Great Plains Studies, Center for



Date of this Version

February 1992


Published in Great Plains Research 2:1 (February 1992), pp. 001-002. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


When manuscripts are evaluated for possible publication in Great Plains Research, the editorial panel has the question of “place” firmly in mind. The distinction is of a place rather than in a place. Residence of the author is certainly not a prerequisite. While it might seem that the best regional scholarship comes from the region, the cosmopolitan character of the academy belies that generalization. Nor is a study done in a region necessarily of the region. A fine paper may result from a survey of residents of Kansas, for example, without any insight into whether the location makes any difference. The key, then, is that a paper specifically communicate something about the Plains region-the uniqueness imparted by location in the Plains on natural or social phenomena, perhaps, or implications for our region of natural or social processes.

The papers in this issue illustrate the point. Water is a critical resource of our region, and three papers address legal aspects of water from different viewpoints. The sociology of the rural bar in our neighbor state Missouri is undoubtedly valid for the Plains, where small towns overwhelmingly dominate the settlement hierarchy. The future of the Black Hills amid multiple use conflicts illustrates the interplay of society with natural resources. All these papers shed light on what it means to be living on the Great Plains.