[globaloutlookDH-l] Closing the Gap

Øyvind Eide oyvind.eide at iln.uio.no
Mon Sep 2 11:45:20 MDT 2013


Dear Barbara, and all,

This is an important initiative and one possible solution to a difficult problem. For my first ten years of publishing in English I had a very helpful friend; Norwegian but with a master in English, to proof-read everything I published at any serious level. Especially the first years there were few lines of text without at least one correction. And I grew up in Norway, one of the countries were English is seen and heard every day; we had it as our first foreign language in school and most textbooks at university were in English. 

Two lessons to learn, at least. The first is that even in a rich society with strong ties to UK and USA, we still have to make a very significant effort to match what many people with English as their mother tongue have as a starting point (not all, of course; there are class differences, learning difficulties, and much more in English speaking countries as well, of course). And second, friends are good to have - but useful friends in this area are more likely to be found in a country such as Norway, with the strong ties to the English speaking world, than in many other countries. 

What you are suggesting is, in a way, extending the circles for friendly assistance to people who are not friend in a traditional sense, crossing national borders as part of the process. I like that idea.

Kind regards,

Øyvind

On 28. aug. 2013, at 13:49, Bordalejo, Barbara wrote:

> Dear Marin,
> 
> I can see why you have doubts, however I have a some volunteers already. There are other tasks that might be more valued in academia, but perhaps we should see collegiality and inclusion, and those who seek and promote them, as valuable too. Some scholars already act in this generous way, although perhaps not yet by helping to bridge the language gap. Several years ago, I was told that if I ever saw an academic in a position of power and couldn't immediately spot tangible merits, that I should look at his or her record on speed and reliability of peer-review completion, reference letter writing and other contributions to academia. 
> 
> I am still looking for volunteers for any language people feel they can contribute to review. And I have been thinking that if this becomes a large enough enterprise, there should be a site where volunteers can sign up and be found. 
> 
> In the meantime, I want to thank all of those who already put their names forward. I am sure that they know this already but I want to say it anyway: your participation matters, your actions matter and I, personally, feel grateful to find that members of this community have so much to give and such willingness to do so. 
> 
> 
> All the best,
> 
> BB
> 
> 
> On 28 Aug 2013, at 05:29, Marin Dacos <marin.dacos at openedition.org> wrote:
> 
>> This is a very interesting proposal. I am not sure if is doable, because it will become a heavy task to do for native speakers, and these task will be in competition with other, much more valuated in the acadamy, such as writing books or articles for their own.
>> How could we solve this issue?
>> Best regards,
>> Marin
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Bordalejo, Barbara <bab995 at mail.usask.ca> wrote:
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> 
>> During the last few weeks I have reviewed some articles (all in English) by non-native speakers. Some times they are almost perfect, some others they are far from it. I know that my own texts suffer the same problems. Clearly, this is a factor that keeps scholars, who are not native speakers of English, marginalised.
>> 
>> We had a similar discussion on the subject of the Anglo-American (and Canadian) hegemony in the field, but I don't recall a concrete solution being offered. In any case, I have an idea that might be helpful. I was wondering whether I could ask those of you with native or near-native English skills to volunteer to proof articles to avoid rejections based on bad expression or avoidable mistakes.
>> 
>> If you think that you can contribute to this, send me an e-mail and I will compile a list of volunteers to put in the GO::DH website.
>> 
>> Thank you for your help,
>> 
>> BB
>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Marin Dacos - http://www.openedition.org 
>> Director - Centre for Open Electronic Publishing - CNRS - EHESS - Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) - Université d'Avignon
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>> 
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