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Reaching Regions is an open access, peer-reviewed, outreach journal for social science research relevant to North American regions. Submissions should be written in non-technical language targeted to non-academic audiences. Reaching Regions is the official outreach journal of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) and published with support from the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) and the Regional Research Institute (RRI) at West Virginia University.

Focus and Scope

Reaching Regions will publish contributions on topics of policy-relevance to North American regions including original descriptive analyses, data visualizations, non-technical summaries of published academic research, case studies with broader implications, presidential addresses, research syntheses, and other items approved by the Editors. All submissions should be written in non-technical language that is accessible to non-academics.

Reaching Regions promotes the mission of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) by increasing dissemination of knowledge, encouraging scholarly engagement within NARSC, and increasing the external visibility of NARSC and its members. NARSC members have a long history of doing policy-relevant, engaging, and impactful research.

Reaching Regions is peer-reviewed, open access, and published fully online. NARSC members can submit papers with no submission or publication fees.

Submission Checklist

Prior to submission, authors should consult the journal’s Focus and Scope to ensure their paper is a proper fit for the journal.  

There are no strict formatting guidelines for initial submissions, but submissions must be well-written, free of technical jargon, and free of errors and typos. Initial submissions should generally be less than 10 pages double-spaced (although longer submissions may be considered). Technical aspects can be included in an appendix for interested readers, so long as the main sections of the submission are fully interpretable without the appendix.  Manuscripts must be doc, docx, rtf, or odt files.

Submissions that are conditionally accepted must be formatted to journal specifications before the submission can be fully accepted and published.  

During the submission process, authors will need to do the following:

  • indicate which category their submission fits
  • affirm that their paper has been written to be accessible to non-academic audiences
  • disclose any related work or conflicts of interest by the authors, and
  • provide information on the author’s affiliation and involvement with the North American Regional Science Council in order to waive the submission fee; this can be addressed in the "Comments to the Editor" field at the end of the submission process on the "Review your submission" page or via a cover letter attached along with the manuscript.


Copyright Notice

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 workm 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.

Peer Review

All submissions will be evaluated by at least one Editor or Co-Editor. An Editor or Co-Editor may decide to desk reject any submission deemed not appropriate for the journal, i.e., they may decline to publish it without input from an external reviewer.  Submissions not desk rejected will be sent to at least one external peer reviewer.

Peer reviewers will be asked to:

  1. assess whether the submission fits the criteria for the relevant submission category,
  2. recommend whether or not the submission should be published, and
  3. provide feedback as appropriate.

Reviewers are not generally expected to provide detailed feedback for submissions they do not recommend publishing, but they are asked to offer some brief explanation for their negative recommendation. Handling editors have the final say in whether a submission warrants publication.

Requests for major revisions will generally be avoided. Most papers will be either rejected or accepted conditional on minor revisions and formatting. Revised submissions following conditional acceptance will typically not be sent back to external reviewers.


Reaching Regions allows the following licences for submission:

  • CC BY 4.0
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

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:

  1. 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);
  2. made a donation to NARSC of at least $100 in the past year;
  3. served on NARSC Council or the journal’s Editorial Board in the past year;
  4. served as NARSC President or Chair in any previous year; and 5) current member of the Canadian, Mid-Continent, Northeastern, Southern, or Western Regional Science Associations.

Publication Cycle

The journal is published continuously, with articles released when they are accepted and are ready for publication. This publishing model ensures that research is made available as soon as possible.


Section or article type

Public Submissions

Peer Reviewed


Original Descriptive Analysis

Data Visualization

Non-Technical Summary of Published Academic Research

Case Study with Broader Implications

Presidential Address

Research Synthesis