With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, questions have been raised about the way in which academic publishing is conducted during what will be a period of significant disruption.
The Society’s Editorial Office has always looked to be proactive in taking measures to support our editors, reviewers and authors - no matter what individual or collective issues they are facing - while trying to be fair to all parties involved in the publication of each article.
Currently, there is, and will continue to be, enormous disruption for people both personally and professionally. While respecting fully the position taken by some colleagues (e.g. at Society and Space, ACME, IJURR) to pause their editorial work until 15 April, we have decided, for now at least, to continue our activities, albeit at a slower pace and with increased levels of understanding, support and flexibility.
We do so from a position of understanding that people face a variety of different and difficult challenges at the moment. We are very aware and respectful of the fact that some people may not be able or interested in taking part in the publishing process, but equally we do not wish to stop those who want to carry on in some form from doing so - this applies equally to all involved, be they authors, reviewers and/or editors.
Our decision to continue with our publishing activities has been made for a number of reasons, including the practicalities of re-starting the journal once it has been ‘on pause’ and a recognition that the continuation of publishing activities may be crucial for many Early Career Researchers and PhD authors. It has also come out of the fact that some people are finding comfort and necessary distraction from the work they are doing for the journals as it is one of the few fairly ‘normal’ tasks remaining at a time when many are negotiating a move to online and distance teaching, as well as significant changes to their work/life separation and how they manage caring responsibilities.
At the same time, we fully recognise that not everyone will see these reasons as true to themselves, and that not everyone will be as available, interested, efficient, or effective as they might otherwise be. We will always be respectful, and where wanted or required, the Editorial Office will do its best to provide additional support, guidance or time in order to enable those who wish to, to take part in whatever capacity they are able. We will also support those who cannot take part for a period of time in whatever ways we can and are appropriate.
This is not an attempt to carry on with ‘business as usual’, but rather to continue supporting geographers wishing to publish during this difficult time in the same manner that the Society’s Editorial Office always has. We continue to respect and appreciate all of the fantastic people who work with us across all of our journals, and we seek to be kind, understanding and respectful in relation to the inevitable delays that will emerge during this period.