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Sarmiento, Fausto O., and David R. Butler, 2011. Where do mountain geographers publish? Disciplinary trends and career development choices. Mountain Research and Development 31(1), 61-67.

Authors:
Where Do Mountain Geographers Publish?
Disciplinary Trends and Career Development Choices
Fausto O. Sarmiento
1
*and David R. Butler
2
* Corresponding author: fsarmien@uga.edu
1
Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
2
Department of Geography, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, TX 78666-4616, USA
Open access article: please credit the authors and the full source.
Geographers face choices in publishing
research in outlets that affiliate them
with a discipline that gauges the overall
development of their academic standing
by the approval of the peer-review
process. It is not only actual publication
that counts but also when and where an
article is published. Well-published
geographers often find themselves at
the fuzzy boundaries of traditional
disciplinary work, because often the
nature of the profession tends to
develop holistically, which favors new
hybrid approaches, fusing techniques,
sharing methodologies, and above all,
creating new coupled constructions for
the appropriation of concepts
associated with place and space. We
argue that nowhere is this more
important than in mountain geography,
where different sciences not only
converge to analyze mountain
ecosystems but also apply the
subspecialties of human and physical
geography for better understanding of
mountain landscapes. By separating
physical geography journals from human
geography outlets, geographers
pigeonhole professional development
and favor reductionistic views of
mountain functions, forms, and changes.
We also argue that the multiplicity of
choices for publication of research on
mountain themes has diluted the
required concentration of disciplinary
trends and has hindered the
establishment of mountain science (ie
montology) as a discipline. We use a
bibliometric critique based on impact
factors to determine the likelihood that
junior mountain geographers will
continue the trend of targeting either
process-driven (traditional disciplinary),
or region-driven (traditional spatial)
journals, in lieu of promoting self-
identification of montology through
contemporary journals (postmodern,
transdisciplinary) that catalyze research
productivity and construct their
professional self-identity as
montologists, as senior mountain
geographers often do.
Keywords: Mountain geography;
impact factor; montology; mountain
journals; publishing and academic
careers.
Reviewed by the Editors:
December 2010
Accepted: December 2010
Introduction
The fascination of mountains for
scientific minds is not new. Indeed,
Chinese writings, Japanese paintings,
Hebrew traditions, Egyptian
hieroglyphs, and even South African
petroglyphs and Greek tragedies
associate mountains with the
selective realm of the initiated,
learned priests, academics, and
scholars (Debarbieux and Rudaz
2010). In Western culture, it is agreed
that mountains became the driver of
natural history explorations among
many Renaissance scientists who
traversed the world and undertook
expeditions and traveled on study
tours that helped to debunk old
myths not only about volcanism,
magnetism, altitude, and biological
oddities but also about mountain
communities, civilizations, and
empires (Helferich 2005). None was
better fitted for this task than Baron
Alexander Von Humboldt, who
formalized methodologies for
understanding mountain forms and
processes (Zimmerer 2006). Based on
his pioneering work, one of the
authors (Sarmiento 1995, 1997) has
argued in favor of recognizing
Tropandean mountains as the
birthplace of ecology.
Despite the establishment of the
Humboldtian paradigm of
biogeographical study of mountains,
little effort toward developing an
integrative science was shown in
traditional academic circles.
Researchers studied geology, botany,
zoology, or anthropology in places
that just happened to be in mountain
areas. Pioneering efforts to frame
mountain research from a holistic
perspective, bringing the mountain
theme to the fore of scientific
research, were at best sporadic and
punctuated by individual efforts. An
early publication devoted to
mountaineering and exploration, the
Alpine Journal, appeared in 1857. The
Alpine Arc and other European
mountains were the target of the
Revue de Ge
´ographie Alpine, published
by the Institut de Ge´ographie Alpine
in Grenoble, France, as of 1913.
Mountain ecology was the target of
integrative biological studies from
1942, when the Instituto de Estudios
Pirenaicos was formed in Zaragoza,
Spain. Its periodical, Pirineos, the
Journal of Mountain Ecology in a tri-
lingual version, reached volume 165
in 2010.
In 1969, an initiative of the
Institute for Arctic and Alpine
Research launched its journal AAR
(now AAAR to integrate Antarctic
themes), sponsored by the University
of Colorado, Boulder, and now up to
volume 42 in 2010. However, it was
not until the creation of The
International Mountain Society,
MountainNotesMountain Research and Development (MRD)
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published by the International Mountain Society (IMS)
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Mountain Research and Development Vol 31 No 1 Feb 2011: 61–67 http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-10-00123.1 ß2011 by the authors61
from 1973 to 1980, and the
establishment of its professional
journal edited by Jack D. Ives, that
efforts to encompass science and
mountain community–relevant
development began: Mountain
Research and Development (MRD) was
launched in 1981 and has continued
as a quarterly to this day, with
volume 30 in 2010.
Further efforts to produce
specialized publications were a direct
response either of individual country
initiatives to support mountain
research or of private foundations
and professional associations.
Examples vary: N
˜aupa Pacha, the
Journal of Andean Studies, published
in Berkeley, California, on a yearly
basis since 1960; Kailash, the Journal of
Himalayan Studies, printed on
traditional rice paper in Kathmandu,
Nepal, starting in 1973; the Journal of
Mountain Ecology begun in 1993,
sponsored by Italy’s Gran Paradiso
National Park; the Journal of Mountain
Science launched in 2004 and
sponsored by the Chinese Academy
of Sciences; Eco-Mont, the Journal of
Protected Mountain Areas Research and
Management, produced by the
Austrian Academy of Science and
Innsbruck University Press starting in
2009; the international scientific
journal of Sustainable Development of
Mountain Territories launched in 2009
by the Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy of the State Technological
University in Russia; and the
upcoming Journal of Mountain
Environment and Development,tobe
launched by the Chinese Academy of
Sciences in 2011.
Bibliometrics and mountains
Analysis of bibliographic
productivity has become a guiding
practice as a reference for scientific
output at country, institutional, or
even individual scholar levels
(Ko
¨rner 2009). New institutes for
scientometrics are appearing in most
countries, with an eye to assessing
national productivity in science, as
shown in published research outputs.
A favored index for determining
scholarly productivity, the journal
impact factor ( JIF) for scientific
journals, is now used as a key
indicator of the professional stature
of academics, whose achievement of
promotion and tenure is often linked
to the reputation that high impact
factor journals confer (Garfield
1994). The Journal Citations Report
ß
published by Thomson Reuters,
formerly known as the Web of
Knowledge
ß
of the Institute for
Scientific Information (ISI), provides
the JIF metrics. This index helps to
quantify the old adage of ‘‘publish or
perish’’ that characterizes American
and European academic circles,
often considered as ‘‘ivory towers’’ of
prestige and specialized knowledge
marked by ‘‘silo thinking’’ (Locke
2009; Rosen 2010). Furthermore, it
appears that, by adhering to
publication only in Web of Science
ß
(WoS) journals, junior scholars are
fostering a ‘‘problematic’’ disciplinary
trend that promotes Anglo-
American views, furthering the
dependency of foreign languages (ie
other than English as the de facto
lingua franca in science; see
Schuermans et al 2010) and the
hegemony of Western positivistic
thinking (Derudder 2010). This has
not helped to promote holistic
mountain science relevant to all
regions worldwide.
Moreover, in mountain
geography queries, terminology has
hindered searches and complicated
queries for 3 main reasons:
1. Use of ISI–WoS analysis by using
English-only articles, by limiting
descriptors to wide concepts in-
stead of localized epistemologies;
2. Nonconventional appropriation
of keyword descriptors by WoS
journals, which allows only a
handful of terms to describe the
article; and
3. Vague interpretation of title, ab-
stract, or keywords in relation to
the failure of WoS journals to
index mountain studies as a dis-
cipline.
This milieu of indexing protocols
leads to generalized terms such as
‘Andean,’’ ‘‘Himalayan,’’ or
‘afroalpine’’ being considered
equivalent to ‘‘alpine’’ in the
grouping of research output on
‘elevation,’’ ‘‘altitude,’’ ‘‘mountain,’’ or
‘highland.’’ Ko
¨rner (2009), for
example, found top rankings for total
publications on mountain or alpine
themes with authors from the United
States (20%), Switzerland (15%),
France (11%), Germany and Italy
(10%), and Austria (9%). Although
contributions to ‘‘mountain scientific
literature’’ were clearly led by the
United States and Switzerland, the
fact that Ko
¨rner amalgamated the
terms raises concerns that
reductionist, process-driven research
continues to guide bibliometrics in
the global north.
Where do mountain
geographers publish? A survey
We surveyed specialists with the
purpose of finding out where
mountain geographers most prefer
to publish in the United States and
Europe as well as in Latin America.
The survey question was sent via
email to 17 professional geographers
associated with the Mountain
Geography Specialty Group of the
Association of American
Geographers (AAG) and to 35
colleagues and practitioners in the
Americas, queried via the Americas
Cordillera Transect network. The
expert interviews consisted of follow-
up emails that dealt with preferences
and practices of scientific publishing,
where the term ‘‘mountain’’ was
either a physical geography theme or
a human geography subject. We
received 52 responses from
acclaimed geographers, editors of
journals, and renowned scholars as
well as young assistant professors and
conservation practitioners who deal
with mountain community
development.
Young geographers are still
divided in targeting specific WoS
journals with high JIFs pursuant to
MountainNotes
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publication for professional
advancement, although seasoned
scholars tend to send manuscripts to
traditional journals without regard
to JIFs but rather to societal
affiliations. In addition, junior
mountain geographers often find
that geographic journals overall
have low JIFs compared with top-
ranked journals such as Science or
Nature (Figure 1). As Daniel Gade,
answering the survey suggests,
‘Precisely who is a mountain
geographer is another question. To
a large extent, it is one of self-
ascription.’’ A fluvial
geomorphologist could still be
considered a geologist or a
hydrologist, if it so happens that she
or he studies mountain landscapes.
A zoologist who specializes in the
avifauna of the mountaintops might
be considered an ornithologist
rather than a montologist.
Yet work of this sort helps to
build montology, the science of
mountain studies (Ives et al 1997,
Rhoades 2007). We argue that
junior mountain geographers
should become montologists, by
targeting uniquely suited WoS
journals with a high JIF and
publish their work according to 3
different criteria:
a. Guilds or professional societies;
b. Trade or compulsory activities in
research; and
c. Regions or area of expertise or
emphasis.
Examples of target journals are
listed in the conclusion, and a sample
given by the survey is shown in
Table 1. However, publishing in high
JIF and WoS journals remains a
compulsory requirement for
obtaining recognition from peers
and superiors in ascending the
academic ladder in American and
European university settings. Gade
remains optimistic, affirming that
‘mountain geography is still not
strongly inscribed in the way
geographers think about their
discipline, but it certainly can
become so.’’ Furthermore, Bishop
(2009) underlines the urgency of
multidisciplinary research and
education with a ‘‘mountain
geographical perspective.’
Because no journal of montology
exists, current efforts in the scientific
output of mountain research remain
diluted, compartmentalized in
traditional disciplinary geographical
blocks. Editors (such as Debarbieux,
Malanson, Marston, Harden, Friend,
and Welford) of prestigious journals
(such as Revue de Ge
´ographie Alpine,
AAAR,Geomorphology,Physical
Geography,Mountain Science, and
GeoAtlas) point to this deficiency,
which emphasizes that there is no
such a thing as a must-publish-in outlet
for mountain geographers and
suggest that researchers target those
appropriate to either physical
geography or human geography.
Some colleagues who answered a
simple survey question noted that it
is quite difficult to come up with a
list of journals for mountain
geographers. We compiled the most
favorably referenced in Table 1,
noting that there were regional or
even parochial preferences to
specific journals and also indicate
that, because of the bias of
professional medical and
pharmaceutical literature, readership
preferences in science are highly
skewed; hence, JIFs alone should not
be considered in assessing a likely
target for a research publication in
geography.
Impact factors in
mountain research
An imperative guide for assessing
research performance is the use of
FIGURE 1 In search of the most appropriate journals in which a montologist should publish.
Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) krummholz patch on the west side of Bison Peak, Glacier
National Park, Montana, USA. (Photo by David Butler, July 1992)
MountainNotes
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TABLE 1 Selection of suggested outlets based on recommendations made by renowned montologists. Although no prioritization was requested in the survey,
inclusion of the journal itself denotes a respondent’s preference.
Journal title
JIF
SCI
a)
JIF
SSCI
a)
Process
driven
b)
Region
driven
c)
Opt
area
d)
Ambio 2.486 – No Int T
Annals of the Association of American
Geographers
– 2.568 Yes Nat G
Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 1.439 – Yes Int T
Asia-Pacific Mountain Courier No Nat R
Biotropica 2.270 – Yes Int G
Bulletin of Latin American Research No Int R
Catena 1.933 – Yes Int G
Ecological Applications 3.672 – Yes Nat T
Ecology Letters 10.318 – Yes Nat T
Eco-Mont No Nat R
Ecotro´picos Yes Nat G
Environmental Conservation 1.541 – Yes Int T
Erdkunde 0.622 – Yes Nat T
Geografiska Annaler Series A 1.041 – Yes Reg G
Geomorphology 2.119 – Yes Int G
Global Environmental Change 3.340 – Yes Int T
Holocene 2.481 – Yes Int R
Journal of Biogeography 4.087 – Yes Int G
Journal of Ecology 4.690 – Yes Nat G
Journal of Geographical Sciences 0.518 – No Int T
Journal of Latin American Geography
e)
Yes Int R
Journal of Mountain Science 0.400 – No Int R
Landscape and Urban Planning 2.170 – Yes Int G
Landscape Ecology 3.293 – Yes Nat T
Landscape Research – 0.714 No Nat G
Mountain Research and Development 0.575 – No Int T
Photogrammetric Engineering and
Remote Sensing
1.110 – Yes Int G
Pirineos, Journal of Mountain Ecology
e)
Yes Int R
Progress in Human Geography – 3.590 No Int T
Quaternary Science Reviews 4.245 – Yes Int T
Regional Studies – 1.462 Yes Int T
Revista Geogra´fica
e)
No Nat G
Revue de Ge´ographie Alpine – 0.000
f)
No Int R
MountainNotes
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the JIF. According to Thomson
Reuters (2010), a ‘‘journal’s impact
factor is calculated by dividing the
number of current year citations to
the source items published in that
journal during the previous two
years.’’ Thompson Reuters’ Web of
Science and Web of Knowledge
produce the impact factor report for
scientific journals as a leading tool
for bibliometrics. Figures for the year
2009 are available at the ISI Web of
Science homepage. There are
alternative ways to tally scientific
journals, such as the SCImago
Journal and Country Rank (SJR
index), developed by Scimago
Research Group and powered by
Scopus
TM
(Leydesdorff et al 2010),
the CCI: Contextual Citation Index,
Meta-analysis of published data, Data
Mining, etc. (Stringer et al 2010,
Moed 2010, Bjo
¨rk et al 2010). Other
indexes are also used, such as the
eigenfactor metrics for article
influence score, the immediacy
index, Articles Cited Half-life, etc.
We emphasize JIF here because of its
ubiquitous use in American academia
to define career promotion
thresholds and the overall
professional achievement of faculty
and researchers who publish in top
WoS journals.
The premise for JIF is that ‘‘if a
journal is full of cutting-edge
research, then many people will cite
it and the impact factor will be high.
If no one reads it, or if the research it
contains is not important, it will have
a low impact factor’’ (Wordpress
2009). However, the statistic is
misleading because it emphasizes the
popularity of readership preference
of well-distributed online journals
(eg JAMA,Science) with extremely high
JIF, versus ‘‘subspecialty’’ journals
with a much smaller audience and
often of recent inclusion as open
source or Internet-based searchable
journals. These journals might
contain excellent research; however,
a smaller audience will likely cite
them only in a few other subspecialty
journals (eg Clinical Biomechanics,
Brenesia). Hence, very high impact
factor journals tend to be the general
medical and scientific journals that
attract a large number of submissions
(so they can be selective) and a large
number of readers. Near the top are
the New England Journal of Medicine
(2009 impact factor: 47), Nature (34),
and Science (29). Nevertheless,
complete reliance on JIF to evaluate
the quality of scientific work raises
difficulties. The use of furtive JIFs
assigned by administrators at
Thompson Reuters, a profit-oriented
‘monolithic news and information
empire,’’ is dangerous at best.
However, ‘‘it is likely that individuals
will continue to ‘game the system’ in
an attempt to protect their careers’’
(Brumback 2009), and, in fact, we see
junior mountain geographers doing
just that.
As mentioned above, alternative
methods exist for measuring the
value of a journal, such as the page-
rank method or membership indexes.
However, scientific editors have
agreed that JIF is a marker that sets
the bar for scientific productivity. In
the UK, for instance, JIF is often used
to determine one’s esteem as a
scientist. In the United States, JIF is
increasingly used for evaluation of
tangible academic output and thus as
a base for salary increase, extra
compensation, promotion, and
tenure consideration. In Europe,
increasing attention is being paid to
the ‘‘h-index’’ as a measure of the
productivity of the author and
citations received in other
Journal title
JIF
SCI
a)
JIF
SSCI
a)
Process
driven
b)
Region
driven
c)
Opt
area
d)
Scottish Geographical Journal 0.261 – Yes Loc R
Studia Geomorphologica Carpatho-
Balcanica
Yes Loc R
Sustainable Development of Mountain
Territories
e)
No Nat R
The Geographical Review – 0.455 No Nat T
The Professional Geographer 1.712 Yes Nat G
The Southeastern Geographer No Reg R
Unasylva No Int G
JIF, journal impact factor; SCI, Science Citation Index; SSCI, Social Science Citation Index.
a)
Source: Journal Citation Report 2009, Thomson Reuters, accessed on 7 January 2011.
b)
Disciplinary ascription as ‘‘No’’ (nontraditional) or ‘‘Yes’’(traditional).
c)
Sphere of influence as ‘‘Loc’’ (local), ‘‘Reg’’ (regional), ‘‘Nat’’ (national), or ‘‘Int’’ (international).
d)
Suggested affiliation as ‘‘G’’ (guild), ‘‘T’’ (trade), or ‘‘R’’ (region).
e)
The journal publisher provided a ranking according to Scopus or another index, but the journal is not listed in the Journal Citation Report.
f)
The Revue de Ge´ ographie Alpine (RGA)’s Impact Factor will only be active as of 2010, because the journal has just been added to the SSCI list.
TABLE 1 Continued.
MountainNotes
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publications. Moreover, by using the
h-index, the productivity and the
impact of whole departments,
universities, or countries can be
assessed.
When gauging mountain
geography within the context of
academic productivity, we face an
identity crisis owing to the lack of
self-ascription by mountain
geographers to their own disciplinary
field of montology. Selecting the
most representative WoS journals in
which to publish reflects hybrid,
transdisciplinary, and holistic
approaches that are still rare in
academia but are emerging as a
strong form of knowledge
production (Hadorn et al 2008) that
includes developing target knowledge,
systems knowledge, and transforma-
tion knowledge as proposed by the
editors of Mountain Research and
Development (www.mrd-journal.org,
Section Policies). As argued by
Rasmussen and Arler (2010),
interdisciplinarity at the human–
environment interface provides a
framework for geographical studies.
With regard to mountain geography,
this requires the construction of a
metageography that integrates fuzzy
disciplinary boundaries into a general
category of ‘‘montology’’ in which
physical and human themes typical of
mountain studies are linked. One of
the authors (Butler et al 2003) has
already emphasized the need for such
integration for earth system science. A
further step is needed to integrate
understanding of the physical
geography of mountain ecosystems
with the human geography of
mountain landscapes. For example,
Table 2 shows the ranked WoS
journals in human geography
according to 3 parameters: (A) JIF for
2009, (B) mean JIF for the period
2005–2009, and (C) mean cumulative
JIF since the establishment of the
ranking in 1981. This makes it clear
that the dynamics of change should
also be considered when young
geographers choose to target one of
these outlets for publication of their
research.
As mentioned above, querying
databases to find mountain-relevant
journals is difficult because
montology does not appear and
disparate search options exist. For
instance, there are 181 ranked
journals in environmental sciences,
36 journals are ranked in physical
geography, 49 journals in geology,
and 155 journals in geosciences,
multidisciplinary; all of them are
possible targets for mountain
geography articles. This composite
list can help young mountain
scientists to locate the traditional
academic categories of scientific
inquiry in which mountain research
might be found.
Coda: JIFs and montology
Queries in the ISI Web of Science for
the annual Journal Citation Report
rendered unusable results for
montology, mainly because mountain
geography is not yet listed as a major
branch or subdisciplinary field.
Hence, traditional selection criteria
were used to construct the table that
offers junior mountain geographers a
‘list’’ of journals to target for
publication of their research, if the
‘publish or perish’’ dogma is to guide
professional performance. As a
strategy for professional
development, junior mountain
geographers should target at least 3
areas of emphasis, for which we cite 3
examples each:
1. High JIF journals of the guild,
mainly for professional subscrip-
tion and membership participa-
tion, such as the Annals of the AAG,
Transactions of the Institute of British
Geographers,orRevista Geogra
´fica del
IPGH.
2. High JIF journals of the trade,
mainly for activity-oriented and
topical emphasis, such as Erdkunde,
Mountain Research and Development,
orArctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research.
3. High JIF journals of the region,
mainly for spatial reference and
regional engagement, such as Revue
de Ge
´ographie Alpine,Journal of Latin
American Geography,orPirineos.
TABLE 2 Ranking of the 6 geography journals with the highest journal impact factors in the Social Science
Citation Index (Sci-Bytes 2010).
Journal JIF A
a)
Journal JIF B
b)
Journal JIF C
b)
JEG 3.94 GEC 7.35 IJGIS 18.33
PHG 3.59 PHG 6.89 AAAR 18.28
EG 3.45 TIBG 6.88 AAG 17.56
TIBG 3.41 JEG 5.99 TIBG 14.93
GEC 3.34 AAG 5.20 EG 14.85
AAG 2.57 PG 4.39 PHG 14.17
JIF, journal impact factor; JEG, Journal of Economic Geography; GEC, Global Environmental Change; IJGIS,
International Journal of Geographical Information Systems; PHG, Progress in Human Geography; AAAR, Arctic,
Antarctic and Alpine Research; EG, Economic Geography; TIBG, Transactions of the Institute of British
Geographers; AAG, Annals of the Association of American Geographers; PG, Political Geography.
a)
The 2009 Impact Factor.
b)
The ‘‘total citations to a journal’s published articles are divided by the total number of papers that the
journal published, producing a citations-per-paper impact score over a five-year period (middle column) and
a 29-year period (right-hand column).’’
MountainNotes
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These examples are intended to
encourage debate on the
establishment of ‘‘montology’’ as a
transdisciplinary field and to create
consensus on where mountain
geographers should publish. In
addition, mountain professional
networks, such as the MRI based in
Bern, Switzerland, spearheaded by
senior mountain geographers, should
promote this research policy agenda
by lobbying for professional
development and institution building
in favor of ‘‘montology’ at the national,
regional, and international levels.
In our compilation of
respondents’ favorite choices, we
noticed that, when stating one’s
preference for journals, it appears to
matter on which side of the Atlantic
or the Pacific one is located.
Regardless of regional location or
university or research institute
affiliation, scholarly activities on
mountain science must continue to be
supported by other activities,
including organizational,
disseminational, even humanistic and
artistic ventures that favor mountains.
Moreover, we agree with Gade in
arguing that ‘‘research and scholarship
is not everything, especially in a realm
of knowledge that transcends
individual cultures.’’ Mountain
geography is still not strongly
inscribed in the way geographers think
about their discipline, but it certainly
can become so.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We are grateful to many mountain geographer
colleagues who offered suggestions that helped
shape the manuscript. Among them are Michael
Steinberg, Mark Welford, Daniel Gade, Carol
Harden, Steve Walsh, Stephan Halloy, Donald
Friend, George Malanson, Richard Marston, Jack
Ives, Martin Price, Bruno Messerli, Ted Wachs,
Anne Zimmermann, Graeme Worboys, Gregory
Greenwood, Axel Borsdorf, Christopher Stadel, Jo¨rg
Stadelbauer, and Bernard Debarbieux.
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MountainNotes
Mountain Research and Development http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-10-00123.167
... The overview is presented with the intention to underpin the increasing spread of topics covered by mountain research activities, extension of geographical coverage and scientific fields. The series of literature reviews (Funnell and Price 2003;Dax 2004b;Brun 2008;Körner 2009;Scheurer 2014), the overview of interesting journals for mountain geographers (Sarmiento and Butler 2011) and the huge amount of diverse conferences, workshops and thematically focused meetings highlight that the discussion is largely following scientific domains. Very few studies take a multi-disciplinary perspective and achieve an intensive inter-disciplinary exchange. ...
... This network of worldwide mountain institutions and interested stakeholders thrives to fulfill its role in the debate on sustainable development aspects. Within the evolving institutional framework research agendas(Mountain Agenda 2002;Borsdorf and Braun 2008)and assessments of actual research priorities have been provided, including high-level surveys on the extent and focus of mountain research (Körner 2009, Sarmiento and Butler 2011, Greenwood 2012). Among other important contributions, these activities have particularly benefited from two major conferences on "Global Change and the World's Mountains(Perth 2005 and Perth 2010), organized by the Centre of Mountain Studies at the Perth College of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Scotland. ...
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