Norwegian gender researchers go international

14.09.2006
Four students from the University of Oslo have analysed the challenges of Norwegian gender researchers who want to cooperate internationally. Language problems and networking turn out to be important obstacles.
Important questions of the survey were how gender researchers approach internationalisation, and if gender research is different from other academic fields in this respect.

Language barriers
"The biggest obstacle to international publishing is language, according to the researchers," says one of the students behind the survey. 89 percent of the repondents had published articles in another language than Scandinavian, but many report to lack English skills beyond those achieved in school. Several respondents want a course in "EU language for dummies", feeling that they are drowning in unknown words and expressions, as well as descriptions of institutions and structures that they are not familiar with.

Networking
96 persent reponded that they had participated in informal, international researcher networks. 75 percent participate in formalised networks, leaving out 25 percent. The best networkers are senior researchers and professors at universities, whereas PhD students are least likely to network. They blame the lack of invitations to participate.

The survey was commissioned by KILDEN (Norwegian information and documentation centre for gender research) and written by the students Tord Pedersen, Chiu Wai Mickey Yip, Inger Wold and Rasmus Durban Jahr from the University of Oslo. The respondents were 220 gender researchers from all over Norway. In addition, 10 gender
researchers were interviewed in depth.
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