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The Reality of the ‘Publish or Perish’ Concept, Perspectives from the Global South

Title data

Amutuhaire, Tibelius:
The Reality of the ‘Publish or Perish’ Concept, Perspectives from the Global South.
In: Publishing Research Quarterly. Vol. 38 (2022) Issue 2 . - pp. 281-294.
ISSN 1936-4792

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Historically, educators in higher education (HE) were expected to educate, generate knowledge, and do community service. With some commentators arguing that an academic must ‘publish or perish’, the expectation to create knowledge through research became overemphasized. The concept is widespread in HE institutions around the world. It aids to keep staff, particularly those in universities, constantly engaged with relevant knowledge works in their fields of expertise. According to this viewpoint, research publications are the most important factor in determining whether an academic or an administrator gets employed, promoted, acknowledged, retained, or not hired. The idea of ‘publish or perish’, on the other hand, is based on the dominant Western knowledge creation realities, which largely misrepresent or ignore African realities. To avoid perpetuating inequalities in academia, it is critical to re-examine how this idea informs knowledge creation in Africa. For example, the enormous number of publications required for one to advance up the academic ladder comes at a hefty cost that is not always feasible to low-paid academics in Africa’s resource-poor countries. This limits promotion of some individuals. Basically, for many Africans, what matters is the information gained, not how many times one’s work is acknowledged in scholarly publications. We need to establish knowledge-creation processes that are tailored to African realities. To that goal, we must strike a balance between having numerous publications with the potential to have an impact on society, given that developing solutions to development concerns appears to be more vital for Africa right now. This paper problematizes the ‘publish or perish’ concept for African academics, especially those intending to make an impact in their society with a purpose of eliminating inequalities in academia.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Publish or Perish; Research; Global South; University; Staff
Institutions of the University: Graduate Schools > BIGSAS
Graduate Schools
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 000 Computer Science, information, general works > 000 Generalities, Science
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2022 21:00
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 08:50