Informationswissenschaftliche Zeitschriften (LIS journals)

Michel J. Menou Michel.Menou at WANADOO.FR
Sun Dec 22 06:19:36 EST 2002

The French speficity lies also in the fact that appointment,
promotion and rewards are decided by "specialists committees" (peers)
who are often composed of senior academics whose language skills as
their inclination towards reading in foreign languages are eventually
Publications and research output do not play in this field as strong a
role as it does in "anglo-saxon" countries (my guess).
Anyway, it is always possible to organize in house "international"
conferences with a few friends and put out the publications that may
be required.
Another factor is the fact that Information science does not really
exist in administrative terms and is coupled with communication
science, whose representatives are often in overwhelming majority.
Another factor is that students are not to keen of reading in English,
thus there is a vicious circle that is reflecte in the holdings of
academic libraries.
There are few French "IS&T" journals. And in a recent (2 years ago I
guess) study of reading and publication patterns in the French
"information and communication" community it was found that a high
percentage of respondents ignored the major IS&T English language
Conversely, English language IS&T specialists seem to be more prone to
cite French "philosophers" if they are "new", especially Foucault or
Lacan, than colleagues from the same trade, possibly because of the
language barrier, since the above mentioned authors are translated in
English - what may add to their intelligibility.
Worth noting is also the fact that English language scientific books
are much less, and much later, translated into French than the


Sunday, December 22, 2002, 9:56:39 AM, you wrote:

LL> Dear Wolfgang,

LL> This is impressive work which needed to be done. Can you provide us with a
LL> summary of the conclusions?

LL> I would expect the German literature to be coupled to the Anglosaxon one
LL> stronger than the French literature, notably, in the social and cultural
LL> sciences. The French maintain a "national" discourse which seems to have an
LL> impact on the reputational reward structure that is in some instances more
LL> important than the international dimension. Furthermore, CNRS subsidizes
LL> 300 or so journals (mainly in the social sciences). In a study of
LL> biotechnology (JASIST 52 (14), 2001, 1262-1274), we found the French
LL> repertoire as the most loosely coupled to the international repertoire in
LL> terms of words and cowords used in titles.

LL> Would it be interesting to elaborate on this comparison? Perhaps, it is not
LL> so difficult to replicate your study for the French IS&T journals. (The
LL> European Commission might be interested to fund such a project.)

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