This article investigates university research governance in relation to demands from national research policies. Specifically, it studies the scientific journal system in Colombia –SJSC, which is used as an incentive to promote knowledge production and dissemination. Journal systems are used in R&D evaluation (Shapira & Kuhlmann, 2003), and performance appraisals (Binswanger, 2015). These systems are affected by international and national demands that produce tensions in the governance of research. Some of these tensions are present in: (i) the various national and international demands related to SJSC, which are subject to rules and procedures, power relations, strategies, priorities and procedures, and criteria for recruitment incentives; (ii) ambiguous policy, formal and informal practices, definitions of efficiency, cost overruns, duplication of resources; (iii) Common tensions around intellectual property (copyright vs. open access), performance incentives of research in terms of wages vs. reputation (publish or perish), relevance of local vs. global knowledge, excellence, and international rankings. Given that universities are subject to the tensions aforementioned, how does university research governance responds to national and international demands? This is particularly important in the global south, in which the dynamics and rules of the game are constantly changing. The specific objective of this thesis is to understand the responses of universities to national and international demands in a country from the global south, Colombia.