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Special issue and conference on resource availability and implications for a low carbon future

In a forthcoming special issue, S.A.P.I.EN.S will publish a range of articles that review issues related to resource availability, with a particular focus on materials that are strategic or critical for a low carbon future.

The special issue will complement the 10th Veolia Institute International Conference, on the theme of “From Resource Scarcity to Availability: Strategic Materials for a Low Carbon Future”. Organised in partnership with The Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, the conference will take place on 2-3 November 2017 in Oxford, UK.

Abstracts submitted to the special issue will also be considered for presentation at the conference.

Subject Coverage

This call encourages critical comment on any relevant topic, including, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • Which materials and minerals are critical as we make the transition to a low-carbon economy? This could apply to, for instance:

    • Energy

    • Digital technologies

    • Construction

    • Transportation

  • In the transition to a low-carbon economy, how will the resource landscape change?

  • Depending on demand scenarios, what will be the pace and scale of change needed to make those resources available?

  • What are the consequences of this new resource landscape for our economies, societies, environment and geopolitics?

  • What are the economic, energetic, environmental or social constraints to resource availability in the low carbon transition?

  • In low-carbon focus sectors, what kinds of technical and financial innovations would encourage investment in new, substitute, and renewable materials?

  • Where are investments and research heading in extractive industries?

  • Beyond technological fixes, what kinds of collaboration and cooperation would business, policymakers, and communities need to ensure that key materials remain available, and what would encourage greater collaboration and new business models?

  • Can circular economy principles be applied with regards to designing, using and recycling key minerals and metals?

  • What policies in developed and developing countries would enable responsible resource extraction and use as well as the circular economy?

  • A historical perspective: how have societies coped with resource scarcity in the past and how have economies transitioned from one resource to another?

  • How can the arts inspire action, communicate urgency, and conceptualize creative solutions for ecosystem security and resource availability?

We welcome submissions from all interested parties that conform to our guidelines:

Notes for Prospective Authors

S.A.P.I.EN.S principally publishes Surveys and Perspectives. The former are in-depth reviews of the literature on a given subject; the latter are evidence-based viewpoints that provide insight into the future of a given issue.

Submitted manuscripts should not be already published or under consideration for publication elsewhere. All submissions are refereed through a double-blind peer review process.

Please note that S.A.P.I.EN.S does not publish original research articles. However, authors who have recently had a relevant original research article published in a peer-reviewed journal are encouraged to submit an article to our Comments section, that summarises the salient features of that research and highlights its implications for the issues outlined under “Subject Coverage” above.

A full list of what we publish, instructions for authors, as well as current and past issues of S.A.P.I.EN.S are available on the S.A.P.I.EN.S website.


In the first instance, you should submit a brief synopsis of your article – i.e. an abstract accompanied by an outline, specifying the section to which you are proposing to submit your manuscript (see What We Publish).

The deadline for submission of synopses has been extended to 7 May, 2017. Authors of successful submissions will be invited to submit a full article by 16 July, 2017.

Please submit synopses by email as Microsoft Word files to:

Schedule of deadlines:

  • Submission of abstracts: 7 May 2017

  • Submission of full article: 16 July 2017

  • Revisions requested: 1 September 2017

  • Submission of revisions: 30 September 2017

Successful articles will be published online throughout October 2017. This electronic version of the special issue will therefore be available during the conference. It will be subsequently be supplemented with materials arising out of the conference itself.

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