Ranking Regimes, "World Class" Universities, and the Impoverishment of Intellectual Life

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 5:48 PM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Dave POST , Eps
Mayumi ISHIKAWA , Osaka University, Japan
This paper considers the pressure felt by scholars publish in journals that are highly ranked according to their "impact factor."  A world-wide movement has pushed scholars to publish in English-language journals, to the detriment, we argue, for intellectual life at the national level.  We first document evidence for this pressure, then discuss the consequences of funding mechanisms and research assessment for higher education. Then we review several factors in this movement: 1) the rationalization of expertise as a feature of Weberian bureaucratic authority; 2) the politics of higher education regulation and control, as manifest in the new managerialism and associated research assessment exercises; 3) the pricing and finance of commercial scholarly publishing, which takes advantage of the preceding developments by charging high prices to maximize profits; 4) decisions by editors and their journals to play by the new rules even when they are personally opposed to them and when they value journals for a different purpose. We draw on national case studies from Japan, Taiwan, Argentina, Singapore, the UK, and South Africa.