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Me and my predator….or how I had a near brush in the netherworld of shady publishing and lived to tell the tale

There’s been a lot written about the many changes that have been shaking up the academic publishing world, including the rise of ‘predatory journals’. Somewhere between vanity presses and Nigerian 419 scams, these journals have been established in the wake of the gold ‘open access’ movement to offer easy publication in a seemingly ‘international’ journal, all at a discount price with relatively ‘light’ peer review. Fly-by-night publishers make money from Article Processing Charges (APCs) while 2nd-rate scholars get their articles published in journals with titles (and editorial boards) designed to convince promotion panels that they’re the acme of academic rigour. It’s a win-win situation for everyone…except the research councils and taxpayers who bankroll the APC payments and the scholarly world that expects that articles achieve publication because they’ve undergone rigorous peer review rather than because their authors have the ability to pay. Continue Reading »

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ICE LAW Update

I’m happy to announce that the Leverhulme Trust’s International Networks Programme has agreed fund a series of workshops, conferences and meetings to further the Project on Indeterminate and Changing Environments: Law, the Anthropocene, and the World (the ICE LAW Project), a project being organised by IBRU: Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research with the support of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Law. Continue Reading »

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Political Geography seeks two new associate editors


Political Geography is seeking two new associate editors, to start in January 2016.

Political Geography operates in a decentralized manner with each member of the editorial team having full responsibility for her or his queue. Therefore, after being assigned an article, associate editors are responsible for all aspects of manuscript processing, including selecting and recruiting referees, managing the revision process, making acceptance decisions, and, when necessary, facilitating communication between authors and Elsevier production and publishing staff. Typically, each associate editor will process between 40 and 50 articles per year, with about half of these going to publication. As a member of the editorial team, each associate editor will also be expected to work with other team members to chart the journal’s future direction as well as the conceptualization and organization of special issues, conference-based plenary lectures, and other activities that advance the journal’s standing and facilitate the publication and promotion of articles and associated online materials. In carrying out these duties, the associate editors will be expected to work closely with continuing members of the editorial team: James Sidaway (Associate Editor) and Jo Sharp (Reviews Editor), as well as myself (to be Editor-in-Chief).  Expertise in the different areas of political geography is a consideration in the appointment since the editorial team wishes to continue the broad methodological and thematic range that the journal has maintained for the past 35 years.

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‘A Wet World’ published on Society & Space open site; ‘Wet Ontologies’ made open-access

Kim’s green shoes: where ‘A Wet World’ begins

Complementing the recent publication of ‘Wet Ontologies, Fluid Spaces: Giving Depth to Volume through Oceanic Thinking’ in Environment and Planning D (Society & Space), a companion autoethnographic photo-essay, A Wet World: Rethinking Place, Territory, and Time’, has now been published on the Society & Space open site. Like ‘Wet Ontologies’, ‘A Wet World’ was written cooperatively with Kimberley Peters.

In ‘A Wet World’, Kim and I thread narratives of the oceans in our lives with photos of those oceans, as well as excerpts from the ‘Wet Ontologies’ article. We presented (performed?) ‘A Wet World’ at one of the Territory Beyond Terra sessions at last week’s AAG meeting in Chicago and it seemed to go over very well.

In recompense for our extra effort in producing ‘A Wet World’, the editors of Society & Space are making the formal article, ‘Wet Ontologies’, open access for one month (i.e. until 27 May 2015).

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The Glare of Ice: Thoughts on the new National Atlas of Canada

I’m two weeks behind in following up on this (I’ve been off presenting on Arctic architectures and wet ontologies), but I can’t let the new National Map of Canada, released 15 April 2015, pass by without a few thoughts.


The 2015 map (click image for full size)

As has been widely reported (by the CBC, the Globe & Mail, and others), the national map from Natural Resource Canada’s new Atlas of Canada appears to show a surprising increase in sea ice over the previous version, which was published in 2006. The reason for this apparent bit of global cooling is that the two maps calculate the ‘extent’ of sea ice in different ways. While the 2006 map depicts the ‘limit’ of permanently frozen ocean (and thus presumably draws the ice edge at the northernmost point at which liquid water has been known to appear in modern times), the 2015 map depicts the median ice minimum over the past 30 Septembers.

In the CBC story, geographer Robert McLeman calls the map a bit of ‘fakery’. I assume that, if asked to elaborate, he would suggest that the Arctic was made to look more ‘frozen’ so as to avoid giving another piece of climate-change evidence to those who would challenge the Harper government’s close alliance with the hydrocarbon industry. Actually, I think the decision to adjust the representation of the ice edge may have been a bit more complicated. Continue Reading »

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Jones Beach!

jones beachWhen flying into New York earlier this week, I was thrilled to find myself looking out the window at Long Island’s Jones Beach State Park. It so happens that Jones Beach, together with the seafronts at Aberystwyth and Tynemouth (along with the beaches of Lorain (Ohio), Santa Cruz (California), and St. George Island (Florida)) set the scene for the presentation that Kimberley Peters and I will be giving at next week’s Association of American Geographers meeting. We’ll be taking attendees on an autoethnographic journey through our recently published Society & Space article on ‘Wet Ontologies, Fluid Dynamics‘. Curious? Confused? Come to the AAG sessions on ‘Territory beyond Terra’ (panel 1 | panel 2), Tuesday afternoon.

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Two (almost) back-to-back Arctic meetings in Scotland

In what I assume is a coincidence, there’ll be two excellent conferences on Arctic themes in Scotland on back-to-back weekends in May-June. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it to either (it’s a bad time for me term-wise, and I’m working on two major grant proposals that are both due right about then). I suspect that there are only a few people out there besides me who have the combined interest in Arctic law and Arctic cultural studies that would make one want to attend both, but each looks fantastic, and I at least will have a very hard time deciding which one to attend if I can find time to attend one but not both.

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