Research locally (if you must) but publish globally

Agata Mrva-Montoya and Edward J. Luca (both Uni Sydney) talked to HASS researchers in Australia about scholarly publishing. They found a “momentous change” in an emphasis shift from quantity to quality of research outputs. But where people publish also matters (a lot).

Their first findings (there is a second paper to come) are published in the new issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Findings include;

* with no volume-driven funding, publishing, “internationally, with prestigious publishers and in high-ranking journals” is what matters. Preferred publication lists “discourage academics from publishing with niche, emerging, or open access book publishers and journals”

* researchers “consistently reported enjoying flexibility in following their personal interests” but the emphasis on international publication means some subject areas are more approved than others. “Academics we interviewed in Australian studies felt that their work was undervalued by their institutions.”

*  a rewards system imported from STEM, values journal articles over monographs/chapters. “A number of participants reported that they felt book publishing was devalued at their institution, and this seems partly related to the challenges of measuring the impact of books through citation-based metrics.”

* a “lack of incentives or encouragement for open access from their universities”

“While publications remain important, academic production appears to have shifted from publication as an outcome in itself to funding as the primary measure of performance. And funding bodies are increasingly looking to researchers to demonstrate quantifiable, real-world impact for their research, which can be shown to represent a responsible use of taxpayer money,” they conclude.