Publishing research in the international context: An analysis of Spanish scholars’ academic writing needs in the social sciences



In the last decades, publishing research in the international arena has become an imperative among scholars in Spain. However, many researchers experience difficulties in publishing their work in English-medium international journals. The present paper is part of a wider research project which aims at identifying, analysing and catering for the needs of Spanish researchers in English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP). The first stage of our project involved a large-scale online survey administered to researchers at five universities and research institutions in Spain. This paper reports on the responses provided by informants from the social fields of Education, Psychology and Sociology. Taking a Spanish–English intercultural perspective, our objective is twofold: firstly, to explore the difficulties experienced by Spanish scholars in these disciplines, along with the strategies they use when publishing in English; and secondly, to identify their ERPP needs, with the prospect of developing materials and courses which will help them produce effective academic writing and publish their research internationally. The results point at a generalised need for training in specific areas of academic writing, such as the rhetorical sections of the RA and the most common problems and difficulties encountered by Spanish authors when writing their papers in English.