PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to link up and think through two bodies of literature, namely the critique of predatory publishing practices and the critique of political economy of established publishers, while introducing a reflection on the dynamic asymmetries of geopolitics and economics of globalizing knowledge production.Design/methodology/approachThe authors deploy a conceptual approach developed with reference to a case study in order to explore the embedded logic of the current system of academic publishing.FindingsThe analysis shows that rather than examining two seemingly different issues (predatory publishing vs established publishers) as conflictual dualism, it is more productive to conceive them in associative and mutually constitutive fashion.Research limitations/implicationsA nuanced and multidimensional research approach is needed if we are to understand the dynamics of contemporary academic landscape.Originality/valueThe originality of the contribution lies in its problematizing of three established approaches that feature debates on the transformation of the academy. It moves beyond a micro-level explanation by (the lack of) individual morality as well as a structural explanatory framework preoccupied with publishing infrastructure and culturalist approach based on ready-made dichotomies of west/north vs south/east. Instead, the analysis provides an account that engages both with morality and geopolitics whilst tackling them as dynamic processes in making.
Aslib Journal of Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 18, 2017