Graz, Austria. Not indexed.
  • Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures no index   
  • Small Axe: a Caribbean journal of criticism  No indexing. 
  • Social Change Review. University of Sibiu, Romania and published by de Gruyter Open. Unindexed, free to submit, a lot of social work articles.
  • Social Sciences  One of the commercial MDPI journals which means standard format (footnoted refs!), and higher APC once the journals become established.  This one was free to publish in 2017, rising ot $994 in June 2019.  No length restriction.  Scopus yes (0, 2016)  WoS No.   
  • Socioeconomica General social science, published in Serbia by Global Network for Socio-economic Research and Development (GNSRD).   Archive (hit the little circles for issue downloads). Seems free, website still has some quirks, takes long articles. Appears unindexed.
  • Sociological Science Published by a nonprofit in Massachusetts. Cost structure varies by your rank, and is given here.   You could go over $500 if you were a senior scholar.  Scopus (2020, 5.9) WoS no, Emerging sources yes
  • Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review. Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences.  Free, bilingual, archives online back to the mid 1990s. Scopus (2020: 1), WoS yes (2019 0.4). 
  • Socio: la nouvelle revue des sciences sociales. General purpose social journal in French (mainly) and English, with some themed issues. Publisher; Maison des sciences de l’homme. Seems unindexed but I may be wrong. Castells, Burawoy and formerly Beck on the Board.  
  • Social Transformations: Journal of the Global South Ateneo de Manila University. Unranked, definitely a minor journal.
  • Swiss Journal of Sociology/Revue Suisse de sociologie/ Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie  Now with de Gruyter. Scopus 2018: 0.24. Free.
  • Sociologica: Italian Journal of Sociology online Scopus (0.24, 2016, cannot find it in 2018) and WoS Emerging Sources Citation Index. The fact that you have to register is annoying, but easy. There is no word limit, but no submission guidelines either. Some major anglophone authors have published. 
  • Sociological Research Online. Associated with the British Sociological Association but seemingly published by U. Surrey until 2017 when bought by SAGE (sadly) ..  Online since 1996 (almost as long as our journal). It had a  strange set of policies. Submission of articles up to 8000 words appeared to be free, but then they asked for an £800 APC if you want true OA for your work.  Now under SAGE is has become subscription based! So not really ‘online’ in my view.  Scopus Yes (0.99, 2016), WoS yes (2017 0.57)
  • Solutions. Solutions is a non-profit print and online publication devoted to showcasing bold and innovative ideas for solving the world’s integrated ecological, social, and economic problems.” Short accessible articles only. Unindexed.
  • spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures  Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res (CDC), Leupha­na Uni­ver­si­ty of Lüne­burg, Germany. On 4th issue in 2018. Unindexed.
  • Spontaneous Generations: a journal for the history and philosophy of science. University of Toronto. Unindexed, free (I think)
  • Stability: International Journal of Security & Development. Published since 2012  by the Canadian  Centre for Security Governance (CSG) using Ubiquity Press. APC £250. Scopus Y (2018: 0.96) and Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Studies in Arts and Humanities (SAH) is an independent, interdisciplinary academic collaboration {SAHkartell} whose enduring concern is with social, political and cultural practices, in the context of mapping transformations in contemporary society. Editors are mostly in Dublin. Not indexed, articles up to 12,000 words. Seems to have no APC.
  • Studies in Social Justice. Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI). 8,000 words. Scopus Y (2018:0.51)  and Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Studies of Transition States and Societies Well edited at Tallinn University. Scopus y. (2018: 0.52)
  • Surveillance & Society Scopus y ( 2018: 1.04, dropping)
  • The Journal of International Policy Solutions. Student-run journal, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego. Enter here to avoid blog content!previous-journals/c7y0
  • Tapuya Latin American Science, Technology and Society.  STS with Latin American flavour. Vol 1 2018. Unfortunately published by Taylor and Francis. Free to read, APCs of  US$300/£230/€264. But in 2020 went up to US$600/£460/€530/AUS$805 with a discount for anyone based in Latin America (US$200/£155/€175/AUS$270).
  • Temenos – Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion  University of Turku, Finland. 5,000 words max. Unindexed.
  • The International Journal of Social Quality  Berghahn press. Entirely open access and free with CASS (Chinese) support from 2021. Possibly in Scopus.
  • Transcience “publishing research that crosses geographic, disciplinary, conceptual and conventional boundaries or extends them” since 2010. German base at Humboldt University, international global studies collaboration, international collaborators. Unindexed (?). 10,000 words max.
  • Transformations From the Australian East coast. “an independent, double-blind peer-reviewed electronic journal addressing the transformative processes of new technologies and mediating practices that change the way we think, feel and interact with others both in a contemporary and historical sense.”  Not indexed, free. Themed issues only.
  • The Winnower. It was bought out in 2017 by Authorea. No longer possible to post an article. Was a place to publish what you wish-not quite considered a journal since not curated. Post-publication review also took place. Then you revised and got a doi number for $25. My paper here, read by 2,400 people in just 5 weeks, with 2 reviews. Treat it as a journal, and it worked. Not sure it it is picked up by Google Scholar though.
  • Urban Island Studies. About that very topic.  English as language of record, but can be another version. Publisher Island Dynamics,  Copenhagen. Seems to be free, up to 8000 words preferred.
  • Valuation Studies  A new field to me. Not indexed.
  • Viaggiatori intends to open an international and interdisciplinary window for debate on the topic of travel in all its forms. Free, first issue 2017. Website lacks some details (article length?)
  • Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development Unitec, NZ 3-6000 words. Pacific region only, which is a bit limiting.
  • Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture Westminster University, London. Going since 2004, it now has a very professional website. Not indexed, but free.
  • Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada. Access to justice, and some on  access to legal institutions. Unindexed.
  • World Transport Policy and Practice Produced by John Whitelegg, well known transport guru in the UK, and other dedicated people. Only a whole issue is downloadable and papers can only be up to 4,000 words. Not sure about refereeing. Free, did have a US partner, but I think needs to conform to academic standards. Not indexed.
  • Worldwide Waste: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Ubiquity Press. ‘critical interrogation of the cultural, social, economic and political systems within which waste is created, managed and circulated’ Free, CCBY. Supported by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Unindexed (young). 8,000 words max.
  • Writing from Below. Gender, sexuality, diversity, and more. A collective OA journal. Free, 3000 to 7000 words.
  • Xjenza Online: Science Journal of the Malta Chamber of Scientists  Well managed and presented. Free online, no APC.
  • Zapruder World – an international journal for the history of social conflict.  Published in Italy since 2015.  Free, but it only takes short articles and I am unsure about  the refereeing.  Not indexed.

Publishing and university teaching/research issues (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500)

  • The All Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Journal of the All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE).  Free to publish. Scopus and WoS no 
  • Canadian Journal of Environmental Education. Lakehead University. Free, unindexed. Yearly themed issue, 7,000 word max.
  • Canadian Journal of Higher Education Unindexed. Simon Fraser University.
  • The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Canada. Focus mainly on Canada. Unindexed
  • Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship  new 2020
  • Critical Education (sister journal to Workplace, below)  free,  schools focus. In the Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CRISTAL). South Africa, higher education focus. Not the same as Critical Studies in Education, which is published by Taylor&Francis. Unindexed. Moved to Sabinet platform [which is not a very complete platform – are there APCs for example? Big bar on top of screen is about the publisher, not the journal]
  • Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry  University of Calgary. Unindexed.
  • Dialogic Pedagogy   Univ of Pittsburgh. “dialogic pedagogy” is “any scholarship and pedagogical practice, from educational researchers, philosophers, and practitioners, which values and gives priority to “dialogue” in learning/teaching/educating across a wide range of institutional and non-institutional learning settings”  unindexed, free.
  • the disrupted Journal of Media Practice. Set up by Coventry University to be more innovative than the conventional Journal of Media Practice (Taylor&Francis) which has now changed its name. Unsure if this is an ongoing effort though and how you would submit anything – it seems to date to 2016-17 only. only.
  • Education Policy Analysis Archives One of the very first OA journals on education policy, started by Gene Glass, Arizona State Univ. in 1993 on an old computer.  Trilingual and free [in]. Scopus Y (1.07, 2018).  
  • English Scholars Beyond Borders A budget journal, website and occasional conference on this topic. Quite interesting “not-for-profit academic circle of international scholars“. Un-indexed.
  • Envigogika: Charles University E-journal for Environmental Education. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Unindexed, dates from 2006. 
  • First Monday. Web and internet issues. Scopus Y (1.67, 2018) , WoS   N.
  • Fusion Journal. Communication and the arts. Unindexed. Charles Sturt University, Australia. 
  • HERDSA Review of Higher Education Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Unindexed. They have a more prestigious journal as well, published by Routledge. Webpage is all mixed up.
  • IARTEM eJournal. International Association for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media   Free, double refereed but not indexed. Desperately needs a more catchy name!
  • Insights (Insights: the UKSG journal) On scholarly communication/knowledge – “Insights: the UKSG journal (2048-7754) aims to support UKSG’s mission to connect the information community and encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication”. Free to publish. Scopus and WoS no.
  • International Higher Education.  “IHE is not a scholarly journal, but rather a periodical that seeks to inform its readers through short well-written articles, written in a lively style and emphasizing analysis. Authors are encouraged to include relevant statistics where needed, although not in tables or graphs. Also, references and citations should not be included in submitted articles. IHE articles are typically 1,000 words in length; they are written concisely and to the point.”
  • The International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (IJWIL). Pretty specialised – used to be broader as the  Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education. unindexed. New Zealand base.
  • Irish Journal of Academic Practice. Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre (LTTC), Tech Uni Dublin. Free to publish. Scopus and WoS no.
  •, Italian Journal of Library, Archives, and Information Science Scopus Y (2018: 0.53). free.
  • Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies. Edited between UK and Greece by Prof. Dave Hill. Scopus Yes (2019: 0.8), WoS no.
  • Journal of Electronic Publishing. Dates to 1995, US university-based at Michigan. Scopus (2019: 0.4). Free. 
  • Journal of International Students Edited from Morgan State University in the USA. Scopus Y (2019: 1.8) & Emerging Sources Citation Index. No fees. 7% acceptance rate so they are aiming high!
  • Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research University of Alicante. Scopus 2020 5.2 (the highest free OA journal in this field, a Q1 journal, for those who appreciate those things) and WoS ESRI
  • Journal of Radical Librarianship Unindexed.
  • Journal of Sustainability Education From Prescott College, AZ and uses an open review systemSlightly more coherent online site than in the past, but a lot of shorter contributions and non-scholarly material.  Free, not indexed. 
  • Journal Plus Education. Educational sciences, edited from From Romania. Unindexed. Free.
  • Journal of Research Practice. “..aims to develop our understanding of research as a type of practice”.  Athabasca University Press, Canada, free. Scopus Y (?).
  • Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability Daugavpils University, Latvia. Scopus 2020 3.
  • McGill Journal of Education / Revue des sciences de l’éducation de McGill . Published by McGill’s education faculty.  Active journal. Free. 8000 words.
  • Metropolitan Universities Published by CUMU in the US. “Metropolitan Universities informs administrators, faculty, and students of the latest ideas, issues, and trends that are challenging and changing all types of institutions”. Unindexed, free
  • Open Praxis A distance and e-learning journal published by The International Council for Open and Distance Education – ICDE. Emerging Sources Citation Index.
  • Policy & Practice: a Development Education Review Centre for Global Education,  Belfast. Themed issues.  Scopus Y (2019: 0).
  • Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation (PARE). Education and assessment. Voluntary effort but sponsorship is now coming in.  Some quite quantitative. Scopus Yes (2019: 2.1) .
  • Publications One of the commercial MDPI journals which means standard format (footnoted refs!), and higher APC once the journals become established.  This one is free in 2018, $994 after june 2019! No length restriction, optional open peer-review. Scopus Yes, WoS No, Emerging Sources Citation Index Y.
  • Radical Pegagogy. US university based. Reorganised in 2017. Unindexed
  • International Journal of Education for Social Justice (Revista Internacional de Educación para la Justicia Social RIEJS). Spanish (mostly) English and Portuguese. 8000 words max, themed issues, but also sole articles. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Indexed in Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index  and Scopus (2020: 0.7)
  • RIO (Research Ideas and Outcomes).  Publishes things like grant proposals, figures, and other non-article findings as well as articles. Not indexed, obviously, post-publication refereeing, charges vary (conference presentation €100,  failed grant proposal €0, article €550 [too expensive] but there are plenty of discounts. Pensoft, a Bulgarian company.
  • Southern African Journal of Environmental Education. Published by the Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa. Unindexed. Free.
  • Student Success: An Australian journal exploring the experiences of students in tertiary education. Not indexed. Free.
  • tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society. Produced by academics in London universities.  Indexed in Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index and SCOPUS (2019: 1.8).
  • Workplace: Journal of Academic Labour.  US based, good editors, free. Not indexed. 
  • [Journal of Educational Integrity (bought by Springer, now Integrity comes expensive)]

Book Publishers

Most academic publishers now sell electronic versions of books alongside print copies, but you have to buy them with a credit card.  The ones below are different because they charge the authors to publish, or are free to authors, and make the book CC-BY and free to read. Usually, you can still buy a print copy if you wish. Many universities also publish their PhD theses for free download these days – for example Amsterdam and Wageningen where under the Dutch model, they are effectively books – they used to be (still may be) nicely bound and presented in hard copy as well.  See for a full list of publishers. See OAPEN for humanities and social sciences open books from different sources, mainly European.  and the Knowledge Unlatched project that makes books available. A new listing is

  •  Anarchist publishers
  • L’Association science et bien commun.  Since 2011,  Québec nonprofit.  “Pour une science ouverte, au service du bien commun”. French only, publishing costs unknown.
  • African Minds  A South African Publisher established in 2012, serving the continent.  Costs are borne by authors or sometimes waived.
  • Amherst College Press
  • ANU ePress (now ANU Press). Mainly but not exclusively to support the academic community of ANU.  Some really good books in a variety of fields. Quality controlled and nicely indexed, at least in Australia. There are fees if an author is not at ANU, mainly to pay for copyediting. Recommended by friends.
  • Concordia University Press Getting going in 2018.
  • COUNTERPRESS. ‘Critical legal theory and the ‘critical humanities’’. Not for profit. Oxford based. Downloads are ‘pay what you can’. Author costs unknown
  • e-International Relations publications Bristol. Some good books, PDF download or purchase.
  • Éditions science et bien commun, Canada. Publishes in French. No fees unless you have some money.  “ÉSBC ne demandent pas de contribution financière aux auteurs et auteures. Par contre, si ces derniers ont des ressources financières et peuvent contribuer en nature ou en argent à la fabrication, à l’impression ou à la diffusion d’un livre, un don aux ÉSBC sera très apprécié”
  • HAU Press. Ethnography. Costs seem to be borne by contributing departments of anthropology and libraries, but they are opaque on this point. Major updated management in 2018.
  • Institute of Network Cultures. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, published books and other forms.
  • Mattering Press Science and technology studies. Produced by a university collective from Lancaster and Goldsmith’s in the UK. New in 2016, looks like author costs are £3,000 a book (but they have some funds), but then freely available CCBY to read.
  • Mayfly Books. Linked to Ephemera journal and publishing on organisational topics. Fees unknown.
  • Meatspace Press   STS, digital
  • Meson Press. “digital cultures and networked media”. German publishers.
  • Radical Natures
  • Open Book Publishers   Cambridge UK based, where some of the staff also work at the University. Equivalent to a good  Humanities and Social Sciences university press, and N. Chomsky and A. Sen have both published with them.  Author costs: probably  £3,500 – £5,000 dep. on length of manuscript & no. of images
  • Open Humanities Press.  “…an international, scholar-led open access publishing collective whose mission is to make leading works of contemporary critical thought freely available worldwide”
  • Praxis (e)Press.  Same geography publishers as the ACME journal at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, Canada. Only 4 books published. Costs unknown, but they were one of the early producers in the discipline geography. It could still be worth asking.
  • Punctum Books. “…dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across a whimsical para-humanitiespann assemblage”. US based. Author costs are sought from employers and funding bodies, but can be waived if not available.
  • re-press  Publishes contemporary philosophy. Based in Melbourne. Fees unknown, and not all books are free to download.
  • Ubiquity Press  Typical cost to authors – depending on length of manuscript and number of images £2,750-£3,250.  They also publish a number of journals, some of them ‘flipped’ from the big publishers, with APCs of about £400. I generally don’t list those.
  • UCL Press open access books. A new initiative in 2016 from a big university, that used to publish differently. Cost to non-UCL authors £5000 up to 100,000 words, with waivers possible.
  • University of California Press, Luminos. Lumino is [like at UCL Press above], an OA press in a big university. Author fees “The author will be asked to secure $7,500 either from their home institution and/or another independent funding source. For faculty in the University of California system the reduced amount is $5,000”. So if you have a wealthy employer, maybe you are ok.
  • UTS ePress. A university press in Sydney, Australia. Several books published. Costs unknown.
  • University of Westminster Press  BPCs are charged, except on certain series. Uses the Ubiquity Press platform, which is good. Mainly humanities and social sciences.
  • Members of the Radical Open Access collective

*Scopus only lists only  bona fide journals of all types, totalling over 30,000 of which a growing percentage are OA, and assigns them scores for impact. The masterlist can be downloaded here. Web of Science (formerly ISI) encompasses the top journals in the world by impact so it is a bit more selective. Here is the master list.  The same company  started the Emerging Sources Citation Index listings which is journals that are rising in impact but not yet on the WoS. There are many other indeces of impact, but none are counted seriously in the world’s top academic establishments.

**I have left off most MDPI journals because they have now gone over $994 APC minimum (June 2019).  The company let through a few questionable papers in the past (but is currently in the clear). You can browse their list.


R. Cahill and T. H. Irving 2015 ‘Radical Academia: Beyond the Audit Culture Treadmill‘  Radical Sydney/Radical History blog


Filed under academic relevance, Open access publishing, political ecology

Short article on radical scholarship

Batterbury, S.P.J. 2015. Who are the radical academics today? The Winnower  6pp.


This brief article suggests radical scholarship needs redefinition in the reality of contemporary university life. It must include the conduct of research that supports justice; greater relevance and engagement outside the university; and more attention to  “…the ethics by which and toward which knowledge is produced”, meaning the maintenance of sound personal ethics in everyday life. To be rude, selfish and unduly ambitious demeans any remaining progressive agenda in today’s universities.

Please comment on the Winnower site.  Read by 2300 people in a  month!

Earlier blog version with comments:

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Filed under academic relevance, engaged scholarship, Open access publishing, tenure

Higher Education’s Silent Killer

Marc Spooner. 2015. Higher Education’s Silent Killer. Briarpatch Magazine. 1 Sept.

“The audit culture distorts scholars’ work by tabulating academic worth through the simplest algorithm: one that considers, for the most part, only peer-reviewed publication, journal impact rankings, and the size of research grants. Whole realms of endeavour are devalued or left out of the equation altogether, including activities such as “slow” research, alternative forms of scholarship and dissemination, devotion to teaching, or actually acting on one’s research findings – all vital aspects of the academic enterprise”enterprise. “


Filed under academic relevance, engaged scholarship, tenure

Academics anonymous, and Fred Inglis, open letter to university leaders

In the spirit of this,

Fred Inglis “Today’s intellectuals: too obedient?” Times Higher, 28 Aug 2014

somebody also wrote this.

These days I do ask a lot of questions before acting. But ‘restructuring’ of universities is one of a couple of issues that never ceases to amaze me. Whole groups of friends, Departments, teaching, professional staff, all decimated to raise prestige, save costs, or pursue a top-down vision.  The current situation in Australia is catching up with the UK’s  very fast. This is not good:-

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Return to the University of Reading after 29 years

I  graduated with a degree in Human and Physical Geography from the University of Reading in 1985, which is 29 years ago. This UK summer I returned to the campus for my first proper visit, to attend the Norma Wilkinson Memorial Lecture. I have forgotten who Norma Wilkinson was, but lots of well known geographers have given the lecture over the years, including David Harvey.

Returning was a strange experience. I attended the University in 1982 after having got an “E” (the lowest pass) for geography in my British school A-levels in 1981, and therefore working in a factory during a gap year. I retook  the A-level at a crammer college in London with much greater success. Without that effort and expense  I could not have gone to Reading and not become an academic later on.

The first year at uni was miserable, but the second and third were great, and I learned enough to set me up for life – initially in urban consultancy in London at PMA, and then a PhD program in the USA. You can read one of my undergrad student essays here – a rather un-radical but empiricist account of contributions to public policy written in 1984. For the geographers among the readership, I was taught by John Short, Andrew Kirby, John Townshend, Andy Millington, Sir Peter Hall who died just a week ago, Mike Breheny, John Soussan, Paul Longley,  Sophie Bowlby, John Silk and several others. There were fieldtrips to Tunisia, the Netherlands, Dorset, and various freezing and waterlogged quarries and ‘exposures’ of sediments around south east UK. If this cast of characters was submitted to the UK’s contemporary infernal ‘research ranking exercises’   today (The REF), I am sure the Department  would come out very well. Hall seemed to produce a major work almost every year, Mike Breheny too. John Short has continued to do so.  The physical geographers were excellent and most moved to top positions elsewhere. At the time, Cambridge was dominant as a geography Department in the UK  but it focussed on cultural and historical work and the various lecturers, whose work we absorbed in our own seminars, were too scholarly for my interests at the time.  Oxford was still teaching old-school regional geography – the Department was later reinvigorated considerably. Reading’s work was more contemporary than these, akin to Leeds or Bristol – understanding contemporary change in the white heat of S.E. UK’s technologically driven industrial change (Reading was situated in the middle of it) and there was a good deal of applied work on sustainability issues and international development.

As students, we went to the Library (yes the physical library show right – it is still there) and I became expert at pulling references and ideas together for essays and reports, and ‘surveying a field’ of study and what is going on within it. Useful skills, 30 yrs later, and reflected in the fact that I still work on many things at once.  I attended all the lectures over the three years, bar about two. I did all the readings. I felt part of the Department, even as an undergrad. I got a first class degree, much to my surprise. I was one of three from that cohort to go onto a PhD.

Return to place is always bittersweet. I vary rarely go down memory lane – it is cluttered and bypassed. On campus, I discovered the basic layout of the place unchanged. Some rather objectionable 60s-80s buildings are still there (like this, the

Lego building) I went to the old Geography building I remember well, but it was deserted – Geography has just moved out to relocate elsewhere on campus (I think the Geog building opened in 1983 next to Geology, because in my first year we still had some portacabins). There are more shops and cafés on campus (we did not have much in the 1980s except a Student Union with a beer-stained carpet and a shop) and it seems there are plans for more construction. The Norma Wilkinson lecture was held in the old Geology building (Geology was a Department that was later axed at some stage), in which I had to take lectures on regional science back in 1983. Little had changed in the theatre – it still had an overhead projector and whiteboard, and uncomfortable seats. I reflected that my own university in Australia is far better endowed, with some excellent teaching facilities, for which we are grateful. It is also much larger and has high fees, of course.

None of my former lecturers are currently on the permanent staff.  The Professoriate in the Department today were promoted far younger than the people I remember there from the 1980s, except Peter Hall (who was a Professor at 37!) –– and I am sure they are doing a good job and probably re-inventing whatever ‘traditions’ the Department had from previous decades – if these are even acknowledged. I wish them well. They do make me feel old, though.

My overwhelming sense is of misplaced memories. As an undergrad, the campus seems large, super-modern, and situated at the centre of things in SE England. We really thought we were in some sort of ‘core’ location. Today the university feels smaller to me and less central, and the town centre, which was never very nice, has grown in its density and levels of capital investment. Certainly the university has had to cut back – closing Schools, Departments and even campuses over the years (all phrased positively as ‘consolidation’, of course). The town now has many more commercial office developments and high street shopping, and the railway station on the main line to the West Country and London has  grown massively in size. The town still feels like an unfinished project – still some building sites and empty offices. But it has changed in other ways – I noticed a Bike Kitchen, a voluntary sector phenomenon I have been studying elsewhere, and a ‘Global Cafe & Bar‘ linked to a  social solidarity centre – countercultural elements we did not have in the 1980s at all. The hastily built housing estate where we rented a place in in Lower Earley seems to have  survived (Woodmere Close, where a group of us had a variety of decrepit vehicles, upsetting the upwardly mobile neighbours – I even started building a Dutton kit car in the garage).

What I took from Reading, I suppose,  was a combined interest in assisting equitable transitions in the world (this entered the field of applied geography we were taught in those days, but not all we learned in the 1980s was actually progressive) and international environmental and development in Africa. Lectures were detailed and well prepared. I’m grateful for what I learned, and I actually saw through the sentiments gained through study in my own projects later on. Life may have been very different without having gone there. Having parked my bike on memory lane for an afternoon in July, it is now time to head back to the present.

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Filed under academic relevance, engaged scholarship, University of Reading

Who are the radical academics today?

Bill Bunge's Detroit Expedition map 1968 - radical cartography that had a big impact (please cite it if you use this essay) We can usefully redefine what radical scholarship is in the contemporary period where universities are financially challenged, and changing their roles considerably. It is possible to hold to radical ideas of social and environmental justice as a scholar and academic, and to thrive within the university environment? Perhaps in the 1950s and 1960s, hard. The author of the map above, Bill Bunge, was such an example. Today, yes. But now there are multiple aspects of  being ‘radical’. These include vision and personal politics, adapting to a changing audience, to different media in the internet age, and working in a rapidly changing political economy.  I concentrate on three aspects particularly pertinent to scholarship. The third of these is relatively new in such debates. I think we need to break down ‘radicalism’ in the university context into three areas.

The first is  externally focussed research to promote and support justice. The ‘external’ mission (i.e. dealing with issues outside one’s immediate academic demands and  surroundings)  for a radical scholar, has evolved  since the 1960s. The period has seen the decline of state socialism and the rise of neoliberal regimes that seek the maximization of utility, rather than equality. The work of radical scholars, opposed to free market capitalism,  has anchors in several traditions of thought, particularly political economy. But in practice it includes supporting the vulnerable, environmental causes, justice in many forms, attacking corrupt regimes and institutions, and exposing hypocrisy particularly in capitalist regimes.

The  reaction to  the McCarthyism in the US in the early 1950s (the second Red Scare with accusations of communism in US life), the civil rights movement, anti-War protests, and the other liberative social movements of the 1960s aided the introduction and acceptance  of radical ideas towards the end of the decade. These included  Marxism and feminism, that have worked their way into the universities where they have stayed and enriched them (Casenave 1988). This tradition is ongoing, strong, and while perhaps too  concentrated in producing academic outputs (ideas in books, journals etc.) rather than in creating “spaces of hope” and better policy in society itself, it still has a great  importance. A generation of radical scholars have practiced what Paul Robbins calls “wielding the hatchet” – exposing the darker secrets of colonialism, capitalism, greed and inequality. As Alastair Bonnett (2011)  says, since the last 1960s “radicalism has survived by becoming institutionalised. This has allowed academic radicalism to become culturally self-sufficient, with little need to seek popular approval.” One thinks of scholars like Noam Chomsky, Don Mitchell, Henry Giroux and David Harvey, the latter still an unrepentant Marxist and yet the most highly cited human geographer.  The strength of their messages about the arms race, the hypocrisy of western governments, capitalism and environmental violence is combined with erudite scholarship. Giroux and Harvey have – sometimes against criticism – offered visions of how the world could be, not just how it shouldn’t be. These messages and arguments, and the people who produce them, only endanger their careers if they hit too close to home –  attacking potential university funders, which can include industry and government. Otherwise, these and hundreds of other radical scholars tend to  pursue successful academic careers.

Alistair Bonnet again (2011) : “Institutionalisation does not mean evisceration. But it does have consequences. One of these is having to dance to the tune of an increasingly managerial academic culture.”  In my own discipline (geography) this is most certainly the case. Radical geographers publish, obtain research grants (this is the dancing part!), and proceed up the academic hierarchies quite nicely. Many get serious accolades. Those mentioned above, and others like them, rarely had their careers blocked because of their beliefs or actions, and neither did they divert away for long periods into activism. This is because as Don Mitchell says, the academic metier is generally limited in its practical engagement, unless you choose to interpret it in radical ways as a few, like Jean Dreze have done (Mitchell 2008).

* The second dimension is about increased relevance and engagement(Stoddart 1975). Michael  Burawoy, the Berkeley sociologist, theorised that sociology can no longer restrict itself to the academic realm. He begins by noting “The dialectic of progress governs our individual careers as well as our collective discipline. The original passion for social justice, economic equality, human rights, sustainable environment, political freedom or simply a better world, that drew so many of us to sociology, is channeled into the pursuit of academic credentials.” (Burawoy 2004: 5). The same could be said of many disciplines.   “Public Sociology endeavors to bring sociology into dialogue with audiences beyond the academy, an open dialogue in which both sides deepen their understanding of public issues. Working with the public rather than studying them, liberates the academic discipline and provides new and progressive avenues for change. He includes students as partof the public constituency. ” Somewhat predictably, in the university “…advocacy of public sociology has generated much heat in many a cool place”. Indeed it has (Watts 2001 and Clive Barnett’s comments on ‘British critical geography’ 2013).

The debate about relevance and application of scholarly ideas is something I treat in a forthcoming book, but the gist of the argument is that, following Burawoy, it is perfectly possible to pursue classical scholarly work (“professional” in Burawoy’s terms) while doing much more – working with constituencies outside the university completely, designing initiatives together, and committing to practical rather than only to in-theory concepts of justice. This does not demean the academic profession, and indeed outside certain rather goal-oriented Departments, this can and does occur across the social sciences. But if engaged and public work does not result in referred outputs and lucrative grants, it again troubles the neoliberal university model where we use metrics to judge the faulty based  on research output. As Dick Peet said (AAG, 2013), frankly  a lack of research output can put a radical scholar in trouble with the university and emperil jobs. But a focus on engagement is quite radical in its own way, and its practitioners do not have to be formenting revolution to be deemed ‘radical’ .  This point is debated  (Castree 2000).

The third dimension of radicalism today is one that scholars are far less anxious to talk about. It is about ” the ethics by which and toward which knowledge is produced” (Michael Coughlear, EAnth listserv,  February 25, 2013). Scholars are nested within departments,within universities. Their practices in this space  can be radical, politically conservative, helpful to others, or selfish.  We are no longer in the situation where radical scholars feel constantly hounded, oppressed, marginalised, and attacked in the university (at least not in western countries, in those with relatively liberal employment regulations). We need to redefine what radical scholarship is in this context. A radical scholar is a term that now includes something more than a certain type of scholarship, I think.  It is also about  rejecting conformity with the  behavioral norms that neoliberal, cash-strapped universities have forced upon us. It is about solidarity with those in the university sector that are oppressed – e.g. low wage, those threatened with dismissal, and the thousands scraping a living on adjunct status. But it is more than that – it is also about doing what the neoliberal search for cash tends to marginalize – teaching, helping others, niceness/goodness, and selflessness (Cahn 2010, Martin 2011). I almost  never see these latter behaviours linked to radical scholarship – commentators on this blog (below) think this comes from a different tradition.

On this latter point, I find some of my colleagues in the higher education sector (at research institutions) are so driven by publication and research (some of it radical, of course) that the other things that are required in our contracts – teaching and service, including reviewing the work of others, supporting younger scholars, etc., working in the community  – are avoided or certainly marginalised. This, of course,  leaves much of that work to other people prepared to step up (usually those with the shorter cvs and the nicer and more helpful dispositions), or to adjuncts. Every time a teaching/research faculty member gets a higher research percentage in their contract,  or refuses to do something that they are best placed to do, others have to cover the work (permanent people in some cases, poorer paid adjuncts in others). So, while teaching brings in far more money that research in almost all cases in the social sciences (despite being less prioritised or ‘prestigious’) and doing it is for the greater good and for that of the students, it sits in the second tier of responsibilities among many radical scholars.  This is not universally true, but my experience since 1995 has been in research universities, where it almost always is.

Teaching is one forum capable of imparting some radical and challenging ideas – e.g. a forensic analysis of corporate behaviour or the capitalist state. But ‘writing time’ is what faculty always  complain is lacking, not teaching time. In addition, writing academic tracts that are narrowly read and often inaccessible behind paywalls  is part of the old publishing order that will hold back debate and marginalizes the social sciences (I develop this here – academic publishing decisions also have a social conscience).

‘Service’ is a North American term that encompasses  the glue that holds universities together. Some of this is best done by academics – from sitting on committees to recruiting students.  It also includes  refereeing  the work of others to enable publication, and generally assisting students and fellow faculty (despite these things being less prioritised for individual advancement). Avoiding these things is not comradely, but depends on your stage of career. The new managerial class in universities – those who are not coming through the academic ranks – are often annoying to radical scholars. But in order to require less of those people, the radicals actually have to do a fair bit of that work themselves. You will actually see some radicals in top university positions, and this is a good thing. ” Being oriented to helping is a counter to the usual self-interested preoccupation  with workloads, status and personal advancement, and is likely to contribute to a greater sense of satisfaction” (Martin 2011: 54).

The problem, to sum up this third point,  is that many full time research/teaching  academics like me are hired to do a multi-task job, but spent a lot of time preferring to escape from certain tasks to focus more on others (usually research – evidence of 20 years of conversations and observing). They are also set within a system that generally facilitates this, while actually asking for teaching as well, for financial and symbolic gain for the university, causing junior people to work very long hours on both. So a radical scholar that is good at both can go very far. The question raised above is whether they have to push anybody out of the way to do this. Focusing on personal advancement in the university sector is not actually radical or helpful when it has negative effects on others. Inger Mewburn from ANU on her blog writes about the problem of academic “assholes”. These are the selfish people. You know who they are… is all about personal status maximization for these guys, and  “Some ambitious sorts work to cut out others, whom they see as competitors, from opportunity” she says. Since the neoliberal research university prioritizes research performance and grant income, above all else (followed by teaching) and if that is what you do, some find it tempting to act in a  cut-throat and non-collegial way to protect their research area or their time. And in most circumstances you get away with this, especially if your research  fame is established – basically you will not get fired to being rude and unpleasant. Especially if protected by tenure. Some people in university cultures are just guilt free and unpleasant in this way, as an article in the THES 2013 says.

There are other options too – think of  Ted Trainer in Australia as well as Jean Dreze in India, both of whom keep one foot in the university sector while pursuing radical and exemplary lives outside of it (see forthcoming book when out). As Ben Wisner pointed out to me (6/4/13), the  argument needs to recognise life stages – early career scholars have to scramble to an extent, while a middle career stage, perhaps with family, may necessarily involve less activism and more do-able research and teaching tasks. The need to do everything drops away at retirement.

Conclusion Academic radicalism is now situated in an altered social context from the period of its formation. In the context of the mainstream neoliberal university today, assisting others in and outside  the sector and doing your share, is actually progressive, even radical. While research and writing  is a vital part of what we do, and provides the evidence to support social change, it does not make you a progressive or radical scholar to behave unpleasantly while carving out the time and space to do it. If this hurts others, or leads you to ignore them or any sense of obligation to them. This  is the case even if your substantive research is ‘radical’ or progressive  in its content. If you are rude and selfish, drop the radical label. You don’t deserve it.

I have begun to think about where ‘radical and critical’ geography sits in all of this. Among people with secure teaching and research jobs, I actually think we should redefine it to include dimension two and three (radical internal) rather than just dimension one (radical external).  So I think doing your teaching and service commitments while fully employed, and engaging more widely as well is actually radical, in a neoliberal university. But there are very few examples. You can do ‘radical’ research as part of your job for sure, but the other side of this is retaining commitment in the workplace while you are actually doing that work. If personal radical research projects went slower because of  the publically engaged nature of scholarship or a lack of ‘writing/research time’,  I think this would illustrate a greater commitment to social justice. To change the status quo, which discourages people from being nice and radical at the same time, we need better leadership and new norms. We need institutional recognition that working hard on other things is equally as valid as research and revenue-raising. This means redefining  the  criteria for academic promotion, for those who are in such positions (many are not).  Although I am not a great supporter of the tenure system in North America, because it is exclusionary, a fourth criteria  could be added to tenure criteria – some measure of  goodness or collegiality (the current three are research, teaching and service).   This is not unproblematic  (watch candidates for promotion, who have been told to do more service or to help others, suddenly step up, then drop off again once promoted!).**

This does not exhaust the discussion.  There is much more to say about radical teaching initiatives  for example (one of which I ran for 3.5 years) and ‘occupy’ campaigns. A fuller  assessment the role of the radical academic in mainstream western society  is not offered here. I am happy to debate this ‘new radicalism’ idea or take any suggestions. In the meantime, avoid the assholes, radical or not (and they usually are not) if you can! * Dick Peet suggested to me (AAG meetings, 2013) that when Dick Walker finally achieved tenure at Berkeley in 1982 was a moment at which time radical geography entered ‘the US academy’, if not  the mainstream, in a more obvious way. He is right – Walker himself said “Leftists had never gotten tenure at Berkeley before my peer group, the 1968ers, came along. Michael Burawoy, Michael Reich, Ann Markusen and I were all up at the same time and we were the first to break that barrier” (Walker 2012).  But the shift from ‘outsider’ to ‘insider’ was for many people not so obvious  – I wonder if it was simply a transition aided by civil rights, the Vietnam war, and other global movements in which more radical positions moved more to the centre. (this was stressed by several people at the AAG meetings). **Note this very suggestion came up in a June 2013 report by US academics.

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing” 

   -Raymond Williams (1921-1988)

** Outside the constraints of the 6 year-to-tenure model in America there is more freedom to redefine these criteria for advancement and to embed these as a process, not as a hurdle. We actually have a weak version of this at my own university, where there are multiple criteria of performance assessed annually including ‘engagement’, and a workload model in place.


Alastair Bonnett. 2011. Are radical journals selling out? THES 3 November 2011
Michael Burawoy 2004  For public sociology. Address to the American Sociological Association (August 15, 2004)  AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, 2005, VOL. 70

Castree N, 2000. Professionalisation, activism, and the university: whither ‘critical geography’? Environment and Planning A 32(6) 955 – 970.

Cazenave, Noël A..1988.From a committed achiever to a radical social scientist: The life course dialectics of a “Marginal” black american sociologist.The American Sociologist19, 4, pp 347-354

Martin B. 2011. On being a happy academicAustralian Universities’ Review, 53,  1, pp. 50-56

Mitchell D. 2008. Confessions of a Desk-Bound Radical. Antipode 40 (2008), 448-454.

Cahn SM. 2010. Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia. new edition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Stoddart, D.  1975. Kropotkin, Reclus and ‘Relevant’ Geography. Area: 188-190.

Walker, R. 2012. From the Age of Dino-Sauers to the Anthropo-Scene: Reminiscences of life in Berkeley Geography, 1975-2012. Retirement talk, Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, April 25, 2012

Watts, M.J.  “1968 and all that…” Progress in Human Geography 25: 157-188.

(book mark – read this and this


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Farewell to running our interdisciplinary Environmental Masters program, March 2012

Over the last 3.5 years I have been Director of the Office for Environmental Programs at the University of Melbourne, which offers the postgraduate Master of Environment degree. We had a team of five staff and just-on 350 students from all over the world, and decent employment rates (and PhD follow-ons) for these graduates. We also moved into some great refurbished office space on campus in 2011. In March 2012 I decided it was time to return to research and teaching and to hand over to somebody else as Director, but as you can see from this ‘farewell’ post below, it was hard to leave.

Universities are hard places to work and it is not often you get a real conjunction of great staff and students, enough time and revenues to make a change, and underpinned by a sense of purpose and (in this case) an interesting multidisciplinary philosophy of education. The distinguishing feature of the Masters is that it allows you to choose classes from all over the university, in 10 different faculties. Very few universities permit this. As you can imagine, a certain amount of work was involved to set up and maintain this arrangement. It has certainly ruffled feathers since establishment in 2002 – some Faculties  preferred those students to be based in degrees that they run themselves (through our Graduate Schools). This is the arrangement at most universities worldwide, since the arrival of Environmental Masters in the late 1960s/early 1970s in Australia, Canada  and the USA – degrees housed in a single Faculty or Department.   But the M Environment degree has survived numerous University restructurings marvellously well, and retained its interdisciplinary ethos throughout. It is a degree for students wanting the right to get a ‘broad’ education in the environmental field that they select themselves, with some help from the OEP, channelling their efforts to skills and classes that they themselves find relevant to their needs and well taught.  They report back that they like this model. A student may select classes from energy studies and development studies, if they want to work in renewable energy in developing countries. Or, forestry science, sustainability, and project management if heading for a natural resources/forestry career. Or philosophy of science and environmental history, plus a research thesis,  in order to prepare for a PhD in these fields, for example.  Quantitatively inclined students take an Environmental Science stream. There are of course more focused Masters degrees on campus for those wanting them. Have a read, and all power to the OEP students and staff team. I had a blast, and am still involved as a Deputy Director and stream coordinator.

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Welcome – policy-relevance and engaged scholarship among academics

Welcome. Universities are changing. Many are short of cash. They compete with each other for students and, particularly, for prestige. They are often large, they are big employers, and public money is now scarce in many of them. While some argue the role of ‘academics’ (who are mostly people with PhDs who write stuff and teach in higher education) is to do ‘scholarly’ work and to transmit their wisdom to students in classrooms and tutorials, some don’t think this is enough. Many universities have a ‘public’ orientation, and are strongly locked into the needs of the social services, the health sector, local employers, and even NGOs and progressive organisations who need their research and employ their graduates. Academics end up advising governments and other organisations, for good or bad reasons. This work should be valued. By doing it, it does not mean academics are ‘selling out’ or being ‘non-objective’ (although this does happen sometimes). It does mean they behave like real people – juggling activities, talking to different people, expressing a view without just writing a paper with a barrage of footnotes or references to long-dead theorists and writers. Writing reports rather than papers. In sociology, this view of what academics are about is increasingly prevalent, although contested.I work at an established research university, one of the best in Australia, and I have relatively secure employment (although no academic job is really secure, outside a few of the top universities in the USA). The path to public work rather than scholarly recognition, is recognised, but perhaps not enough. It was once commonplace in such establishments, particularly in the radical 1960s years, and remains so in the health sciences and a few other fields.I think it is possible to transcend this issue. Teach. Publish great work in your specialist field. But, also, have a conscience, reach out, devote time to work that serves a difference audience, and which may possibly get you into trouble or will at least be listened to. This is a form of ‘engaged’ scholarship. That ‘engagement’ actually improves teaching and research, too. And it may, ultimately, save your discipline, or you and your colleagues, from redundancy and cutbacks. Because that is the way things are heading in many universities. Irrelevance is becoming a greater sin than relevance.Most of my work concerns access and use of natural resources in developing countries – “environment and development” issues. The issues are hardly neutral, politically. For example they involve much of the discussion at climate conferences, REDD+, and in the politics of land grabs in Africa. ‘Engagement’ – actively or through research and scholarship – seems particularly vital in these fields.

Hence one rationale for this blog. The medium itself is one that conventional universities are really having to recognize, following the 2006 debacle at LSE where a blog attracted the annoyance of the School.

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