Academic publishing requires linguistically inclusive policies

Academic publishing requires linguistically inclusive policies

Henry Arenas-Castro, Violeta Berdejo-Espinola, Shawan Chowdhury, Argelia Rodríguez-Contreras, Aubrie R. M. James, Nussaïbah B. Raja, Emma M. Dunne, Sandro Bertolino, Nayara Braga Emidio, Chantelle M. Derez, Szymon M. Drobniak, Graham R. Fulton, L. Francisco Henao-Diaz, Avneet Kaur, Catherine J. S. Kim, Malgorzata Lagisz, Iliana Medina, Peter Mikula, Vikram P. Narayan, Christopher J. O’Bryan, Rachel Rui Ying Oh, Ekaterina Ovsyanikova, Katharina-Victoria Pérez-Hämmerle, Patrice Pottier, Jennifer Sarah Powers, Astrid J. Rodriguez-Acevedo, Andes Hamuraby Rozak, Pedro H. A. Sena, Nicola J. Sockhill, Anazélia M. Tedesco, Francisco Tiapa-Blanco, Jo-Szu Tsai, Jaramar Villarreal-Rosas, Susana M. Wadgymar, Masato Yamamichi, Tatsuya Amano

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2024)291, 20232840 DOI:10.1098/rspb.2023.2840

Press release (In Japanese only)

Scientific knowledge is produced in multiple languages but is predominantly published in English. This practice creates a language barrier to generate and transfer scientific knowledge between communities with diverse linguistic backgrounds, hindering the ability of scholars and communities to address global challenges and achieve diversity and equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To overcome those barriers, publishers and journals should provide a fair system that supports non-native English speakers and disseminates knowledge across the globe. We surveyed policies of 736 journals in biological sciences to assess their linguistic inclusivity, identify predictors of inclusivity, and propose actions to overcome language barriers in academic publishing. Our assessment revealed a grim landscape where most journals were making minimal efforts to overcome language barriers. The impact factor of journals was negatively associated with adopting a number of inclusive policies whereas ownership by a scientific society tended to have a positive association. Contrary to our expectations, the proportion of both open access articles and editors based in non-English speaking countries did not have a major positive association with the adoption of linguistically inclusive policies. We proposed a set of actions to overcome language barriers in academic publishing, including the renegotiation of power dynamics between publishers and editorial boards.

Source: Henry Arenas-Castro et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2024) vol, pp.

Figure: Panorama and drivers of linguistic inclusivity in academic publishing. Linguistic policies of journals as communicated in author guidelines (n = 736, the upper half of the donut) and answered in our survey by editors-in-chief (n = 262, the lower half) alongside the predictors that are associated either positively (upward arrow) or negatively (downward arrow) with the level of linguistic inclusiveness in policies. Source: Figure 1 in the article of Henry Arenas-Castro et al.

  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube