What are the challenges for scholars, for whom English is a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL), if English is becoming the lingua franca of natural, social, and information sciences, among others? Can they compete for publication in the high impact journals of their discipline, regardless of their expertise and how excellent their research, with native English-speaking scholars of equal or lesser skill? What impact does this have on their ability to secure research funding, conference paper acceptance, tenure and other career prospects?
Ren & Rousseau (2004) suggest that China's English-language journals "should seriously consider joining the open access movement" to make their articles "freely available on the Internet." (p. 103). They argue this will provide greater visibility for these journals without pressuring library collections to pay for additional subscriptions. But to what degree is the absence of native-English writing abilities the greater barrier?
Ren, S. & Rousseau, R. (2004). The role of China’s English-language scientific journals in scientific communication, Learned Publishing, 17(2), 99–104. Available at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/alpsp/lp/2004/00000017/00000002/art00004