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The African Journal of Information and Communication

versão On-line ISSN 2077-7213
versão impressa ISSN 2077-7205


GRAY, Eve. The Neo-Colonial Political Economy of Scholarly Publishing: Its UK-US Origins, Maxwell's Role, and Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa. AJIC [online]. 2021, vol.27, pp.1-9. ISSN 2077-7213.

The prevailing dynamics of today's global scholarly publishing ecosystem were largely established by UK and US publishing interests in the years immediately after the Second World War. With a central role played by publisher Robert Maxwell, the two nations that emerged victorious from the war were able to dilute the power of German-language academic publishing-dominant before the war-and bring English-language scholarship, and in particular English-language journals, to the fore. Driven by intertwined nationalist, commercial, and technological ambitions, English-language academic journals and impact metrics gained preeminence through narratives grounded in ideas of "global" reach and values of "excellence"-while "local" scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa, as in much of the developing world, was marginalised. These dynamics established in the post-war era still largely hold true today, and need to be dismantled in the interests of more equitable global scholarship and socio-economic development.

Palavras-chave : scholarly publishing; academic journals; global science; universities; colonialism; decolonisation; impact metrics; distribution rights; copyright; fair use; fair dealing; Robert Maxwell; UK; US; sub-Saharan Africa; South Africa.

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