Emanuel Kulczycki


I am a social scientist, currently head of the Scholarly Communication Research Group (SCRG AMU), and an associate professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. With a background in philosophy and communication, my research focuses on scholarly communication, predatory publishing, and the impact of research evaluation systems.

My research group has made major contributions to our understanding of the effects of research evaluation systems and transformations of scholarly communication in metricized academia. I address research problems from transdisciplinary perspectives, drawing on classical works in the sociology of science, higher education research, social studies of science, evaluation studies, critical university studies, and bibliometrics. I just believe that (social) reality is not categorized into disciplines but areas and practices worth exploring.

I want to use my research to improve academia. From 2018 to 2020, I was the chair of ENRESSH (European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities). In 2019, I co-founded the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication. Moreover, I have been a policy advisor for the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland since 2013.

As part of my research, I try to go beyond the walls of academia. Therefore, I write popular science articles and essays. For many years, I have conducted seminars and workshops on scholarly communication. Since 2010, I have been writing an academic blog entitled Warsztat badacza (“Scholar’s Workshop”), where I discuss scholarly communication, research evaluation, science policy, and other issues related to the daily work of researchers.

Currently, I study three main areas. Below, I briefly describe my aims and approaches.

Multilingualism in science

I do believe that research must be communicated in multiple languages. Access to research and more significant interaction between science and society can only be possible if research is communicated in multiple languages, including those actually used in speech and writing locally. In February 2022, as an invited speaker at the Paris Open Science European Conference, I argued that in the ongoing reform of the research assessment system, the call for multilingualism is the most notable omission. Multilingualism is integral to accessibility and should be part of the European research assessment reform.

You can watch my talk from Paris here and read blog posts on LSE Blog here and here.

Moreover, you can read my paper on multilingual publishing in the social sciences and humanities.

Geopolitics of scholarly communication

The ongoing discussion on predatory publishing and organizing predatory conferences needs a fresh theoretical perspective to fully take the geopolitical dimension into account. The geopolitical nature of predatory academia is twofold. On the one hand, the discussions about predatory journals or conferences, are often biased against outlets produced in peripheral countries. On the other hand, many studies show that the negative effects of predatory publishing are significantly more damaging to peripheral areas of knowledge production than to central ones.

My empirical research in the field of predatory academia relates to Dr. Fraud sting operation, the impact of Beall’s lists on investigating predatory journals, citation patterns including content-based analysis between impact-factor and predatory journals, and analysis of presenters from top-ranked universities at questionable conferences. My conceptual contribution is based on the concept of mislocated centers of scholarly communication that allows to describe and criticize the role some publication channels play in the (semi)peripheries without condemning scholars who publish in them or accusing publishers of bad intentions.

You can watch my talk on the geopolitics of scholarly communication at the CWTS seminar here.

Evaluation game: effects of research evaluation systems

For the last few years, I have been working on the concept of the evaluation game. The manuscript of my book, in which I develop this idea, is ready and is under review now. It is the product of my longstanding engagement with the field of research evaluation. As the head of the SCRG AMU and a policy advisor to the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland, I have been invited to design and analyze multiple research evaluation systems and have published numerous papers on the topic. For instance, I investigate how publication patterns change under the influence of research evaluation systems.

Moreover, for many years I have been conducting research on the Polish research evaluation system regarding assessing publications, publication counting methods, and local use of national metrics.

Here you can find Handbook on Research Assessment in the Social Sciences which I co-edited with Tim C.E. Engels.