23 SES 04 E, Research Policies and the Politics of Research (Part 3)
Paper Session: continued from 23 SES 02 E, 23 SES 03 E
What can be measured can be compared, and what can be compared can more easily be managed. Academic publishing is undergoing major shifts that are impacting the publication patterns of both collective and individual researchers. One of the more influential shifts in recent times is the emergence of an ‘economy of publication and citations’ (EPC) (Larsson, 2009; 2010). As Larsson (2009) has argued forcefully, publications in academic journals—especially those categorized as international journals included in the dominating databases such as the Web of Science and Scopus—are of increasing importance to the scientific communities around the world because politicians and university administrations tie the distribution of material and scholarly assets (money as well as merit) immediately to the symbolic tokens of the EPC. When research funding, promotions, and career trajectories become more dependent on the extent and impact of published papers, issues of what ‘counts’ and what becomes recognized as scholarly content in articles are underscored. It also leads to the question of who is allowed to enter those arenas that ‘count’ in the EPC.
This article aims to empirically investigate the bibliometric logic of one field within educational research: the field of adult education research, particularly in relation to the geography of authorships. We base this study on data from publications and citations in three main journals in the field: Adult Education Quarterly (AEQ), International Journal of Lifelong Education (IJLE), and Studies in Continuing Education (SICE). By gathering aggregated statistics based on publications in these journals between the years 2005 and 2012, we will scrutinize the extent to which the emerging EPC is dependent on national and regional boundaries. Our analysis will provide results that indicate who contributes to these journals and who is picked up as worth citing. The results will also help characterize the national characteristics of the few top publishing countries. By ‘objectifying’ publication channels, which are often taken-for-granted, we hope to provide a ground for scientific reflexivity as dominant structures are identified and exposed (cf. Bourdieu, 1988, p. xii).
The following research questions will be addressed more fully in our analysis:
- What are the geographical and institutional affiliations of all authors, and how do the affiliations of top-cited contributions differ from the full sample of publications?
- What is the (trans)national flow of publications between the countries with the highest share of publications (measured by institutional affiliations)?
Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo Academicus. Cambridge: Polity Press. Buboltz, W.C., Miller, M., & Williams, D.J. (1999). Content analysis of research in the ‘Journal of Counseling Psychology’. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 46(4), 496-503. Larsson, S. (2010). Invisible colleges in the adult education research world. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Research, 1(1-2), 97-112. Larsson, S. (2009). An emerging economy of publications and citations. Nordisk Pedagogik, 29(1), 34-52. Tseng, Y-H., & Tsay, M-Y. (2013). Journal clustering of library and information science for subfield delineation using the bibliometric analysis toolkit: CATAR. Scientometrics, 95(2), 503-528.
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