Simplicity Institute video – community in Gippsland

I heard that a former student from the University of Melbourne’s Master of Environment (the program I used to direct) had offered some land on a  family farm for an experiment in low impact living, in about 2014.  I just came across a video of the experiment, featuring a few familiar faces. Nick Lampel was an excellent student on our Masters. Ted Trainer, one of the originators of these ideas long before ‘degrowth’ became popular in Europe,  is someone I took time to visit on my first trip to Australia in 1995, and I wrote about his ideas (with very little impact, it must be said). Sam Alexander at Melbourne has taken up the cause of simplicity and degrowth in Australia, and writes widely as well as making this film and supporting the Gippsland project.

2015 was an odd year for me – very unhappy in my job at the University of Melbourne, I headed out, and worked in Brussels on community bike workshops, and took some long-overdue leave, among other things. I missed all these goings-on in the bush. I don’t know what happened to the residents after 2016.

Plenty to laugh at, but also to enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Old posting on Brunel/WLIHE university merger, from late 2000s.

Cannot remember the context, but this old posting was unpublished so I though this was worth putting up:

I have lived through one university merger  – The West London Institute of Education in Osterley/Isleworth, and Brunel University (London, UK).

I taught as a young lecturer at the West London Institute of Higher Education, a small higher education institution in West London, starting in 1993. A report of my experiences is here. In the  early 1990s, a rumour of a possible merger between Kingston University and WLIHE never eventuated. I was actually in the lunch queue at Borough Road campus, WLIHE standing behind the Brunel and WLIHE  management when I heard them discussing a merger. This was  in 1994 (one of the people  was Michael Sterling, the VC of Brunel at the time).

At WLIHE we were essentially a teaching-focussed college and part of the London Borough of Hounslow, near Heathrow Airport. Our core business was training teachers, and we taught modular joint degrees and some professional diplomas, but there were some masters and a very few PhD graduates. Some information here. WLIHE had some pretty good professors and research-active people, although not many. There were only a handful of people with British research council and other prestigious research grants. Most  research was ranked 1 or 2 in the government assessment, the RAE, in the early 90s (see here, where 1 is low, 5 is excellent).  About 70 academics were submitted for assessment, the most being in Allied Health and also Geography, which was my Department. Ar the time Brunel University in Uxbridge fared much better as an institution with innovative 4 year ‘sandwich’ degrees, many more students, and a research profile that was medium to excellent in several disciplines.  However WLIHE included some great buildings including a riverside mansion and plenty of Victoriana, while Brunel had its main 1960s concrete campus, pretty unattractive and in far less illustrious Uxbridge, a long walk from the Tube Station.

These factors made it seem for us at WLIHE that a ‘takeover’  by Brunel took place when the ‘merger’ happened, since Brunel was a much more powerful institution. A small institution was merged with a larger one and the small one, WLIHE, later closed althoguh they never said this at the time. See Brunel’s website, which used to mention the Institute in detail but has subsequently edited this down to scarcely a mention – and the links to the archives don’t work ! ( Brunel wanted the student numbers in some of the undergrad options that WLIHE offered, and it fancied taking on a few of the research-active staff, which included me because I held an ESRC grant.  Most WLIHE staff were in favour of the merger too, since we would become a ‘proper’ university (during my time on the Borough Road campus, after hours work was impossible – the doors were locked at 7pm).  A few took redundancy or retirement, because they felt they could not perform in the conventional university research/teaching environment. WLIHE became Brunel University College under Prof. Eric Billett for 2 years, then BUC was annulled and then Brunel University  became multi-campus.

The transition was relatively smooth. The positive side was the increase in status for the WLIHE staff and students, and increased student numbers for Brunel at a time when this was important for funding.  The negatives really came in under the next VC, Stephen Schwartz (2002-2006). He began the process of vacating and then selling off the two WLIHE campuses and ‘consolidating’ at Uxbridge, and by the mid 2000s both WLIHE sites had been sold. He also restructured the university (an earlier restructure had seen some loss of science/engineering departments at Uxbridge about 1996). My former Department,  Geography and Earth Sciences, which had been transferred from WLIHE, was then axed despite a strong campaign to save it. Most of the individual staff were actually saved by Schwartz’s successor and redeployed in other units –  two or three are still employed there, but a number of lynchpin geographers finally took redundancy in 2015. There are not many former WLIHE staff left on the Uxbridge campus.

There are several general lessons.

  1. In a higher education sector merger, jobs may be protected through an agreement; but afterwards, in the merged institution, previous promises are unlikely to be maintained for all that long, unless there are ironclad agreements. Universities are, or are like, businesses.
  2. Similarly, physical building stock; it can be sold  after consolidation and thus be lucrative for the new institution (not sure if this was a merger motivation for Brunel, but we had suspicions at the time). The former Maria Gray riverside campus, comprising a mansion (Gordon House, renamed Richmond House)and other buildings, was sold for many millions. There is a gated housing estate there as well and at Borough Road where we were, a large housing development.
  3. The lesser partner in a merger can effectively disappear after a number of years, existing only on Wikipedia and Facebook, as in WLIHE’s case. Bulmershe College is another example, in Reading – the campus was later abandoned by Reading University, which took it on in 1989.
  4. Merged institutions need not resemble the amalgamated entities at all; the management may try to create something entirely new.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Update 31 July  2020

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

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 200 and 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 Y  (citescore 2019: 1). Cost – $129 if you are published (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 & (2019: 0.1). Slightly annoying interface, but takes 8,000 words.
  • Bandung: Journal of the Global South. A Open Access Springer journal. I add it here because it is free to authors from developing countries (but $980 for western authors) . Too new to be indexed, but it will be.
  • Challenges in Sustainability Swiss company Librello, edited at Lund University in Sweden. 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. Articles >8,000 words. Reviews: >12,000. In Scopus but no citescore yet.
  • 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 (2019:3.3), Web of Science yes (2018:  1.79) , Free for now but rising to US$600 in 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)
  • Ecology, Economy and Society—the INSEE Journal  Indian Society for Ecological Economics. Free, not yet indexed.
  • Ekológia (Bratislava) The Journal of Institute of Landscape Ecology of Slovak Academy of Sciences, published by deGruyter.  Some human impact articles. Scopus Y (2019: 1.3).
  • Ecological Citizen  Ecocentric perspectives only. Free, volunteer run. probably not indexed. Refereed articles of about 3,000 words  accepted.
  • Electronic Green Journal general environmental, UCLA library. Scopus Yes (2019: 0.5). Web of Science No. Free.
  • 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).
  • Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities Started 2020. Cappadocia University Environmental Humanities Center, (in the middle of) Turkey.
  • Espace populations sociétés  French and English. Published by University of Lille 1  Web of Sci no, Scopus yes (citescore 2019: 0.4), Free.
  • Ethnobiology Letters  International board. Also does mini-review papers. Scopus Y (citescore 2019: 0.8).
  • Environnement Urbain/ Urban Environment. founded 2007, bilingual, Canadian, free I think.   Scopus and WoS, no. Takes long papers up to 10,000 words, hurrah!
  • 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 & Socio-economic Studies Univ. of Silesia, Poland. Urban and industrial focus. Free, but copyright transfer to the university.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Forests 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, too young to be indexed.
  • 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 (2018: 1.24)
  • 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 (2019: 0.4).
  • 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 (2019: 2.9) 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 (2.36), 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.  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  is a new [2019] non-commercial diamond open access journal that focus on energy issues in Asia.
  • 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.  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 (2018: 0.7)
  • 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 2019: 3), Emerging Sources Citation Index Y, Free. new site 2018
  • Journal of Water and Land Development  Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute of Technology and Life Sciences, Falenty. Scopus (2018: 1.55). Rivers/water agriculture etc. or
  • 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 2018: 0.18 (low), 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 (2018: 0.35) 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. However various discounts take it down 10%, esp. for PhD students and waivers for retired and lower/middle income country residents. Scopus (2018: 1.33 dropping) and Web of Science, yes (2017: 1.37, nothing 2018).
  • Pacific Geographies   Small German online journal. WoS N, Scopus N. Free, and generally does themed issues on Pacific topics.
  • Papers on Global Change IGBP. Scopus Y.  Polish Academy of Sciences, but published by De Gruyter. Seems to be free. Could evolve, but very few citations Scopus (2018: 0.08).
  • Places Journal. Architecture and landscape architecture/planning  focus. Peer refereeing option. Web of Sci applied for, Scopus Yes (2018 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 (2019: 2.3) and Web of Science, yes. (2018: 1.19)
  • Present Environment and Sustainable Development Romanian journal published by deGruyter open. 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 (Citescore 2019:1.6) , 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. 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.
  • 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 Yes but too young, WoS No.
  • 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: v low, 0.1 2019.
  • The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies  Roskilde University Denmark. Scopus No, Web of Sci no, Free. One of the early ones, now needs a spruce-up- eg. homepage has been saying ‘under development’ for over a decade!
  • 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 (2018: 0.1,  low).
  • 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 (2018:2.7), WoS  Y (2017: 1.7). 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 (1.18, 2018). 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.

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 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 (2018: 0.18 dropping), and Scopus (2018: 0.23). 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 (2018: 0.55), Scopus (2018: 0.68). 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
  • Chungara, Revista de Antropología Chilena Web of Science (2018: 0.67). Scopus  (2018: 0.83)
  • 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 (2018: 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.
  • Kritisk Etnografi Swedish Journal of Anthropology Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/Uppsala University. New in 2018. Articles in English.
  • 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 (2018: 4.15) and Scopus Yes (2019: 5.1). Free to read now, for recent years only- it was previously firewalled.
  • Etnográfica Based in Portugal,  Portuguese, English, Spanish and French. Scopus (2018: 0.35). Website says Wos, but not found. 
  • [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)
  • 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.
  • 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. Amsterdam and Paris. Unindexed 2018. 
  • 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.
  • Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana (AIBR) A few English articles, one by Escobar. Free. Indexed in Scopus (2018: 0.26) and Web of Science (2018: 0.68)
  • 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 (2018: 0.25) and Web of Science (low, 2018: 0.28)
  • 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 (2018: 0.16) 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.

  • World Cultures eJournal University of California. An anthropology journal, open and free, but few papers published each year. (click on top link, if you get an old school page)

Urban studies and planning (remember- free to read, author submission costs free<>$500)

Area Studies

  • 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 (2018: 0.68). [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 (2018: 0.32),
  • 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.
  • 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 (2018: 0.58).
  • GIGA journal family (German Institute of Global and International Affairs, Hamburg)  All Free. Africa Spectrum (in Scopus and Web of Science (2017: 0.35); Journal of Current Chinese Affairs; Journal of Politics in Latin America; Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs. 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 0.73
  • 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 2018: 1.26
  • 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 2018: 1.04
  • Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights  University of Jember, Indonesia. Some erudite articles. Free, started 2017 so not indexed.
  • 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 (2018: 0.84)
  • 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. It still lacks submission details and a few other things, and some of the entries are short. No ISSN or search engine  that I could find. Unindexed.
  • Nokoko African studies journal. IAS, Carleton University  Canada. Unindexed. Free and OA.
  • 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.
  • Pacific Geographies Small German 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 (2017: ?) and Web of Science  (2017: 0.78) and free!
  • Silk Road: Journal of Eurasian Development  University of Westminster Press, which has a very good journal platform.  New in 2019, thus free.
  • South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic JournalCEIAS. Free, unindexed.
  • 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 (2018: 0.3).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NORDEUROPAforum : Journal for the Study of Culture. Articles must relate to northern Europe. Published by Humboldt University, Berlin. Free. Emerging Sources Citation Index (comes below WoS) yes, Scopus yes.
  • 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)

  • 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. Articles up to 3,500 words which is a bit short for most of us. Combined with a blog, and I am unsure if this really counts as a journal.  Refereed, unindexed.
  • 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.
  • Analis Social   Instituto de Ciencias Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa. Social science disciplines, most with a Portuguese focus. Portuguese and English. Scopus (2018: 0.17).
  • 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.
  • Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies. Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. Free- has a subsidy, fairly new.  Emerging Sources Citation Index and Scopus (2018: 1.13).
  • 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. A Open Access Springer journal. I add it here because it is free to authors from developing countries (but $980 for western authors). Too new to be indexed, but it will be.
  • 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 (2018: 0.86).
  • 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 (2018: 1.06), WoS No.
  • 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).
  • 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 (2018: 0.28).
  • 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 (2018: 0.29)
  • 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  (2018: 0.39). 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 (2018; 0.19), Web of Science yes (2017: 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 (2018: 0.51)
  • 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. 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 (2018: 0.35) 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 (2017: 0.545), Scopus (2018: ?)
  • Economics and Sociology Economics, social economy, institutions and culture. Produced by universities in Lithuania, Romania and Poland since 2008. Free. Scopus (2018: 1.51). 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 Y 2017: 0.31, 2018: n/a).
  • 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), Web of Science N (?). Mostly in Portuguese.
  • Ethics and Global Politics  Web of Science Y, Scopus Y (2018: 0.58). Only pay APC if you can. 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. For this, they pay you if you win one of their grants! 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 .
  • 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 (2018: 0.2 ).
  • 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 (2018: 0.62)
  • Global Societies Journal Undergrad and graduate student journal from University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 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. Check 1, 2020 is out – maybe delayed by Covid 19.
  • 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 (2018: 0.68), Web of Science Y (2017: 0.7). Website is a bit deficient.
  • Iberoamerican Journal of Development Studies University of Zaragoza, Spain. Scopus Y  ( citescore 2018: 0.34 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
  • Interface: a journal for and about social movements  Free, British team. Website needs some work, seeking volunteers. 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, including this one. It could do with slightly better english for some papers I read (best citation to a paper: 22 in early 2017). 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. Top 10 in its field. Founded by M. Castells at USC. WoS (2017: 1.13), Scopus Yes (2016:0.42, cannot find for 2018).
  • 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. Seems ok, and principled scholars like Brian Martin publishes there – however, who is the editor? Only a Board is given. Free (which suggests the Press is ok) and unindexed as of 2017.
  • 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, now published by de Gruyter. Free, not indexed. 4,000 to 8,000 words. Some decent articles. new site old site
  • Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. Indexing applied for, but it is a young journal. 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.  University of Prince Edward Island.   CAN$15 to submit. Scopus (2018: 1.47) and Web of Science yes (2017: 0.84)
  • Italian Sociological Review University of Verona, Italy. Scopus Y (2018: 0.45).
  • Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies.  North-West University,  South Africa. Free. Scopus yes (2018: 1.02 rising) 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). Web of Science Y (2017: 0.365), Scopus Y (2018: 0.42)
  • 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 (2019: 0.7), Web of Science Y (2017 0.156).
  • 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 (2018: 0.23) and WoS Emerging Sources Citation Index.
  • Journal of Globalization Studies Uchitel Publishing, Volgograd, Russia. Free, Scopus (0, 2019). 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 for the Study of Religions and Ideologies. Romanian. Scopus Y (Citecore 2018: 0.22 falling).
  • 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 (2018: 0.83), WoS Y (1.1),  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  (2018: 1.33), Web of Science Y (2017: 0.73). 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 are all free. Submissions up to 12k words. Unindexed.
  • Journal of Rural and Community Development Brandon University, Canada. Unindexed. Free.
  • Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues 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  (2018:  1.72). 
  • Journal of Social Intervention. mostly in Dutch, some English. No indexing.
  • 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 (2018: 2.58), Web of Science Y from 2015 (2017: 2). 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 (?)
  • Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies  Some good, mainly themed issues. Quite promising but not indexed.  8,000 words. free.
  • Krisis   Dutch journal for contemporary philosophy. Published in both English and Dutch since 2008. Free. Hardly cited Scopus (2018: 0.05)
  • 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 (2018: 0.54), 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 no submission details on site.
  • 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 (2018: 0.65) 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 (2018: 0.89) and Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • 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 (2018: 0.48), Web of Science Yes (2017: 0.9) (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 (2018: 1), Web of Science Yes.  (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 (2018: 0.97), Web of Science Yes (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 wrd max. APC $100. Scopus Y (2018: 0.35), Web of  Science Y (2017: 0.26). 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  –  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 a new, important  library-subscriber outfit of that name established by Martin Eve, that publishes several journals. Emerging Sources Citation Index Yes, Scopus (2018: 0.4). No charges.
  • Qualitative Sociology Review University of Lodz, Poland. Scopus (2018: 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 (2018:1.12). Free.
  • Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences    WoS yes (?) Scopus (2018: 0.43). 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 (0.31, 2018)
  • 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 (2018: 0.7), Web of Science Yes (2017: 0.74). Bilingual (they seem to translate) Spanish and English. Latin America focus.
  • 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 2018, 0.54: 2018, n/a) Wos Y (2017 0.85).
  • 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 (Citescore 0.64, 2018)  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 (2018 0.96), Web of Science Y (0.6 2018)
  • 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 (2018: 1.72), 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 Y (no citescore yet, 2018) 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 (2018: n/a), WoS yes (2018 0.55). 
  • 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.
  • 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. South Africa, higher education focus. Not the same as Critical Studies in Education, which is published by Taylor&Francis. Unindexed.
  • 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).  
  • 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.”
  • 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 Electronic Publishing. Dates to 1995, US university  based at Michigan. Scopus (2018: 0.21). Free. 
  • Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies. Edited between UK and Greece by Prof. Dave Hill. Scopus Yes (2018: 0.43), WoS no.
  • Journal of Radical Librarianship Unindexed.
  • Journal of Sustainability Education From Prescott College, AZ and uses an open review systemNo issue numbers, which I find confusing, since journals should not look like a blog. 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 2019 3.4!
  • 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.
  • 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. .Unindexed.
  • Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation (PARE). Education and assessment. Voluntary effort but sponsorship is now coming in.  Some quite quantitative. Scopus Yes (2018: 3.3) .
  • 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
  • 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 (2018: 1.11).
  • 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.
  • 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:

Leave a comment

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

Brompton vs. Birdy – the folding bike wars


Raleigh RSW Compact, >1974. Bad fold, not compact, balloon tyres, weighed a ton


Bickerton. 8.2kg but prone to handlebar collapse

Folding bikes are icons of sustainable transportation, and of great personal interest to me. We grew up in the transport-deficient south-east London suburbs, and a folding bike was very handy. My Dad had a couple of Raleigh RSW folders with small balloon tyres in the 1970s (see right) – they were too heavy, folded badly, and not really very workable. I snapped the front fork on a grey 3 speed one. I  also had a purple Raleigh 18 as a teenager in the 1970s.  We also had a Bickerton, the extremely lightweight 1970s aluminium bike that tended to bend under stress, collapse, and even break under duress (left). I inherited that one, and broke it in the 1990s.

One of my Mk 1 Birdys, which lives in the UK

Birdy Mk 1 – one of mine, still going in 2018 with updated parts – now 10kg, maybe less

Since 1995 I have had an R&M Birdy (photo right, mine). I bought one of the very first Birdys , and now own two more. The point of all of these bikes was to allow some degree of portability and thus more flexible use. In the rather small world of folding bike enthusiasts, there is a never-ending search for the ‘gold standard’ – a bike that weighs very little, rides comfortably and fast, and folds up nicely so you can store it easily in a building, on a bus, train or in a car.


Brompton with gears and Brooks saddle

Folders require more technological ingenuity than a ‘cumbersome’ but the big money in the cycling industry has never really supported them – folders tend to be the domain of a few eccentric shoestring designers, and also some larger companies based in China or Taiwan than have a mix of cheap and passable designs for the global market.There are some top-end models produced by these bigger companies, currently dominated by Dahon and Tern (my Dahon Jetstream SP, like the one on the left, is passable).Dahon Jetstream But purchasers with money to spend on a good folder (currently, let’s say US$1500 or so minimum) have been, for two decades or more, attracted by R&M’s Birdy and the Brompton.

Andrew Richie

Andrew Richie with early folded Brompton

For supporters of these two machines, every other brand is a distraction. Both were designed by backyard budding engineers with scant resources.  Andrew Richie (photo, Wiki Commons) borrowed money from 10 friends to get his 1976 Brompton prototype into operation, but by 1982 had ceased production pending a further capital injection. Alex Moulton and Harry Bickerton were the other lone British bike inventors (the Bickerton was a particular influence on Richie, who thought he could do a better job). Moultons do not fold. The Birdy was built by 2 students in a garage in Germany in the early 1990s and released in 1995 (video). In the last few years, Brompton have been winning decisively in the marketplace. I move between countries a fair bit, and I see far more Bromptons now in London and the UK (understandable since the bikes are made there), Australia, Belgium, France and even in the USA. A Birdy is a rare sighting even in Berlin, where I went in 2015 expecting to see this German brand. The success of the Brompton is due  in part to marketing and supply – after a rocky supply chain since the mid 2000s they have become efficient in their London operation, while R&M, based in Germany, have made some effort to supply outlets in important western world markets, but with less success. These bikes are more present in Japan and parts of SE Asia, Singapore, China, HK  and Taiwan, where you can also buy ‘luxury’ aftermarket components and different versions.

Discussion of the changing market for folders can be found at AtoB magazine, who in  2015 ran a series of articles comparing folders in different price bands. You would think that the quality of the bike itself would also determine consumer choice, not just the ease of purchase and the supply chain.  If anything, quality should be the main determinant of market success. But I am unconvinced this is really true, as is Dave Henshaw in AtoB whose articles include reliable bike testing. I think Bromptons are rather like Apple products – they are good but they also encourage loyalty and lock-in.  But customers return, sometimes to trade in for a superior model after a few years. They rarely choose to swap to anything better, including a Birdy. I don’t know enough Birdy owners to say if the reverse is true, but it probably is.


Birdy folding

In my view the Birdy is a far superior machine, but it is overpriced in some countries and has lost the worldwide marketing battle with the Brompton. The debate on their relative merits has been hashed out online a fair bit, but here is my perspective. On quality of build, both bikes were not so great back in the 1990s when the back end and stem of a Birdy would get stress fractures in the aluminium ( I broke three), and so would Brompton handlebars (earlier in time). All this has been ironed out – current Birdys, particularly the MkIII  and titanium are built to last, and with standard headsets, derailleur gears and cranks, even disc brakes, that you can source almost anywhere. Brompton bits, however, are a bit more specialised since many are made in the factory and the firm does not like outsourcing more than necessary. Like Apple, for computers. In terms of gearsBirdys have far more, up to 11 speed derailleur on the standard models, which is about all you need, and even a Rohloff option, and the standard derailleurs work well. Brompton relied on a narrow Sturmey Archer hub for its 3/5 speeds (5 speed gearchange not always good), then used SRam after SA went bust in 2000, now offering a mix of 3 speed hub and 2 derailleur options, very inferior to the Birdy (rode such a 5 spd Brompton for a week in 2018 – hated it). Hub gears don’t get grime in them, but changing the back tyre is more tricky and a lot of fuss is made about getting gear ratios right on an odd 2 lever system. They also have 2 speed and single speed models, but nothing beats a proper gear range with the least friction. On suspension, always desirable on a bike with small wheels, the Birdy is the gold standard. The front suspension is no-dive and pretty unique; the back is similar to a Brompton. The Birdy wins hands down with its dual setup. Having no front suspension on a Brompton has predictable effects on rough roads. On speed, all my trials – and others except AtoB’s downhill rolling tests- suggest the Birdy is the clear winner. You can put slick tyres on both which make a huge difference with small wheels, but the Birdy is light and with its gear range it pulls away uphill. Weight is about equal between the two, say 10.5-12.5kg on average, and both have or will have titanium options and so-on that most people cannot afford. Both can go down to 7-8kg if you have money. The Brompton is made of steel, the Birdy aluminium (and titanium versions of both, very expensive).  On luggage, the Brompton is better – it has a special bag. You can adapt those to a Birdy or get panniers front or rear, but most will not bother and just use a rucksack. On folding up, the Brompton is better (smaller) although not necessarily quicker – I can fold both in the same number of seconds. On the Birdy you have to get the gears and pedal in the right places before starting, and the package is bigger (MkIIIs are smaller than before).

My summation is that if you want to go fast in a city or a rural environment, buy a Birdy. You can go for kilometres before you get tired and the engineering is fantastic, especially if you are tall. The handlebars adjust up and down on a Birdy – not on a Brompton. The disadvantage is the folded package size, the creaks you often get from the suspension on older models, and needing to tighten things up frequently if you are heavy like me.  I think the Birdy is undersold. It is not in enough shops. It could be that the company needs to innovate its supply chain and list of models, but it looks like they do keep releasing attractive new variants. A major supplier in the US, NYCEwheels, pulled out from stocking Birdys and then promoted only its Bromptons. The change in language when this has happened in 2014 is interesting, and perhaps this is replicated elsewhere. Initially they promoted and sold both machines, and branded the Birdy as an excellent deluxe option , saying “If you want high performance in a compact folder, the Birdy folding bike is the best choice” (see their archived comparative review here).  Then it is was about the Brompton [until in 2016 the Birdy came back and the language changed, but stocking Birdys did not last long!]. A similar thing happened in Australia with St. Kilda cycles and also the defunct  Cheeky Cycles in Sydney, but now St.Kilda in Melbourne are also selling Birdys again. Velo Cycles in Melbourne say that if they stocked Birdys they would sell only 1-2 a year – but their 3 speed Bromptons are now up at AU$2000. For less than that you could get a 9 speed Birdy at St.Kilda Cycles across town when I wrote this in 2016- I have one of those -customers would do best to try both.

The point being – if Birdys are not available in the same shops as the Bromptons, it is obvious which customers will buy. The most comprehensive review, of a budget Birdy model, is here – hardly inferior to a Brompton. (others here)

Anyway as I travel the world with Birdys, I have concluded I will stick with them. You can go fast and in comfort. Take-off speed is excellent. Speed is less important at my age, but effort and comfort, with those bigger wheels, full suspension and adjustable bars, does matter and Bromptons just do not have those things. I have in any event, after 40 years on folders, probably saved thousands of dollars in public transport fares, hundreds of hours in waiting and walking times, beaten transportation strikes and carriage restrictions on trains, trams and buses, and intrigued a few university students who see the Birdy propped up against the lectern every week. I am not one of those academics that drives to work to then lecture about sustainability.

New Birdy frame June 2015

Jamie Lim comparison video 2020


Postscript Oct. 2015. Early in September I was hit by a large truck doing 50-60km/h when riding my Birdy in Melbourne. I was in hospital for almost three weeks. The Birdy was caught under the truck, I did somersaults along the road, but survived. No more bikes of any type for me for a while. Too many fractures. The whole story is here – it is remarkable. I think the Birdy has survived, the seatpost is bent, I have to take it to a specialist. 

May 2016 Back in action (bike, new seatpost and me)!

March 2018 I noticed there is now a 2017 review on Cycling UK’s website that reaches similar conclusions  here.

However at the moment R&M are not doing themselves any favours by canceling the cheapest World Birdy Sport model (below), reviewed here,  for 2018. It has gone. The company say they are still committed to the Birdy, but the prices keep going up and models keep changing.

2018: I managed to get a secondhand 2000 24 speed SRAM mark 1 in the UK for £285 and it came with various handlebar stems. Spares availability is getting dire. I also have an old early Mk1 model with missing pins for the handlebar stem – here is the solution from a German Citroen dealer! Just cannot find the originals anymore, even in Germany.

 From Pacific Cycles


Filed under brompton versus birdy, folding bikes

New synthesis on the field of political ecology

Batterbury, S.P.J. 2015. Doing political ecology inside and outside the academy. In Bryant, R. (ed.) International Handbook of Political Ecology. Edward Elgar. Pp. 27-43.


The chapter presents a survey of political ecology (PE) scholarship in, and beyond, academic institutions. This interdisciplinary field makes a contribution to understanding environmental and social justice issues, that require explanations at multiple scales, often challenging powerful state and corporate actors. Radical and critical scholarship like PE survives because of sustained student demand, but in neoliberal universities battling financial shortfalls and sometimes a reluctance to invest in research areas that offer critique of powerful institutions and of injustice. Political ecologists have a substantial presence in North America and Europe, either as individual scholars or in small research clusters, but are found across the world and are networked virtually and through key events and collaborative ventures. Publishing outlets include at least three dedicated journals. The extent to which academic political ecology can, and should, make a contribution to engaged scholarship, stepping beyond the boundaries of academic investigation into the messy world of environmental politics is debated, but embraced by some academics, numerous NGOs, and civil society organizations. The future of the field is assured if environmental despoliation, denial of access to resources, and inequality continues; and if its hopes for better world are not extinguished by much more powerful actors in and outside the university system.

Partial summary

On Google Books

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New article on little-studied region of Grande Terre, New Caledonia

Kowasch M., S.P.J. Batterbury, M. Neumann. 2015. Contested sites, land claims and economic development in Poum, New Caledonia. Settler Colonial Studies 5(4): 302-316.


Property relations are often ambiguous in postcolonial settings. Property is only considered as such if socially legitimate institutions sanction it. In indigenous communities, access to natural resources is frequently subject to conflict and negotiation in a ‘social arena’. Settler arrivals and new economic possibilities challenge these norms and extend the arena. The article analyses conflicts and negotiations in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia in the light of its unique settler history and economic activity, focussing on the little-studied remote northern district of Poum on the Caledonian main island Grande Terre. In this region, the descendants of British fishermen intermarried with the majority Kanak clans. We illustrate the interaction between customary conflicts, European settlement, struggles for independence and a desire for economic development. Customary claims are in tension with the attractions of economic growth and service delivery, which has been slow in coming to Poum for reasons largely outside the control of local people.

Draft on Researchgate

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New article on land tenure and community in East Timor

Batterbury S.P.J, L.R.Palmer, T.Reuter, D. do Amaral de Carvalho,  B. Kehi, A. Cullen. 2015. Land access and livelihoods in post-conflict Timor-Leste: no magic bullets. International Journal of the Commons. 9(2): 619-647.  (free online)


In Timor-Leste, customary institutions contribute to sustainable and equitable rural development and the establishment of improved access to and management of land, water and other natural resources. Drawing on multi-sited empirical research, we argue that the recognition and valorization of custom and common property management is a prerequisite for sustainable and equitable land tenure reform in Timor-Leste. In a four-community study of the relationship between land access and the practice of rural livelihoods in eastern and western districts of Timor-Leste, where customary management systems are dominant, we found different types of traditional dispute resolution, with deep roots in traditional forms of land management and with varying levels of conflict. The article shows how customary land tenure systems have already managed to create viable moral economies. Interviewees expressed a desire for the government to formalize its recognition and support for customary systems and to provide them with basic livelihood support and services. This was more important than instituting private landholding or state appropriation of community lands, which is perceived to be the focus of national draft land laws and an internationally supported project. We suggest ways in which diverse customary institutions can co-exist and work with state institutions to build collective political legitimacy in the rural hinterlands, within the context of upgrading the quality of rural life, promoting social and ecological harmony, and conflict management.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New article on effects of neoliberalism in Colombia

J. Marcela Chaves-Agudelo, Simon P. J. Batterbury, Ruth Beilin. 2015. “We Live From Mother Nature” : Neoliberal Globalization, Commodification, the “War on Drugs,” and Biodiversity in Colombia Since the 1990s. SAGE Open 5: 3 1-15 (free online)


This article explores how macroeconomic and environmental policies instituted since the 1990s have altered meanings, imaginaries, and the human relationship to nature in Colombia. The Colombian nation-state is pluri-ethnic, multilingual, and megabiodiverse. In this context, indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, and some peasant communities survive hybridization of their cultures. They have developed their own ways of seeing, understanding, and empowering the world over centuries of European rule. However, threats to relatively discrete cultural meanings have increased since major changes in the 1990s, when Colombia experienced the emergence of new and modern interpretations of nature, such as “biodiversity,” and a deepening of globalized neoliberal economic and political management. These policies involve a modern logic of being in the world, the establishment of particular regulatory functions for economies, societies, and the environment, and their spread has been facilitated by webs of political and economic power. We trace their local effects with reference to three indigenous groups.

Leave a comment

Filed under colombia, neoliberalism, political ecology

Saved by a laptop? Bike meets truck on Alexandra Parade, Melbourne

One benefit of an academic career is that a few personal eccentricities are tolerated, and even encouraged as long as we meet our spiralling performance targets, many of which contravene academic freedom. In my case, aside from some strong views on ethical academic practice and publishing, I ride a rather exotic folding bike to work every day at the University of Melbourne, and it ends up folded in the corner of lecture theatres where students fail consistently to marvel at its engineering design and its self-evident contribution to low-emissions urban mobility. In 11 years I have driven to work about three times.  I also prefer that my main means of written communication is a laptop and paper – no smartphones and tablets, which simply overwhelm and frustrate me with their app-based software, size, and provocation to be instantly connected and available. This means writing and preparing teaching materials is done in a concentrated spell in front of a decent laptop screen or monitor, at home, at work, or out and about. The laptop, on which the Journal of Political Ecology is also prepared, is carted about on the bike, as all my students know.

Frankly, my family hate me using the laptop. When we used to have office PCs I stayed late in the office, but now they say the laptop renders me ‘absent’ from family life, while present physically at home. It signifies the type of mismatched life-work balance that infests almost every academic career, as work pushes into the interstices of domesticity (except for those annoying people who are too efficient for that).  In Melbourne’s overpriced inner north where I live, our small house lacks a decent workspace, so I am frequently found at the kitchen table checking emails, grading or editing student papers, running my academic journal or just writing. My laptop ends up co-mingled with dinner, discussions, and school homework tasks. I am a bit better at separation these days, after a sharp telling-off (while my family members then got a smartphone and tablet in 2015, reducing the power of their critique somewhat), but everything I need to do seems to require a screen, and the important stuff can’t fit into an 8 hour work day.  The computer even gets whipped out during meals with friends to resolve idle debate about historical events and personalities, or to provide directions, or to show cute holiday photos – tasks where most would at least use a smaller smartphone.  But for me this would be one giddy step too far and I have no interest in having a gadget with software that encourages checking every few minutes.

But how the tables have turned in the laptop’s favour! Last week I was cycling into work, and approaching a pedestrian and bike crossing that I have traversed a thousand times, opposite an iconic Fitzroy swimming pool. With my head lifted and looking forward, and my memory is fuzzy here, I thought I saw a green bike/pedestrian light to cross three lanes of traffic. Unfortunately I may have been looking at the green light on the far side of the road, where people and bikes were definitely still crossing;  the two traffic light cycles are in fact not linked. I knew this, deep down but a microsecond of inattention was enough. On my side of the road, witnesses said, the light had just changed and I was hit full on by an HGV  truck driving at between 50 and 60 km/h (31-37 mph). I have no memory of this, and I do not know how I was revived, but the witnesses and police say that while my Birdy folding bike went under the wheels (and broke), my body somersaulted and rolled several times before I ended up unconscious in the road. The next thing I remember was the paramedics bending over me, and being lifted into an ambulance. Since then I have been under excellent care courtesy of the taxpayer funded TAC, for 4 rib fractures, a fractured leg and a collapsed lung. Brain intact, after some early doubts. A lot of people must be thanked for getting me get back on my unsteady feet since then.*

So I will live, but the odds were against me given the size and the speed of the vehicle. What accounts for this? When pedalling my leg is the same height as the fender of an Australian truck, and that fracture is understandable and will heal in weeks. But my upper body, next to hit, was protected only by a Berghaus Freeflow hiker’s rucksack with a strong plastic insert, with the infernal laptop, the very object of domestic acrimony, nestled within. It appears it, and a few papers, saved my spine and other internal organs as the truck hit my upper body and I tumbled off down the road. It all acted like a motorbike jacket with its hard inserts around the back and arms.  The computer did not come off too well itself, but its hard drive is still intact and it is permanently bent. My own hard drive suffered only a concussion that lasted for days. Laptop redeemed!SuperHero-with-laptop-web

The moral of this tale is nothing more than needing to keep all road users alert on the road at all times. And, don’t forget the road safety advice that we learn as kids, and then bawl back at them as adults. It is good advice. But of course human behaviour does not always heed it, and I am in no position to be sanctimonious about that. A secondary lesson is to stay true to some core beliefs, regardless of social pressures, but maybe not if they are outrageously dangerous ones. This works both ways, but last week was certainly not a good time for a technological upgrade – and a train to work instead of bike might have helped… My working eccentricities are my curse and in this case, my salvation as well.

The incident could also be used to support or refute numerous ongoing arguments about cyclist and motorist behaviour in Melbourne, and the need for transport infrastructure improvements. Yes, people could drive more slowly and we need fewer carbon-emitting vehicles in total, but it was not the absence of bike-friendly infrastructure that caused this particular accident.  My case has little to do with the contentious Melbourne  East-West link tunnel, that would have sent big trucks right under the site of my accident but has now been scrapped in favour of public transport investment– I could just have well have been hit by a truck on a local journey avoiding the tunnel tolls.  Nor has it much to do with bike helmets, about which Australians also argue because they are compulsory here – it was a journey where I probably would have worn one anyway, and in this case the plastic lid did something, although not enough to stop concussion. But the central role played by the laptop has a nice synergy between form and function. It was multi-tasking, at a time when my brain suffered a split-second lapse of concentration.  This small academic workhorse and instrument of family disharmony became a vital protective shield. The laptop superhero.

The anthropologist Paul Richards has argued that technology is social, and best studied through what he calls technography – the ethnography of technology (Richards 2010).  Inspired by Emile Durkheim, he says technology includes the “technique”  used to master it (like safe cycling on a bike), and we should not “educate the users to fit the machine but … redesign the machine to respond to the way users use (or abuse) it.” (p4). He means that human inventiveness, actions, and innovation should drive technological design, rather than experts building technology without that input, in the hope that it will be used. Vehicles and bikes as machines often clash, as a recent movie illustrates, but the precise modifications to the streetscape required of planners and engineers need to be observed on the ground and then co-designed, not remotely or through blindly applying ‘best practice’ as so may engineers and planners tend to do.  In my case, I do not know what the accident statistics are for the crossing but something must have made me less attentive than the last few hundred times I took it; more warnings or larger signals could have reduced the risk. Bike and ped. tunnels is really what this road needs, but Melbourne builds them almost never. The car lobby is just too powerful privately and in government, followed by the public transport lobby.  More crossing time for pedestrians and bikes would help, reducing the tendency to speed across them to beat the lights. We just don’t get our share, often waiting 2-3 minutes. This is bad policy.

But at the same time, the laptop had an unintended function and was bestowed with additional powers beyond its prime role as a data handling and retrieval device – this was not designed in by me, or even anticipated. Not something to influence policy design perhaps, but nonetheless I will be eternally grateful. If I ever cycle again in Melbourne, it will travel with me.


Richards, P. 2010. A Green Revolution from below? Retirement address, Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

*Thankyou to everybody who has supported me over the last few days and I hope I can return favours. There really are nice people in universities, and outside of course. Things are still a bit raw, I have not yet seen the report or written to the driver.  This post was rejected by The Conversation – on my first ever submission!

My return to work corresponded with the launching of a new university marketing campaign – “Collision”!!


Update Dec. 2017. Injuries healed and I returned to cycling in about 4-5 months. I even managed to rejuvenate the Birdy bike – only the seatpost and wheel was run over, it turned out.  These days, in England, very cautious. My family made me get a smartphone since I could no longer keep up. I hate it. The laptop works fine but it sitting on a shelf in my office, still bent out of shape.


Filed under bicycles, bike accident, folding bikes, melbourne, smartphones