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Bringing together academics and policymakers

OA research stories: Dr Igor Calzada

How can research get into the hands of policymakers? And what is the role of open access publishing in helping to bridge the gap between research and policy?

We spoke to Dr Igor Calzada, author of ‘Benchmarking future city-regions beyond nation-states’ in Regional Studies, Regional Science, which has received 3,574 downloads.*


From Igor Calzada

My main research interests are comparing social, technological, economic, democratic and politically innovative processes in cities and regions by paying special attention to cases and issues of regional and metropolitan devolution. In particular, I focus on investigating European City-Region and Smart City benchmarking case studies.

“This research is very timely because I compare cases such as the independence movement in Catalonia, the referendum in Scotland, self-government in the Basque Country, the cross-border region in Oresund, urban renewal in Dublin, and the participatory governance model in Portland.”

I am preparing a forthcoming monograph with Routledge, for the Regions and Cities Series, and I thought it would be appropriate first to explore the themes of the book in a summary paper. The resulting short article, published open access in RSRS, has worked very well as an introduction to the key issues of why we should pay attention to city-regions.

“Publishing the article open access has enabled me to share the paper widely, especially through social media.”

It has also helped the research to reach a target audience of, not only academics in my field, but also policymakers interested in regional studies, devolution, politics, urban innovation and smart cities.

“I would recommend open access publishing to other researchers, particularly this type of long-term research that aims to build a scientific community around a topic by bringing in policymakers too.”

Open access publications are a good complement to knowledge exchange activities such as workshops and symposiums.


Dr Igor Calzada, MBA, FeRSA, is a Lecturer, Research Fellow and Senior Policy Adviser at the University of Oxford, UK, based at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS). He also holds a Lecturer position at the Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde, UK.

Find out more about publishing open access with Taylor & Francis, and get practical tips on getting your research read by practitioners, policymakers and beyond by checking out our handy cartoon on how to take your research from idea to action.  

*Data is correct as of October 23, 2017.