- Global Academic Publishing: Policies, Perspectives and Pedagogies ed. by Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis
Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Multilingual Matters, 2018. Pp. 296. Paper: isbn-13 978-1-78309-922-1, us$49.95.
Global Academic Publishing: Policies, Perspectives and Pedagogies is a timely contribution to the scholarly discussion of key issues facing academic journals as some of them struggle to maintain their uniqueness and others strive to be included in particular journal indexes. The issues addressed in this volume are presented in four themes that help organize the book: evaluation policies, individual scholars' perspectives, academic journals' practices, and innovative pedagogies. We are particularly interested in the first and third parts, as these topics directly impact our professional lives as academics. The opening chapter by Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis is illuminating for expounding on the concept of 'evaluation regimes,'1 that is, the government and institutional policies involving bibliometric measures that frame the evaluation of scholars' research output. We have critiqued these policies and practices because many academics have uneven and unequal access to the resources of global (mostly English-medium) academic publishing, and publications in languages other than English are often devalued.2
Following the first chapter, Part 1 explores evaluation regimes. We agree with Nygaard and Bellanova's contention in chapter 2 that the seemingly neutral and objective measures are in fact often biased against disciplines that feature greater diversity of research outputs (book chapters and monographs in addition to journal articles), research that is not published in English, and research with fewer authors (such as in the humanities and qualitative social sciences). We are also not surprised to read about the discrepancy between university publication requirements for post-graduate degree completion and doctoral students' actual language practices in academic publishing in a Hungarian context, as discussed by Nagano and Spiczéné in chapter 3. Unfortunately, irrespective of how critical we are about these policies and practices, we always encounter the same story as documented in chapter 4 by Li and Yang, who examine the social facts constructed by the institutional genre of Chinese business schools' recruitment advertisements. Their detailed [End Page 482] analysis shows how a person's past success and future potential in international English-medium publishing will privilege him or her in the sorting and selecting process that comes with applying for a professorial position.
In light of the above-mentioned evaluation regime, we are highly interested to learn how academic journals in different parts of the world are responding to it, which is the focus of Part 3. We find it alarming to discover that global academic publishing practices have been mediating the development of national academic journals even in peripheral contexts such as Kazakhstan. In chapter 8, Aliya Kuzhabekova explores how Kazakhstani journal editors adapt to a national policy requiring that scholars publish in journals with non-zero impact factors. We were surprised to learn that the varying degrees to which Western practices are incorporated into local journals' editorial processes result in a new hierarchy of journals that reinforces linguistic and disciplinary inequalities. What is more, we were somewhat horrified to read that commercial publishers, especially Thomson Reuters, are actively involved in promoting the concept of impact factor and journal evaluation practices in peripheral contexts. As a result, when we read chapter 9 (by Cheryl Sheridan) on the challenges of an English-medium periphery journal in Taiwan in the field of English-language teaching (ELT), we were particularly encouraged to see how global practices can be localized and then refracted into a new phenomenon. Sheridan describes the journal's unique triple-blind review practice (i.e., blinding editors to both authors' and reviewers' identities) as an exemplification of global practices with local features. The triple-blind review is supposed to relieve editors of the potential risks associated with handling manuscripts from colleagues in a highly networked scholarly community. Similar to the localization success described by Sheridan, in Chapter 10, Cárdenas and Rainey report on the experience of an ELT journal in Colombia. The choice of...