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Julio-agosto de 2020, vol. 29, núm. 4
Investigación en Información y Comunicación / Information and Communication research

The commoditization of the publication culture in Spain: a cost- and time-effective model to systematize Communication Sciences

Eduardo-Francisco Rodríguez-Gómez; Manuel Goyanes

This article is available in open access

Abstract: This paper explores the current paradigm of the publication culture in Spain, examining the negative and positive forces that shape the dominant dynamics in the production, dissemination and evaluation of scholars’ works. Following the intentional sampling of maximum variety, we planned a set of interviews with scholars in the area of communication that represented the heterogeneity of academic ranks, gender, and territories of Spain. The final output consisted of thirty-five semi-structured interviews that took place between May 2018 and May 2019. Scholarship on how researchers and university professors experience publication cultures is abundant, however the national and international studies that address this phenomenon from a holistic approach are practically non-existent. Comprising three actions or systems -production, dissemination and evaluation-, the current publishing culture is depicted as a structure tuned to a set of global-accepted requirements that seem easy to understand and replicate. Under such model, most of the scholars experience discomfort because overproduction is widespread, social transference is rare, and the production and diffusion of scientific works frequently occur at the expense of scholars themselves. The goal seems to be inspired by the cost- and time-effective system of evaluation processes that, despite academics’ general opposition, official bodies and university departments have adopted to circumvent the costly task of assessing scientists’ outcomes on an individual basis.

Keywords: Publication culture; Communication research; Scientific production; Scientific dissemination; Scholarly communication; Scientific evaluation; Commoditization; Public funding; Academic employment; Scientific transference.