Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir og Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir: „It is a great challenge to write papers equally well in two languages“
Scholars all over the world are under pressure to write and publish their research findings in international journals. The same applies to Icelandic scholars. International journals require high standard of writing based on standard American and British writing conventions. The purpose of publishing internationally is to strengthen international status and raise the research profile of the universities. Scant attention has been paid to scholars’ perceptions of coping with writing academic papers in English and recent studies have questioned whether publishing in English in fact increases competitiveness. This article describes the views of Icelandic academics on using English in their scientific pursuits. The findings are based on interviews with ten faculty members at the University of Iceland. The interviews are a follow up to a survey focusing on the same issues. The interviews indicate that even though respondents claim that their general English is good, most confess to needing assistance with their academic English although this varies according to disciplines. However, no official writing support is offered at the University of Iceland. The findings call for greater awareness of the disadvantages of scholars whose native language is not English.
Keywords: Attitude study, internationalization in higher education, academic writing