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International Science and Publishing

It seems that we have a problem when we use the term International Science or, simply, Science. First, for starters, the so-called Human Sciences are viewed with reservations by other scientists as not very outstanding among other scientific areas, such as the hard sciences. In not being a positive and metaphysical science according to Comtean models, the Human Sciences lack recognition and appreciation. But, as Bourdieu (1999, p. 38) said, “Science does not take sides.” And in relation to the dominant classifications, “ ... science does not oppose a moral judgment with another moral judgment, but determines the fact....” The object of dispute is the antagonistic values and the occupation of spaces of legitimacy in the scientific field!

In the field of disputes, the production of knowledge, the research of Human Sciences developed in countries, such as many in the Global World countries, perhaps replicates the oppressor-oppressed relationship by maintaining certain subservience to the foreign scientist, to the author of the Global North. Oftentimes, the authors of a soft science base their argumentations—when they exist, when the texts are not simply a copy of what was already said by others—in quotations and contributions of foreign authors in an attempt to give their texts a certain scientificity, to legitimize their work. But, when it is about publishing in international journals, quoting a foreign author, reviewing the texts in depth, and explaining the educational phenomena of one’s own country, on the basis of a theory that is far away, very far from the reality in which the foreign text was produced, are not enough. This procedure, usual to a certain extent, seems to be overpowered by the dynamics of the times—this procedure does not render international the research developed by a single researcher (Azevedo and Aguiar, 2001; Rego, 2014; Severino, 2009).

The struggle for legitimacy, on the other hand, is facing the national and international evaluation policies and its demands on researchers’ productivity. These policies require the so-called academic productivism and are, at the same time, medicine and poison.

... a productivism policy, that, however planned as a solution (since, theoretically, it seeks to support the development of science and the socialization of that which has been discovered or studied), has shown itself as a powerful poison, capable of producing and having increasingly nefarious side effects on the lives of researchers, the quality of what is researched, as well as the fate of scientific journals (Rego, 2014, p. 327).

When Adams (2013) proposed the existence of a new research age, characterized by the science that is developed in networks, an increasing separation between domestic and international science emerged. The health of national or domestic scientific research of the great economies could be compromised by the intellectual and financial separation within the institutions of the same country, among those institutions that are international and those that are not. This division and stratification affect the production of knowledge, both regional and domestic. Isolated effort loses strength and the production of scientists of emerging economies would be limited without international partnership, commitment, and collaboration. This is because the best Science would be the one published in the best journals, which, in turn, are those that harness the most quoted works, journals with a greater factor of impact, indexed to the major international bibliometric bases. Thus it is established, in the supposition that the quoted science is the good science, that science is only good if published and quoted. The belief may involve liberal principles, mixed in a mesh of naivete, reification, and manipulation, to designate this relationship as automatic and linear. In addition, the best science would be the one that originates from international collaboration since coauthorship with international partners increases the possibility of quotations. What’s more, this science, produced in coauthorships and international networks, has more prestige because it is headed by national institutions that everyone knows to be the elite universities of each country (Adams, 2013; Alperin, 2013).

The coordinates referenced by Nature, for example, cite the internationalization of certain disciplinary fields. The disciplinary areas of sciences of the earth, exact sciences, health sciences, the sciences that, in the university, operate with labs and experiments and expensive inputs, are highlighted in international publications, which makes them visible to the eyes of other scientists—and, more intensely, to the eyes of markets and companies, which does not seem to be the case of Social Sciences and Humanities, particularly the Education field. They did not occupy similar visible spaces and were not called to them either. They do not transit in labs with apparatus or expensive resources, neither mobilizes teams of technicians for the control of their actions and observations. Looking for the major areas of scientific production in the SCI for one emerging country, we can find Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Clinic, and Experimental Medicine. Articles are written in coauthorship and published in English. When Thomson Reuters lists the disciplinary areas and the disciplines of the most cited articles, at least 21 categories are in the Science classification; Education is not included in this select group (Thomson Reuters, 2014; Vanz, 2009).

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