Local research with a global vision

Ideas for Sustainability

By Joern Fischer

Not all research is equally interesting to everyone. Some is inherently more “citable”, and therefore is bound to get more attention. However, this can skew what research is being undertaken in the first place. Research that produces global maps seems inherently more likely to end up in the leading multidisciplinary journals than research that focuses on regional, landscape or local scales. Is this fair and reasonable, or unhelpful?

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On the one hand, I think it’s reasonable. If you do a study on something very specific – such as a specific place – that may simply not be very interesting to a broad readership. If a journal has a broad readership (and tries to keep it that way, understandably), it makes good sense that there is a limit for “how local” a given journal is willing to go.

However, I see three problems with this. First, a lot…

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