Carlton star

Avoiding thought bubble captivity

How do you avoid talking to the same groups of individuals with your research publications?

COKI Research Fellow Dr Katie Wilson had written a paper on international research into higher education staff diversity and wanted to submit it to the higher education journal that has the most international engagement.

This then started an extensive investigation, looking at the levels of international engagement of more than 50 higher education journals – and finding many were focused on issues relating to one or two countries.

“This raised a really interesting question. When we publish a paper, there is a lot to be gained by sharing insights not just with colleagues and scholars in our own nation, but to seek to share information internationally,” Dr Wilson said.

“The COKI project has a clear focus on getting a better understanding of open knowledge practice around the world, including universities and communities in Africa, Asia and South America that are ignored by many journals and rankings systems.

“No researchers I know want to simply talk within our own national bubble. The opportunity to both give and receive knowledge and perspectives from others around the world is valuable in all disciplines.

“Many journals which appear to be positioned as international or leading global sources of information are in fact only engaging a small fraction of the world.”

Higher education is increasingly a field of multidimensional research and global interest.

Articles evaluating diversity of authorship and of publication citations higher education journals (Fitzgerald and Jiang 2019; Tight 2012) helped Dr. Wilson select a short list of research-based titles with wide international engagement. Options for open access publishing were also important criteria.