The shocking absence of Global South scholars in international journals
Analysis of four leading journals found that less than 3% of articles were by writers in the Global South.
Scholars in the Global South* are hugely under-represented in top international peer-reviewed social and medical sciences journals. Our analysis found that between 2008 and 2017 less than 3% of 947 full length articles in four gender and politics journals published in the Global North were written by scholars based in the Global South.
Researchers based in the North have a wider global reach and are generally judged to be at the forefront of knowledge production and dissemination. Meanwhile, South-based scholars are often not part of major debates and conversations in their field. This points to a severe imbalance in the production of new knowledge.
Not all countries in the South are alike. We found that scholars at three universities in South Africa (Rhodes University, University of Cape Town, and the University of the Witwatersrand) published the most articles followed by researchers at four universities in India. Surprisingly, scholars from large countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria have not published articles in these journals.
The causes of this under-representation are many. In Africa, where we both conduct research, it has been attributed to factors such as poor funding for universities, heavy teaching loads, and the incentives faculty face; many universities do not adequately reward research.
But it’s more than institutional constraints that contribute to the under-representation of scholars based in Africa and in other regions in the South. Even when South-based scholars publish in journals based in the North, they still remain on the periphery. Editorial board members continue to be overwhelmingly based in the North and articles published by Africa-based scholars are less likely to be cited and thus generally don’t have a major influence on the literature.
An academy in which large groups are absent is one in which fewer research questions are asked and less diverse research tools used. For example, in the study of gender and politics, scholars based in the South have emphasised the importance of studying the effects of the global political and economic order on women’s lives in the South. But this attention to the global order is often missing from studies of gender and politics in the North.
Second, it signals to students, including students in the global South, that South-based scholars do not have a central role to play in knowledge production. This has implications for how students generally perceive and engage with scholarship that is produced in the global South.
The exclusion of scholars based in the Global South undermines the quality of scholarship and sends a negative message to students. But there are solutions to the problem.
[Where is the ‘African’ in African Studies?]
[How to put the ‘African’ back into African Studies]
Myriad solutions have been proposed to address the under-representation of scholars based in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
In Africa, these include the need for institutions to remove barriers such as heavy teaching loads, poor infrastructure, and inadequate research funding that make research and publishing a challenge for many scholars. African governments have to invest in African universities and implement policies that facilitate research.
The global academic community also has a role to play. Editors should invite contributions from scholars who might not normally submit papers to these journals. And journal editors can invite scholars based in the Global South to join editorial boards and to edit journals.
Among other things, the presence of editors and editorial board members in the Global South will make it easier to identify promising research.
Another intervention is that research organisations should provide funding to scholars in the South to help give them space to develop their ideas and receive feedback from their peers. Organisations such as the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the American Political Science Association (APSA) have made some progress in this area. CODESRIA has provided research funding and APSA-Africa Workshops have been forums where African scholars gathered to share and receive feedback on their research from their peers.
While, in general, financial support is limited and may be on the decline, public agencies and private foundations still have the choice in where and how to allocate their funds.
(*The Global South refers to African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries who are also members of the Group of 77. The intergovernmental organisation of mainly developing countries is used to identify countries in the South. The Global North includes the Group of 8 and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.)
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
This article is problematic in its presumption of the EU and US as the hegemonic centre of academic knowledge production. Surely the intellectual project should be focused on creating new centres of knowledge in the so-called Global South. Ergo, the entire dismantling and disruption of the academy and its presupposed power structures.
This article implicitly assumes that ‘quality’ knowledge is produced in the global South but not being published by these international journals. However, an analysis of both rejected and accepted submissiona may point to the correct challenge. It may be that scholars in thr global south dont make submissions, or their submissions are being rejected.
It is our knowledge of whichever it is that will prompt the appropriate solution.
However, this is a good conversation starter. Kudos.
Demilade, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This assumption – as is the assumption that global South academics are not producing articles – is absolutely problematic and I wrote about this very issue a few months ago. I’ve done a different type of analysis, though on a very small scale, and found that ‘Southern’ scholars comprise the largest proportion of writers in ‘bottom tier’ journals. And the quality of the content (or the lack thereof?) can be rather depressing, especially to those of us from the so-called global South whom these writers represent.
We need a balanced conversation – it is clearly not good enough that Southern scholars publish (rather prolifically, I might add!) in these bottom tier, ‘Mom and Pop’ journals. What we need is a in-depth exploration of why our academic institutions in the global South appear unable to, on their own, produce the type of academics that can produce content which can appear in the top journals. Academic institutional change and the way in which promotion is given – not to those who produce the best journals but to those who produce the most – is a significant area of concern. But this is long term and will not address our issues immediately. In-depth capacity building in research and reporting is necessary. Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that its too late for the ‘older’ academics, but early and mid career academics can benefit from such in-depth, targeted, capacity building efforts.
It is not enough to advocate for top journals to accept what we ‘produce’ for the sake of research equity, we must also produce what can be accepted.
Until current history the journalist have been the dumbest the racist and the most dishonest people.
However, do not worry too much about this because you being programmed to do so. And you have no choices to do otherwise until now.
From now on get ready to be the best you can with the guidance of one ☝️ person (which is me) to be the most honest and no to trust to anybody/ anyone but to yourself. Meaning not to trust any leader unless you heard the information from him or from here.
And Insha-ALLAAH I will do my best with the the knowledge I am going to give to be without any Errors
I wonder to what extent the requirement to publish in English is a barrier to publication for researchers from the Global South?
Whilst professional editorial support can be purchased, presumably funding is not always available (and if funding is available I would rather it was spent on supporting further research).
In 2016 I founded the ōbex project, which is a truly free language editing service for researchers working in the discipline of Operational Research and whose native language is not English. For further details please visit: http://www.theobexproject.co.uk
the ōbex project is supported by a high calibre team of volunteer language editors, and is proving a valuable service based on the positive feedback received from the global user community.
It would be great if others could organise similar services to support researchers in other fields of research.
does chloroquine work https://chloroquineorigin.com/# hydroxychoroquine
https://cialiswithdapoxetine.com/ buy cialis usa
cialis generic cialis pills
cialis price generic cialis
chloroquine diphosphate hydroxychloroquine warnings what is hydroxychloroquine for