Tag Archive for scholarly publishing

The Publishing Game: The dubious mission of evaluating research and measuring performance in a cross-disciplinary field

by Ulrik Wagner

Vol. 7 2016, pages 63–88
Published May 18, 2016


Sport is a cross-disciplinary research field in which, similar to other fields, the axiom publish or perish dominates. Despite differences in scientific publishing cultures, researchers of a cross-disciplinary spectrum like sport science are often subjected to a single performance measurement regime. By using Denmark as a case, this paper critically examines how scientific contributions are validated and evaluated, and subsequently how academic performance is measured and ranked in a cross-disciplinary research field. Drawing on critical realism, the claim is that the interplay between national performance indicators, multiple stakeholders and certain journals’ editorial practices within the sport sciences undermine peer reviewing as our core procedure to ensure high academic quality standards. By emphasizing the fight for research autonomy and rather than rejecting peer reviewing per se, proposals for an extended reviewing practice and quality criteria that goes beyond ranking systems are suggested.

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About the Author

ULRIK WAGNER is Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing and Management, University of Southern Denmark. His research is addressing international anti-doping efforts, sport scandals and sponsorships from a perspective of organizational sociology and critical management. He teaches courses in topics related to sport and event management, and furthermore he is engaged in organizing the annual PhD seminar prior to the conference of the European Association for Sport Management (EASM). Together with Klaus Nielsen and Rasmus Storm he is the co-editor of the book When sport meets business – Capabilities, Challenges, Critiques (SAGE) which will appear in October, 2016.