The Internationalization of Science and the Position of Croatian Language

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Abstract

This article addresses the revernacularization or reduction of the use-value of the standard Croatian language within the scientific and academic system. A bibliometric analysis of 1,152 academic papers was conducted on the sample of the selected Croatian journals in sociology and philology (Croatian studies). A longitudinal approach was used, analyzing all issues of the included journals in the periods 1996 to 1999, 2006 to 2009, and 2016 to 2019. Unlike in the 1990s, the selected journals were in later periods exposed to internationalization by being included in relevant international databases for scientific research. This article aims to investigate whether and how this process has affected the revernacularization of the Croatian language. The results show a similar absolute number of papers written in Croatian within the periods analyzed, and also a decrease in their relative number (share). In the period from 2016, a marked increase in the number of papers written in English was observed, as well as in the number of foreign authors. Such papers mostly do not address the topics of Croatian society. The results indicate an intensified internationalization of the analyzed journals, but not revernacularization. The mentioned trend can, nevertheless, lead to revernacularization with increasing international recognition of the journals, the continued promotion of publication in foreign languages, and a more rigorous policy of academic advancement in Croatia. In this sense, this study considers the need for preserving the standard Croatian language within the academic system, bringing both into a relationship with the widely promoted model of endogenous social development.