December 4, 2018 - 10:00am
Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Master of Community Planning program now has its own peer-reviewed academic journal.
Future Plans, an online academic journal accepting submissions from students, professional planners, consultants and researchers across Canada, published its first edition in late November. Featured authors in the inaugural edition include VIU students, a VIU professor and a professor-student combination from Ontario. Topics range from Victoria’s suburban sprawl, to the legalization of marijuana, and how to plan authentic places.
“Our Master of Community Planning students are doing interesting research for the benefit of communities and people across Vancouver Island and beyond. We wanted to give them another tool to present their research to a wider audience and stimulate a broader dialogue within the national and international planning community,” says Dr. Pam Shaw, Director of VIU’s MCP program. “I am hopeful this journal will become a valuable resource for all planning students across Canada and anyone else interested in publishing in a fully digital, open access journal.”
Second-year MCP student Lainy Nowak is editor of the journal this year. She spent last spring creating a website for the journal and engaging a panel of reviewers from across Canada, including professional planners and academics from various planning programs. Submissions were collected over the spring and summer.
“It’s really exciting to have this avenue for students in our program and planning professionals to share information,” she says. “It’s huge in terms of getting the word out about our program. For a lot of graduate programs, after students finish their thesis, there’s not a lot of platforms to publish what they’ve just spent the past couple years researching. They’ll have to pare that research down of course, but this gives them another opportunity to present it to a broader community.”
It will also give students in the program, such as herself, that coveted experience of working on a real academic journal, Nowak adds.
Future Plans is published by VIU Press, which started in 2016 with the publication of the online International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.
“We are excited to publish online – what we believe is the way of the future for academic journals,” says Nowak.
Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University