The Area Studies team at Routledge, Taylor & Francis recently ran a researcher survey, with the aim of helping us to identify the future priorities of Area Studies researchers and informing the activities we focus on in support of Area Studies publishing, adding a more detailed evidence base to the informed feedback we regularly receive. Having thoroughly examined the responses received from those who completed the survey, we’re pleased to now be able to share a summary of these findings with you.
A few key findings:
- Interdisciplinarity is a key USP (Unique Selling Point) of Area Studies and is seen as the biggest benefit of working in this field, alongside developing a deep understanding of different parts of the world and cultures.
- Funding is viewed as the greatest challenge within academic life.
- Area Studies scholars are increasingly being required to demonstrate the relevancy and impact of their research.
- There is more optimism than pessimism for the future of Area Studies. This optimism is driven by opportunities for collaboration in comparative studies, new courses and growth of funding in some regions (Asia, Gulf States) and the relevancy of Area Studies research to important real world issues.
- Respondents feel publishers can best support Area Studies researchers in championing the value of Area Studies research and in collaborating with Area Studies societies and associations.
In terms of next steps, we have identified the following aspects for exploration:
- Demonstrating relevancy and impact
- Recognising and promoting interdisciplinarity
- Exploring opportunities around comparative Area Studies
- Expansion of our networks in areas where there’s growth in funding and opportunities for Area Studies
We greatly appreciate any feedback or comments and would be happy to answer any queries that you may have on any aspects of the survey. Furthermore, if you would be interested in receiving occasional email updates on the progress of our projects, please do let us know.