We are very pleased to welcome Professor Xu Honggang of Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou, China) to the senior editorial team of Tourism Geographies. She is replacing Shaul Krakover, who is retiring this year, and joining Michael Hall, Jarkko Saarinen (who recently replaced Allan Williams) and myself as the main editors of the journal. (Note that with this appointment, we are dropping the regional designations for each of the editors.)
Dr. Xu has been a key faculty member in making Sun Yat-Sen University a leader in tourism research, and is a frequent presenter at international geography and tourism conferences around the world. She was a guest editor in for a fascinating special issue of Tourism Geographies (2014, v.16 #5) on recent tourism geography research in China, and has published widely in leading international journals with her students and colleagues in China and abroad. Some of her papers and profile can be found at ResearchGate.net.
We are fortunate to have Dr. Xu as a member of our editorial team and look forward to the new ideas and energy that she brings to us.
Starting in 2017, Tourism Geographies will publish an annual special edition of the journal with the title of "Tourism Places: Perspectives on Tourism Development and Experiences".
Tourism Places will be published in addition to the current five issues per year that is the currently normal frequency of Tourism Geographies. This special edition (like a special issue) will include high quality tourism studies that provide an in-depth understanding of tourism phenomena in a particular place or region, or of a particular type of tourism. The quality of place analysis and insight is the primary criterion for peer review, rather than contributions to conceptual theory.
Tourism Places was proposed as a potential outlet for some of the many papers that are submitted to Tourism Geographies that are more place oriented, rather than theory oriented. We receive a lot of papers that are primarily describing tourism in a place because many people associate place description with the discipline of geography. Some of these papers appear to be quite good, although they violate the journal's preference for theoretical research (see: How to Avoid a Desk Rejection)
Depending on the success of this endeavor, the number of Tourism Places special editions may increase from one in 2017 to more issues in future years. The special edition will still be published under the Tourism Geographies heading, and would, therefore, carry and contribute to the journal's impact factor. Submissions to Tourism Places will be made through the Tourism Geographies ScholarOne portal. Referees will be informed that papers are being reviewed for the Tourism Places special edition, with its distinct editorial orientation. Please see the Tourism Places link for more information on submitting paper for this special edition.
To avoid confusion, with the Tourism Places special edition, this blog site has been renamed from the "Tourism Place Blog" to the "Tourism Space Blog". Feel free to post any comments or questions about this new project below. -- Thanks, Alan Lew
UPDATE 12 February 2017: Special issues may also contain papers designated and reviewed as Tourism Places articles. For more information see the Tourism Places link.
Maybe about a quarter of the papers that I receive have some degree of this problem, although in only about 10% is it significant enough that I need to send the paper back to the author(s) to fix it.
As long as I can remembers, the rule has been that the title or caption, along with the footnotes, to a table or figure should provide enough information so that a reader can determine what the table or figure is showing without having to look for additional information in the text of the article.
This means that all symbols and abbreviations need to be defined either in the table itself or in the notes under the table, and the title needs to be very clear. And this needs to be repeated separately for each table and figure in a paper.
I have often asked colleagues at my university about this when serving on graduate student committees. The vast majority have responded that yes, this is a rule that they know about. However, it is apparently not one that they always think about when advising students (until I mention it) or when writing their own papers.
To me, this should be right up there with the formal referencing of sources that have influenced and informed an academic paper. Well, OK, may be right after referencing sources...
This post is #1 is a possible future series of Journal Editor Pet Peeves! -- Alan
Thank You, Shaul Krakover (Tourism Geographies Emeritus Editor for Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa)
I am sure that authors feel really bad when they submit an article to Tourism Geographies (or any journal) and it gets a desk rejection -- i.e., an editor decides not to send a paper out for anonymous review. There are several reasons for doing a desk rejection, including a poorly written paper with many grammar and other problems. But the most common reason that I encounter is that the paper is primarily a case study that does not address a theoretical or conceptually debated social science issue. For that type of paper, here is a typical paragraph that I might send to explain my decision:
Tourism Geographies is a social science journal and we primarily publishing papers that address theoretical issues grounded in the social sciences. Your paper lacks a significant theoretical research question (or at least it was not clearly defined) and is mostly dealing with issues related to a specific, though very detailed, case study. Your conclusions, for example, only address the case study and do not offer findings that inform a debated conceptual problem that would be of interest to a global audience. Because of this issue, I will not be sending it out for review.
When I tell people this in writing workshops that I sometimes conduct, someone often asks if that means I would never accept a case study. The answer, of course, is no. Case studies are important. But they are not the most important part of a good paper. Here is some advice that I once received about doing research, and which I try to instill in people (students and colleagues) who I advise.
This is what I am looking for when authors submit a paper to Tourism Geographies. I have no problem that there is a case study, but most importantly I want to know what the conceptual problem is that the case study is helping to resolve. Secondarily would be the question of why this case study is especially good in addressing the conceptual problem.
This approach has helped me enormously in my own conceptualization of research projects and papers. Hopefully this tip will help others, as well.
Alan A. Lew
Update 24 May 2016 - METHODOLOGY & OTHER ISSUES: Following the guideline above will not, of course, guarantee that you will avoid a desk rejection from a Tourism Geographies editor. Some of the other issues that our group looks for include:
Update 24 May 2016 - LACK OF OTHER RESEARCH: One indication that a paper is a case study that does not contribute to theory is when authors state that their research is significant because very few others have looked at their topic. This is made worse when the lack of other research is the one and only reason that the research paper is considered a significant contribution to the literature. Lack of research on a topic does not equal significance -- it could mean that others found the topic too insignificant to pursue. It also does not demonstrate a contribution to theory. In my experience, the use of this justification usually points to a mostly descriptive case study.
Update 8 October 2016 - "TOURISM PLACES" SPECIAL EDITION: Starting in 2017, Tourism Geographies will publish a special edition titled Tourism Places: Critical Perspectives on Tourism Development and Experiences. This special edition will feature well crafted case studies that give insight into tourism in a place, with less concern for the development of social science theory. One special edition is planned for 2017, but two or more editions may come out in future years based on demand. Additional information on the Special Edition of the journal can be found on the Author Notes page of this website.
This posting has been moved to the new Collaborative for Sustainable and Resilient Communities Blog, which is a more appropriate place for it.
Professor Victor B. Teye was on the original Editorial Board for Tourism Geographies and served on the journal until his retirement a few years ago. He was originally from Ghana, about which he wrote in Tourism Geographies (1999). Victor was a good friend and a dedicated teacher of both tourism studies and the world, having taken an astonishingly large number of students on summer study abroad trips during his many years at Arizona State University.
The following was excerpted from his formal obituary:
His long-time colleague. Professor Dallen Timothy, offers some memories of Victor, below.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
With heavy hearts and a deep sense of loss, we at Arizona State University wish to inform the tourism community of Victor Teye’s passing earlier this week. Our forever youthful Victor B. Teye was a pioneer in tourism research. His groundbreaking work, which appeared often in the top journals, shed much light on political instability and tourism, community development through tourism and tourism in developing regions. He was a vanguard in tourism research in Africa and a staunch defender of tourism education and research. Following his stellar career at Arizona State University for many years, Victor retired just a few years ago to spend more time with his family. He was an exemplary father, outstanding educator, tremendous scholar and very dear friend to many. Professor Victor B. Teye will be sorely missed in every corner on the globe but no more so than here at home.
Sincerely yours, Dallen Timothy (photos of Victor in Australia
provided by Dallen Timothy)
Dr Dallen J. Timothy, Professor
School of Community Resources and Development
Arizona State University
Phoenix, AZ 95004, USA
Robert Preston-Whyte (1939 - 2015) was a founding Editorial Board Member for Tourism Geographies and an active member of the Commission on the Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change of the International Geographical Union (IGU). He was instrumental in organizing the IGU meeting in Durban in 2002, after which Rob led several of us on a great field trip of KwaZulu-Natal. He was an early contributor to Tourism Geographies (1999 and 2002) and will be well remembered by those who knew him for his enthusiasm for life.
Below is an more complete obituary of Rob's academic career, which is reposted here with permission of his colleagues at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
OBITUARY: PROFESSOR ROB PRESTON-WHYTE
It is with deep sadness that we inform the University and the broader geography community of the death, after a short illness, of Emeritus Professor of the previous School of Environmental Sciences, Professor Robert Preston-Whyte. Born in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, it is fitting that Rob lived out his life, after his retirement from the University of KwaZuluNatal, on his small holding in Nottingham Road. Here he and his wife, Merle Holden were able to explore their many interests and find peace and happiness.
Rob was a true product of the former University of Natal, completing all his formal studies on the Pietermaritzburg campus and spending most of his working life in the Geography and Environmental Science Department on the Howard College campus, except for a brief stint at the CSIR in Pretoria.
Rob was a true scholar and intellectual. He was widely read, being equally comfortable discussing English literature as he was meteorological theory. His greatest scientific contribution was to our understanding of the local circulations of KwaZulu-Natal. He gathered his data the hard way – many days and nights spent tracking pilot balloons with a theodolite – but was ultimately able to establish the characteristics and mechanisms of the land and sea breezes and topographically-induced winds in KZN. This knowledge has contributed to our understanding of local pollution transport, occurrence of coastal rainfall, the initiation and passage of thunderstorms across KZN, amongst other meteorological patterns.
Geographers of the time will remember his vision, prescience and astute academic management when, as Professor, and Head of Department in the 1970’s and eighties, he successfully shifted the ethos of his department. It moved from one of dry, antiquated academia to that of a teaching and research institution that not only created the intellectual challenges of theory and debate, but engaged in strong teaching and research into elements of Physical and Human Geography that had immediate impact on the daily life of communities.
During the eighties and nineties he became convinced that the discipline of geography, through its inclusiveness and its strong natural and social science foundations, should become a scientific and academic leader in the wave of environmental of concern sweeping the world. He soon recognised that accurate maps and global scale environmental monitoring would be essential to successful environmental management, and brought in the skills necessary for developing a strong teaching and research programme in burgeoning Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing industry.
These monumental shifts in approach increased the stature and reputation of Geography in a spectacular way, and built student demand for the subject hugely, especially at the post-graduate level. The department was now producing not only academics, but also young professionals who would find their place in career positions in commerce and industry in South Africa and beyond.
In the latter years of his academic career, Rob shifted his interests to tourism geography, writing creatively about liminal spaces on the Durban coastline. This reflected his exceptional ability to work on internationally recognised research both within the physical and social sciences. As such, he was a true geographer. However, it was his early work in climatology that made its mark and that led to a landmark text book that was prescribed reading for climatology students across South Africa.
In the broader University community Rob will be remembered for his 10 years spent as Dean of Social Sciences. During his period of office he brought the faculty to a position of leadership within the university – at one point its publication to staff ratio was the best in the whole institution, this notwithstanding his constant battles with higher administration for a fairer division of resources and his intense dislike of the political machinations at that stage current in University politics in general.
It is typical of the man that after his retirement in 2004 he was able to re-invent himself. He returned to his roots in the Natal Midlands. His almost endless, inspirational energy was expended not on academic battles any longer, but in developing his small holding in an environmentally consistent manner. His horses, golf, and clay pigeon shooting intertwined with creative writing and before his death he had already published four novels.
Rob was in his element on geography field trips, when he was able to enthusiastically impart his wide general knowledge about the fauna and flora, stratigraphy, local climate and local community, to students. Generations of students will recall trying to keep up with him as he strode up mountains at a pace that few could match. Always young and fit for his age, his untimely and sudden death from melanoma cancer is a shock to all of us. Rob was a visionary, an exceptional leader, an inspiring intellectual and a true friend. What a privilege it was to know, work with and be taught by such a passionate, inspirational and committed individual.
Professor Roseanne Diab, Executive Officer, Acadmy of Science of South Africa and Emeritus Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Professor Gerry Garland, Past-Chairman, Department of Geography and Urban Planning, University of United Arab Emirates, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Dr. Catherine Sutherland, Lecturer, School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa