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Publishing Languages

to reach an international audience creates ongoing challenges for journals in non-English speaking countries. ‘About 53 per cent of our authors are from

the south, thus not familiar with English and science writing. This discrepancy in knowledge leads northern reviewers to often refuse to review papers from the south, even if the science is good. And without review reports we cannot publish articles,’ explained Lichtfouse. Gotze, of the Journal of Management

Control in Germany, agreed on the language quality challenge and also noted the need for additional marketing efforts ‘to promote the journal internationally in order to awake the interest of readers, authors, and reviewers.’ This is where working with or being published by international publishers can help. ‘The benefi t is high international visibility. In our case the journal is available in more than 5,400 libraries and institutions around the world,’ said Gotze. Hofmann of Springer Italy added that

such partnerships also enable international distribution, advanced and innovative editorial services (such as production, submission systems and support in abstracting and indexing) and different publication models.

Native-language publishing

Developments to convert journals to English are not always the best option. For some journals there are many benefi ts to publishing in native languages. ‘The obvious benefi ts [of native-language publishing] are that you reach local people, and, in turn, the local economy, such as the industry and farmers,’ said Eric Lichtfouse of INRA. ‘This is especially important in France where most people do not speak languages other than French. If you reach local professionals, then it is also easier to get grants from local government agencies. I think that this benefi t will increase because there is more and more money given to research institutions by local government.’ There can also be communication advantages for the journal contributors and staff, as Uwe Gotze of the Journal of Management Control observed: ‘The (potential) authors and reviewers can communicate in their native language, which is felt as an advantage by a (diminishing) part of the scientifi c community. In some fi elds, a specifi c native vocabulary exists that can be used, and the communication might be a little bit more intensive and “easy”.’

Nonetheless there are potential disadvantages of native-language publishing for authors who want to

make a contribution to science that is internationally visible. As Gotze noted, ‘The journal will be extensively limited to the national scientifi c community.’

Developments such as those of the Journal

of Management Control in moving from German to English are not isolated: ‘There is a clear tendency towards a concentration on English as the leading scientifi c language,’ observed Gotze. But this is not the end of the story: ‘From my point of view, all of our articles – in English

– should also be published in French,’ said Lichtfouse of INRA. Indeed he would like to see the journals being published in other languages such as Spanish and Chinese if budgets permitted this. ‘Those who have the means to publish in many languages, especially Chinese, will win because of the higher visibility, and, in turn, impact factors,’ he concluded.


Mestre-Venice, Italy

14-16 November 2011 

 

 

  

 

 

  

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