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Editorial boards in communication sciences journals: Plurality or standardization?


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This research-based essay examines the national diversity of editorial boards from a selection of journals in communication sciences. Specifically, it reviews the board composition of 39 Journal Citation Report journals indexed in quartile one (Q1) and quartile two (Q2) in the category of 'communication', proposing a typology of dominant nationalities. The most distinguished countries are the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany, monopolizing 79.4% of total members. The exaggerated domination of certain geographies is surprising given the increasing acknowledgement of plurality as a constitutive value of scientific progress. The article then problematizes why plurality is limited and, therefore, identifies a body of social and cultural bonds that underpin the domination of certain epistemic cultures. The study finally proposes an agenda that moves beyond the current status quo, and considers how these actions are likely to promote a more pluralistic and diverse intellectual terrain.
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DOI: 10.1177/1748048518825322
Editorial boards in
communication sciences
journals: Plurality or
Manuel Goyanes
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
This research-based essay examines the national diversity of editorial boards from a
selection of journals in communication sciences. Specifically, it reviews the board
composition of 39 Journal Citation Report journals indexed in quartile one (Q1) and
quartile two (Q2) in the category of ‘communication’, proposing a typology of dominant
nationalities. The most distinguished countries are the United States, United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia and Germany, monopolizing 79.4% of total members. The exagger-
ated domination of certain geographies is surprising given the increasing acknowledge-
ment of plurality as a constitutive value of scientific progress. The article then
problematizes why plurality is limited and, therefore, identifies a body of social and
cultural bonds that underpin the domination of certain epistemic cultures. The study
finally proposes an agenda that moves beyond the current status quo, and considers
how these actions are likely to promote a more pluralistic and diverse intellectual
Communication sciences, editorial boards, geographical inclusion, impact factor,
plurality, standardization
Scientific journals should be open to geographical inclusion in their EBs (Metz and
Harzing, 2012). As several scholars have stated (Jagsi et al., 2008; Metz and
Harzing, 2012), their role as gatekeepers is the basis for suggesting that
they should be sufficiently diverse in their backgrounds to facilitate the publication
of manuscripts with a wide range of research approaches and perspectives
Corresponding author:
Manuel Goyanes, Department of Communication Sciences, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Calle Madrid,
126, Getafe 28903, Madrid, Spain.
(Baruch, 2001). However, experience and intuition show that this is not the case,
thus jeopardizing the pursuit of a genuinely international community of scholars
(Livingstone, 2007; Waisbord, 2016), restricting what is published and promoting a
shared consensus around well-known theories and interpretations of the world
(Burgess and Shaw, 2010; Metz and Harzing, 2012). Therefore, with increasing
globalization of knowledge and communication education (Esser, 2013), it is
important to calibrate the diversity level of EBs in order to mitigate the presumed
geographical standardization and thus the lack of geographical inclusion.
According to the literature of diversity organizations, a team of individuals with
a common background will share common experiences and paradigms (Robinson
and Dechant, 1997). However, demographically heterogeneous groups (such as
those configured by different geographical areas) might offer plurality in their
approaches, visions, and perspectives that may trigger the creation of knowledge
(Carter et al., 2003). Hence, teams with diverse experiences and perspectives are
desirable, because they should enhance problem-solving, creativity and innovation
(Richard, 2000). Similarly, the advance and growth of knowledge requires multi-
cultural perspectives in order to broaden research paradigms and methodologies
(Wang and Huang, 2016). Geographic diversity is thus a key factor in enriching
journal policies with different experiences, expectations, agendas and perspectives
(Huang, 2010).
Researchers from different countries and hence with different training, academic
affiliation and backgrounds rely on different paradigms and methodologies in the
conceptualization and execution of their research craft (Metz and Harzing, 2012).
This diversity in researcher background is believed to broaden a field of knowledge
(Waisbord, 2016). Geographical standardization thus entails a clear risk: the
ignorance of ‘the other’, that is the expectations, experiences and priorities of
‘dominated’ countries (Livingstone, 2007). Despite the importance of promoting
diversity in EBs, little attention has been paid to how this ambition can be
successfully accomplished. This study addresses this gap by exploring the EB infra-
structure of elite communication journals.
Although not many scholars have specifically scrutinized geographical inclusion
in EBs, several have come close (Burgess and Shaw, 2010; Metz and Harzing,
2012). Unfortunately, none of them drawing on the field of communication
sciences. This lack of studies is arguably due to the extensive discussions around
two inherent dilemmas for the field which, across the board, affect how EBs are
conceived: (1) the diversity and plurality of communication research, especially
around the challenges of its internationalization (Curran and Park, 2000;
Livingstone, 2007), globalization (Asante et al., 2013; Averbeck-Lietz, 2013;
Waisbord, 2016) and its possible de-westernization (Gunaratne, 2010; Waisbord
and Mellado, 2014) and (2) the identity, sovereignty, boundaries and legitimate
paradigms on which communication studies are based (Craig, 1999; Donsbach,
2006; Rodrigo-Alsina and Garcı
´a, 2010).
While some of these theoretical discussions point to important ingredients for
enhancing research pluralism, none of them specifically focus their inquiry on
2the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
exploring the architecture of EBs. They focus even less on what strategies are likely
to promote research inclusion and diversity. Only Lauf (2005), and more recently,
Demeter (2018a) have examined authors’ and EBs’s national diversity in elite
communication journals. While the authors offer clues about the relative lack of
geographical diversity in communication research, such insights do not provide
more specific guidance on strategies to foster pluralism. Therefore, this study
explores: (1) which clusters of geographies dominate/control the EBs of top-tier
communication journals, (2) how journals and the cluster of geographies are
related and (3) how the inclusion of non-Western geographies could be enhanced.
Literature review
In order to analyse the geographic diversity of editorial boards (EBs), it is import-
ant to first understand their structure. The article first turns to studies that reflect
the functioning and logics of EBs, relating this literature to the theoretical effects
that geographic standardization might entail. Subsequently, the study looks at how
the relationship between power and knowledge is constructed and explores the
relationships of domination and exclusion in EBs from a postcolonialist
Neo-colonialism: The construction of relationships of domination and
exclusion in EBs
Although the problematization of EB levels of international inclusion has not been
a priority for the communication research community, some previous research has
indirectly offered insightful clues into their infrastructure and nature. In particular,
over the last decade, this body of scholarship has been structured around two main
and exceptionally fertile discussions: the identity, objectives and paradigms of com-
munication research (Craig, 1999; Donsbach, 2006), and the field’s struggle to
embrace a global and international research vision (Waisbord and Mellado,
2014), coping with the challenges that an increasingly globalized community of
scholars entails, in which institutions, academics, journals and research projects
are interconnected across geographical borders (Waisbord, 2016). This research
explores the geographical domination ‘behind the scenes’ and thus problematizes
the intersection between power and knowledge.
Understanding the presumed geographical standardization in EBs is important
for several reasons. First, because the under-representation of certain regions on
EBs minimizes the global presence of thematic subjects and areas of the world with
small numbers of English-speaking academics and thus their intellectual contribu-
tions (Waisbord, 2016). Second, given that communication research outlets spread
the knowledge that informs research and teaching, a lack of plurality in the litera-
ture might bias communication research contributions (Luthra, 2015). In particu-
lar, if neglected geographies perspectives are poorly represented and understood in
communication journals, the scientific knowledge transferred to industry/political
Goyanes 3
leaders is fragmentary (Curran and Park, 2000). And third, the distorted represen-
tation of geographies in EBs is likely to reproduce the status quo, preventing non-
dominant geographies from participating in progress in the field (Pearson, 2015),
negatively affecting their knowledge development and career prospects in the ‘inter-
national’ marketplace.
EBs are fundamental bodies for setting journals’ strategic lines, but also,
depending on their level of relevance, for regulating the scientific efforts and field
agenda (Alvesson et al., 2017). According to the literature on EBs, high academic
performance is a criterion in the selection of candidates (Raelin, 2008), and being a
member (in one or many EBs) is also a key indicator of peer recognition in aca-
demic career promotions at most universities (Bedeian et al., 2009). The influence
of EBs is manifested by the ‘gatekeepers of knowledge’ metaphor, a thesis that
acknowledges their huge significance in shaping what is published and thus what
informs theory development, research and practice (Rosentreich and Wooliscroft,
2006). This gatekeeping role is shaped by their crucial role in the publication pro-
cess, as many EBs are usually reviewers (Haug, 2015).
A myriad of factors might affect editors’ decisions on what they acknowledge
and understand as research excellence (Tijssen, 2003). In this regard, geographic
diversity is an imperfect, albeit acceptable, proxy for intellectual diversity (Harzing
and Metz, 2013). Demography research scholars consider demographic character-
istics to be ‘reasonable proxies for underlying differences in cognitions, values, and
perceptions’ (Joshi et al., 2011: 10). Therefore, the geographic standardization on
EBs potentially narrows the scope of what is published (Harzing and Metz, 2013).
This homogeneity can lead also to the preferential treatment of particular topics,
visions and approaches, to the detriment of others (Livingstone, 2007). Therefore,
according to some observers, it is desirable to broaden geographic diversity in
terms of EBs and research publications in order to promote different visions of
the world (Waisbord, 2016).
The present study explores the relationships of domination and exclusion in
journals’ EBs from a postcolonial perspective. According to this approach, the
systematic ignorance and exclusion of non-Western geographies on major EBs is
the result of a variety of interconnected factors and is linked to overall patterns of
domination in world economy and society (Alatas, 2003). Language is thought to
be a crucial factor in determining this exclusionary logic, as colonial languages
challenge independent native thinking, leading to a deliberate disassociation
between (colonial) languages and (native) conceptualizations (Murphy and Zhu,
2012). In addition, most top-tier journals assume that scholarship must be in
English, while many public institutions undertaking scholarly evaluation satisfy
this ambition without considering the implications for knowledge production
(Goyanes, 2017).
The intellectual domination (via productivity) of Western countries reflects nei-
ther geography nor population, but rather a global distribution of power (Bell
et al., 2017). In this respect, the close concordance between scholarly and economic
4the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
power distribution is well documented (Alatas, 2003). This is not to say that there is
a total lack of non-Western scholarship in elite journals. Previous studies point in
another direction: the existence of an increasing level of scholarship in emerging
economies, but led by Western-based authors (Murphy and Zhu, 2012). As in
capitalist economies, the benefits of the globalization of research are returned to
the West.
The globalization of social science also raises concerns about the reproduction
of core–periphery dynamics between global North and South with regard to meth-
odological practice and norms of knowledge production (Gobo, 2011). Research
and publishing in communication studies has been shown to be dominated by
Western agendas and orientations which determine theoretical, epistemological,
methodological and stylistic norms (Gunaratne, 2010; Waisbord, 2016). Under
these dynamics of scholarly domination, some observers highlight the increasing
pressure that peripheral scholars are subjected to by their academic institutions to
‘prove’ they are world class researchers by conforming to Western-dominated jour-
nal mores (Alvesson et al., 2017). Internationalization, standardization and empiri-
zation have become the basic norms of research (Murphy and Zhu, 2012). The
outcome of this process is an increased level of concentration on Western problems
and issues, the ignorance of national contexts and the implementation of Western
research frameworks and concepts to explore national research interests (Alatas,
2003; Gunaratne, 2010).
Postcolonial literature has a wealth of examples of the colonizing effect of
Western theoretical/methodological orientations in native research practices. For
instance, according to Youchi Ito (1990), Japanese scholars have adopted different
viewpoints on applying Western social theory to analyse Japanese problems, some
simply translating Western social theory into Japanese for direct application.
Consequently, within Western journals Japanese communication issues are typic-
ally defined and analysed using Western concepts. On the other hand, the norms of
Spanish scholarly communication journals diverge from those of the US, with more
focus on critical interpretation and theory development and less on empirics, thus
rendering academic production largely ‘unpublishable’ in so-called world class
journals (Prado, 2017). In order to adapt to recent shifts in scientific policy (that
force scholars to publish in Journal Citation Report (JCR) journals), the research
community is becoming more empirically oriented (Goyanes et al., 2018), adopting
US-styled empirical research perspectives.
While previous analyses have addressed the regimes that support the reproduc-
tion and extension of a global Northern ‘normal science’ in communication
research, this research-based essay focuses specifically on the geographical repre-
sentation of EBs in communication and on the relationship between geographies
and journals. In addition, the study problematizes the reasons behind geographical
standardization, arguing that this discussion is crucial in appreciating the practical
dynamics of core–periphery relations of knowledge production and fostering
greater pluralism and methodological innovation in the field.
Goyanes 5
Objectives and research questions
EBs, as gatekeepers of knowledge, represent a crucial role in shaping what is pub-
lished and therefore what informs theory development, research and practice
(Rosentreich and Wooliscroft, 2006). As key agents in the governance of journals
and thus academic disciplines, they provide strategic and tactical advice to journals’
future development. Being invited to join the board of a major journal is a highly
visible, prestigious appointment and an important form of academic recognition
´n et al., 2013), favourably regarded in academic promotion processes
(Bedeian et al., 2009). However, despite their relevance in shaping the character
and the disciplinary norms and values of scientific fields, there is little research into
these highly visible scientific leaders. This article empirically examines the national
diversity of EBs in order to illustrate the structural relationship between journals
and nationalities. Therefore, this study attempts to explore the following research
RQ1: Which nationalities dominate/control the editorial boards of the major journals
in communication sciences?
RQ2: How the different nationalities of editorial boards and major journals in com-
munication science are related?
RQ3: How the inclusion in editorial boards of non-Western geographies could be
A content analysis was executed to analyse the geographic diversity of communi-
cation journals, followed by a correspondence analysis (CA) to explore the rela-
tionship between journals’ EBs and geographies. Specifically, the analysis accounts
for the EBs of 39 communication journals listed in the JCR in quartile one (Q1)
and quartile two (Q2) in 2015. The JCR ranks journals according to their impact
factor, a measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles
published in that journal. This ranking was chosen to evaluate the EBs’ compos-
ition in communication sciences for several reasons. First, because it is frequently
taken as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field (Jacobs,
2016). Therefore, it is often assumed that journals with higher impact factors are
often deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. In addition, and
perhaps more important, this ranking is increasingly used as baseline source for
assessment exercises (Alvesson et al., 2017) and as a consequence, scholars are
encouraged to publish their scholarships there. In this regard, many countries
have formally and informally embraced the JCR ranking to discipline and
reward individuals and institutions (Goyanes, 2017).
6the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
The JCR ranking divides journals into four different quartiles (Q), according to
their impact factor. The impact factor of those positioned in the quartiles one and
two (Q1 and Q2) is higher than those positioned in quartiles three and four (Q3 and
Q4). In the field of communication during 2015, there were 79 JCR journals in
total, of which 39 were indexed in Q1 and Q2. From this sample, two journals were
eliminated (IEE Transaction on Professional Communication and Technical
Communication) because they mainly address technical issues related to communi-
cation processes and thus the two first Q3 journals were included. Therefore, the
final sample of journals content analysed was 39 (37 Q1/Q2 + 2 Q3). The main
reasons for choosing those journals ranked between Q1 and Q2 were that they have
the highest impact factor in the field of communication, they are all seen as premier
outlets for leading edge communication research and they represent a fairly good
spread when it comes to the research they publish.
In order to answer RQ1, the EBs were reviewed by an independent coder who
was trained to capture the relevant data. The total number of units coded (EBs of
all journals) was 2.616. For inter-rater reliability, the first author independently
coded a random selection of 20% of cases. The Cohen kappa inter-rater agree-
ment coefficient (Cohen, 1960), which adjusts for the proportion of agreements
that take place, was evaluated using the guidelines outlined by Landis and Koch
(1977), where the strength of the kappa coefficient is as follows: 0.01–0.20 slight,
0.21–0.40 fair, 0.41–0.60 moderate, 0.61–0.80 substantial and 0.81–1.00 almost
perfect. The analysis provided an inter-rater reliability of 93% agreement and a
kappa coefficient of 0.70. Therefore, the inter-coder reliability was substantial. All
discrepancies between coders were resolved through discussion.
To answer RQ2, a CA was designed. CA is a multivariate statistical technique
developed to reduce and simplify the dimensions of phenomena. In this case, it
helps to visualize the relationship between variables and position them according to
their weight and influence. CA’s philosophy is ‘thinking’ in terms of relations, and
therefore providing a graphical representation of the structural relations between
attributes (nationalities) and objects (journals). This technique was used to find the
relations between journals and nationalities because it is very useful to explore the
links among categorical variables and to graphically visualize the influence of attri-
butes in positioning an object in the space of relations.
Coding book
Below are each of the sections in which the code book is structured, while detailing
the categories of analysis included.
General identification of the unit of analysis: This initial section consists of data
relating to the number of the unit of analysis, name of the EB (including editor-in-
chief, editors, associate editors and international EBs) and date on which the
coding was made.
Journal: This section consists of data relating to the 39 journals analysed and
their abbreviations: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC),
Goyanes 7
New Media and Society (NM&S),Journal of Communication (JC),
Communication Theory (CT),Human Communication Research (HCR),
Journal of Advertising (JoA),Written Communication (WC),Information,
Communication and Society (IC&S),Journal of Health Communication (JHC),
International Journal of Press Politics (IJP/P),Communication Research (CR),
Public Understanding of Science (PUS),Management Communication Quarterly
(MCQ),Science Communication (SC),Research on Language and Social
Interaction (RLSI),Political Communication (PC),Health Communication
(HC),Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (JSPR),Comunicar
(Comunicar),Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ),Language and Communication
(L&C),MediaPsychology(MP),Journal of Language and Social Psychology
(JLSP),Journalism (JOU),Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
(JB&EM),Public Relations Review (PRR),Communication Monographs
(CM),International Journal of Advertising (IJoAR),Journalism and Mass
Communication Quarterly (J&MCQ),Discourse and Society (D&S),Media
Culture and Society (MCS),European Journal of Communication (EJC),
Journalism Studies (JS),International Journal of Public Opinion Research
(IJPOR),Mass Communication and Society (MC&S),Journal of Public
Relations Research (JPRR),Telecommunications Policy (TP),Journal of
Advertising Research (JAR) and Personal Relationships (PR).
Nationality of EBs: This section analysed the geographical origin of EBs. The
nationality of EBs was coded according to the country in which EB members have
their current academic affiliation. The reasons to implement a cluster approach
were twofold: first, it was a critical decision for analytical purposes related to the
study’s thesis and second, and arguably more important, to present the data in a
coherent and concise manner (1 ¼USA, 2 ¼Europe, 3 ¼UK, 4 ¼Canada,
5¼Asia-Pacific, 6 ¼Latin America, 7 ¼Africa and Middle East, 8 ¼Israel).
Following the procedure and recommendations of previous research on EBs’
diversity (Ozbilgin, 2004), countries which are on the margins of two or three
socio-cultural and geographic clusters (such as Turkey and Eastern European
countries) were grouped by geography rather than their social or cultural prox-
imity to other clusters.
United States: The most prevalent country in EBs of communication sciences
In total 2,616 scholars configure the EBs of the selection of journals. The dominant
nationality is the United States (N ¼1,704; 65%), followed by the United Kingdom
(N ¼191; 7.3%), Canada (N ¼71; 2.7%) Australia (N ¼61; 2.3%) and Germany
(N ¼54; 2.1%). These five countries represent 79.4% of the total contributions.
The ranking of geographies according to their dominance is illustrated by three
category labels (Table 1) and further elaborated below.
8the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
Leading actors
Leading actors are defined as those regions that are relatively well represented
in the EBs of communication journals. These countries include North
America (both USA and Canada), United Kingdom, Europe and Israel. This clus-
ter represents 88.7% of total memberships. Its influence in the field is thus
Secondary actors
Secondary actors are those regions of the world that have a moderate level of
coverage in terms of editorial membership. The Asia-Pacific cluster fit well to
this definition. This cluster dominates 8.7% of total memberships. Within this
cluster, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore are the most repre-
sented geographies.
Supporting actors
Supporting actors denote those regions of the world that are completely ignored in
the EBs of communication journals. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa fit
well in this definition. There is only a rudimentary level of editorial participation
from these regions. Only a few EB members from Turkey and Qatar in the Middle
East, Chile, Brazil and Mexico in Latin America and South Africa in Africa enjoy
the little representation from this geographic cluster. In total this cluster controls
2.2% of the memberships.
Table 1. Cluster of countries according to their representatives.
areas Examples of countries
Leading actors
(USA and Canada),
UK, Europe and
USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Norway, Austria,
Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium,
Finland, Sweden, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy,
Ireland, Geek, Cyprus, Malta, Luxembourg,
Poland, Latvia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Czech
Republic, Estonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Israel
Secondary actors
Asia-Pacific Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka,
South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand,
China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Russia
Supporting actors
Latin America,
Middle East and
Venezuela, Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil,
Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Jamaica, Israel, Qatar,
Egypt, Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,
Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa
Goyanes 9
Geographic domination and research influence in EBs: CA
A CA was designed to project and position geographies and elite journals and
therefore to visualize the space of domination and influence in the field. The
space is divided in two axes: Y (endogamy orientation) and X (US orientation).
First, the endogamy axis describes those journals formed to a greater or lesser
extent by EBs with a common nationality. Therefore, the more endogamy in
EBs the more probability of control and domination of a specific geography (US
or other). Second, the US orientation axis describes those journals more or less
oriented to form their EBs with scholars from the US. As is shown in Figure 1
(including Comunicar in the analysis), the space occupied by elite journals is fun-
damentally divided into two quadrants: upper-left quadrant (more endogamy and
US oriented) and lower-right quadrant (less endogamy and non-US oriented). The
CA identifies the United States as the dominant research culture (upper left quad-
rant). Its expectations, priorities and scientific norms and values are therefore
paradigmatic in this area of domination. On the other hand, the other geographies
struggle to conceive and establish their own structures and narratives of persuasion
(especially the United Kingdom) and to have an impact on the area of US dom-
ination (lower right quadrant). The basic patterns of influence are summarized and
further elaborated below.
Figure 1. CA between journals and geographies, with Comunicar.
10 the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
First, journals entirely dominated by the North American research culture
occupy the upper left quadrant. The hegemony of this geography is almost total
in this domain. The vast majority of sampled journals are positioned in this space,
so do 8 of the first 10 indexed in the JCR ranking. North American domination is
thus not only rooted in the majority of journals (structural influence), but also
specially in those most relevant for the field. The analysis suggests that being non-
American acts as a restriction for most candidates wishing to participate on
US-dominated EBs.
Second, the lower left quadrant is a space where non-Americans struggle for
domination and most countries are positioned quite distant from the centre. The
closest geographies to the US and thus with the greatest weight in its scientific
architecture are Canada, Israel and Asia-Pacific regions. Canada and Israel are the
countries with the greatest influence within the area of US domination. The dis-
tance between Europe and the United States is explained by its small number of
representatives and interactions in its sphere of influence, only minimized by coun-
tries such as Germany and the Netherlands (in particular). Africa and the Middle
East is halfway between Asia-Pacific and the UK and very distant from the centre
of domination.
The position of the United Kingdom and Latin America is the most intriguing.
On the one hand, the United Kingdom could be acknowledged as a realm inde-
pendent of the North American and non-North American domain, and thus look-
ing for its own structures and narratives of scientific persuasion. The influence of
the United Kingdom in the North American space of domination is almost irrele-
vant, despite its linguistic ties. This is explained by the surprising lack of scholars
on EBs of journals of US domination and vice versa. In this respect, UK scholars
are almost only taken into consideration as editorial members by UK journals and
are thus in limited demand by those of US domination. Finally, the CA situates
Latin America in the upper right quadrant and in total isolation from the rest of
the geographies. The only journal close to it is Comunicar, of Spanish origin.
The analysis without Comunicar (what could be considered an outlier, Figure 2)
provides even more explicit findings, by dividing the space into two clearly differ-
entiated zones of domination (as Figure 1): one of total US influence and another
of mixed interactions. In the upper and lower left quadrants are located the jour-
nals of US domination, while in the upper and lower right quadrants are the rest of
geographies and their linked journals, according to their weight in shaping EBs.
This second graphic especially addresses the situation of the European Journal of
Communication, the journal more distanced to the US space of domination and
thus to their scientific norms and values.
Why such a lack of plurality?
The CA has outlined a model of geographical domination in elite communication
journals. However, the analysis did not illustrate the key reasons behind this exclu-
sive and standardized control. The answer to the question of why there is such
Goyanes 11
a lack of plurality and thus national diversity in EBs is not likely to lie within the
nature and characteristics of the journals investigated. Although they indicate the
prevalent geographies in power relations, they do not show how the relationship
between power and knowledge is structured and reproduced. Instead, the answer is
more likely to be found in the scientific field within which these power relations are
located and positioned. Research texts, which ultimately provide the rationale for
reaching international EBs (Raelin, 2008), are crafted in a socio-political context
and the need to adapt to the rules of the field is strong. Scientific fields consist of a
range of social norms and methodological rules that guide and regulate the pro-
duction and publication of scientific knowledge in significant ways (Bourdieu,
Scientific fields, as a system of objective relations between acquired positions,
are where we find the competitive struggle whose specific challenge is the monopoly
of scientific authority. This scientific authority is inseparably defined as technical
capacity and social power (Bourdieu, 2004). It can be thus configured as the mon-
opoly of scientific competence that is socially acknowledged to a specific agent,
understood in the sense of the ability to speak and legitimately intervene (i.e., in an
authoritative and authoritarian manner) on scientific issues. Scientific fields consist,
more specifically, in a range of social norms and methodological rules that guide
and govern the production of scientific knowledge in a significant way (Bourdieu,
2004). In this respect, the design of EBs may be configured as a struggle in which
Figure 2. CA between journals and geographies, without Comunicar.
12 the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
each participant in the scientific game must enforce the value of their products and
their own authority as a legitimate player. This vision is intended to dictate a
definition of science (the delimitation of the field’s problems, methodologies, the-
ories, paradigms, etc.) which is more favourable for their specific interests, that is
more suitable for allowing them to occupy dominant positions with full legitimacy.
Therefore, important questions here concern: What kind of possibilities or con-
straints does a scientific field offer? What social norms regulate the production of
scientific knowledge and the publication of scientific texts within a particular sci-
entific field? What are the expectations and constraints expressed by editors and
reviewers as representatives of the research community exercising control over
texts? What kinds of reward systems (such as membership of EBs) exist within
the field and how do they regulate the conduct of producing research, especially the
production of research articles? Although many of these norms are part of the
taken-for-granted landscape of the scientific field and therefore hard to detect,
this article proposes five partly overlapping social norms and intellectual reasons
that transversally shape the relation between power and knowledge in the field and
thus establish the geographic standardization of communication science EBs.
-A hegemonic view of communication research (within a diversified field): When
exploring the relation between power and knowledge in EBs the unity of science is a
recurrent issue and therefore an element subject to critics, generalizations and
oversimplifications. However, it should be acknowledged that, as in any system,
the academy presents clear patterns of geographic distribution of power (as the CA
suggests) and hegemonic views of science structured around elite journals. In this
sense, the international pressure to adopt US-styled empirical research perspec-
tives, as there is in the U.S., is well documented. However, this is not to say that
there is a unique perspective in conducting empirical research. There is consider-
able contestation between the hegemonic views and other views such as critical,
Marxian, postcolonial and feminist views, both within the U.S. and between
the U.S. and other geographies. Hence, the field is relatively diverse and there is
counter hegemonic struggle within the academy.
In general terms, it should be noted that the ethnocentric problem is well under-
stood by editors, as many of them are honestly open to various theoretical and
methodological approaches. In fact, looking at some elite journals’ aims and
scopes, editors welcome a wider geographic and theoretical representation.
However, in many occasions, these strategic guidelines are not entirely respected
if it is looked to what is generally published (Demeter, 2018b). Underlying to this
discussion is therefore the struggle to maintain the dominant view of communica-
tion research coping with the diversity that does exist. Therefore, the geographical
standardization of EBs’ power would be difficult to conceive without a hegemonic
view of communication research, that is a collective convention, constitution, cri-
teria, regulation, agreement and research discipline on what is generally portrayed,
considered and acknowledged as ‘good research’ (in English). In other words, the
participation in the dominant scientific marketplace would be inaccessible for most
geographies unless they share a hegemonic view of science (Gobo, 2011), that is
Goyanes 13
a relatively accepted perspective on what is commonly conceived as scientific, based
on the standards and guidelines protected but also persuasively promoted by dom-
inating countries (Bell et al., 2017), whether they are qualitative or quantitative.
In this regard, the hegemonic view of communication research is configured today
as a structure of power relationships that encompasses a normative and agreed
vision of how research should be written and designed, how it should be structured,
how it should be regulated, how it should be evaluated and what the mechanisms of
its reception and reproduction should be (Goyanes, 2017). Challenging this ortho-
doxy or, equally, ignoring it, means to be excluded from the strategic services of
international sciences.
-Institutional and national networks: The origin of most journals determines their
editorial design (Haug, 2015). Journal editors or editors-in-chief are at the top of
the EB hierarchy and are the most influential people in the selection of EB members
(Metz and Harzing, 2012). As social identity theory demonstrates, people use vis-
ible personal characteristics to identify with others (Tajfe, 1981) and ascribe more
positive attributes to individuals in their groups than individuals outside their
groups. Therefore, the selection of home country EB boards also responds to
solid social (and national) research networks by which academics build, personally
or virtually, their intellectual interactions (Metz and Harzing, 2012). Therefore, a
crucial factor in determining the rudimentary representation of supporting-actor
geographies (such as Latin America or Africa) is the lack of elite journals estab-
lished under their jurisdiction. Hence, a vicious circle is produced and reproduced:
the lack of elite journals limits their production as do their representation in the
international hall of fame.
-From production to boards: The more the scientific group publishes in elite
journals, the better the reward system will be, particularly in terms of: (1) the
odds of being an eligible and legitimate EB member and, (2) the sanctioned cap-
acity to influence the strategic lines of the journal and therefore the field itself
(Haug, 2015). Scientific production is seen as one of the crucial factors when it
comes to distributing the benefits for the field domination (Raelin, 2008). Editorial
representation is thus a reward for assuming the norms and values that regulate the
scientific production labelled excellent by dominating geographies (Gobo, 2011).
It means the gratitude of the scientific community for excellent scholarship under
the paradigm of Western conceptualizations of good research (Murphy and
Zhu, 2012).
-Economic capital: EBs of elite journals typically enjoy a strong record of pub-
lications in scientific outlets commonly acknowledged as field references (Metz and
Harzing, 2012). Building a record of scientifically excellent publications to be por-
trayed as a suitable candidate to occupy an editorial chair entails not only the
individual endeavour intimately related to one’s talent and capacity, but also
related to the economic capital and human resources/conditions to conduct empir-
ical research under the strict rigorousness that the field diligently demands
(Goyanes, 2017). Economic resources and thus investment policies in research out-
puts explain the dominating positions of certain geographies (Bell et al., 2017).
14 the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
-Evaluation systems: Institutions of scholarly evaluation are not directly deter-
mining factors but they indeed have an indirect effect on the configuration of the
established spaces of domination (Alvesson et al., 2017). Most Western geographies
already run such agencies with the aim of assessing the scientific output of national
academics and thus creating personal and institutional rankings for classifying
them according to their impact (and in fact being paid for such output). These
agencies, through their evaluation rules, encourage scholars to publish in English-
speaking outlets (Goyanes, 2017). Therefore, academics who in the past mainly
published in local journals might experience higher levels and pressure to publish in
international journals instead (Waisbord, 2016). The political market via evalu-
ation agencies thus determines the scientific journals which characterize a
researcher as excellent, via their participation and publication in spaces dictated
by scientific bureaucracies.
Strategies for change
Without denying the relative plurality of EBs, this study assumes that it is import-
ant to loosen up the set of social norms and intellectual reasoning that strongly
encourage EBs to adhere to a specific geographic community when designing their
structure. In particular, given the increasing acknowledgement of plurality as a
constitutive value of scientific progress, there are good reasons for broadening
the norms and values of knowledge production, but also for enabling and actively
promoting the development of approaches that focus carefully and critically on
assumptions, worldviews, perspectives, conventions and other elements from
Westerns geographies. Below, four strategies for constructing EBs that go
beyond the current geographical standardization are suggested.
-Admit that there is a problem: Before any strategic shift can be accomplished we
must first problematize what the objectives and priorities of communication
research as a scientific field are and where it generally stands on inequality
issues. The field should thus start to acknowledge that there is a huge problem
in elite communication journals concerning the distorted proportion of geographic
representation of Western geographies that needs to be challenged. At the same
time, there remains a problem of size: How big is the community of communication
scholars in small countries sharing a minority language like Belgium or the
Netherlands? So how big are the chances of becoming a member of the EB of a
top-tier communication journal? How can the non-English and therefore margin-
alized knowledge base be opened up and shared with the rest of the world? Is the
solution automated translation so that searches made in English may also lead to
articles in Spanish, Danish, Chinese, etc., which can then be consulted in a version
translated into English?
Publishers may play a role in urging editors to improve the international cover-
age of these prestigious journals in terms of inclusion of those issues, themes and
geographies, which are currently marginalized. EB members may produce policy
statements that encourage article submissions on or from these under-represented
Goyanes 15
regions and integrate these policies in their guidelines for authors. Authors may
also contribute to this effort by integrating these regions in their research projects
and using academic publications from a wider and more diverse range of publica-
tions. Readers may affect change at this level by expecting a more inclusive and
international approach from these journals and requesting this from the editors if
they are not satisfied with the available range.
By broadening the geographic reach of EBs, conflicting views on how to conduct
communication research might be triggered. These visions, often by definition
opposed, might jeopardize or threaten current hegemonic views of communication
research (everything that dominant geographies consider as the roots and tenets of
scientific practice). However, by means of honest scientific dialogue, discrepancies
should be addressed without confrontation, by also exploring the perspectives and
points of view that one does not personally support. If the scientific community is
capable of engaging in this type of dialogue without anger or evasion, it will dis-
cover that there is not a single fixed position which is so important that it deserves
to be maintained at the expense of destroying the dialogue itself. This will give rise
to a unity within the plurality. Because science should not consist of monolithic
structures, but of a dynamic unit within plurality (Bohm and Peat, 2010).
-Acknowledge the legitimacy of other languages (and interpretations of the world)
for producing scientific knowledge: The CA reveals the prominent and legitimate
position of English as the lingua franca for the exchange of scientific ideas. In fact,
the pressure to publish in English has been growing in Europe and other regions.
As Waisbord (2016) observes the consequences of this process are mixed: it eases
scholarly communication across borders, but at the same time gives advantages to
English-speaking scholars by favouring their visibility and minimizing the global
presence of thematic subjects and areas of the world with small numbers of
English-speaking academics.
Acknowledging the legitimacy of other languages and world interpretations
means exchanging knowledge and understanding across borders (Livingstone,
2007), national approaches playing a crucial role in this larger forum. This research
orientation seeks to frame the national with the global. It represents an invitation
to occupy different scientific areas for the exchange of scientific ideas besides the
current geographical standardization. Beyond the Westernization of communica-
tion research, it envisions science as a diverse space achieved by cultivating an
intellectual openness that embraces the geographical and linguistic diversity of
nations. Therefore, it is crystallized through a multicultural research orientation
that recognizes and capitalizes on cultural differences and diligently combines them
to expand and extend intellectual horizons, enriching knowledge in a global (and
not ethnocentric) sense.
A possibly effective, more strategic solution to enlarge the geographic diversity
of EBs might be with so-called regional desk managers whose explicit responsibility
it would be to spot excellent research in their geographical and language regions
and point the communication scholars in the direction of the top-tier journals so
that these become more diverse. Launching a yearly special issue with translated
16 the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
excellent pieces would be another possibility. Such a format would have the advan-
tage of putting the focus on the decentralizing policy shift. But clearly, translating
will not be enough; it is also a matter of framing one’s local or national issues or
problems into issues of global interest. In all, what is needed is sustained active
action by editors, academic organizations such as IAMCR, ECREA, ICA and not
in the least by individual academics to make sure that the make-up of EBs reflects
the diverse community of communication science scholars. Academic publishing
houses should also be called upon to take up their responsibility: the selection of a
journal editor really matters as it is a leader of change and innovation. So only
journal editors who take diversity seriously should be considered fit for the job.
-Allow other excellence(s): All social and natural scientists aim at the pursuit
of research excellence by publishing rigorous and interesting theories (Davis,
1971). The ethos of sciences is commonly acknowledged by almost all epistemic
cultures, nations and throughout the history of sciences. However, ‘research
excellence’ is a social construct very much rooted in the scientific environment
and society which submits to its interpretation, imposing therefore an intellec-
tual barrier which contemplates a single, global, closed definition (Marcos,
2013). However, according to the geographical research standardization pre-
sented here, there is a virtual and collective acknowledgement of research excel-
lence, represented in elite journal rankings, which generally demarcates science
from other things. Willmott (2011) referred to this shift as ‘list fetishism’,
arguing that the publication outlet (the fetish object) currently assumes an
importance greater than the substantive content and contribution of the schol-
arship. The appearance in elite (English-speaking) journals is thus for many the
benchmark of research excellence, delineating the physical frontier between suc-
cess and ignorance (Gunaratne, 2010).
Despite the absence of universal norms for doing science, there are theoretically
contingent norms implicit in successful practices (Chalmers, 1990), and therefore, all
results must face the world in the most demanding possible way, given the existing
practical techniques (quantitative or qualitative). Research excellence encompasses a
myriad of axiological standards (such as precision, coherence, simplicity, etc.) but
‘disciplines are characterized, among other things, by different sets of shared values’
(Khun, 1962: 155). Very few editors or scholars push a single standard for conduct-
ing research, although some individual journals are highly focused. In this regard,
most scholars are willing to accept the fact of epistemological diversity in the social
sciences. They may think their approach is most productive, but no single approach
is generating theories that overwhelm the social sciences as a whole. In this context,
promoting a single standard of research excellence in social inquiry jeopardizes the
diversity and plurality of global scientific endeavour. If the international community
(poorly understood) agrees on the specific norms and values of good science then
there will only be one, unified and imperialist approach to communication research.
It is actually in this increasingly constrained habitat where native approaches to
social inquiry and theory building are guillotined and difference is seen as something
Goyanes 17
To foster research diversity, the field must rethink the presumed research excel-
lence (and standardization) of Western communication literature. And this process
brings to the academic fora new opportunities and risks. On the one hand, new
approaches and priorities from global southern geographies might problematize
and challenge taken-for-granted theories and expectations, enriching the overall
reach of communication research. However, at the same time, they might introduce
questionable research practices that challenge the ethos of communication research
and thus jeopardize the coherence and rigorousness of elite communication jour-
nals. No doubt, the consolidation of an international community of communica-
tion scholars will entail risks and (a few) setbacks for some, but at the same time
will open new avenues for research and broaden scientific standards of excellence.
-Promote denationalization: The pluralistic vision of scientific production must
be organized through the natural denationalization of the strategic dominators of
the field and production force. Only by reorienting the strategic lines of scientific
reproduction based on plural orientations of different geographies, experiences and
expectations (and consequently the production force on which it is based), can the
vision about what is considered good science be challenged. To go one step further,
genuine internationalization of the communication sciences requires valuing and
respecting national idiosyncrasies. To do this, EBs must take into consideration
these traditions and publish that scholarship that meets the criteria inherited from
their respective research cultures. Denationalization implies, therefore, the (re)dis-
tribution of strategic representation and the production force, not based on the
criteria stipulated by the currently dominated countries, but to an alternative vision
rooted in schools, in national expectations and in plural standards, reviewed by
sensitive researchers with these approaches or well versed in regional/native scien-
tific practices.
The purpose of this research has been to explore the national diversity of elite
communication journal EBs, with the aim of stimulating a more diverse and het-
erogeneous research arena. The study offers three interrelated contributions to this
area of inquiry. First, results show the United States as the dominant geography
when envisioning the scientific strategic lines of most journals. Their epistemic
culture, norms and values are thus a structural influence for the field, while other
national identities struggle to modify and adapt to their domination while promot-
ing their own structures and narratives of influence. The United States being the
leading country, three clusters of representativeness were identified: leading actors,
secondary actors and supporting actors.
Second, the study explores the leverage structure of the different geographical
areas. The CA projects a field divided into two zones of domination: the leading
one controlled by the USA, and a heterogeneous and diffuse space of interactions
and reciprocal influences controlled by non-American nationalities. Findings dem-
onstrate that EBs are governed by a handful of countries, especially North America
18 the International Communication Gazette 0(0)
and English-speaking geographies. The study finally addresses the position of Latin
America and the United Kingdom: the first due to its exclusion and isolation from
the rest of the scientific community and the second for its strategy of shaping its
own structure and narratives of domination parallel to the USA.
Third, the study argues that despite the fact that diversity in scholars’ back-
ground is believed to broaden a field of knowledge, there is a clear pattern of
geographic distribution of power coupled with a hegemonic view of communica-
tion research. The study identifies five social norms and the intellectual reasoning
that strongly condition the design of EBs: (1) A hegemonic view of communication
research, (2) the institutional and national networks, (3) from production to
boards, (4) the economic capital and (5) the evaluation systems.
In conclusion, given the growing acknowledgement of research pluralism as a
mechanism for advancing knowledge, this study attempts to challenge geographical
standardization in elite communication journals. More specifically, the article pro-
poses and outlines four easy-to-implement strategies to broaden the perspectives,
norms and values that govern productive behaviour. These four strategic actions
are (1) to admit that there is a problem, (2) to acknowledge the legitimacy of other
languages (and interpretations of the world) for producing scientific knowledge, (3)
to admit other kinds of excellence and (4) to promote denationalization. The aim of
the study is not to appeal to or encourage all editors to change their editorial action
plans (they can use their judgement and experience to assess the situation), but to
raise critical questions and encourage essential debate concerning general geo-
graphic standardization and the risks it entails. Expanding geographical diversity
by incorporating the needs, priorities and expectations of ‘hidden’ countries would
certainly mobilize a more creative, diverse and interesting intellectual field.
Limitations and future studies
Several limitations of the current analysis are noteworthy. First, to gather empirical
evidence regarding the EBs geographies, the study focuses on the JCR ranking.
However, this ranking is very oriented to index English journals and excludes
publications in other languages. This is probably one explanatory factor why the
analysis reveals such a strong dominance of Anglo-American scholars because
many national language journals are not listed. Although this ranking is a funda-
mental source in academic institutions for determining the importance of journals
and evaluating scholars and universities, other rankings are more diverse in the
inclusion of journals with national languages (such as Scopus). In addition, many
journals on this ranking are affiliated to different US or international associations.
Therefore, it might be the case that the geographic diversity of those EBs might
actually reflect the overall structure of the associations. One should take the char-
acteristics of this sample into consideration when interpreting the results.
Nevertheless, many of the listed journals and associations do claim a wider inter-
national reach and reputation as the ‘top’ publications in their league. Therefore,
it is fair to judge their claims of diversity against editorial membership.
Goyanes 19
Second, academic affiliations of EB members are considered as an indication of
their countries of residence. Therefore, the article assumes their place of work as
nationality. However, in the scientific field there are many scholars with a very
international background, meaning that their country of origin might not be
aligned with their country of residence. In this regard, although the justification
and rationale for the study theoretically assumes that (1) EBs place of work is a
significant determinant of their approach to sciences and (2) the more diverse EBs
are, the more likely they are to welcome broader international content, both
hypotheses are not empirically tested in the present study. The objective of the
article is not to shed light on those issues (there are many articles in different
disciplines that deal with this topic and support both hypotheses), but to account
for the lack of geographic inclusion in the EBs of communication journals and the
relationship between journals and geographies. Therefore, future studies – in add-
ition to the information about the editors – might code (i.e., with a quantitative
content analysis) the applied research paradigms, the theories used, the geograph-
ical focus and/or the methods used in published articles (or for a sample of articles).
These data, in combination with the information about the editors, would allow
statistical testing of the effect of the composition of the EB has on the type of
published articles and the composition of EBs. For the purpose of this study,
however, these theoretically grounded assumptions have been used to justify the
relevance of the study.
Third, and finally, the study only analyses the geographic diversity of EBs and
describes their composition with descriptive statistics and a CA. Therefore, to
explain the big picture and the relationship between EBs, other essential variables
could be included and other statistical techniques applied. Therefore, future studies
might explore the social structure of EBs through social network analysis including
demographics (name of EBs, nationality, university affiliation and gender), the
publishing house, the affiliation of journals with a specific association (ICA,
AEJMC, etc.), impact factor, etc. Despite these limitations, the article does offer
robust findings to evidence the lack of geographic diversity in the EBs of JCR
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, author-
ship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication
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Goyanes 23
... The growing importance of publication output in leading peer-reviewed journals [1], and the increasing demand for research diversity in academia [2], have spurred scholarly interest in editorial board representation [1]. Research into the roles and functions of editorial boards has suggested that these bodies of governance play a decisive role during the peer-review process [3], serving as gatekeepers of knowledge [4], and ultimately setting a journal's research and thematic direction [5]. ...
... Specifically, this study focuses on disciplines that are frequently analyzed in terms of editorial board composition but lack cross-discipline analyses: communication [2,9,[11][12][13], psychology [14][15][16], political science [17,18], sociology [19,20], economics [8,21,22], and management [1,4,5]. More specifically, we employ social network analysis with the aim of (1) mapping the EBI of the above six fields; (2) identifying the representation of EB members in terms of gender, affiliation, and nationality; and (3) finding the connections between fields and their magnitude. ...
... Specifically, this study focuses on disciplines that are frequently analyzed in terms of editorial board composition but lack cross-discipline analyses: communication [2,9,[11][12][13], psychology [14][15][16], political science [17,18], sociology [19,20], economics [8,21,22], and management [1,4,5]. More specifically, we employ social network analysis with the aim of (1) mapping the EBI of the above six fields; (2) identifying the representation of EB members in terms of gender, affiliation, and nationality; and (3) finding the connections between fields and their magnitude. ...
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Editorial boards play a key role in the production, dissemination, and promotion of scientific knowledge. The cross-presence of scholars in different journals, known as editorial board interlocking, maps the connections between such bodies of governance. Former research on this topic is typically restricted to individual disciplines and has failed to consider the relevance of potential interlocking between related, but different academic fields. Further, although existing studies note a significant lack of diversity in editorial board representation, they mainly focus on a single dimension, such as gender or geography. This study addressed these knowledge gaps by offering a complex cross-disciplinary approach to the geographical, gender, and institutional compositions of editorial boards, with a specific emphasis on within-and between-fields editorial board interlocking. We used graph and social network analysis to examine editorial board connections between 281 top journals (13,084 members and 17,092 connections) of six disciplines: communication , psychology, political science, sociology, economics, and management. We found substantial differences in terms of field connections, ranging from sociology with 42% interlocking with other fields, to management with only 11%. Psychology is significantly less connected to the other five disciplines. The results also show a clear overrepresenta-tion of American institutions and native English-speaking countries in all fields, with Har-vard, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and New York University forming a well-connected central cluster. Although female scholars are underrepresented, there are no significant differences in terms of positioning in the network. Female scholars are even employed in more central positions than male scholars in psychology, sociology, and management. Our findings extend the literature on editorial board diversity by evidencing a significant imbalance in their gender, geographical, institutional representation, and interlocking editorship both within and between fields. PLOS ONE PLOS ONE |
... The gatekeeping role of the editor thus is not limited to a selection of content, but also includes a selection of people who can associate themselves with a given journal, a fact that is often critically highlighted with regard to unequal representation within academia (e.g. Goyanes, 2019;Albuquerque et al., 2020). The founding of a journal is a special case for a limited period of time, in which the overlap between journal profile and editor/founder profiles is particularly large. ...
... Collyer, 2018). The diversity of editorial boards, likewise, is disputed (Goyanes, 2019;Albuquerque et al., 2020). Here, guest editors might bring some sorely needed equity into global scholarly publishing. ...
Scholarly publishing lives on traditioned terminology that gives meaning to subjects such as authors, inhouse editors and external guest editors, artifacts such as articles, journals, special issues, and collected editions, or practices of acquisition, selection, and review. These subjects, artifacts, and practices ground the constitution of scholarly discourse. And yet, the meaning ascribed to each of these terms shifts, blurs, or is disguised as publishing culture shifts, which becomes manifest in new digital publishing technology, new forms of publishing management, and new forms of scholarly knowledge production. As a result, we may come to over- or underestimate changes in scholarly communication based on traditioned but shifting terminology. In this article, we discuss instances of scholarly publishing whose meaning shifted. We showcase the cultural shift that becomes manifest in the new, prolific guest editor. Though the term suggests an established subject, this editorial role crystallizes a new cultural setting of loosened discourse communities and temporal structures, a blurring of publishing genres and, ultimately, the foundations of academic knowledge production.
... Accordingly, research has primarily examined a constrained set of journals, mainly those indexed in the JCR or Scopus ranking, to further examine their authorship or citation structure (Freelon, 2013;Günther & Domahidi, 2017;Jones et al., 2010;Martínez et al., 2011). Finally, research on diversity in sciences has also been highly prolific but has mainly focused on showing the extensive geographical and gender bias at different academic levels, such as editorial boards (Goyanes, 2020;Dhanani & Jones, 2017) or authorship (Breuning & Sanders, 2007). ...
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Examining research patterns across scientific fields constitutes a growing research enterprise to understand how global knowledge production unfolds. However, scattered empirical evidence has casted light on how the publication diversity of the most productive scholars differ across disciplines, considering their gender and geographical representation. This study focuses on the most prolific scholars across three fields (Communication, Political Science, and Psychology), and examine all journals where they have published. Results revealed the most common journals in which prolific scholars have appeared and showed that Communication scholars are more prone to publish in Political Science and Psychology journals than vice-versa, while psychologists' largely neglect them both. Our findings also demonstrate that males and US scholars are over-represented across fields, and that neither the field, gender, geographic location, or the interaction between gender and geographic location has a significant influence over publication diversity. The study suggests that prolific scholars are not only productive, but also highly diverse in the selection of the journals they publish, which directly speaks to both the heterogeneity of their research contributions and target readers.
... In the following section, I zoom in on the geopolitical representation of academics affiliated with institutions in the Global South, particularly Africa, vis-à-vis those from the West on the editorial boards of journals cited in the PhD theses in the sample. Literature on the subject points to the fact that editors-inchief, and their editorial boards as an institution, influence knowledge the most by 'determining what is published' (Metz et al., 2016;Goyanes, 2020). They also act as 'a good predictor for the national diversity of their publication output' (Demeter, 2018(Demeter, : 2914 and, in consequence, author diversity. ...
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The supervision and production of a PhD thesis often presents a potentially interesting tension between PhDs as conforming to disciplinary epistemologies and PhDs as breaking epistemological boundaries. No academic discipline has been left untouched by decolonial thinking in the South African university space since the eruption of radicalized student protest movements in 2015. The Rhodes Must Fall student protest movement, which quickly morphed into Fees Must Fall, precipitated a new urgency to decolonize the university curriculum in post-apartheid South Africa. A new interdisciplinary conversation in the humanities and social sciences began to emerge which challenged established orthodoxies in favour of de-Westernizing, decolonizing and re-mooring epistemological and pedagogic practices away from Eurocentrism. Whether and how that theoretical ferment filtered into postgraduate students’ theses, however, remains to be established. This article deploys a decolonial theoretical framework to explore the tension between epistemic conformity and boundary transgressing in journalism studies by analysing reference lists of PhD theses submitted at three South African Universities three years after the protest movement Rhodes Must Fall. With specific focus on media and journalism studies as a discipline, this article argues that the PhD process represents a site for potential epistemic disobedience and disciplinary border-jumping, and for challenging the canonical insularity of Western theory in journalism studies. The findings appear to disconfirm the thesis that decolonial rhetoric has had a material influence so far on the media studies curriculum, as reflected in reference lists of cited works in their dissertations.
... In the following section, I zoom in on the geopolitical representation of academics affiliated with institutions in the Global South, particularly Africa, vis-à-vis those from the West on the editorial boards of journals cited in the PhD theses in the sample. Literature on the subject points to the fact that editors-inchief, and their editorial boards as an institution, influence knowledge the most by 'determining what is published' (Metz et al., 2016;Goyanes, 2020). They also act as 'a good predictor for the national diversity of their publication output' (Demeter, 2018(Demeter, : 2914 and, in consequence, author diversity. ...
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The supervision and production of a PhD thesis often presents a potentially interesting tension between PhDs as conforming to disciplinary epistemologies and PhDs as breaking epistemological boundaries. No academic discipline has been left untouched by decolonial thinking in the South African university space since the eruption of radicalized student protest movements in 2015. The Rhodes Must Fall student protest movement, which quickly morphed into Fees Must Fall, precipitated a new urgency to decolonize the university curriculum in post-apartheid South Africa. A new interdisciplinary conversation in the humanities and social sciences began to emerge which challenged established orthodoxies in favour of de-Westernizing, decolonizing and re-mooring epistemological and pedagogic practices away from Eurocentrism. Whether and how that theoretical ferment filtered into postgraduate students’ theses, however, remains to be established. This article deploys a decolonial theoretical framework to explore the tension between epistemic conformity and boundary transgressing in journalism studies by analysing reference lists of PhD theses submitted at three South African Universities three years after the protest movement Rhodes Must Fall. With specific focus on media and journalism studies as a discipline, this article argues that the PhD process represents a site for potential epistemic disobedience and disciplinary border-jumping, and for challenging the canonical insularity of Western theory in journalism studies. The findings appear to disconfirm the thesis that decolonial rhetoric has had a material influence so far on the media studies curriculum, as reflected in reference lists of cited works in their dissertations.
Editors exert a significant influence on a journal’s mission and in governing the strategic direction of entire fields. They act as gatekeepers not only by ensuring the quality of contributions but also the integrity of the scholarly process. For being such an important element in the sectoral system of scientific production and communication, the editorial phenomenon constitutes an apt but still underexplored research focus. This paper identifies a core group of Innovation Studies journals from the 20-journals list found by Fagerberg et al. (Res Policy 41:1132–1153, 2012) and focuses on seven innovation-oriented top-tier journals to better understand the structure and relationships among the editors. The sample comprises 419 editors occupying 467 editorial positions and assuming 38 different duties. An interlocking editorship pattern is uncovered as 11% of the editors serve on multiple boards. We deploy social network analysis to further map and understand the editorial infrastructure of Innovation Studies thus offering new insights on how the field is organised. Industrial and Corporate Change, Research Policy, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Technovation have the highest centrality in terms of number of direct connections to other boards (degree), the shortest distance from all network journals (closeness) and bridges to the largest number of other pairs of journals (betweenness) although Industrial and Corporate Change is noticed as the primus inter pares in the sample.
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In this article, I present the results of an analysis of the geopolitical diversity of 61,781 papers that have been published in 17 leading international journals in development studies, and the results of another analysis in which I analysed the career trajectories of 260 faculty members working at 10 highly valued development studies departments. Regarding geopolitical diversity, I found a systemic inequality in terms of both research output and education trajectories. I argue that these imbalances contradict the expressed goals and values of development studies as a discipline that aims to reduce geopolitical inequalities. Policy implications are also discussed, in which I propose to reconsider academic recruitment standards and to raise the visibility of different epistemologies of published research in development studies.
Multicultural representation is a stated goal of many global scientific assessment processes. These processes aim to mobilize a broader, more diverse knowledge base and increase legitimacy and inclusiveness of these assessment processes. Often, enhancing cultural diversity is encouraged through involvement of diverse expert teams and sources of knowledge in different languages. In this article, we examined linguistic diversity, as one representation of cultural diversity, in the eight published assessments of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Our results show that the IPBES assessment outputs are disproportionately filtered through English-language literature and authors from Anglophone countries. To incorporate more linguistic diversity into global ecosystem assessment processes, we present actionable steps for global science teams to recognize and incorporate non-English-language literature and contributions from non-Anglophones. Our findings highlight the need for broad-scale actions that enhance inclusivity in knowledge-synthesis processes through balanced representation of different knowledge holders and sources.
Although Brazil has its tradition of journalistic thinking, this essay shows that the discipline of journalism theory has, in this country, an intellectual nucleus based in the United States and Europe. It is true that both academic cultures provide foundations, but they do not claim to provide explanations about the society in which Brazilian journalism developed. This argument is corroborated by the analysis of the bibliographic references used by Brazilian courses. Considering that the impetus for the de-Westernization must come from scholars in emerging countries, this essay argues that the curriculum could be a key element to incite this transformation.
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Durante la última década un creciente número de investigaciones se ha esforzado en evaluar el progreso científico de los estudios en comunicación desde una perspectiva descriptiva, impidiendo comprender las asociaciones más relevantes establecidas en la disciplina. A través de un análisis de contenido a 11 revistas españolas en comunicación, se explora la probabilidad de producir artículos empíricos en función de siete criterios: los años, la financiación pública de la investigación, el número de autores, el género y clúster geográfico de procedencia de los autores, la revista y la temática de investigación. En líneas generales, los hallazgos demuestran un lento pero continuado proceso de abandono de la investigación no basada en evidencias y un crecimiento de investigaciones empíricas, especialmente a través de técnicas como el análisis de contenido. Se concluye que la cultura y práctica investigadora en comunicación en España evoluciona hacia estándares internacionales.
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In this research, we explored what has changed in the field of communication and media studies since Edmund Lauf’s research in 2005, in which he analyzed publication patterns of leading communication journals from 1998 to 2002. We compared the results of our current analysis of 14,925 articles published in 72 Web of Science-ranked communication journals from 2013 to 2017 with Lauf’s earlier data. We found that most leading journals still publish articles almost exclusively from the developed world, and we found the same bias regarding the composition of journal editorial boards. Analysis shows a decreasing contribution of the U.S., while Asia and Western Europe greatly increased their participation, and developing regions are still underrepresented. Our research shows that the field is still deliberately dominated by Western articles in Western journals edited by Western editorial board members. Given this, we suggest that the international community of communication scholars develop strategies to expand common standards for a more balanced international contribution pattern.
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This article examines the publication practices in the field of communication and media studies (CMS) by analyzing the main patterns and features of Scopus-indexed journals. I generated randomly selected samples from Q1 to Q4 quartiles and investigated the connections between the publisher and the content of a given periodical, the internationality and center-periphery indexes, and coauthor networks. Using the results to test the paradigm of dependency theory in CMS, I find that the publisher's location eminently affects the content of a journal. Authors from dependent countries are underrepresented in the most prestigious journals, and, although authors from developed countries frequently collaborate with one another, their coauthorship with authors from dependent countries is idiosyncratic; therefore, authors from dependent countries tend to look for alternative ways to produce noticeable publications.
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This paper analyses the genre of ‘methodology-as-technique’, which we suggest provides the underpinning logic for a particular conception of scientific rigour that is increasingly regarded as normal in globalized management research. Based on a qualitative interview study of management researchers in the peripheral context of India, we associate the methodology-as-technique genre with social scientific methods of organizing, conducting and disseminating knowledge founded on Western neo-imperialism and colonialism. Our analysis draws attention to the consequences of the genre of methodology-as-technique which relate to a narrowing and displacement of research goals, erasure of context, and devaluation and marginalization of alternatives. By providing insight into how methodology-as-technique comes to dominate in peripheral locations such as India, we suggest that these normative constraints also present an opportunity for denaturalization, by making what is increasingly seen as normal appear alien or strange. We conclude by arguing that countering restrictive definitions of rigour in management research relies on development of a more expansive and inclusive conception of the global that fosters indigenous ways of knowing and promotes decolonizing methodologies.
Conference Paper
This essay reconstructs communication theory as a dialogical-dialectical field according to two principles: the constitutive model of communication as a metamodel and theory as metadiscursive practice. The essay argues that all communication theories are mutually relevant when addressed to a practical lifeworld in which "communication" is already a richly meaningful term. Each tradition of communication theory derives from and appeals rhetorically to certain commonplace beliefs about communication while challenging other beliefs. The complementarities and tensions among traditions generate a theoretical metadiscourse that intersects with and potentially, informs the ongoing practical metadiscourse in society In a tentative schedule of the field, rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, sociopsychological, sociocultural, and critical traditions of communication theory are distinguished by characteristic ways of defining communication and problems of communication, metadiscoursive vocabularies, and metadiscoursive commonplaces that they appeal to and challenge. Topoi for argumentation across traditions are suggested and implications for theoretical work and disciplinary practice in the field are considered.
To ward off naïve universalism, researchers are urged to stay context sensitive in conducting comparative research. But robust hypothesis testing requires making comparisons across cultures with not only different traditions but also different knowledge paradigms, which in turn calls for more sophisticated contextualization and thicker interpretations that risk eroding the basis of comparison. To respond to these issues, this study has used research on Chinese relationships as an example to demonstrate how the incommensurability/commensurability framework can be useful in dealing with the problem. It shows how a thorough examination of the unique and the incommensurably different has revealed commensurable similarities that can pave the way to theory advancement.
In August 2015, the publisher Springer retracted 64 articles from 10 different subscription journals "after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports," according to a statement on their website.(1) The retractions came only months after BioMed Central, an open-access publisher also owned by Springer, retracted 43 articles for the same reason. "This is officially becoming a trend," Alison McCook wrote on the blog Retraction Watch, referring to the increasing number of retractions due to fabricated peer reviews.(2) Since it was first reported 3 years ago, when South Korean researcher Hyung-in Moon admitted . . .
This commentary makes the case for keeping marginal perspectives and experiences in clear view as we try to decenter the West/North in the field of global communication and social change. Otherwise, we risk replacing current blinders with new ones. To be truly relevant, we need to take into account the experiential reality of people who have historically been marginalized, but also those who continue to become marginalized by current economic and political forces, including neoliberal policies and practices. In addition, it will be useful to build upon existing bases of knowledge in the South within academia but also residing within marginalized communities. Such a grounded and reflexive approach promises to challenge our current perspectives and theories, harkening toward new paradigms.
A Western paradigm has dominated approaches to communication and journalism studies - particularly in the areas of theory, analysis and law and ethics. This article backgrounds important critiques of that paradigm, and considers how globalized communication and media studies has become, before exemplifying how a secular Buddhist perspective might offer 2,500 year-old analytical tools that can assist with media analysis, law and ethics. The article proposes the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, particularly the sila (moral/ethical) dimension of the fourth truth, the Noble Eightfold Path (magga), can serve as a fruitful tool for informing communication theory and analysis, and media law and ethics. The article begins by assessing the extent to which communication and media studies in Asia and the Pacific has shifted to accommodate non-Western approaches. In media analysis, it suggests the Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech (samma vaca) offer key understandings to assist with the deconstruction of media texts. In media law and ethics, it extends the application of Right Speech principles to comparing defences to libel (defamation) as they have developed in four Western jurisdictions.
QUESTION: How do theories which are generally considered interesting differ from theories which are generally considered non-interesting ? ANSWER: Interesting theories are those which deny certain assumptions of their audience, while noninteresting theories are those which arm certain assumptions of their audience. This answer was arrived at through the examination of a number of famous social, and especially sociological, theories. That examination also generated a systematic index of the variety of propositional forms which interesting and non-interesting theories may take. The fertility of this approach suggested a new field be established called the Sociology of the Interesting, which is intended to supplement the Sociology of Knowledge. This new field will be phenomenologically oriented in so far as it will focus on the movement of the audience's mind from one accepted theory to another. It will be sociologically oriented in so far as it will focus on the dissimilar base-line theories of the various sociological categories which compose the audience. In addition to its value in interpreting the social impact of theories, the Sociology of the Interesting can contribute to our understanding of both the common sense and scientific perspectives on reality.