Public Reason: Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2015
Global Justice and Research Ethics: Linguistic Justice and Intellectual Property
Radu Uszkai

This paper aims to address two seemingly independent issues in the field of moral and political philosophy, namely the problem of global justice with elements regarding research ethics. The first section of the paper will be concerned with a short overview of the problem at hand, highlighting the particular way in which research (I refer mostly to publishing in academic journals) is carried out in the 21st century. While admitting that the matrix of moral issues linked to the current topic is more diverse, I will limit the scope of my analysis to only two elements. First of all, in the second section of my paper I will try to identify an answer to the following question: are researchers from non-native English speaking countries who seek to publish in academic journals from abroad in a position of inequality in relation to their peers from Australia, Great Britain or USA? I will explore the moral relevance of this question at a global level by presenting Philippe Van Parijs’ conception of linguistic justice. My argument will rest upon the fact that the emergence of English as a lingua franca in research publishing has had more positive than negative externalities in relation to researchers from developing countries. The third and final part of my paper will be a critique of the current Intellectual Property system which, in my opinion, hinders the access of researchers from developing countries to new research available in journals indexed in international databases like Wiley-Blackwell, SAGE or JSTOR. 

Key words: global justice, research ethics, linguistic justice, intellectual property, copyright.


Uszkai, Radu. 2015. Global Justice and Research Ethics: Linguistic Justice and Intellectual Property. Public Reason 7 (1-2): 13-28.