Academic Production Styles in Argentinian Social Sciences

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Juan PIOVANI, National University of La Plata / National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina
Several studies have analyzed the development of a “universal” language and writing style for the social sciences. The extent to which this style has permeated diverse national academic contexts has also been a matter of interest. Argentina is an appealing case for analyzing this phenomenon because in recent years there has been a robust increase in public funding, which gave way to the expansion of research, the recruitment of hundreds of new full-time researchers, and the consolidation of fellowships for PhD students. All these, in turn, resulted in a remarkable increase in publications. However, even though these processes have occurred in the midst of professionalization (which implies higher levels of attachment to international academic standards), recent studies have shown that in Argentina still prevail two contesting models: one that conforms to international standards and practices, and another one of a more endogenous nature, with its own logic for knowledge production, evaluation and circulation. In order to examine the impact of the international standards in Argentinian social sciences, in this paper I analyze the styles of academic production. This implies the study of three closely related dimensions: research processes & models (theoretical foundations, methods, techniques, etc.); writing formats (structure and organization of academic texts); publication logic (types and profiles of journals where these texts are published). The analysis is based on a large sample of articles (grounded on empirical research) that were selected by peers in order to carry out a comprehensive review of Argentinian literature with regard to six key themes of the social sciences. But the articles were also examined meticulously to produce a dataset with several variables related to the three above-mentioned dimensions. The results show that regardless of the recent process of professionalization, a “heterodox model” of academic production is still largely pervasive within Argentinian social sciences.