Voices of Silence: Experiences in Disseminating Scholarship as a Global South Researcher

Mantoa Mokhachane, Lionel Green-Thompson, Tasha R. Wyatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Issue: There is an unspoken requirement that medical education researchers living in the Global South must disseminate their work using dominant frames constructed by individuals living in the Global North. As such, the published literature in our field is dominated by researchers whose work primarily benefits the Western world, casting the rest of what is published as localized and unhelpful knowledge. In this article, we use Audre Lorde’s conception of the Master’s house as a metaphor to narrate the experiences of two South African medical education researchers trying to disseminate their work into North American venues. In addition to narrating these stories, we describe the personal and professional consequences they experienced as a result of their efforts. Evidence: For researchers working outside of the Global North, entering the Master’s formidable house is daunting, and there is no clear pathway in. These narratives illustrate how reviewers and editorial staff act as gatekeepers, continuously shaping ideas about what it means to do acceptable research, and who is allowed to disseminate it within the field. These narratives also show that those who have been rejected by these gatekeepers are often conflicted about their position within the larger field of medical education. Implications: To begin to address this issue, we have made several suggestions for the research community to consider. First, medical education research journals need to create spaces for researchers publishing from the Global South. One suggestion is for journals to create a submission type that is dedicated to researchers working outside of North America. Second, journals should also include more Global South editors and reviewers to help with knowledge translation when articles are submitted from outside North America. If our collective goal is to improve the training of physicians and the health outcomes of humanity, then we need to renovate the Master’s house and begin to break down the barriers that separate us from truly building together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Global South
  • master’s house
  • narrative
  • research and publishing

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