Affordances and constraints on research publication: A comparative study of the language choices of Spanish historians and psychologists

Abstract

Research publication in the international arena, is crucial for multilingual scholars in most disciplinary areas. For many, among them Spanish scholars, it still represents a considerable hurdle. The findings we report here are part of a wider research project involving a large online survey of scholars at five universities and research institutions in Spain. We aimed to identify the needs of Spanish researchers in terms of research publishing skills in both English and Spanish, learn about their attitudes, motivations and experiences of research publication and of writing training. The present paper compares the results for scholars in History and Psychology. Through analysis of quantitative and comment data, we show how the motivations of these scholars with regard to research publication in the two languages work together with the strategies and resources available to them to determine language selection. We also review their experience of training in research writing and their willingness to pursue further training. Although the two groups of scholars differ in terms of attitudes to publication in English, they share a willingness to negotiate the challenges presented by institutional constraints, making strategic decisions about the choice of language in which to publish and their own language development.