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Publications 2018, 6(2), 25;

Publish in English or Perish in Portuguese: Struggles and Constraints on the Semiperiphery

CES (Centre for Social Studies), University of Coimbra, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal
CELGA-ILTEC (Centre of General and Applied Linguistics), Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Faculty of Arts, University of Coimbra, 3004-530 Coimbra, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 27 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Writing and Publishing Scientific Research Papers in English)
PDF [1494 KB, uploaded 1 June 2018]


This paper examines the choice between English lingua franca and Portuguese (a pluricentric language in research article publishing), a choice which presents both a challenge and an opportunity to authors operating within the semiperipheral space of Portuguese research communities. Data on articles from three disciplinary areas: Linguistics, Information Science and Library Science, and Pharmacology and Pharmacy, written in Portuguese and English, have been retrieved from the Web of Science (WoS) covering a 20-year period (1998–2017). Figures show a rise in publications in the second decade (2008–2017) in both languages: the number of English papers is higher throughout, but the rise in the number of Portuguese papers is steeper over these latter years. Given the disparity in the number of Portuguese and English-language WoS-indexed journals, the rise in English is probably not due to individual authorial choices, but to the lack of indexed journals in Portuguese, as well as to the constraints of the publishing market. Language choice is embedded in symbolic places of knowledge construction—in the processes of voicing research claims, in the multilayered historical processes within disciplinary communities of practice, and in the marketization of research publishing. These issues may shape future ways of disseminating knowledge in a publishing arena that will continue to be globalized, though perhaps not so monolingual. View Full-Text
Keywords: publishing; research article; English; Portuguese; Web of Science publishing; research article; English; Portuguese; Web of Science

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Solovova, O.; Santos, J.V.; Veríssimo, J. Publish in English or Perish in Portuguese: Struggles and Constraints on the Semiperiphery. Publications 2018, 6, 25.

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