Participation in publishing: The demoralizing discourse of disadvantage

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The dominance of English in global academic publishing has raised questions of communicative inequality and the possible ‘linguistic injustice’ against an author’s mother tongue. Native English speakers are thought to have an advantage as they acquire the language naturalistically while second language users must invest more time, effort and money into formally learning it and may experience greater difficulties when writing in English. Surveys reveal that English as an Additional Language authors often believe that editors and referees are prejudiced against them for any non-standard language. In this paper I critically review the evidence for linguistic injustice through a survey of the literature and interviews with scholars working in Hong Kong. I argue that framing publication problems as a crude native vs non-native polarisation not only draws on an outmoded respect for ‘native speaker’ competence but serves to demoralizes EAL writers and marginalize the difficulties experienced by novice L1 English academics. The paper, then, is a call for a more inclusive and balanced view of academic publishing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNovice Writers and Scholarly Publication
Subtitle of host publicationAuthors, Mentors, Gatekeepers
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319953335
ISBN (Print)9783319953328
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018

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