A World of Circuits: Academic Fields in the Crossfire of the Local, the National, the Regional and the Global

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Fernanda BEIGEL, INCIHUSA-CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina
Academic publishing is the main support for the evaluation of academic careers and university accreditation, through a set of bibliometric indicators currently used world widely. It has become the universally accepted unity of measurement of global exchanges and the production of knowledge has become in turn more dependent on the opportunities and rewards given by diverse publishing circuits. Several studies (Wouters 1999, Ortiz 2009, Guédon 2011, among others) have discussed the emergence of the “mainstream science” established starting with the creation, in 1959, of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). The “universalization” of the SCI criteria of evaluation was impulsed by the increasing interest of journals around the world to enter the ISI complex, including journals from peripheral communities eager to be indexed. The local and the international, both inseparable features of scientific production (Gingras, 2002) became divisible in terms of the process of academic recognition: peripheral scientists ended circumscribed to local rewards while scholars from central universities accumulated “international” scientific capital.

Even if truthful as a general historical pattern, this picture simplifies the diverse and complex forms of integration and/or resistance observed recently along science in the periphery. More than reinforcing the spatial asymmetries separating marginal communities versus “centers of excellence”, in the last decade the logics of circulation led to the segmentation of different principles of recognition. The internationalized elites that only write in English and publish in mainstream journals, and the scholars attached to writing in non-indexed journals gifted with local recognition. In this paper, I observe the dynamics of four circuits that cross-through the national spaces in particular combinations related to the paths of professionalization and internationalization that must be observed empirically in the field. Theoretically, I put forward a combination of field/circulation approach by merging Bourdieu and Dependency Analysis.