Breaking out of the linguistic ghetto? The role of new media in facilitating international research.
Johnson, Ian M.
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The paper reviews some of the challenges faced by researchers whose principal language is not English in accessing appropriate literature. Taking the experience of the Latin American countries as an example, it discusses the challenges implicit in the international ranking of scholarly journals, as well as the barriers imposed by print publishing and by existing indexing services. It considers critically the implications of the emergence of electronic journals, open access publishing, and the development of institutional repositories. Finally, it discusses the issues for researchers that are raised by the new media, including access, sustainability, quality control and the underpinning pedagogic culture. This paper draws on research undertaken in 2004 and 2005 by an international team supported by the European Commission's ALFA Programme. The research project, REVISTAS, investigated the feasibility of digitizing professional journals published in Spanish and Portuguese, particularly those published in Latin America, as a means of raising the quality of teaching and research.