How has the pandemic affected academic publishing? (Judith Green)

By Kirsten Bell and Judith Green

One novel outcome of the current pandemic has been the proliferation of accessible published research. Many academic journal editors have noted increased numbers of submissions: but also concern that these have come from those with the resources, space and cultural capital needed to turn research into ‘outputs’. A new editorial by Kirsten Bell and Judith Green analyses submissions to the journal Critical Public Health over the first months of 2020. This notes that the pandemic is likely to exacerbate gendered and global inequalities in access to the knowledge economy, although it is too early to map exactly how. Current models of commercial academic publishing are already fragile. The pandemic has foregrounded some of the otherwise largely invisible (and unpaid) academic labour – stylistic crafting, editing, reviewing – that turns research on the ground into an article in a (profitable) journal. It is too early to judge whether current incentives to publish rapidly, and accessibly, will foster radical new possibilities for knowledge exchange – or whether they will simply entrench existing inequalities.

Leave a Reply