Using geography journals: A list of places to start…

Something I have been meaning to write a post about for a while is the use of Journals by geography students.
For many of the undergraduates I have taught it has taken quite a while for them to realise they needsto use more than books or the internet when writing geographically. The most up-to-date research is published in journals and it is important that students get used to using them.
Journals are often not engaged with by students before university, mainly as most schools do not have a subscription. However, conducting research using evidence and references from journals is a key skill that is important for study once at university. Even if a school does not have a subscription to a journal it is still possible to view abstracts for articles, and often there will be issues which will have articles which are free to download. By introducing students to using journals to find out about research it can help them make the transition to using journals on a much more frequent basis at university a lot easier. Furthermore, if students search for relevant journal articles it can highlight to them who are the important academics in the area they are researching, and in most cases these academics will have departmental webpages, sometimes with links to other publications or working papers which may be accessible to them.

There are journals on more or less every area of geography. I have listed below some of the ones I have used most frequently over the years (you will notice these are predominantly human geography focused but there are lots of physical geography journals too – and many that are interdisciplinary).

For other geography journals have a look through some of publishers journal catalogues such as, Oxford University Press, Wiley or Elsevier for example (there are many others).
Students are often told when applying to university that they need to show they have made attempts to broaden their knowledge of geography. What better way to do this than by exploring some of the most recent research that has been published? Students often ask me what are good things to read if they want to study geography at university. Of course there are a wealth of great textbooks out there, but I would really encourage students to search through journals and where there are open or free access to articles to read some of these, and start thinking about what aspects of geography interest them. If students can talk about journal articles they have read, or works by academics they know about, and have liked, this will really make them stand out.

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