Publishing in academic journals is often dominated by scholars from the global north. African scholars have encountered widespread and deep-rooted difficulties gaining attention with established Western publishers which limits the space for new ideas and research.
Education experts from Edge Hill University decided to tackle this problem head-on by running a four-day international writing workshop for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from Kenyan universities hosted at Strathmore University in Nairobi.
The workshops were funded by the British Academy and provided advice on writing for academic journals, how to submit papers, and what journal editors are looking for.
Professor Amanda Fulford, Edge Hill’s Associate Dean Research & Impact for the Faculty of Education, said: “Academics and educators are always looking for the latest research to enhance their teaching and positively impact their communities and wider society. There is an urgent need for this in the Global South and tremendous scope for change.
“Despite this, academic publishing is often dominated by Western scholars. This leads to a narrowing of ideas and missed opportunities for capturing the swathes of excellent research undertaken in the Global South.
“The workshop we ran for Kenyan colleagues will help them to publish in leading global journals. Ultimately, this won’t just benefit Kenyan academics, but everyone involved in education by bringing in new ideas, experiences, and methods for creating a more socially just future.”
Beyond the life of the project, EHU academics will continue to strengthen their relationships with Kenyan academics in the hopes of stimulating further collaboration through establishing long-term scholarly connections between Africa and the UK.
Dean of Strathmore University Dr Magdalene Dimba said: “Writing is a cornerstone in education, especially in the doctrine of philosophy. It enables your work to have a broader dimension.”
Beatrice Njeru from Strathmore University said: “We are very fortunate to have been able to participate in this workshop, and we have learned so much that will enable us to grow as academics. Our deepest gratitude goes to the British Academy for bringing us new friends as well as colleagues. We look forward to exploring the many possibilities that this alliance brings”.
Six of the Kenyan ECRs will also become interns for the academic journal Prism: Casting new Light on Learning, Theory and Practice. They will work closely with the journal’s editors and gain insight into its day-to-day running, from initial submission through to peer review, editing, and production. The workshop participants will also act as guest editors for a special edition featuring research papers exclusively from the Global South.
Dr David Allan, Reader in Further Education and Editor-in-Chief of Prism, said: “Rather than just talking about opening up access to journals, we are doing it. The special edition of Prism will mark the beginning of a long-term plan to include research from Africa and the entire Global South, showing other journals what needs to be done.”
The project has been funded by the British Academy as part of a broader programme that provides UK-based scholars in the humanities and the social sciences with the opportunity to develop one or more training and research workshops in the Global South.
For more information about courses at Edge Hill University, visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk.
June 27, 2023