Co-Editor: Current Issues in Tourism

Colleague spotlight | Professor Chris Cooper


Professor Cooper is also Series Editor for Aspects of Tourism, Channelview Publications. He is a member of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 Sub-Panel 24, Sport, Exercise Science and Tourism, and one of only 15 academics to have won the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation / Dissemination of Knowledge and Tourism Policy.

How much work is involved in being the editor of CiT?

The workload is considerable as submissions have increased substantially over the last 5 years, partly because of the impact factor of the journal and also its reputation. I spend time dealing with papers every day to keep the workload manageable, if I miss a day then the following day’s double load is a nightmare! Fortunately, the administrators who allocate the paper do not work at the weekend so there is respite.

What do you look for in a good paper?

It is a combination of features - clearly it has to meet all the technical requirements in terms of length, format, appropriate method and so on but the key is ‘contribution’ and what does it add to what we already know. I have to say not all papers meet this threshold and we are seeing a lot of highly sophisticated quantitative papers that are technically brilliant but at the end of the day do not make a new contribution in terms of the results.

How do you select reviewers?

A number of ways - obviously personal contacts, knowledge of the field and the literature cited are key. However, the publishers also suggest referees using a search system from existing and similar papers – sometimes this works, but not always. Needless to say, getting reviewers is increasingly difficult as the submissions have increased. I also have an emergency bank of reviewers I know that I can rely on for a fast turnaround if let down and I can also use the editorial board.

How do you deal with reviews that give conflicting views on a paper?

Look at who the reviewers are and read carefully what they say, then I reread the paper and take a view. There are then two routes – I can send it to my co-editor Michael Hall for a view or it goes to one of my emergency bank of reviewers for a judgement.

What do you think are the hot topics for the next few years?

Artificial Intelligence, block chain, AR and VR, big data, visitor tracking, destination resilience, the dreaded Covid-19, climate adaptation, and review papers as the subject area matures.

Professor Christopher Cooper

Professor / School Of Events, Tourism And Hospitality Management

Chris Cooper is Professor in the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management Leeds Beckett University in the UK. He gained his undergraduate degree and PhD in Geography from University College London.

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