Information for Authors

Journal Policies

Reaching Regions is the official outreach journal of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC). Editors are chosen by NARSC.

Reaching Regions is published with support from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University. As one of the oldest agricultural and rural development policy centers in the country, CARD has decades of experience with disseminating papers, reports, online tools, and articles.

The Editors may work with other partner organizations for special issues of the journal or to provide support in other ways to increase the functioning and visibility of the journal.

Ethical Standards and Conflicts of Interest

Reaching Regions is committed to ensuring compliance with the highest ethical standards in its review and publication process. Reaching Regions’ review and editorial processes adhere to Iowa State University Digital Press policies, the Core Practices developed by the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE), and OASPA Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

Authors, reviewers, editors, and others associated with Reaching Regions are required to disclose any possible conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest may be due to employment; financial benefit; personal, social, or professional relationships; etc. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is required; however, conflicts of interest do not necessarily exclude a paper from consideration for publication.

Reviewers and editors are obligated to reveal if they have a conflict of interest that would compromise their ability to serve as an impartial reviewer or decision maker on a manuscript; those with actual or perceived conflicts of interest will not be involved in the manuscript decision process. Editors who are authors on manuscripts will be excluded from the decision processes.


Authors must agree to this copyright notice for each manuscript when it is submitted through the Iowa State University Digital Press website. Reaching Regions provides immediate open access to its articles. Author(s) retain copyright in their work, and articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which allows readers to copy, share, and adapt the article so long as the original article in Reaching Regions is cited. Material produced by authors on official duty as U.S. government employees is considered to be in the public domain, which will be indicated on the published paper.

Authors who are including materials, often tables or figures, from other copyrighted sources must obtain permission to use these materials from the copyright holder and submit the evidence that this permission has been obtained from the copyright holder when the manuscript is submitted to Reaching Regions. acknowledgment of the use of this material and credit for the source of the material must be included in the manuscript.

Section Guidelines

The NARSC outreach journal will publish peer-reviewed contributions in the following categories on topics of policy-relevance to North American regions:

  • Original descriptive analyses
  • Data visualizations
  • Non-technical summaries of published academic research
  • Case studies with broader implications
  • Presidential addresses
  • Research syntheses
  • Other items approved by the Editors

Original Descriptive Analyses

Original descriptive analyses can be papers of any length that include simple-to-interpret data analyses, illustrations via maps, figures, tables, etc., and include discussion of possible implications for North American regions. Care should be taken to avoid causal language and interpretations not supported by the data.

Data Visualizations

Data visualizations can be a single exhibit or set of exhibits presented without textual discussion and interpretation. They are often self-evident and easily interpretable on their own.

Non-Technical Summaries of Published Academic Research

Non-technical summaries of published academic research will be published in the journal if they meet specific criteria including that they:

  1. are based on original research recently published online or in print in an outlet widely respected by regional scientists,
  2. use non-technical language, and
  3. fully comply with copyright laws.

Case Studies with Broader Implications

Case studies with broader implications can span a variety of topics and regions, so long as they are broadly relevant to North American regions. Case studies of small regions on narrow issues that do not generalize to other regions are generally not suitable.

Presidential Addresses

The NARSC President gives an annual address each year at the annual meeting. The Editors plan to invite NARSC Presidents to submit non-technical versions of their address to the NARSC outreach journal.

Research Syntheses

Research syntheses are papers that review and attempt to synthesize the research literature on a particular regional science topic using language accessible to non-academics. These should provide a main takeaway but also a balanced discussion that includes limitations and places of uncertainty in the research literature.

Other Items Approved by the Editors

The Editors may accept other submission items not specifically enumerated above or create new categories if warranted. Outreach related to North American regions is the central focus of the journal, and items will be published based on whether they contain relevant regional science information that is likely to be of interest to North American policymakers and the general public. The Editors will aim to publish as many such contributions as possible.

Publication Fees

Submissions by scholars unaffiliated with NARSC will require a $100 submission fee for consideration payable online via the following link:

The submission fee will be waived for NARSC affiliates, defined as individuals who meet any of the following criteria:

  • paid registration fees for the North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) in the past year (also known as the NARSC conference);
  • made a donation to NARSC of at least $100 in the past year;
  • served on NARSC Council or the journal’s Editorial Board in the past year;
  • served as NARSC President or Chair in any previous year; and
  • current member of the Canadian, Mid-Continent, Northeastern, Southern, or Western Regional Science Associations.