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New journal offers unique opportunity to students and sixth formers

Dr Elizabeth Rushton and Dr Cyrus Nayeri

School of Education, Communication & Society

19 January 2021

Routes is a new digital journal featuring the insights and perspectives of undergraduates and sixth-formers on geography. Bringing together 300 contributors, the project is led by Dr Lizzie Rushton, Lecturer in Geography Education, and Dr Cyrus Nayeri, Visiting Tutor, Geography PGCE, who are both in our School of Education, Communication & Society. They tell us more about this unique project, how it originated and why it is so important.

Routes is a new digital journal for geography that publishes scholarship written by undergraduate and sixth form students (years 12 and 13). This is the first time, that we know of, that a journal has provided such an opportunity for geographers at the beginning of their studies.

Routes came about in April 2020 as a collaborative effort between teachers and university academics to provide a platform for student geographers to share their thoughts, insights and perspectives. The ethos of Routes is firmly grounded in the idea that student voices matter and that their ideas should be recognised as a valid form of geographical knowledge.

Using the power of social media and online spaces, Routes has brought together a network of over 300 individuals to contribute to the Journal as peer reviewers and to create resources to support student writing. Peer reviewers based at King’s include academics and postgraduate students from both the School of Education, Communication & Society and the Department of Geography. These individuals are critical to the Journal as they provide students detailed feedback on their submissions.

Resources provided by Routes are all freely available on the website and there are absolutely no charges to submit, publish or access Routes articles.

Sixth form and undergraduate students can submit their work to Routes and the following types of submission are accepted:

  • Essays (independently written or part of class assignments).
  • Fieldwork/ NEA (including individual sections such as methods or literature review.
  • Book reviews.
  • Academic posters.
  • Commentaries or perspective pieces.
  • Poetry.
  • Photo essays.

Detailed submission guidelines can be found on the Routes website. We publish three issues per year published in September, January and April and students can submit their work at any time.

When students publish their work in Routes, it is a mark of distinction and it allows students to demonstrate their enthusiasm, academic excellence and explore their own views on matters of concern. It also shows our students that their ideas really matter and can make a difference to how we approach particular geographical issues.

We firmly believe firmly that submitting work to Routes should be as much about the process of submission as it is about the end result of publication. Each student can expect to receive constructive feedback from two expert peer reviewers to improve their work before it is published.

After my undergraduate degree, I want to go onto further study and I thought getting my work published in Routes would be a great stepping stone. Exeter's geography staff are incredible and have inspired me to produce work I am proud of. The peer-reviewing process has strengthened my writing and developed my interests through receiving constructive feedback from other geographers.– Sophia Buchanan Barlow, undergraduate geography student at the University of Exeter

Authors who have published in our first two issues have shared how supportive and encouraging they have found the experience of writing for Routes and that they greatly value the opportunity to improve and extend their work having received constructive feedback from experts in their field. School teachers have also shared with us how Routes provides a way to model extended writing for students in their classrooms, using the work of other young geographers to inspire and engage their peers.

Routes always welcomes submissions from students and new people to join our peer review team. Please do follow Routes on Twitter or visit the Routes website to explore the first two issues and to find out more.

Image credit: Mark Brandon, CC-BY-ND

In this story

Elizabeth Rushton

Elizabeth Rushton

Former Lecturer in Geography Education

Cyrus Golding

Cyrus Golding

Visiting Tutor Geography PGCE

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