Publishing Workshop

Instructor:  Dr. James F. Palmer (

The system of peer-reviewed scholarship is at the center of creating and expanding a discipline. Realizing this, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) sponsored and underwrote the establishment of Landscape Journal in 1982. The Journal’s intent was to encourage “the sharing of new information and thought in the many subject areas which support landscape design, planning and management of the land” (Alanen and Morrison, 1982). European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) established the Journal of Landscape Architecture for similar reasons in 2006.

The proposed workshop introduces the process of contributing to landscape scholarship as both an author and a reviewer. It is anticipated that the audience for such a workshop will be junior faculty and graduate students in landscape and design-related disciplines. Participants in this workshop will learn:

  • About the different types of articles that that several landscape-related peer-reviewed journals seek.
  • How to structure an article to make the most convincing presentation of the author’s ideas.
  • What peer-reviewers are looking for, and how to write a strong and constructive review.
  • About 100-plus journals in which landscape architecture faculty have published.

The workshop is divided into two parts: the first part is an interactive presentation; the second part is a roll-playing experience that lets the participants engage the revision and review of a real manuscript. Participants will be given the opportunity to share their own experience with peer-reviewed publishing, and strategies they have found helpful.

The workshop presenter is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and has been elected a Fellow of both CELA and ASLA in recognition of his contribution to the scholarship of landscape architecture. He is a former editor of Landscape Journal and a long-time member of Landscape and Urban Planning’s editorial board. He has developed a rich understanding of the ‘publishing game’ that includes not just authors, but reviewers and readers as well. This workshop was originally designed for CELA, but has also been given at an ECLAS meeting and other venues.


The workshop is structure to be 4 or 5 hours long. The first part of the workshop occurs in a classroom arranged to facilitate discussion. The second part of the workshop requires “break-out” rooms or places where groups of 3 to 5 participants can conduct the role-playing exercise without disrupting each other.


  1. Flip chart
  2. Markers
  3. The host institution will duplicate a packet of handouts for each participant:

Anonymous. 2002. Landscape Journal Review of Parking lot planter design and tree condition. (unpublished manuscript).

Erickson, D.L. 2003. Catalog of Journals Suitable for Scholarship in Landscape Architecture. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.

White, S., D. Duck, and M. Mouse. 2002. Parking lot planter design and tree condition. (unpublished manuscript).

Tess, B., and G. Tress. 2003. Landscape and Urban Planning: Guidelines for referees. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science.

Draft Schedule

9:00           Introductions: Purpose of workshop. Instructors’ name, background, teaching/research, writing

9:10           Student Introductions: Name, institution, “Publishing track record, problems/success.”

10:00         Where to publish (Erickson 2003). How to pick a journal.

10:15         Landscape Journal’s  Publishing Process–our road map.

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Project
  • Final Draft Article. (hand out manuscript guidelines) Have mentors, colleagues, students, and your mother review it.
  • Send to Journal.
  • Journal Arranges Peer Reviews.   These steps take about 3-4 months.
  • Editor’s Decision.
  • Revise/Resubmit until it is Accepted/Rejected/Withdrawn
  • Final Revisions & Copy Editing
  • Send to Press
  • 1st Page Proofs. Author reviews.
  • 2nd Page Proofs. Editors review.
  • Published. Authors get 2 copies of the issue (no reprints)

10:30         Traditional Structure of an Article (similar to a proposal!).

  1. Title page. (1) Title, Author(s) name, affiliation, address, phone, email.  (2) Biography (less than 100 words).  (3) Abstract. Key words.
  2. Introduction. Set up the problem in ordinary language.
  3. Literature Review. Set the academic context; what is known and where are the disagreements.
  4. Objectives. What will you accomplish. This is frequently not clear in articles.
  5. Findings. Just the facts.
  6. Discussion. Interpretation; what do the facts mean; refer to the literature.
  7. Conclusion. Summary or take away points; what still needs to be done.


What is the role of Tables, Charts, and other Graphics?  (I often prepare my illustrations first and then write about them.)

Discuss variations on this approach to structuring an article.

11:00         Break (hand out White, et al. article first)

11:15         Read White, et al. (2002).  Your assignment is to: (1) identify its purpose, (2) identify its structural parts, and (3) give 3 constructive comments.

11:45         Role Play.  In small groups, 2 reviewers present their reviews to 1 author.

12:00         Debrief. Write how authors felt on the flip chart.

12:15         Debrief. Reviewers, what did you just hear? Is there another way to say it that helps improve the article?

12:30         The Reviewers Job. (Tess & Tess 2003) (1) Summary, (2) General Comments, and (3) Specific Comments.

12:50         Evaluation: On a sheet of paper, please write down: (1) What did you learn (most important take home lesson)?  (2) What was best?  (3) What could we do better?