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Active Travel Studies is a peer reviewed, open access journal intended to provide a source of authoritative research on walking, cycling and other forms of active travel. In the context of a climate emergency, widespread health problems associated with inactivity, and poor air quality caused in large part by fossil fuel transport, the journal is relevant and timely. It performs the critical function of providing practitioners and policy makers with access to current and robust findings on all subjects relevant to active travel.
Focus and Scope
We live in times of climate crisis, with illegal levels of air pollution in many cities worldwide, and what has been called an epidemic of physical inactivity. Technological change alone will not solve such problems: we also need major growth in active travel (primarily walking and cycling, but also other active and semi-active types of travel, such as scooters) to replace many shorter car trips. Active modes could even (e.g. through electric assist trikes) help make urban freight much more sustainable.
Journals within many fields cover active travel, but literature remains highly segmented and (despite high levels of policy interest) difficult for practitioners to find. Established, mainstream journals are not open access, another barrier to policy transfer and knowledge exchange. Thus, while many towns, cities, and countries seek to increase active travel, the knowledge base suffers from a lack of high-quality academic evidence that is easy to find and obtain. This reinforces practitioner reliance on often lower-quality grey literature, and a culture of relying on ad hoc case studies in policy and practice.
This journal provides a bridge between academia and practice, based on high academic standards and accessibility to practitioners. Its remit is to share knowledge from any academic discipline/s (from bioscience to anthropology) that can help build knowledge to support active travel and help remove barriers to it, such as car dependency. Within this normative orientation, it is rigorously academic and critical, for instance not shying away from analysing examples where interventions do not lead to more active travel. It goes beyond immediate policy imperatives to share knowledge that while not immediately change-oriented can contribute to a deeper understanding of, for instance, why people drive rather than walk.
As well as publishing relevant new research, the journal commissions both commentary pieces on such research, and critical reviews of the existing literature. Reflecting the diversity of its audience, its content is varied, including written work of different lengths as well as audio-visual material
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
All submissions are initially assessed by an editor, who decides whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to two or more subject experts, who assess the article for soundness and usefulness/relevance. If suitable experts external to the journal cannot be found then members of the Editorial Board may be asked to complete a review task.
Authors may be asked to recommend specific individuals for the peer review process; they may also be offered the opportunity to ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the process. The journal does not guarantee to act on these suggestions/requests. All reviewers must be independent of the submission and will be asked to declare any competing interests.
The journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take approximately six to eight weeks, although this can vary depending on reviewer availability and the level of detail required in reviewer comments. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not considered suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer reports the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who is supported by an expert, international Editorial Board.
Members of the editorial team/board are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks for that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. A competing interest must also be declared within the submission and any resulting publication.
Reviewers are asked to consider the topics and guidelines below:
The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. The journal accepts papers that have been published within formal conference proceedings, provided that the paper provides substantially more data, analysis and/or discussion than the original conference paper. Authors must retain copyright to such postings and have retained the rights to publish in the journal under its Creative Commons CC-BY licence.
The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:
The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the individual that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that each author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work.
The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data and co-authors are also advised to include one. The journal will include in articles all ORCIDs provided.
The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Data should be cited and referenced within the manuscript and should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement, which must describe how the data underlying the findings of the article can be accessed and reused. If data have been used and are not being made available with the journal publication (e.g. legal constraints) then a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited. All data should be curated in a format that allows easy understanding and analysis (e.g. sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file). This will ensure their reuse potential.
As the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as protocols.io. By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.
If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis or algorithms then we also recommend that authors upload the code into Code Ocean, where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate and discover code published in academic journals.
For more information on how to incorporate open data, protocols.io or Code Ocean into a submission, please visit our reproducibility page.
All listed authors must qualify as such, as defined in our authorship guidelines, which have been developed from the ICMJE definitions. All authors must have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper.
To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed here.
In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript, ensuring that ethical approval and consent statements are detailed within the manuscript (see Author Guidelines).
In accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (where applicable), the Press handles different kinds of error. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact your editorial manager if an article needs correcting.
Post-publication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. Visit our Correction Policy page for more information.
Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation. Where misconduct is proven or strongly suspected, the journal has an obligation to report the issue to the author's institution, who may conduct their own investigation. This applies to both research misconduct (e.g. completing research without ethical approval and consent, fabricating or falsifying data etc) and publication misconduct (e.g. manipulating the peer review process, plagiarism etc). Should an investigation conclude that misconduct or misinformation has occurred then the author, along with their institution will be notified. Should the publication record need to be corrected, the journal's correction policy will be followed.
Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or be inadequate, the author should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld or investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.
The journal does not tolerate abusive behaviour or correspondence towards its staff, academic editors, authors or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal resorting to abusive behaviour or correspondence will have their contribution immediately withdrawn and future engagement with the journal will be at the discretion of the Editor and/or publisher.Licences
Active Travel Studies allows the following licences for submission:
Article Processing Charges for this journal are paid for by the University of Westminster. The journal does not charge submission fees.Publication Cycle
The journal is published online as a continuous volume and issue throughout the year. Articles are published as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in making content publicly available.
Special collections of accepted submissions are welcomed welcomed and a webpage will be dedicated to each collection. The individual submissions will also be published alongside the journal’s other content.