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The role of French, German and Spanish journals in scientific communication in international geography

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The majority of research to date on scientific communication in geography has concerned the English‐language flow of scientific information in geographic circles, almost entirely ignoring the question of journals published in other languages. The aim of this article is to assess the contribution of French, German and Spanish journals to this flow. The research was based on an analysis of the countries of origin of the authors of articles and authors citing them. Information came from the Scopus database. The analysis shows that French, German and Spanish geographical journals are used almost exclusively for scientific communication within their own country and within their own language. They have an even higher level of ‘closedness’ than the English‐language journals published in the Anglo‐American countries, so they cannot at present be regarded as international media of scientific communication in geography. A detailed analysis of the research results leads to the conclusion that at present the main barrier to the internationalisation of non‐Anglophone geographical journals is probably not the fact that they publish articles in national languages (French, German or Spanish). This situation is explained by two factors. The first is symbolic, while the second is of an organisational and economic nature.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań, Poland.

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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