Academic research networks: Accessing resources for English-medium publishing

Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa M. (2010). Academic research networks: Accessing resources for English-medium publishing. English for Specific Purposes, 29(4) pp. 281–295.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2010.06.002

Abstract

Multilingual scholars located outside of Anglophone contexts face growing pressure to publish in English. Evidence from a longitudinal “text-ethnographic” study exploring how 50 psychology and education scholars in southern and central Europe are responding to such pressure indicates that individual linguistic and rhetorical competence alone are usually insufficient for securing publication in English-medium journals. Rather, scholars’ accounts demonstrate that participation in academic research networks functions as a key resource for publishing. This article examines the importance of networks and tracks how scholars gain access to and participate in them. We present ‘network histories’ that map out the network participation of four scholars, foregrounding several core dimensions: local and transnational, formal and informal, strong and weak, durable and temporary. Our findings suggest that strong, local, durable networks are crucial to enabling scholars’ participation in transnational networks, which support their publishing in both English and local languages. Findings contribute directly to our understandings about academic publishing in a global context and to broader debates about the efficacy of initiatives for increasing research collaboration such as those sponsored by the EU Framework Programmes. We conclude by briefly considering implications for supporting multilingual scholars’ publication and programmes aimed at increasing collaboration.

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