Societal impact through lingual plurality
Recent tendency towards internationalization of academic publishing has reinforced the dominant role of English language in scholarly debates and discussions. The monolinguistic development has led to several drawbacks: it risks to sustain global inequalities in knowledge production, limits the access of non-native English speakers to international publishing, and disengages place-specific knowledge from national and local contexts, not only in scholarly communities but also among decision-makers and within the civil society. In response, Fennia seeks ways towards multicultural publishing, including lingual plurality. The journal has a long history in multilingual publishing yet, in its present form – following international standards of journal publishing, with modest resources – its content is solely in English. The editorial briefly introduces this linguistic development, since 1889, and presents ideas for further activities. Fennia’s current multilingual strategy emphasizes the popularization of the peer reviewed content in different languages, which is implemented through collaboration with the online popular science forum Versus. This serves two ends in broadening the audience, beyond the academy and the primarily English-speaking world. The collaboration of Fennia and Versus has already yielded multilingual popular science articles accessible in the contexts that the research concerns and in the societies where the authors work. Based on positive experiences and feedback, we are eager to continue similar efforts promoting linguistic plurality. As achieving these aims requires notable extra effort – from authors, editors, and the publisher – we call for support and commitment from the funding agencies and academic institutions that we rely on, along with the scholarly community whose voluntary work forms the basis of all activities in Fennia.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kirsi Pauliina Kallio, Anna Marjaana Heikkinen, James Riding
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.