Could you give us a brief overview of yourself, your scientific background and how it relates to European Transport Research Review (ETRR)?
I am a full professor of Transport Planning at the Centre for Transport Studies. My research focuses on sustainable transport, interactions between land use and transport, accessibility planning and evaluation and the dynamics in travel behavior. From 2009-2013 I was an associate professor at the CTS. I worked at the National Institute for Public Health and Environment from 1997 and moved to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in 2005, mainly focusing on land-use, transport, and environmental policy evaluation. In 2006, I received my PhD on accessibility appraisal of land-use and transport policy strategy at the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and I continued to work on accessibility analysis since.
European Transport Research Review is unique in its field, as it covers all modes of transport and addresses both the engineering and the social science perspective, offering a truly multidisciplinary platform
I am also the chair of the Network on European Communications and Transport Activities Research (NECTAR), an active multidisciplinary social science network which brings together researchers in the field of transport, communication and mobility from all European Countries and the rest of the world.
European Transport Research Review is unique in its field, as it covers all modes of transport and addresses both the engineering and the social science perspective, offering a truly multidisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, engineers, and policymakers in Europe. My background and current activities align well with the journal’s aims.
In my research and teaching, I take a multidisciplinary approach to transport, in particular in taking a geographical approach to accessibility, trying to bridge the gap between social science research and transport engineering. Most of my research projects are multidisciplinary and I collaborate with researchers and planners from very different backgrounds such as engineering, urban and transport planning, geography, data science and regional economics.
As NECTAR chair, I also promote collaboration and exchange of information in between European researchers in the field of transport, communication and mobility from different disciplines and countries, with particular emphasis on a social science orientation towards relevant research issues.
What made you want to take on the role as Editor-in-Chief of European Transport Research Review?
I have been involved as associate editor of ETRR in the past three years. By being Editor-in-Chief I can actively contribute to the development of ETRR and transport research in general. I want to further develop ETRR as an authoritative forum for the dissemination and critical discussion of new ideas and methodologies in the transport field.
Having successful open access journals in the transportation field will make research results more accessible and contribute to better and more efficient transportation science
ETRR is growing as an important platform to disseminate transportation research in Europe such as H2020 funded projects. Also, by being Editor-in-Chief I can contribute to the transition towards open science. ETRR is one of the few fully open access journals in the transportation field. Having successful open access journals in the transportation field will make research results more accessible and contribute to better and more efficient transportation science. Making research freely available in ETRR benefits researchers, policy and decision makers in Europe but also in developing countries and emerging economies where a transition to a more sustainable transport sector is most urgently needed.
What are your ambitions for the journal in the future?
The coming years are crucial for the future of ETRR as the journal is in a transition from an ECTRI sponsored journal to a fully author-paid open access journal. In the past five years, ETRR has published 30 papers on average per year. In 2017 we will publish over 40 papers and in the coming years, I expect an even stronger growth in the number of papers published. The number of article downloads has also increased over the last few years. In 2016, already over 100,000 article downloads were counted. The Impact Factor is 0.926. These scientific metrics are a sign of its success and will certainly help ETRR to grow and become more successful.
Several national and European research funding agencies are increasingly promoting open access publications and also provide opportunities for funding. In particular, Horizon 2020 projects now require all peer-reviewed publications resulting from funded research to be open access, and open access charges (including ETRR’s article-processing charges) are eligible costs to Horizon 2020 grants.
However, quality is more important to me than quantity. My ambition is to bring ETRR to the top of the open access transport journals. So in short, my ambition is to grow with more high-quality publications and improve the journal’s impact in the scientific transportation community.
What do you think will be an important focus of research in the next several years?
Bringing about the technological and behavioral transition towards low-carbon and low-emission mobility and transport, and at the same time reducing inequalities in the distribution of cost and benefits among different population groups, is one of the major challenges for policy makers and researchers in the next decades.
Current technological innovations such as autonomous vehicles, electric mobility (cars, buses, and bikes), mobility-as-a-service are likely to shape transport. It presents many challenges for transportation research.
ETRR will be increasingly important to bridge the gap between social science research and engineering practice on sustainable transportation, covering all disciplines within the social sciences and transportation engineering and presenting research on all (new and existing combinations of) modes of transport.
What is the role of ECTRI, the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes, with regard to the journal?
ECTRI established ETRR in 2008 and is now supporting the transition toward a non-sponsored journal in 2019. The role of ECTRI as the previous main sponsor will change. What will not change is ECTRI’s commitment and support to ETRR. ETRR will remain to be the main publication outlet for ECTRI transport institutes continuing the active and successful collaboration between ETRR and ECTRI.