New Directions for the Journal Migration Studies

Published 15 June 2020 / By Carlos Vargas-Silva

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Carlos Vargas-Silva, Editor-in-Chief

It has been eight years since the launch of the Migration Studies journal. The journal has been a great success; it currently has secured a high impact factor which is impressive for a young journal, it receives hundreds of submissions each year, and it is recognised as a central outlet among migration scholars.

The journal is now moving into a new phase and is one of the most important transitions since its launch. Alan Gamlen, who is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, has stepped down after nine years in the post. Alan has done a tremendous job running the journal and his leadership has been instrumental for its success. Nando Sigona who has also been part of the Core Editorial team since the start has also stepped down from his role as Associate Editor. The good news is that Alan and Nando will remain involved in the journal as members of its Global Editorial Board (which Alan will Chair). The Core Editorial team had been together since the inception of the journal and we will miss both Alan and Nando, but we are excited about their leadership in the Global Editorial Board.

The next phase of Migration Studies

The next phase of Migration Studies involves bringing four new exciting Associate Editors, with diverse regional, disciplinary, and methodological expertise. These are: Neli Demireva (University of Essex, UK), Feline Freier (Universidad del Pacífico, Peru), Christopher Parsons (University of Western Australia), and Bastian Vollmer (Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Germany). Other previous editorial members are also playing different roles with Emanuela Paoletti and Thomas Lacroix, two of the original Associate Editors now becoming Deputy Editors of the journal. In the case of Emanuela, she had also kept her role in leading the book reviews of the journal. Finally, I have taken the major responsibility of becoming the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. I have been part of the Core Editorial team of the journal since its start and I am looking forward to the challenge of leading this new phase.

Migration Studies has had a great first phase. The second phase involves consolidating the journal as one of the top in the field. There are four key aspects to achieve this.

Firstly, we want to continue attracting manuscripts from the most influential senior scholars with experience and deep knowledge in the field, as well as young scholars who often have the most innovative and refreshing ideas. Migration shapes human society and inspires ground-breaking research efforts across many different academic disciplines and policy areas. Our goal is for Migration Studies to be at the forefront of these efforts.

Secondly, we aim to increase the number of special issues on key topics in Migration Studies. We envisage the Global Editorial Board playing a stronger role here, which is one reason for refreshing it in the near future and establishing a Chair of the Board. We have already launched a new call for Special Issues and the deadline for the next issue is 30 September 2020!

Thirdly, we want to serve authors better by decreasing response time. This will include faster review processes for papers, without compromising the rigorous peer-review process.

Finally, we want to attract new scholarship from across the globe and particularly the Global South. While the journal already has a global reach in terms of the research, it is imperative to further expand our connection with scholars who have remained largely excluded from major academic outlets.

While the journal is in new hands, its core intellectual mission remains the same, the consolidation of the field of Migration Studies through the development of core concepts that link different disciplinary perspectives on migration. We will also continue to prioritise comparative research—across locations, populations, and periods of time— with strong methodological and theoretical components. I am excited about the future of Migration Studies and hope that you will join us in this new phase of the publication as authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers of the journal.

A Big Thank You

Alan Gamlen, outgoing Editor-in-Chief

Thank you to all the authors, reviewers, production staff and readers who have joined efforts in building the journal Migration Studies – and especially to Elizabeth Green, who holds everything together, and Vanessa Lacey, our founding Publisher. It has been a great privilege and pleasure to lead the editorial team of the journal over the past decade. I am immensely proud not only of what the journal has done, but also of what team members have achieved in their own right. We began this journey as a group of doctoral students and postdocs enthusing about ideas over pints in The Turf, The Royal Oak, and The Gardeners Arms. Carlos Vargas-Silva is now the Director of COMPAS. Nando Sigona is now full Professor at Birmingham and Director of IRiS. Alex Betts is full Professor and former Director of the RSC. Thomas Lacroix is a former director of Migrinter and now CNRS director of research in geography at the Maison Française of Oxford. Manu Paoletti has been at the heart of UNHCR missions in several hotspots of the global refugee crisis. Ale Délano is a co-director of the Zolberg Institute at the New School in New York. I am deeply grateful to have been able to work with this outstanding group, and relieved to be handing the editorial baton into such capable hands.

[PS: The Turf, The Royal Oak, and The Gardeners Arms are popular Oxford pubs!]