The profession of reporting and the gender perspective

Guest editors: Anna Clua (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and Aimée Vega (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

The gender perspective is currently a key issue in the analysis of media content. The feminist perspective on content curation, the shaping of discourses and the construction of media agendas has made it possible to identify and call out the gender stereotypes reproduced by the androcentric and patriarchal logic inherent in the dominant and globalized media system. The treatment of the subject in academia, however, has shown to have little social impact compared to the debates generated from the professional sphere, both locally and internationally.

In this issue of BiD we aim to give an account of the problems currently affecting women working in the information and communication sector in different countries. We are asking for articles that discuss initiatives, projects and campaigns driven by the gender perspective, both in the context of documentation and information management in the media and in the context of journalism. The international focus will allow us to reflect on the social and political situation in different countries. The plurality of contributions will allow, in turn, a discussion of the imposition of limits on the very concept of "gender", and a joint reflection on the rights that govern the "profession of reporting" from a position of freedom and equality. The challenge is to ensure that this reflection builds bridges between the debates in academia and the demands arising from the exercise of the profession and also from feminism.

Contributions should focus on the following topics:

● Pioneers of feminism in the information and communication sector

● New debates on gender in the information and communication sector

● Opening the gap: Laws of equality and against gender violence in the information and communication sector

● Case studies on equality plans and protocols against harassment of women workers in the information and communication sector

● Online and offline violence against female journalists

● Data Feminism

● Slow information / Slow journalism and the gender perspective

● The gender perspective and economic models in the sectors of documentation, content curation and journalism

● Denial and gender misinformation

● Associations, initiatives and campaigns with a gender perspective in the information and communication sector

Storytelling on social media and life stories

Invited editors: Concha Rodríguez (UB), Antoni Roig (UOC), Gemma San Cornelio (UOC) and Aurora Vall (UB)
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

Traditionally and in any culture, storytelling has served to transmit knowledge and value, and to share feelings and emotions. Stories appeal to empathy, making it easier to overcome barriers that distance us from people we perceive as unlike ourselves. Personal stories (Burgess, 2013) give us a vision of the world and share emotional knowledge through the universality of themes like loss, belonging, hope for the future, friendship or love.

Digital environments enable us to share knowledge and life experiences, as well as to make our personal narratives public (Raman, 2017). The danger of the use of "universal themes" in a globalized context lies in the influence of media culture and the narrative imaginaries established in the logic of narration on social media, reinforcing myths and stereotypes. What motivates us as researchers is the need to go deeper and look for alternatives that go beyond these clichés.

Likewise, the information units and institutions dedicated to preserving memory seek to turn personal and collective memory into an inclusive instrument of social cohesion and for staving off forgetfulness. Life stories or tales, human libraries are ultimately revolutionary tools for understanding the life experience of the other, and they make it possible to break down stereotypes, promote empathy, overcome fears, and construct a more equitable and more human project for the future (Giraldo, 2012, 2019).

Issue 48 of BiD is dedicated to papers that address narrative practices in professional, institutional, academic and research contexts, from any knowledge domain and from any theoretical or practical approach. Narrative understood in a broad sense, whether from a discursive, oral, narratological or mythological perspective, uses communication as a creative tool or as a tool of social awareness, to establish a particular story line. Research or experiences that explore hybrid frameworks for understanding these narratives, such as the concept of small stories (Georgakopoulou, 2017), in life stories or in the personal accounts of daily life are especially interesting. Other elements to consider have to do with the temporality of the stories and, ultimately, a more contextualized and diverse vision of personal stories, which appeal directly to the participants. All of this without forgetting the visual and narrative aspects of the image-based platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok, which involve more sophisticated methodological challenges.

 

Some of the ideas and issues to be included in this monograph are the following:

- Personal narratives. Personal and identity-related stories.

- Human library, life stories, memory workshops, etc.

- Collective memory as a factor of identity or guarantee of continued existence in time: Creating or gathering, conserving and disseminating to reclaim, enjoy, share this memory.

- Storytelling actions related to dissemination of knowledge, raising awareness of personal and social challenges, transmission of heritage etc.

- Speculative personal narratives with meaning for specific groups.

- Speculative narratives about possible futures and oriented towards action and social transformation.

- Collective creation and activism: Interactive documents, participatory processes, etc.

- Involvement and participation of audiences in collective narrative experiences.

- Experimental narrative experiences on social media. Stories, micro-stories and fictional experiences.

- Digital narratives based on data and visualizations.

- Educational experiences told through narratives: Social media, promotion and encouragement of reading, book recommendations, book clubs, etc.

- Celebrities on social media. Aspects related to stories by influencers, YouTubers, booktubers, Instagrammers and other agents.

- Memes.

- Fandom and activism on social media.

Collaborative creation of shared knowledge
Invited editors: Enric Senabre and Núria Ferran
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

The current range of possibilities for knowledge co-creation (or collaborative creation) represents a phenomenon that provides a new way of connecting scientific disciplines, contemporary challenges, social actors and the wide range of collective approaches to doing things, problem-solving and learning.

One of the best initiatives out there for openly and collaboratively creating and sharing knowledge on a global scale is Wikipedia, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. The altruistic project has landed a spot on the internet's top ten most visited sites, thereby highlighting the potential to share huge amounts of knowledge in a decentralized way and, in doing so, outshining other more dated, centralized models. Meanwhile, recent times have witnessed the emergence of a range of initiatives seeking to involve citizens in scientific pursuits, with instances of transdisciplinarity such as citizen science and open science. Mention must also be made of the initiatives and spaces that have been popping up to pool knowledge and apply it to real-life situations; these include citizen labs, fab labs and fabrication athenaeums, and new participation-based projects carried out by public libraries. Moreover, a number of collaborative tools and platform economy initiatives have recently emerged. Beyond their usefulness with respect to contemporary goods and services, these new tools and initiatives generate valuable knowledge (or have the potential to do so) thanks to the collaboration between people. These examples only skim the surface of current initiatives. Thus, we can firmly state that co-creation and open knowledge are ever more tightly tied together.

However, there continue to be pressing challenges surrounding the who, the how and the why of knowledge co-creation, both in online environments and face-to-face settings. We also require more metaknowledge in this regard, meaning knowledge about the co-created knowledge itself and the methodologies, principles and conditions that make it possible. At the same time, we need further reflection and more critical perspectives and long-term outlooks focused on the unresolved technology, gender, training and participation issues hindering knowledge co-creation. We should also strive to uncover what type of knowledge (and subsequent usefulness) is most easily generated within this framework, whether in academic, labour, community or political spheres (to name a few), and what type of knowledge will thus be left out.

Considering the abovementioned points, the present monograph is open to contributions in the form of articles honing in on any of the following topics of knowledge co-creation (or any topic of a similar nature) from a methodological, conceptual or practical perspective. Contributors may be researchers, academic experts, or professionals or participants in co-creation initiatives, as long as they follow BiD's formatting guidelines and instructions for authors.
  • Wikipedia revised: new approaches or advancements in the project (or any other project carried out by the Wikimedia Foundation) to mark its 20th anniversary. 
  • Transdisciplinarity and participation in research: citizen science, open science, the research-action interface or any other science-related collaborative field.
  • Analysis of the flow of information, documentation and decision-making in decentralized organizations involved in knowledge co-creation.
  • Experiences with and models of face-to-face co-creation: hackathons, co-writing sprints, creative retreats, participatory workshops, edit-a-thons, etc.
  • Criticism and exclusionary barriers within co-creation: gender or culture gaps, diversity integration, the digital divide, difficulties reaching goals, etc.
  • Co-created cultural experiences as a way of learning and sharing knowledge: participatory theatre, digital art, performance art, exhibitions, etc. 
  • Digital co-creation spaces (tools, platforms or specific online communities) or face-to-face ones (citizen labs, fab labs and fabrication athenaeums, living labs, new museum or library models, etc).
  • The platform economy and the generation of shared knowledge, beyond the distributed exchange of goods and services.
Beyond Fake News. Anatomy of Misinformation

Coordinators: Antonia Ferrer Sapena (UPV), Pere Masip (URL)
Guidelines for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines


The spreading of false information across different media has been a recurrent theme in recent years. Publications of misleading stories and their dissemination are fuelled by a range of circumstances. In some cases, people are overly hasty in sharing the latest information to reach them, often without taking into account the channel, the medium or the interests of whoever published it; in other cases, there are specific intentions behind the dissemination, with people aiming to achieve ends that may be political, ideological or economic.

Fake news poses a threat to democracy. For this reason it has been denounced by governments, by international organizations such as the European Commission, and by civil movements and organizations such as Xnet (a platform dedicated to the defence of digital rights and freedom of expression), albeit with different and in some cases divergent postulates.

Ensuring the veracity of the information that is disseminated is a responsibility that involves many groups – for example journalists, documentary filmmakers and scientists – and each group uses different techniques to fulfil this responsibility. This monograph aims to encompass articles that reflect on how false information impacts society, on the techniques that currently exist for its control and detection, and on how educating people to assess the quality of information can help generate critical consumption.

In particular, this is a call for papers on:
- Misinformation and post-truth
- Big data techniques to detect false information
- Bots and dissemination of false information: who is behind the mass spread of false or manipulated information?
- Algorithmic transparency: the role of platforms in the control of disinformation
- Education on the use of quality information sources
- The simplicity of messages and the speed of dissemination
- Social media and its impact on the spread of untrue information
- The effects of spreading false information on democratic quality
- Narratives of disinformation
- Fact-checking techniques
- Fake science
- The viability of regulating against disinformation

Issue 45 (December 2020)
Focus on: New trends in media education
Coordinators: Daniel Aranda (UOC) and Roberto Aparici  (UNED)
Deadline for receiving originals: 20th June 2020
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines


Over the course of the past century, various different teaching methods have been implemented in the field of media literacy. Each medium that has been invented (print journalism, film, photography, etc) has had its own pioneers who developed applications to the field of education: over a hundred years of media education while hardly any ambitious approaches have been implemented.

From the experiences of French educator Célestin Freinet and lessons on the language of images, to the silent movies of the early twentieth century and the digital explosion, numerous initiatives have been developed seeking to provide media literacy in different contexts and from different perspectives.

In the second half of the twentieth century, a variety of theories were expounded that studied the educational possibilities of the different forms of mass media and their different languages, with the predominant trends of that period of time falling into the following categories:
  • Firstly, the 'inoculator' perspective, which viewed the media as a danger to children and young people. From this perspective, it was important for students to have knowledge of the media in order to protect them from their effects.
  • Then, the currently prevalent perspective of technocentrism, the objective of which is to turn young people into technology users and producers of acritical content.
  • Finally, the critical perspective, which is interested in studying the media to provide a comprehensive knowledge of its language. This allows students to become meaningful creators of content through the processes of appropriation, evaluation and critical analysis, and enables them to not only understand the media, but also analyse how those forms of media represent reality.

Len Masterman, one of the pioneers of the field in the English-speaking world, created a theory focused on critical media literacy, which he introduced in his book Teaching the Media. Simultaneously, but separately, both Mario Kaplún and Daniel Prieto Castillo were also working on the development of this field in Latin America, along with other prominent figures such as Ismar de Oliveira and Guillermo Orozco.

The effectiveness and the focus of current media education is now being questioned in a number of academic circles. Most contemporary approaches are centred on the need to justify the use of media education from a commercial point of view, in terms of the sale of technology, or by promoting media education as a tool to benefit outdated pedagogies and experimental dynamics that show no evidence of its use.

The purpose of this monograph is to reflect upon the future of media education based on a disruptive and critical pedagogy of uncertainty.

Our perception of current media education is that it fails to distinguish between media and technology, and doesn’t address the need for a reflection on cultural issues. Such reflection would include a critical evaluation of the digital system from a cultural perspective that would provide young people with autonomy, a critical perspective and, consequently, greater freedom of choice and a greater enjoyment of the media that encourages more critical and mobilized citizenship.

The following topics are central to the present and future of media education:

1.    Algorithms and big data 
2.    Misinformation, post-truth and control
3.    New status of image in the social media age and the new audiovisual ecosystem (YouTube, Netflix, etc)
4.    Education as a pedagogical market
5.    Smartphones and applications designed for consumption and interruption
6.    Asymmetries in the information and communication society
 
Women and Memory: The Fight Against Oblivion and Invisibility

Issue 44 (June 2019)
Focus on: Women and Memory: The Fight Against Oblivion and Invisibility
Coordinators: Remei Perpinyà (UAB) and Anna Villarroya (UB)
Deadline for receiving originals: 1 December 2019
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

 


In recent years, numerous concerns have been expressed about women’s presence in the world of culture, especially with regard to the lack of recognition and visibility of their works.
Archives, libraries, museums, monuments and heritage in general, as well as other cultural facilities and events, have allowed gender stereotypes and sexist attitudes to be echoed throughout history, thereby hindering knowledge of women’s groups and of women’s under-representation in certain areas of cultural production, leading to their marginalization by society, which regards their contributions as secondary. 
In this regard, cultural venues throughout history have seldom preserved, studied or disseminated works by women or works in under-represented genres, thus making their contributions virtually invisible in past societies.
However, it is important to recognize the onus and power of archives and conservation facilities to promote gender equality, given that they are responsible for acquiring, preserving and managing the documents that shape historical memory.
The objective of this monographic issue is to explore how memory has been managed throughout history from a gender and cultural diversity perspective. We are therefore calling for papers that study, preserve, research, disseminate, underline and enhance collective memory from a gender perspective. Another goal is to reflect on the significance and impact of gender mainstreaming in approaches to collective memory, focusing on cultural interventions that have highlighted women’s contributions to a country’s heritage and culture both at a national level or in other contexts,  and that have therefore promoted its diversity. In this regard, we welcome analyses that address gender mainstreaming in stock acquisition policies and projects for the creation of proactive policies to search for documentary collections produced by women and/or providing evidence of women’s activities in society.
In particular, the aim is to reclaim and highlight the works and contributions of women who did not receive the social recognition they deserved at the time or were not allowed the same degree of presence as men. We also welcome innovative projects on the archiving of women’s memory in the digital context.
In short, the intention is to gather research that helps raise awareness about gender inequalities on different fronts of cultural production, as well as projects that have promoted fresh ways of building narratives and new forms of knowledge.
Particular consideration will be given to studies in the fields of archival science, documentation and cultural management, in addition to disciplines such as anthropology, history, museum studies, communication and sociology. Papers with an interdisciplinary and international perspective will be especially welcome.
It is hoped that this monographic issue will draw attention to empirical and theoretical research that promotes a less biased view of the distant and recent past.
Texts on the following subjects will be considered for publication in the monographic issue:
  • The presence of women in private archive and library collections.
  • Communication from a gender perspective.
  • The role of gender in the professionalization of disciplines such as archival science, documentation, communication and cultural management.
  • The function and profile of women archivists.
  • History of feminisms.
  • Archived documents authored or written by women.
  • Gender mainstreaming in the analysis of sources for historical research.
  • Gender mainstreaming in the management of archives, libraries and museums.
  • The preservation, acquisition, study and exhibition of women’s works by archives, libraries and museums.
  • The role of women in memory preservation policies.
  • Projects aimed at communicating, reclaiming and increasing the visibility of women’s memory.
  • Media and informational literacy projects from a gender perspective.
  • Gender mainstreaming in public cultural policies.
Issue 43 (December 2019)
Focus on: The future is today: libraries at the service of a changing society
Coordinators: Ciro Llueca (UOC) and Maite Comalat  (UB)
Deadline for receiving originals: June 2019
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines


The capacity of libraries to adapt to change and meet the needs of their users has been a key element in their ability to evolve and remain a part of the day-to-day existence of their societies and institutions. As in other sectors, the enthusiastic integration of technologies has led to considerable improvements in services, something considered inconceivable a few decades ago. Today, this ability to adapt to change and anticipate needs has made libraries the undisputed stars of municipal culture: we enjoy the honour of being included in the political agenda.

However, numerous voices warn of the urgent need for reflection on this evolution and on the need to adapt quickly to new social changes that affect learning and public participation processes.

Skills traditionally associated with libraries which today are considered essential, such as the importance of autonomy in learning, critical awareness in the post-truth society, and literacy understood as the need to read different formats and mediums, have become uniquely relevant and place libraries in a new context of threat–opportunity: evolve or disappear. 
 
Thus, learning the skills required to navigate a diverse society – with its different types of information, where ability to access information has to go hand in hand with the ability to select and interpret – should make libraries points of reference. They must not (or not solely) exist as physical spaces, but also as reliable, recommendable and recommended sources. The question is: Have we been able to generate platforms that, beyond simply meeting the goal of collecting information, are known, recognized and adopted by users? Have we provided the support needed by teachers to achieve their teaching aims? Have we spread the spirit of open access in our institutions?

Increasingly, knowledge is a shared experience and libraries must be able to offer the necessary spaces and resources for such knowledge to be generated. It is taken for granted that users occupy a central position, that they are the focus of attention around which all other elements revolve: the collection, space, services, personnel... but is this really the case? Do we think about these elements from their perspective? Do we gather their needs and assess their experiences to improve our services? Have we created proposals that meet users’ needs?
 
This issue aims to highlight these initiatives, where libraries work to contribute to a better informed and more participative society. Thus, we focus our attention on the opportunity that change in our society represents for libraries.  
 
Texts on the following topics will be considered for publication:
            
•    Rethinking new spaces: the library beyond its walls.
•    Dynamics of working with other agents: sharing co-creation projects.
•    Indicators for new needs: collecting data for new projects.
•    Digital skills: the fight against fake news. 
•    Lifelong learning: services and products with impact.
•    Universities and the Big Deal: coexistence or struggle.
•    Digital fracture: the library as social agent.
•    Data collection platforms: open access for knowledge generation.
•    From bibliometrics to social transformation: how do we assess research?
•    The professional growth of personnel at the service of libraries.

 

Issue 42 (June 2019)
Focus on: Recommending reading: where, who and how to suggest works and books
Coordinators: Lluís Quintana (UAB) and Lluís Agustí (UB)
Deadline for receiving originals: December 2018
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

Traditionally, one of the key tasks of booksellers and librarians has been that of recommending or suggesting reading materials – the choice of term is debatable. 

The historic crossroads resulting from the proliferation of multiple digital forms of reading and recommendations opens up numerous possibilities. Bookshops and public libraries, even schools and universities, have to confront major technological changes, such as the creation of social media networks for readers and the development of automated recommendations, which are clearly disruptive in their areas of activity. In this context, library, bookshop and school staff need to find new ways to maintain their role as cultural and reading mediators.

A review of the complete reading and recommendation chain is required, despite the uncertainty it may cause among professionals. Taking nothing for granted, it should cover: agents (who traditionally provided recommendations and who does so now?); the object of cultural consumption (what should be read? what is essential reading? what are the most widely-read genres?); the importance of the medium that produces reading materials (critics, journals, the social media); private and public planning (institutional plans to promote reading); and, finally, an assessment of the whole process: how should it be assessed and what impact has the whole recommendation task had?

In this context, research is needed into both classic and newly emerged recommendation routes to assess which tools are best, who the agents are and who the subjects are and to determine what media make the task effective.

In this issue we aim to gather reflections on all these aspects and examine them from different points of view. We hope to tackle the subject in more abstract and theoretical terms, from the perspective of education, literary criticism and history, as well as more specific terms, considering the way these issues affect professionals working in education and libraries, and other agents in the book value chain and institutions (publishers, distributors, booksellers, politicians, cultural leaders and book club organizers).
 
In order to reflect on the above, texts on the following topics will be considered for publication:
 

•    What is reading? Hermeneutics, interpretation and decoding.
•    Use of reading data: Who reads and what, when and where do they read?
•    Analogue and digital reading: implications.
•    The terms and concepts of reading suggestion, recommendation and accompaniment.
•    Institutional reading promotion policies and plans.
•    Suggestion agents: publishers, bookshops, libraries, cultural supplements and journals, reading platforms and social media.
•    Reading promotion strategies and experiences in libraries and bookshops: exhibitions, developing collections, encouragement activities, book clubs, book presentations.
•    Online and offline book clubs.
•    New forms of motivation: literary routes, booktubers, bookstagrammers, book hauls, and more.
•    Automatic recommendation: algorithms at the service of reading.
•    Classics and cannon, the state of the art: concept, history, the present day and the future.
•    Cannon and genre: works written by women, for women.
•    Motivation and construction of national identity.
•    Obligatory texts for formal education
•    Excluded, forgotten and banned works.
•    Literary criticism and motivation.


How to recommend and why, or why not, recommend different formats such as:

o    Underrated genres such as poetry or drama. 
o    Literary genres: historical literature, crime, fantasy, science fiction. 
o    Non-fiction: popular science, essays, self-help.
o    Children’s and young adult literature.
o    Comics, manga and graphic novels.
o    Successful works, best-sellers and long-sellers.

Issue 41 (December 2018)
Focus on: The control of information in knowledge production today
Coordinators: José Luis de Vicente (Sónar+D) and Jordi Sánchez-Navarro (UOC)
Deadline for receiving originals: June 2018
Instructions for authors: http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines

 
The current logics of information processing related to the use of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence are the threshold of a historical transition in information management and knowledge production. This crossroads opens numerous potential conflicts that pose a set of key questions. These are conflicts related to property – Who produces data and who is the real owner?; to use – Who has the right to use the data, why and for how long?; to access – Who can see the data?; and to accountability – Who is responsible for the decisions taken with the data?; Who assesses the quality of the knowledge produced using the data?
 
In this context we must investigate ways in which this new order of information affects the domains of what is ethical, freedom of expression, freedom of access and use of knowledge, politics and economics.
 
In this dossier we want to bring together reflections on all these aspects, approaching them from different points of view, taking into account a more abstract and philosophical vision as a more specific perspective, to consider how these issues affect professionals who operate both from academia and the different industries based on the generation, distribution or exploitation of knowledge.
 
Moreover, we hope that this dossier will provide solutions to the need to empower all those knowledge-producing citizens in any field in the framework of the technological architectures of information we inhabit today, which in too many cases do not make clear their impact on us or open spaces for negotiation that allow us to be something more than passive subjects governed by rules we do not see or understand.
 
To reflect on all of this, the dossier will assess the publication of texts on the following subjects:
 

  • New large-scale data generation dynamics.
  • Economic models of personal data exploitation. The economic logic of big data (monetization of personal data on social media, data brokering).
  • Management of new archives and new data heritage: Open Archives, OpenGLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) movements. 
  • Data enclosure and data commons (open science, citizen science, open journals, etc.).
  • Data ethics (responsible personal data management).
  • Decision-making in the algorithm era – algorithms as "black boxes" in decision-making based on principles without accountability. Concepts such as algorithmic accountability or algorithmic transparency.
  • Ownership: dispossession processes of data generated by users on proprietary platforms (browsing history and preferences on Facebook, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, etc.).
  • Right to be forgotten.
  • Individual and collective responsibility in the era of machine learning and AI.

Issue No. 40 (June 2018) 
Subject: Scientific communication in local and/or professional communities – values and evaluations
Coordinator: Ismael Ràfols and Llorenç Arguimbau
Deadline for receiving originals: 15/10/2017
Instructions for authors: 
http://bid.ub.edu/en/authors-guidelines


(It is expected to make a workshop during the month of January)

Scientific communication in local and/or professional communities – values and evaluations

This special issue aims to foster reflection on the challenges in scientific communication in thematic, geographical, social or linguistic spaces that are perceived as peripheral or marginal. Specifically, we invited contributions that explore how ongoing transformations towards open science and the re(appraisal) of societal contributions may affect scientific communication in these local and professional spheres.
 
Theme of the special issue
 
We are witnessing the birth of a new paradigm in scientific communication, brought about by factors such as the impact of ICTs, the information explosion and open science, on the one hand, and by growing demands for research to be socially responsible and to communicate with professional spheres in order to contribute to well-being, on the other hand. In other words, the birth of a new system of scientific communication runs parallel to the emergence of a new system for the appraisal and assessment of research.
 
For the last two decades, concepts such as “excellence” and “international visibility” have dominated the selection criteria in research publishing and management (Vessuri et al., 2014). The prevailing idea has been that both science and scientific journals are organized (like sports competitions) in ascending strata from less to more quality, in which the most international journals publish the most important studies.
 
However, in recent years, this universalist perspective, which associates international visibility with quality, has come under growing criticism. First of all, because it is an elitist vision that favours disciplinary research and may discriminate against studies that are important from the viewpoint of socially responsible research (Stilgoe, 2014; Bianco & Sutz, 2014). Second, because it favours the topic of interest in the dominant countries and marginalises research in non-Anglo Saxon subjects and languages (Piñeiro & Hicks, 2015; Vessuri et al., 2014).
 
This special issue aims to include articles that reflect on how, in an open science context, local scientific communities develop journals or other communication tools to address topics with a low coverage in the main international journals. Contributors are invited to explore how these journals are rated in the assessment systems – and their possible effects in downplaying research with a local and social focus (see principles 2 and 3 of the Leiden Manifesto; Hicks et al., 2015).
 
We are particularly interested in exploring the aspects of scientific communication that target professionals, that is, technologists, communicators, librarians and documentalists. These professionals are also knowledge users and generators, but from the viewpoint of the specific and contextual use of knowledge (Chavarro et al., 2016). This means that the research that practitioners find most useful is rarely the most visible internationally.
 
Finally, we also aim to discuss how systemic transformations in research data (such as Figshare), bibliographical search engines (such as Google Scholar), the proliferation of alternative scientific and technological indicators (such as ImpactStory), and the concentration of renowned journals in the hands of large publishers (Larivière et al., 2015) may influence the role of scientific communication in local communities.
 
 
References
 
Bianco, M., & Sutz, J. (2014). Veinte años de políticas de investigación en la Universidad de la República: aciertos, dudas y aprendizajes. Ediciones Trilce, Montevideo.
Chavarro, D. A., Tang, P., & Rafols, I. (2016). Why researchers publish in non-mainstream journals: Training, knowledge bridging, and gap filling. SPRU Working Paper Series 2016-22.
Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., De Rijcke, S., & Rafols, I. (2015). The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature, 520(7548), 429.
Larivière, V.; Haustein, S.; Mongeon, P. (2015). The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital EraPLoS ONE, June 10, 2015.
Piñeiro, C. L., & Hicks, D. (2015). Reception of Spanish sociology by domestic and foreign audiences differs and has consequences for evaluationResearch Evaluation24(1), 78-89.
Stilgoe, J. (2014) Against excellence. The Guardian blog on science. 19 December 2014.
Vessuri, H., Guédon, J. C., & Cetto, A. M. (2014). Excellence or quality? Impact of the current competition regime on science and scientific publishing in Latin America and its implications for developmentCurrent Sociology62(5), 647-665.