Exploring the SSCI Phenomenon within the Publish or Perish Principle for Non-native English-speaking ELT Professionals

Fan Wei Kung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With the dissemination of knowledge in higher education, the publish or perish principle has become the norm for academics around the world to remain competitive. The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) phenomenon has thus emerged in academia and been utilized as a benchmark for research excellence and tenure considerations. While research has revealed that the publish or perish principle could have a multitude of issues in higher education, little attempts have been made to explore academics' outlook on the SSCI phenomenon in a broader geographical area, particularly in the field of English language teaching (ELT). To bridge this gap, twelve ELT academics were recruited from China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan with an aim to explore their perceptions, attitudes, and their perceived pros and cons of the SSCI phenomenon in their own institutions. Qualitative data were collected and analyzed through an interview protocol based on a matrix analysis via phenomenology. The findings demonstrate four conceptualizations that are formed and predicated on the SSCI phenomenon. Data also evince that although these academics were recruited from different countries, the SSCI phenomenon seems to be identical with regard to how academics are evaluated for promotion and tenure at the expense of several salient practices in ELT.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Academia
  • ELT
  • Higher education
  • SSCI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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