An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: developing a writing for publication programme

Lillis, Theresa; Magyar, Anna and Robinson-Pant, Anna (2010). An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: developing a writing for publication programme. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(6) pp. 781–800.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2010.523250

Abstract

Scholars around the world are under increasing pressure to publish in English, in Anglophone centre journals. At the same time, research on professional academic writing indicates that scholars from outside Anglophone centre contexts face considerable obstacles in getting their academic work published in such journals, relating to material and linguistic resources. This paper draws on current research to offer a brief outline of inequalities arising from the privileged status of English and critically discusses the experiences of Compare: a journal of comparative and international education, in trying to tackle some of these inequalities in publishing through a mentoring programme. Recognising that many writers submitting to the journal have rich and original material, and that the established reviewing procedures do not readily accommodate the mentoring required to support submission (and eventual publication), the programme was designed to offer writers access to resources not easily (or necessarily readily) available: 'expert insider' knowledge from Compare editorial board members and reviewers and English textual commentary by 'academic literacy' facilitators. We outline key features of Compare's 'writing for publication' programme and critically discuss both the success and difficulties encountered, drawing on reflections of participants, writer profiles and numbers of submissions from the three years in which the programme was run.

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