Latest News

PTP Submissions Advice

posted Jun 8, 2020, 11:21 PM by Ellie Phillips   [ updated Jun 8, 2020, 11:28 PM ]

Author Alert!

John Forester has written 

full of useful guidelines for those submitting articles. 

RTPI journal gets top academic listing

posted Feb 6, 2018, 1:57 AM by Ellie Phillips

Planning Theory and Practice (PTP), RTPI’s academic journal published jointly with Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, has been accepted by Clarivate Analytics for inclusion in the Social Sciences Citation Index™.

This means the journal is now ranked amongst the top planning journals in the field and will be included in the next Journal Citation Reports Impact Factor releases.  

Trudi Elliott, Chief Executive of the RTPI who co-owns the journal, said; “The RTPI prides itself on advancing the art and science of spatial planning and the journal does this justice. This recognition would not have happened without the enthusiasm, creativity and dedication of everybody involved.  PTP is very much the product of a great team: contributors, Editors, our Editorial Board, staff and other supporters of the Institute.”   

The journal’s Senior Editor Heather Campbell said: “The mission of the journal has always been distinctive: to publish material that demonstrates both intellectual rigour and practical impact.  Given the challenges facing our communities and cities, research must demonstrate how the insights gained can make a difference.  The listing of the journal recognises the scholarly excellence of the distinctive work we publish.”   

About Planning Theory and Practice

PTP is an international journal which aims to challenge theory and change practice in spatial planning and is distinctive in its commitment to publishing content which combines intellectual rigour with practical impact.

Now publishing five issues a year, PTP’s content raises issues at the leading edge of planning theory and practice, draws out their wider significance, and encourages the development of a spatial dimension in other areas of public policy.

The journal’s innovative Interface section adopts an original approach to stimulating debate. Each issue of Interface is freely available and offers a series of contributions reflecting on an issue from different perspectives. This promotes dialogue between the academic and practitioner communities, encouraging analytical reflection on practice and practical engagement with theory.

The journal’s Comments and Reviews section comprises Policy & Planning Briefs which provide critical insights into key policy developments and analysis of spatial plans, book reviews, comments on a current topic, and rejoinders to articles previously published.

Writing to impress the critics: make your article delicious

posted Jan 10, 2017, 5:14 AM by Ellie Phillips

Jill L Grant

Writing to impress the critics: make your article delicious

If you have research results to share or significant ideas to test you probably find yourself thinking about how to craft an article that can survive the daunting process of peer review and thereby make it into print. Getting your work published is certainly possible – if you deliver what journals and their reviewers expect in scholarly papers. As you prepare your work, keep your potential reviewer’s concerns in mind. Your success depends on capturing the reader’s attention with a well-organized, coherent, and engaging presentation. (When you are trying to understand what the journal invites reviewers to think about, visit the Planning Theory and Practice page on ‘How to write a referee comment’ )


As you refine your work remember that few scholars can write a good article around a vague, general, or shop-worn topic. A scholarly article needs to say something interesting, useful, and original. Your article needs a ‘hook’: that is, a key theme or question to guide you in mustering evidence and organizing the presentation towards a specific end. To make sure your article meets these tests, journals send your work out to two to five reviewers or referees with expertise in the field. An article reviewer is invited to be a critical reader who pays special attention to the content, style, and contribution of your paper. To earn a good review you need to satisfy the reader’s appetite. It may help to think about your article as if it was a meal, and the reviewer a food critic.


The appetizer: A strong abstract whets the reader’s appetite. The abstract provides a clear and succinct summary of the key contributions and main findings of your article. Your abstract may place the paper in its context (geographic, theoretical, or empirical). Its quality needs to be ‘five-star’ because it sets the tone for what follows.


First course: Like a soup course, your introduction needs to be flavourful and hearty. Introduce the context or setting of your work in a way that allows a mix of ingredients to blend in ways that generate interest in your theme. Clearly lay out where your paper may be heading. What is your key question? Why is it important? How will you approach it? Your literature review, like the wholesome bread accompanying the soup, gives the reader something to chew on as you establish the scholarly context and merit for your work. Before leaving the introductory sections, briefly describe your methods with crisp, simple, and clear explanations of what you did, when, and how.


Main course:  The body of your article provides the substance and evidence needed to explore your research question with original material that satisfies the hungry reader. Usually this will be the most ‘meaty’ portion of the work, perhaps taking up 40-60% of the article. While an article format limits how much evidence you can present, you need to offer sufficient and appropriate material to illustrate the arguments you are making. Everything included should be relevant; everything directly relevant should be included. Offer hearty analysis, not mere description.


Time for dessert: Finish with a rich conclusion that connects your findings back to the literature to show how your contribution adds to knowledge or raises new questions for further exploration in the field. Avoid simply restating what you have already said: that rarely satisfies a reader. Think about the ‘so what’ questions: what important lessons come out of your work (for theory, for practice, for knowledge)? How does your contribution advance understanding?

Cut empty calories: As you prepare your final manuscript for submission, consider trying to cut the word count by at least 10%. Go through and remove every unnecessary word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, or section. Avoid empty phrases, self-indulgent commentary, and rhetorical flourishes. Make your prose active and engaging. Wordiness is your enemy. If you make your article ‘tasty’ and ‘nourishing’, people will come back for more.


Embrace the reviews


Reviewers have expertise in fields that the editor decided were relevant to your paper. Indeed, a reviewer may well be among the authors whose work you cite. If your paper advertised ‘health food’ but switched to ‘cheese-fries’ part way through, expect the reviewer to notice. Stay focussed. Reviewers will not appreciate distractions. Make sure your paper has a logical flow and is clear, concise, and concrete.


Receiving a negative review can be difficult, but resolve to treat reviewers’ feedback as a gift. Reviewers put a great deal of thought into how to respond to the work they read. They are established scholars who share their wisdom and experience with you. Embrace their feedback, even when it may be critical.


If you get an invitation to revise and resubmit your article, pay careful attention to the reviewers’ comments as you return to your work. You may not agree with everything the reviewers say, but learn from the advice. The second review will not likely go well if you do not make substantive revisions to correct the imperfections in your original draft.


If you get a rejection letter, don’t give up. If you believe you have something substantive to offer then revise the work to address the concerns that reviewers raise, and submit the revised paper to another journal likely to find your theme of interest.

Jill Grant is a Professor at the School of Planning at Dalhousie University, Canada. Jill is an Associate Editor of Planning Theory and Practice.

Video Abstract

posted Dec 7, 2016, 9:06 AM by Ellie Phillips

ACSP 2014 - An Invitation from Planning Theory and Practice

posted Oct 8, 2014, 4:42 AM by Ellie Phillips

On behalf of Planning Theory & Practice, Routledge and RTPI would like to invite you to a wine reception at the ACSP Conference, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Pennsylvania.

Friday 31st October
7.30pm – 9.30pm
Washington Room A

Heather Campbell, Senior Editor of Planning Theory & Practice, and other contributors, will be present to talk about the journal and meet potential authors. Drinks and light refreshments will be available free of charge, so come and share a glass with us.

Podcast to Accompany Centenary Edition of PT&P

posted Oct 8, 2014, 4:24 AM by Ellie Phillips

Heather Campbell (Editor of PT&P), Kelvin Macdonald (Senior Visiting Fellow - Dept of Land Economy, Cambridge), Mitchell Silver (past President APA)  on Professional Planning 100 years on, Planning to make the future together, and the role of planning in the 21st Century and beyond.

This Month's Blog

posted Sep 5, 2014, 5:37 AM by Ellie Phillips   [ updated Sep 5, 2014, 5:37 AM ]

Fiona Counsell, Managing Editor of Planning & Urban Studies Journals at Routledge, talks us through impact factors....

Guidelines for Reviewers

posted Aug 18, 2014, 2:58 AM by Ellie Phillips

The publishers, Taylor and Francis have produced some excellent guidelines for reviewers.
You can find these here:-

Understanding community development in a “theory of action” framework: Norms, markets, justice

posted Jul 8, 2014, 7:24 AM by Ellie Phillips   [ updated Jul 8, 2014, 7:25 AM ]

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