"Parlez-vous français?" Issues in publishing for French academics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to look at the choices made by academics in terms of publishing, with an emphasis on French scholars. As "publish or perish" has become the norm in many countries, it is necessary to investigate the relationship between publishing and scholars' actual connection with the public, and how it relates to expectations of their influence on society at large. Design/methodology/approach: The paper relies on a case study of French academics, whose job description has recently been redefined by new regulations. University professors, who used to answer to the title of "enseignant-chercheur" or teacher-researcher, are now labeled "chercheur produisant" or productive researcher, with a new emphasis on quantifiable and measurable work progress. Findings: New evaluation systems, along with the internationalization of the academic market, are forcing scholars to make difficult language and audience choices, in spite of their dependence on the government. This can jeopardize the relationship between academics and the national public by increasing the distance between the two. Originality/value: The paper sheds light on some of the difficulties for academics to maintain a strong connection with a general audience and to remain accountable to the public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalOn the Horizon
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Audience choice
  • France
  • Higher education reform
  • Language
  • Public accountability
  • Scientific publication


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