Bringing results to fruition through publication: An analysis of a peer-reviewed, open access and context-focused journal's editorial practice

Zimmermann, Anne; Wymann von Dach, Susanne; Wachs, Theodore; Hurni, Hans (September 2010). Bringing results to fruition through publication: An analysis of a peer-reviewed, open access and context-focused journal's editorial practice. In: td-conference: Implementation in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research, Practice and Teaching. Geneva, Switzerland. 15.-17. September 2010.

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When it comes to helping to shape sustainable development, research is most useful when it bridges the science–implementation/management gap and when it brings development specialists and researchers into a dialogue (Hurni et al. 2004); can a peer-reviewed journal contribute to this aim? In the classical system for validation and dissemination of scientific knowledge, journals focus on knowledge exchange within the academic community and do not specifically address a ‘life-world audience’. Within a North-South context, another knowledge divide is added: the peer review process excludes a large proportion of scientists from the South from participating in the production of scientific knowledge (Karlsson et al. 2007). Mountain Research and Development (MRD) is a journal whose mission is based on an editorial strategy to build the bridge between research and development and ensure that authors from the global South have access to knowledge production, ultimately with a view to supporting sustainable development in mountains. In doing so, MRD faces a number of challenges that we would like to discuss with the td-net community, after having presented our experience and strategy as editors of this journal. MRD was launched in 1981 by mountain researchers who wanted mountains to be included in the 1992 Rio process. In the late 1990s, MRD realized that the journal needed to go beyond addressing only the scientific community. It therefore launched a new section addressing a broader audience in 2000, with the aim of disseminating insights into, and recommendations for, the implementation of sustainable development in mountains. In 2006, we conducted a survey among MRD’s authors, reviewers, and readers (Wymann et al. 2007): respondents confirmed that MRD had succeeded in bridging the gap between research and development. But we realized that MRD could become an even more efficient tool for sustainability if development knowledge were validated: in 2009, we began submitting ‘development’ papers (‘transformation knowledge’) to external peer review of a kind different from the scientific-only peer review (for ‘systems knowledge’). At the same time, the journal became open access in order to increase the permeability between science and society, and ensure greater access for readers and authors in the South. We are currently rethinking our review process for development papers, with a view to creating more space for communication between science and society, and enhancing the co-production of knowledge (Roux 2008). Hopefully, these efforts will also contribute to the urgent debate on the ‘publication culture’ needed in transdisciplinary research (Kueffer et al. 2007).

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Zimmermann, Anne; Wymann von Dach, Susanne; Wachs, Theodore and Hurni, Hans

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2015 13:47

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.6029

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/6029 (FactScience: 210921)

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