Swedish Publications in a Global World
Keywords:Peer review, publishing, internationalisation, impact, excellence
This paper is about the problems of publishing in a global academic world. The Swedish monograph is slowly in decline in Sweden. The international peer-reviewed article is taking its place. Yet just as the monograph has had problems, this newer trend has multiple new quandaries. Instead of being read by a larger international audience, some articles tend to stay unread when neither the national nor the international public can find the results. Social scientists and humanities lack a specific venue or scene where results can be discussed by both experts and the public, such as Science or Nature. This is a problem since the public miss out on important, often tax-funded, knowledge, but also because academics miss out on having an audience and the impact that comes from meeting with the public.
Secondly many journals are so specialised that they influence not only the public’s understanding of research and their view on research but also the research and the researchers. Furthermore academics lack both the time to read all relevant articles and to write longer and more complex works, which would be beneficial to both the public and scholars as well. Therefore the race to get published, i.e. achieve excellence and have more impact, tends to affect the research. Researcher may even choose their subjects and how they write about them in order to get published rather than focusing on interesting questions.
Naturally possible solutions have been discussed, such as open access books and more stringent demands on the impact of the research and relevance to the public. However there are still no absolute answers.
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