Inequalities in knowledge production: academics from developing countries

Today I made a presentation at the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) General Conference in Bonn, Germany. The theme of my presentation was the extent to which academics. located in developing country institutions, are participating in academic journals in the field of development studies as authors and members of editorial boards.

My research found that academics from developing countries are marginalised as both authors and editorial board members. Is this a problem? I think it is from the perspectives of equity and responsibility. During the discussion, my colleague,Mike Powell, put this in perspective:

What would you think if there was a meeting to decide on the future of the Netherlands but that almost all of the people there didn’t live in the Netherlands, and weren’t even Dutch!

Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me!

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2 Responses to Inequalities in knowledge production: academics from developing countries

  1. Linda McPhee says:

    Is there any written description of your methodology? I’m intensely interested in the topic, having spend 7 years behind the scenes at Development and Change, and 30+ years teaching research writing to PhD students, both from and in the Global South.


    • Sarah Cummings says:

      Hi Linda, apologies that I didn’t follow up on this before. In terms of methodology, I used the geographical location of editorial board members and authors with a view to considering the representation of academics from developing countries and, where possible, women. It is based on analysis of the 329 affiliations of editorial board members from journal websites and authors of 2112 articles in 10 journals over the 2012-2014 period using the Web of Science database. The social network analysis of editorial boards follows the methodology used by Burgess and Shaw (2010). They employed SNA to investigate editorial boards of the 40 ‘top journals’ in the management field from the perspective of the values of transparency and equity within a social network.


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