Category: environment

‘Active Travel Studies’ journal open for submissions.

‘Active Travel Studies’ journal open for submissions.

Active Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal launched today for submissions a venture based at the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy. Editors Tom Cohen and Rachel Aldred here discuss the thinking behind the journal and outline below the range of published material to be expected and context of current debates on active travel in 2020.

Active Travel Studies will provide researchers with a natural home for new findings on all aspects of active travel, including but not limited to walking and cycling. As an open-access journal, charging no fees to either authors or readers, it will reduce barriers between those who are producing knowledge on active travel and those who wish to benefit from it.

‘We’re very excited about the journal,’ explains its editor, Dr Tom Cohen. ‘It marks an opportunity for research on active travel to reach a wider audience and to do so without the delay common in academic publishing. The journal will welcome a range of submissions (debates, reviews and interviews, as well as more familiar research articles) and we plan to allow multi-media output as well as more conventional formats.’

‘Another way in which we hope to differ from many journals is in remaining approachable – we welcome the opportunity to discuss with authors their ideas concerning possible submissions. But this will not be at the expense of academic rigour: all submissions will be subject to peer review.’

The journal is launching at what may be an auspicious time, as COVID-19 has provoked both a sharp increase in active travel and heated debate about whether and how that increase can be made permanent. As Cohen puts it, ‘our hope is that the journal can provide sound evidence to inform both this policy transition and others in the future.’

About the Journal

Active Travel Studies is a new, 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 will perform the critical function of providing practitioners and policy makers with access to current and robust findings on all subjects relevant to active travel.

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.

For more information on submissions see the journal page ‘About’ and drop down menu for information on editorial team, editorial policies and submissions.

ADVERTISING FOR THE HUMAN GOOD: Call for abstracts, papers (WPCC)

ADVERTISING FOR THE HUMAN GOOD: Call for abstracts, papers (WPCC)

Issue Editor: Carl W. Jones Senior Lecturer in PR and Advertising at the School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster

Advertising, and public relations have a potential for motivating progressive behaviours in the public via the mass media. From Edward Bernays 1929 effort to promote women’s aspirations via a campaign to smoke, by branding cigarettes as feminist ‘Torches of Freedom’, (Bernays, 2004) to the global brand P&G creating a TV commercial to publicise the discussion of ‘toxic masculinity’ (Gillette, 2019), branded commodities have been inspiring changes in human behaviours to resonate with consumers. This method is not limited to brands that rely on the neoliberal capitalist system. In 2011 the Colombian Ministry of Defence used ‘ambient marketing’ to convince the so-called terrorist organisation FARC to lay down their weapons and come home for Christmas (Ministry of Defense, 2011). But who decides what changes will benefit which segment of society? 

Brands have been appropriating the practice of advertising to create change, with the objective to generate more sales, and deliver profits to their shareholders. Recently having a social conscience is becoming increasingly important – especially with a millennial audience who care more than ever whether a brand’s values align with their own. In nation states run by other ideologies such as communism, advertising is used by governments to educate publics, such as China’s one baby per family policy. This policy has recently changed, and the government has to re-educate over 1 billion people, to increase the falling birth rate. Can a government sponsored integrated campaign inspire a switch in thinking? Instances might include health campaigns, AIDs, drink driving and wearing seatbelts.

This special issue invites the most recent theoretical interventions and empirical research that explores how advertising has the potential for motivating progressive behaviours in the public via the mass media. 

We define advertising as a designed communication that reinterprets signs and symbols in order to persuade while ‘the mass media’ includes a broad range of communication platforms, from paid and earned; analogue to digital networks; and guerrilla activations, to name a few.

We welcome papers on the subject of (but not limited to):

– Corporate social responsibility

– Consumer behaviour 

– Integrated campaigns and the convergence of Advertising and PR

– Advertising reflects society or influences society?

– Models of brand communication 

– Post truth and advertising

– Political Economy of advertising

– Ethics in Advertising

– Ideology and advertising 

– Role of artificial neural networks, machine learning and AI 

– Corporate social responsibility

– Advertising, activism and NGO’s in behaviour change

– Can Graphic Design save lives?

– The Role of Neuroscience

– PR vs. advertising. Which is more effective in promoting behavioural change?

– Environment-related advertising

– Can political advertising be applied for the human good?

Deadline for abstracts:
Please submit a 150-250 word abstract with keywords to WPCC’s submission system with 6 keywords by Monday 3 February 2020 by registering at https://www.westminsterpapers.org/register/ then submitting from https://www.westminsterpapers.org/author/login/

You will receive feedback regarding encouragement to submit a paper or feedback from editors/WPCC around the 12th February 2020

Deadline for full papers:
Full papers are expected by 31 March 2020 submitted to the WPCC system. All papers will go through double peer-review. 

Publication date: June-July 2020

WPCC is an open access journal and there are no fees for contributors. Published by the University of Westminster Press in conjunction with CAMRI. All content in this issue and in its archive is available free to read. 

References
Bernays, Edward L. (2004) Propaganda/Edward Bernays; with an introduction by Mark  Crispin Miller. Brooklyn, NY: Ig Publishing. 

Gillette (2019) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYaY2Kb_PKI&feature=emb_logo(last accessed 10 Jan 2020) 

Ministry of Defense. (2011) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhNaZ0w7eEA (last accessed 10 Jan 2020)