Call for Papers: Special Issue on Multilingual Publishing & Scholarship. Abstracts invited by September 15, 2023 | JEP – the journal of electronic publishing

Which language do you research in? Which language do you publish in? There are ~7,000 known, living languages in use around the world but, increasingly, academic research is communicated primarily in English.

In a 2015 article in The Atlantic, science communicator Adam Huttner-Koros writes: “English is now so prevalent [in research] that in some non-English speaking countries, like Germany, France, and Spain, English-language academic papers outnumber publications in the country’s own language several times over. In the Netherlands, one of the more extreme examples, this ratio is an astonishing 40 to 1.” What, then, are the implications of having a lingua franca for research? Shouldn’t a lingua franca make it easier to learn from each other, to build on each other’s ideas if everyone is reading and writing in the same language? As Huttner-Kronos and Sean Perera point out, “communicating science in English promotes […] norms of describing and defining the natural world that are intrinsic to the English language, and ideologies that are conversant to its native speakers” (2016). Language is, in so many ways, world-shaping; language can define one’s experience through naming, metaphor, reflection, representation. Communicating all research in one single language means that language shapes the research, too. Language shapes what is possible to express, contextualize, or reveal. If research is primarily communicated in English, that research is bound by English-language contexts and worldviews. Furthermore, among the contexts influenced by language are publishing models and structures.

Such a hegemonic system promotes epistemic injustice through language dominance. Moreover, privileging the English language in scholarly communication marginalizes and disadvantages researchers who are not first language English speakers, or not English language speakers at all, both reinscribing a colonial framework for knowledge production and limiting diverse academic research development. Even more, even a multilingual setting where, for instance, English, French, and Spanish coexist still reifies imperial orderings of the world.

This call for papers for a special issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing (JEP) asks: How do we integrate and practice the value of multilingualism into a more equitable and epistemically just scholarly communication and publishing system?

The co-editors of this special issue–Janneke Adema, Alyssa Arbuckle, and Élika Ortega–invite abstracts for papers of ~6,000-8,000 words that explore multilingual publishing and scholarship, including issues of:

·      translation (text and / or multimedia) 
·      English-language dominance 
·      multilingual theory and praxis
·      epistemic justice and knowledge equity 
·      digital monolingualism 
·      infrastructure, tools, and best practices 
·      access and minimal computing 
·      language-specific writing styles and epistemologies
·      historical precedents and trajectories
·      experimental knowledge production 
·      linguistic, national, and infrastructural contexts
·      Non-imperial and indigenous language epistemologies

For this special issue, we are able to accept papers written in English, Spanish, and French. When submitting an abstract, please indicate if you are interested in pursuing a translation option and we can discuss possibilities further. Please also include a note that your abstract is for consideration in the Multilingual Publishing & Scholarship special issue. Abstract submissions are due on September 15th 2023 and should be addressed to JEP co-editors, Janneke Adema and Alyssa Arbuckle, via

Full papers of accepted abstracts will be due by December 31st 2023.

Please direct any questions to JEP co-editors, Janneke Adema and Alyssa Arbuckle, via

The Platformisation of Scholarly Information and How to Fight It | LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries

Abstract:  The commercial control of academic publishing and research infrastructure by a few oligopolistic companies has crippled the development of open access movement and interfered with the ethical principles of information access and privacy. In recent years, vertical integration of publishers and other service providers throughout the research cycle has led to platformisation, characterized by datafication and commodification similar to practices on social media platforms. Scholarly publications are treated as user-generated contents for data tracking and surveillance, resulting in profitable data products and services for research assessment, benchmarking and reporting. Meanwhile, the bibliodiversity and equal open access are denied by the dominant gold open access model and the privacy of researchers is being compromised by spyware embedded in research infrastructure. This article proposes four actions to fight the platformisation of scholarly information after a brief overview of the market of academic journals and research assessments and their implications for bibliodiversity, information access, and privacy: (1) Educate researchers about commercial publishers and APCs; (2) Allocate library budget to support scholar-led and library publishing; (3) Engage in the development of public research infrastructures and copyright reform; and (4) Advocate for research assessment reforms.


Ferwerda et. al. (2023) Open Access to Books – the Perspective of a Non-profit Infrastructure Provider | The Journal of Electronic Publishing

Ferwerda, E. & Snijder, R. & Stern, N., (2023) “Open Access to Books – the Perspective of a Non-profit Infrastructure Provider”, The Journal of Electronic Publishing 26(1). doi:


This article describes the open access (OA) book platforms OAPEN Library and Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), based on 1.the development and activities of OAPEN in the first ten years; 2. the underlying technical approach behind the platforms; 3. the current role of OAPEN and DOAB and future outlook.

OAPEN started out as a project funded by the European Commission, and become a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2011. It hosts, disseminates and preserves open access books. OA book publishing has been explored in several pilot projects. Its current collection contains over 24,000 documents. DOAB launched in 2012, inspired and supported by DOAJ. It became a legal non-profit Dutch entity in 2019, owned by the OAPEN Foundationand OpenEdition. It’s current collection contains close to 60,000 titles.

The data model of both platforms  is optimised for a multilingual collection and supports funding information. Ingesting books has been optimised to support a wide array of publishers and the dissemination of books takes into account search engines; libraries and aggregators and other organisations. The usage has grown in the last years, to 1 million downloads per month.

The future developments entail increased support of research funders with the establishment of a FunderForum and multi-year research into policy development. DOAB will invest more in bibliodiversity, by adding more emphasis on African and Asian countries. Also,DOAB will roll out its Peer Review Information Service for Monographs (PRISM).

OAPEN and DOAB will continue to work on developing reliable infrastructures, policy development and quality assurance around open access books.


Snyder & Fathallah (2023) Sustainable Futures for OA Books: The Open Book Collective | The Journal of Electronic Publishing

Snyder, L. O. & Fathallah, J., (2023) “Sustainable Futures for OA Books: The Open Book Collective”, The Journal of Electronic Publishing 26(1). doi:


This article describes and explains the need for the work of the Open Book Collective (OBC). The OBC is a major output of the COPIM project (Community-Led Infrastructures for Open Access Monographs). The collective will bring together diverse small-to-medium open access (OA) publishers, open publishing service providers, libraries, and other research institutions to create a new, mutually supportive, and interdependent community space and platform designed to sustainthe future of OA book publishing. The OBC is founded upon equitable, community-led governance and helping publishers move beyond Book Processing Charges (BPCs). Central to the functioning of the Open Book Collective is an online platform that will make it far quicker and easier for libraries and other potential subscribers to compare, evaluate, and subscribe to different OA publishers and open service providers via membership packages. The OBC supports small-to-medium OA publishers by way of the COPIM (Community-Led Publication Infrastructures for Open Access Books) philosophy of “scaling small.” This allows publishers and other members to operate sustainably and collaboratively whilst retaining their diverse and singular editorial missions, rather than operating from philosophies centered on economic growth, competition, and monopoly.


“Fostering Epistemic Equality with Library-Based Publishing in the Glo” by Monica Berger

Abstract:  This talk will consider the marginalization of scholars and other stakeholders in the Global South and how local publishing infrastructure is critical to recalibrating imbalances. The Latin American ethos and practice of bibliodiversity, or scholarly self-determination, is a precondition for the decolonialization of knowledge. Accordingly, predatory publishing is minimal in Latin America which has its own publishing infrastructures. Library publishing, which supports bibliodiversity, represents an important path towards much needed free to authors or diamond open access. Librarians play a critical role in educating editors and fostering publishing best practices.


How to cultivate good closures: ‘scaling small’ and the limits of openness | Samuel Moore

Text of a talk given to the COPIM end-of-project conference: “Scaling Small: Community-Owned Futures for Open Access Books”, April 20th 2023.

Open access publishing has always had a difficult relationship with smoothness and scale. Openness implies seamlessness, limitlessness or structureless-ness – or the idea that the removal of price and permission barriers is what’s needed to allow research to reach its full potential. The drive for seamlessness is on display in much of the push for interoperability of standards and persistent identifiers that shape the infrastructures of openness. Throughout the evolution of open access, many ideas have been propagated around, for example, the necessity of CC BY as the one and only licence that facilitates this interoperability and smoothness of access and possible reuse. Similarly, failed projects such as One Repo sought to create a single open access repository to rule them all, in response to the perceived messy and stratified institutional and subject repository landscape.

Yet this relationship between openness and scale also leads to new kinds of closure, particularly the commercial closures of walled gardens that stretch across proprietary services and make researcher data available for increasing user surveillance. The economies of scale of commercial publishers require cookie-cutter production processes that remove all traces of care from publishing, in exchange for APCs and BPCs, thus ensuring that more publications can be processed cheaply with as little recourse to paid human labour as possible. Smoothness and scale are simply market enclosures by another name.



Fostering Epistemic Equality with Library-Based Publishing in the Global South

“This talk will consider the marginalization of scholars and other stakeholders in the Global South and how local publishing infrastructure is critical to recalibrating imbalances. The Latin American ethos and practice of bibliodiversity, or scholarly self-determination, is a precondition for the decolonialization of knowledge. Accordingly, predatory publishing is minimal in Latin America which has its own publishing infrastructures. Library publishing, which supports bibliodiversity, represents an important path towards much needed free to authors or diamond open access. Librarians play a critical role in educating editors and fostering publishing best practices.”

Roundtable on Diamond OA and Multilingualism, March 28, 2023, 13:00-14:45 CET | Responsible Research @ The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies

OPERAS and Helsinki Initiative organize a Roundtable on Diamond OA and Multilingualism 14:00-15:45 (13:00-14:45 CET).

14:00-14:10 Opening (Janne Pölönen, TSV) and presentation of onsite participants
14:10-14:50 Keynote by Pierre Mounier on Diamond Open Access infrastructure (+ immediate Q&A on the presentation)
14:50-15:45 Roundtable discussion including Pierre and Finnish OA scholarly publishing, communication and funding experts and stakeholders, with comments (5-7 mins) by

Sami Niinimäki (Ministry of Education and Culture)
Pirjo Hiidenmaa (Professor of Non-fiction Studies and Non-fiction Writing, University of Helsinki)
Pekka Olsbo (FUN Finnish University Libraries’ Network, University of Jyväskylä)
Petja Kauppi (Elore – Journal of the Finnish Folklore Society)
Mikael Laakso (Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing, Hanken school of Economics)

On site participation at Tieteiden talo by invitation only (inquiries by email

Online participation on Zoom:

Pierre Mounier is deputy director of OpenEdition, a comprehensive infrastructure based in France for open access publication and communication in the humanities and social sciences. OpenEdition offers several platforms for journals, scientific announcements, academic blogs, and, finally, books, in different languages and from different countries. Pierre Mounier is also one of the coordinators of OPËRAS, the european infrastructure for open scholarly communication in the social sciences and the humanities and is, with Eelco Ferwerda, co-director of the Directory of Open Access Books.

OPERAS (open scholarly communication in the European research area for social sciences and humanities) is the European Research Infrastructure for the development of open scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities.

Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication aims to encourage sharing research results beyond academia, support the national publication channels that enable multilingual publication, and promote multilingualism in the assessment and funding processes of research.


Measuring Back: Bibliodiversity and the Journal Impact Factor brand. A Case study of IF-journals included in the 2021 Journal Citations Report. | Zenodo

Abstract:  Little attention has been devoted to whether the Impact Factor (IF) can be considered a responsible metric in light of bibliodiversity. This paper critically engages with this question in measuring the following variables of IF journals included in the 2021 Journal CItation Reports and examining their distribution: publishing models (hybrid, Open Access with or without fees, subscription), world regions, language(s) of publication, subject categories, publishers, and the prices of article processing charges (APC) if any. Our results show that the quest for prestige or perceived quality through the IF brand poses serious threats to bibliodiversity. The IF brand can indeed hardly be considered a responsible metric insofar as it perpetuates publishing concentration, maintains a domination of the Global North and its attendant artificial image of mega producer of scholarly content, does not promote linguistic diversity, and de-incentivizes fair and equitable open access by entrenching fee-based OA delivery options with rather high APCs.


Guest Post – Scholarly Publishing as a Global Endeavor: Leveraging Open Source Software for Bibliodiversity – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The scale of the adoption of PKP’s open source publishing software around the world may be surprising, but the numbers should be a cause of celebration, for they are a demonstrable improvement in global knowledge exchange. They reflect an increase in engagement, participation, and diversity of contribution to the global scholarly knowledgebase, in origin, language, purpose, and the generation of research and data to find solutions to local and global issues from a new perspective and through a different lens….”

Beyond Web of Science and Scopus there is already an open bibliodiverse world of research – We ignore it at our peril | Impact of Social Sciences

“This analysis of the geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary dimensions of these journals speaks to how recent calls for greater bibliodiversity in the research literature can be met through the existing literature. The challenge, however, is with the underrepresentation of this literature in leading indexes, such as the Web of Science, where less than 2% of these journals are indexed, and Scopus, where less than 8% are included. It is not that this literature is invisible, as 88% of it is found in Google Scholar due to its deliberate efforts to be globally inclusive. And it is not that this literature is, as many assume, “predatory,” as less than 2% of these journals are found on the prominent, if questionable, lists associated with Beall and Cabells. Rather, this robust body of work represents an example and an opportunity to realise the ambitious decolonizing agenda of knowledge redistribution called for by the philosopher Achille Mbembe.

All told, this body of journals demonstrate that research is far more of a global and diverse enterprise than is commonly credited or indexed. Studies, such as this one, can assist and encourage researchers to consult the full breadth of the literature that bears on their work. Our hope is, as well, that this work will also help us reflect on whose knowledge guides our understanding of the world.”