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Thursday, June 6 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Building Bridges for Social Justice in Global Publishing: Seeking the Mexican Perspective

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In May 2018, the presenter was funded by a NASIG international travel grant to interview journal editors and librarians at universities in Puebla Mexico that included: La Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), and Universidad Iberoamericana, Puebla. The interviews and discussions explored challenges for Mexican researchers to publish in major English-language journals of the US, UK and Europe, the current levels of open access involvement at their institutions, future outlook for open access in Mexico, and social justice implications of the current global academic journal publishing and scholarly communication ecosystems dominated by the English-speaking, Global North.

Academic journal publishing is currently dominated to a great extent by English-language, commercial publishers based in the US, UK, and Europe (or the area of political-economic dominance often referred to as the Global North). In order for institutions of the Global South to compete in the global knowledge economy, their universities must compete in global university ranking systems of which publication is a part. In turn, many of their researchers must compete with researchers of the Global North to publish in “reputable” and “prestigious” journals of the Global North for local career standing and global competitiveness. To support those competitive publishing expectations, institutions of the Global South subscribe to the costly, English-language journal packages of the Global North, thus locking in a cycle of academic publishing hegemony. While Mexico and the rest of Latin America struggle to compete in this knowledge economy, they are making inroads into viable open access publications, OA archiving, and networking projects that are increasingly better recognized and integrated into international finding tools such as Web of Science and DOAJ.

Thus, NASIG member are called to engage issues of social justice in our global scholarly communication system. We are asked to reconsider a system that disadvantages researchers of the Global South whose native-language, regional publications can contribute greatly to world knowledge but are often regarded less favorably or even excluded from the global discourse of their discipline. Audience members will be encouraged to discuss these issues and how, through grass-roots engagement and listening to researchers from areas such as Mexico, we can move toward a more globally equitable scholarly communication system that is not dominated by powers and preferences of the Global North.


Allan Scherlen

Appalachian State University

Thursday June 6, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT
Grand Ballroom - 17th Floor