Author: Rafael Repiso – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion


First of all, I would like to summarize this reflection for those who do not have time. In it, I argue that on the one hand it is necessary and good for researchers to be sensitive to current problems, but on the other hand, I am afraid that most of the research effort will hardly be of much use and I suspect that it will not bear fruit either. Expected to those who make this effort, generating frustration for most of the people who make it.

These days the number of requests to participate in coronavirus surveys, promotions of monographs on the subject and some personal invitation to do co-authoring work are multiplying. The researcher will perceive an opportunity that is likely to facilitate the much desired publication of his name in one of these successful journals. First error. This is not going to happen, at least it is not going to happen to most researchers and applicants who during these weeks deviate from their usual investigations to get their hands on the coronavirus and all possible angles of investigation. This has already happened with the Gender Studies in Zapatero’s time and with the Studies on Post-conflict in Colombia by Juan Manuel Santos and the reality is that of the thousands of researchers who dedicated their efforts to publishing on these fashionable topics there were very few those who managed to publish their work in quality media.

The scientific agenda is inevitably marked by the needs of society. In the field of Natural Sciences, research is prioritized on those areas that are unknown and whose knowledge may have direct repercussions on society, industry, politics, war … And in Social Sciences? Normally, research in Social Sciences is aimed at solving what is wrong in the (social) world or trying to predict how present changes or imminent realities will affect the future of society (for example, the use of virtual social networks). Normally, these research fronts are supported with funding and in the specific case of social research, funding is almost entirely of public origin, in many cases with a strong political component (and its recipients).

Therefore, it is good and natural for social researchers to worry about studying these phenomena that are going to have such an impact, but I am afraid that only a few will obtain the desired results. The problem with these scientific trends is that the demand for original articles is matched by an oversupply or, in other words, magazines will publish a few works out of the hundreds or thousands that will be produced, at least the good magazines, which are finite. The problem is that these fashions are also accompanied by an element of great expiration, that is, if the authors fail to publish in the monographs enabled for this topic, and they are going to have it difficult due to the great competitiveness, the more difficult it will be ” to place ”these works in other generic magazines that are going to receive the second wave of articles, that of those rejected in the monographs since generalist magazines will obviously restrict the subject matter on this topic.

Who will be the authors who achieve their goal? Well, very simply, those who were working successfully on these issues, those who do not have to excessively deviate their line of research to study the phenomenon, that is, in the case of the coronavirus, the benchmarks in virtual teaching, political communication, health communication and all the topics from which the area can be analyzed (and the editors of the monographs). Who is going to fail? Well, the legion of researchers who, without knowing the theories and techniques of the area, begin to investigate Covid19 and its consequences on this topic, with the objectivity of the unknown field, producing simple and poorly contextualized works, in other words, is It is quite difficult for someone who does not find scientific success in their area to find it in this “opportunity”, on the contrary, they will have lost time and resources.

The reality is that, for many monographs, the referent journals will be the ones that end up bringing together the best articles, as they are the priority option for researchers. In the area of ​​Communication, the priority option will be the magazines best positioned in the reference databases, magazines such as Comunicar or El Profesional de la Información, the latter has already warned that this topic has a place in its Miscellaneous section and those that exceed the evaluation processes will be published in the most efficient way. Likewise, these days they are writing to us to Comunicar asking if we are interested in articles that analyze the phenomenon, the answer is the same as for everyone; In Comunicar we are delighted to receive quality work on any aspect that is related to Communication and Education and if it is on both, better, therefore, any work that relates to the coronavirus with these topics will be welcome and evaluated along with the rest.

Opportunity without talent is of little use, but if talent and virtue come together they create their own opportunities.

Picture from  Arek Socha on Pixabay

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