Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Sociology

Building a Reputation in Global Scientific Communication: A Swot Analysis of Spanish Humanities Journals

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Sociology

Building a Reputation in Global Scientific Communication: A Swot Analysis of Spanish Humanities Journals

Article excerpt


In the areas of the social sciences and humanities (SSH), Spain's contribution to the total world article production for the decade 2005-2015 rose from 1.6 to 3.4% (SJR 2015) and the number of SSH Spanish journals registered in the Scopus[R] database more than tripled from 67 to 297 titles (Scopus 2016). By 2005 the Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences Citation Index (JCR/SSCI) registered two Spanish journals only and today 50 journals are listed and rated with an impact factor (Thomson Reuters 2016). Against this background, Spanish national scholarly journals seem to be on the rise; however, Spanish researchers, like many European counterparts, are encouraged to shift from national to mainstream, top-tier, high-ranking or prestigious journals published outside Spain (i.e. international) with a view to gaining scholarly recognition and boosting the scientific power of the country in the highly competitive global academic arena (Duszak & Lewkowicz 2008; Lillis & Curry 2010; Bennett 2014; Muresan & Perez-Llantada 2014; Hyland 2015). A journal has built a reputation in academia when it has become established as a reference journal in a particular area or discipline, makes informed contributions to the researching community and is given credit for it. The standing of a scientific journal is a long and complex process in which other closely-related issues such as reliability, credibility, visibility, recognition, achievement or quality are involved.

This paper discusses the findings from a survey conducted among ten researchers and ten journal editors in Spain with a view to investigating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOTs) of national journals within the humanities and against a global academia. "National journals" is used here as the inclusive term to encompass all scholarly journals which are published in Spain regardless of their domestic or international scope and their ranking or impact factors (if any) in national or international databases and index lists. "Spanish journals" or "domestic journals" will be used in this study as an alternative to "national journals"--also "local", "small", "emerging" or "peripheral" in the existing literature (e.g. Bennett 2014; Salager-Meyer 2014, 2015; Bocanegra-Valle 2017).

To the best of my knowledge, there is no previous research that has investigated the SWOTs of Spanish humanities journals in one effort or is based on a dataset gathered directly from stakeholder groups (in this case, researchers and editors). Current literature provides very interesting accounts on particular issues; however, there is a paucity of empirical studies, the strengths of domestic journals have been under-researched and discussions have so far been based on the authors' own perceptions and experience-e.g. the problems (in terms of weaknesses and threats) faced by national journals of any discipline around the world (Salager-Meyer 2015); the opportunities that online environments offer to humanities journals (Tomlins 2001); the opportunities and threats of humanities journals (Joseph 2007); the threats (Gimenez-Toledo 2013; Jimenez 2016), weaknesses (Rodriguez-Yunta & Gimenez-Toledo 2013), and opportunities (Abadal & Rius-Alcaraz 2008; Jimenez 2016) of Spanish SSH journals. This study, therefore, aims to partly fill this gap.


The journal publication "business"

The editing of Spanish academic journals is, at present, an altruistic endeavour which requires editorial board members to combine editorial duties and their own researching tasks expecting no particular return (Rodriguez-Yunta & Gimenez-Toledo 2013; Jimenez 2016).

Most Spanish humanities journals are produced at universities, research institutions or scholarly societies (i.e. by non-profit publishers) and therefore depend on external funding (Osca-Lluch & Haba 2005; Abadal & Rius-Alcaraz 2008; Rodriguez-Yunta & Gimenez-Toledo 2013). …

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