Publishing as ethics: decolonizing as a means towards equitable publishing

ID: 613 / 236

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Publishing as ethics: decolonizing as a means towards equitable publishing


Cynthia T Fowler

Affiliations: Sociology and Anthropology Department, Wofford College, Spartanburg, USA


As a means for contributing to the session on decolonizing botany, this paper presents a critical analysis of academic publishing. Because science is a multipronged institution, decolonizing it requires also liberating the colonial hold on the ways information is shared and, moreover, on the information itself. The critical analysis in the presentation is made from my perspective as a publisher and editor with the Society of Ethnobiology and the University of Arizona Press. I also build upon my experiences as a transdisciplinary field researcher, author, and peer reviewer. Additionally, I share key moments from dialogues within the ADIE (Allying for a Diverse and Inclusive Ethnobiology) community related to equitable publishing and data sovereignty about: ethics; iterative project design; research approvals and rapport; co-authoring; regulations, standards and practices; funding and advocacy; procedures for managing vouchers; and ethnobiological methods. By raising questions about what academic publishing would look like in a world where science is decolonized, this presentation provokes considerations related to botanical research. For example, IBC conference attendees might discuss data sovereignty, open access, co-authoring, multilingualism, rank and tenure evaluations, rematriating voucher specimens, collaboration, Indigenizing methods, and epistemological justice. What efforts are being made towards decolonizing publishing? Publishing has made some progress towards decolonizing; particularly with open access, international authorship, ethics codes, data sharing, and editorial support for scholars with diverse language backgrounds. What are the barriers in these arena and what are some additional obstacles to a more equitable publishing? Why are these barriers and obstacles in place, and how could they be overcome? Working within a framework of decolonial theory and born from practical experience, this paper problematizes publishing standards in the colonizers’ worlds while it offers pluralizing and otherwising as conceptual mechanisms for decolonizing publishing.

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: decolonizing, publishing, data, ethics, ethnobiology, ally, methods, theory