06 SES 08 JS, A Conversation on Academic Publishing and Academic Research and their Possible Interactions with Higher Education's Contribution to Education for Sustainability
Joint Panel Discussion NW 02, NW 06, NW 12, NW 30
Research and academic publication go hand-in-hand. Questions about the role of 'educational research for the future' (the theme of the conference) are inseparable from questions about academic publication. Publication interacts with our job applications, our job security, our research funding, our research reputation and our influence as academics and as researchers. But academic publication is changing rapidly, and arguably more rapidly than it has before. The number of journals is increasing; the number of articles is increasing; the number of articles per academic (in some parts of the world) is increasing; the number of languages that primarily English-language publications are being translated to is increasing; and there are more additional discourses relevant to ours being published in more languages than ever before. Traditional publishing is flourishing (if measured by the financial returns to the shareholders of the five largest publishing houses) and it seems (based on the number of articles published and the article processing fees involved) so is the new world of open access publishing, in the sense of financial returns to the publishers. Although professional academics complain that their contribution to the publishing industry is not recognised, or society adequately compensated for our time, at least some academics in some parts of the world do very well out of it. Most of us would recognise a creeping inflation in academic performance indicators and in academics’ abilities to match these expectations with ever-increasing outputs.
Academics with stakes in these matters are all burdened with the responsibility to maintain the quality of our academic publications. We may all seek to ensure that the dramatic increase in publication is matched by a similar increase in the number of good ideas that enter our discourse. We may all share a yearning that our academic communities do not loose control over academic publication. Perhaps we want our publication opportunities to be fairly distributed; based on quality, or on equality of opportunity, or on magnitude of economic returns, or on need; or at least based on something tangible that we can agree with! And of course always subject to peer review. In a broadly-based academic pursuit of fairness, there have been several attempts to explore the hegemonic aspects of traditional academic publication (see as examples, Weiner, 1998; Meriläinen, Tienari, Thomas & Davies, 2008) with a focus on disadvantage based on language, national status, age, experience and gender) and increasingly exploring the advantages and disadvantages of open-access publication in this regard (see for example, Kieńć 2016).
Much of this discourse, however, applies to all disciplines. Although it would surely be more convenient to leave these enquiries to academics in other disciplines, when the issues impact the substance of what we research within our own particular discipline, perhaps we need to get particularly involved in this discourse. Matters of language, national status, age, experience and gender all indelibly brand the environmental, cultural and economic discourses that comprise our academic pursuits of sustainability and of sustainability education.
Our panel includes editors of a traditional and significantly print-based journal and of an open-access, online journal; and academic researchers with interests in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) [a concept promoted by the EU commission to link discourses on public engagement, open access, gender, ethics, science education, equality and sustainability]and in representing the perspectives of younger academics internationally. To add breadth and balance a colleague from the publishing industry joins us, with interest in and experience of a wide range of publishing modes. All will attempt to present and represent the hopes and frustrations of stakeholders in our shared areas of interest.
Meriläinen, S., Tienari, J., Thomas, R., & Davies, A. (2008). Hegemonic Academic Practices: Experiences of Publishing from the Periphery. Organization, 15(4), 584–597. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508408091008 Weiner G (1998) Scholarship, Disciplinary Hegemony And Power In Academic Publishing Paper presented at the European Conference for Educational Research, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia September 17th to 20th 1998 Retrieved December 7th 2018 from http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/000000795.ht Witold Kieńć 2016 The global hegemony in academic research – will open access change the game? Open Science Resources Retrieved December 7th 2018 from https://openscience.com/the-global-hegemony-in-academic-research-will-open-access-change-the-game/
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