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Crossed Words: Criticism in Scholarly Writing


Edited By Françoise Salager-Meyer and Beverly Lewin

In order for science to advance, previous research findings must be reviewed and criticized. However, conveying criticism is particularly difficult for scientists who must, at the same time, try to maintain an impersonal stance. This co-edited collection of independent studies written by scholars from many different countries addresses the thorny issue of criticism in science through discourse analysis of written scientific texts.
The research reported in this volume deals with questions such as: 1) how criticism is conveyed by various linguistic communities, such as Serbian, French, Spanish, German and English; 2) how criticism is handled in various genres, with examples drawn from book reviews, referees’ reports, research articles, editorials, and review/meta-analysis papers; 3) the extent to which criticism is influenced by academic discipline, with findings from linguistics, economics, biology, business, musicology, chemistry, literary research, medicine, and physics, and 4) the impact interpersonal considerations have on the linguistic realization of criticism.
The conclusions reached by these contributions have implications for both the academic world and society at large in the sense that a fuller understanding of how criticism is expressed will help in the education of future scholars and in the understanding of the social construction of knowledge.


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Acknowledgements 9


Acknowledgments This book is the outcome of a collaborative project by a group of au- thors from many different parts of the world whose contributions have greatly stimulated and expanded our own curiosity about criticism in scholarly writing. Our thanks, first of all, go to them. But this volume would not have seen the light without the help and support of other people and entities. We therefore are indebted to Mariela Ramírez for helping us with the arduous task of preparing the funding proposal of the Scientific, Humanistic, Artistic and Technological Research Cen- ter (CDCHTA) of the University of the Andes (Mérida, Venezuela), which generously provided the funds necessary to cover the diagram- ming and formatting cost. In that sense, the finished product owes much to the labors of Freddy Parra Jahn and Kataliñ Álava, who pa- tiently and carefully formatted the volume from A to Z. Our gratitude is also extended to the Research Authority of Tel Aviv University, which contributed towards the preparation of this book. We can never repay our debt to Ursula Rettinghaus, editor, and the staff at Peter Lang, who helped us above and beyond advising us of the formal requirements of publishing this volume. On a more per- sonal level, we owe much to our families for their constant support and encouragement during the time we both were occupied with this book. We would finally like to thank each other for all the cooperation and compromise shown over the four years this...

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