Tag Archives: journals

Should I publish in my native language?

The German IR journal Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen. Source: Nomos Publishers.

People often claim that publishing in US outlets is be perceived to be optimal, and English is the lingua franca in IR. But those from a non Engliish-speaking background are confronted with the problem of deciding whether the paper should be written in English (and be published in English journals) or whether it is more advisable to write in one’s native language.

In the last edition of the German flagship IR journal ‘Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen (ZIB)‘, Matthias Albert and Michael Zürn issued a plea to also publish in German. They neither say that one should publish in one’s native language exclusively, nor that the ratio of English language to native language authored papers should be determined by any arbitrary rule. IR scholars should rather publish both in English and in their native language. It’s a great piece, and I suggest reading it, but I also want to address some bits and pieces that I find hard to swallow. Continue reading Should I publish in my native language?

Links: Dick Cheney; Press Freedom; Publication Bias; Thesis Writing

In the New York Review of Books, Mark Danner has a captivating article on Dick Cheney’s legacy: First, the “war on terror” has changed the United States; human rights are ignored and the “dark side” of military and intelligence operations has been vastly expanded. Second, the decisions after 9/11 have changed the face of the world, and not in a good way. Danner then goes on and paints a picture of the man himself that will send chills down your spine:

[T]here is a kind of stark amoral grandeur to this answer that takes one’s breath away. Just as he was likely the most important and influential American official in making the decision to withhold the protection of the Geneva Conventions from detainees, Cheney was likely the most important and influential American when it came to imposing an official government policy of torture. It is quite clear he simply cannot, or will not, acknowledge that such a policy raises any serious moral or legal questions at all.

Reporters Without Borders - World Press Freedom 2014
Reporters Without Borders – World Press Freedom 2014

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have published their 2014 World Press Freedom Index. As they have done in earlier years, the NGO called out the United States: “Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it.”

Traditionally, RSF rankings are more strongly influenced by individual cases and physical security than the report prepared by Freedom House (FH). Their “Freedom of the Press” is usually updated in May.

The 2014 version of FH’s “Freedom in the World” report (on political rights and civil liberties), however, has just been published.

Jishnu Das and Quy-Toan Do diagnose a geographical bias in top economics journals:

IR Journals Off the Beaten Track


Whenever you write an acacemic paper – no matter whether it is for school, for a journal or as part of your thesis – you are in need of literature. You need to find other papers or books to read and to cite to show that you know what you and others are talking about. But where do you look for this literature? No matter whether you start your search at Google Scholar, your local university library or the Web of Knowledge (WoK), you often end up following a beaten track. And that track most oftenly leads through US publishing houses, authors, and journals.

If your are interested in some alternative views, here are some links to journals that might help you leave that path at least once in a while:

Some of these journals are actually listed in the Social Science Citation Index and you might want (or have) to access it through the Web of Knowledge (given that your institution has access to the WoK).

This list is probably not exaustive and it ignores non-US journals from Europe and Canada. But it introduces publications of IR communuties that are probably farest off the beaten  track and it represents what I have collected over the years as part of my own research on post-Western IR. If you know of other journals or good alternative databases, please share these with us!

Links: On Tomatoes and Careful Phrasing

(Image CC BY-NC by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos via Wikimedia Commons)
  • Today I overheard colleague A explaining the “Pomodoro” technique of time management to colleague B. In case you’re not familiar with it, please take a minute to enjoy the official website.* Although A claimed that the technique had helped him a lot during the “particularly terrible phases of writing the thesis”, B remained unimpressed. But maybe I should by a kitchen timer…
  • Speaking of time: PHD Comics has an, uhm, improved version of what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us university students are doing…
  • I know it’s not exactly International Relations, but I have been following the Reinhart & Rogoff vs. Herndon et al. skirmish over the weekend (and covered it earlier). Today, Herndon (a PhD student) replied to the last round of replies by R&R (famous economic historians). His wording in response to one of their statements struck me as great example of … being very careful:

This is not our interpretation of our work

* Aforementioned website also tells me that I “may not write an article about the ‘Pomodoro Technique®’ without quoting the author. This may lead the reader to attribute the origin in a misleading way. Obviously, the worst case is an explicit attribution of the technique to someone else other than Francesco Cirillo.” So let me, at this point, state very clearly that Francesco Cirillo has invented this mind-blowing and totally not trivial way of conditioning oneself to get work done with short breaks in between. (Is that even legal?)