Friday, September 14, 2018

Publishing for Majority World academics

Tomorrow I am giving a talk about academic publishing for a group of faculty and Ph.D students from African universities. The challenges they face are formidable.
Here are my slides.
As always, it is important not to reinvent the wheel.
There are already some excellent resources and organisations. 
A particularly relevant organisation is AuthorAID which is related to inasp, and has an online course starting right now.

Publishing Scientific Papers in the Developing World is a helpful book, stemming from a 2010 conference.
Erik Thulstrup has a nice chapter "How should a Young Researcher Write and Publish a Good Research Paper?"

1 comment:

  1. I think it is good to bring awareness on how to write a research paper well to the majority world. I think establishing a mentoring scheme would be great and beneficial.

    However, I don't think the solution is to have a localized journal/conference venue and suggest researchers from the majority world to publish there. Unless quality can be maintained, this strategy will actually be detrimental. In my experience the quality of localized venues are usually quite low. And by suggesting to researchers in the majority world that getting published there are good enough, people basically set a low standard for these researchers. If the goal is already too low, then it's difficult to expect the results to be high.

    I am of the opinion that it is better to tell the truth of what are the good places to publish, and let's work towards that. Rather than setting a lower standard and saying it's ok.

    Usually each field has a list from best to not so good. It would be great to mentor researchers in the majority world to move one step up at a time. This way, they will also build their confidence that their work are on par with state of the art.

    Note that I'm not saying Nature and Science are always the best venue. But, each field usually have the more niche venue that is considered to be the best place to publish by experts in the field. I believe publishing in such a niche venue would still be the best way to get honest and usually thorough review of the work. It's also the easiest way to get one's work notice by experts who can further distribute the work to their network.