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Abstracts in Academic Discourse

Variation and Change

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Edited By Marina Bondi and Rosa Lorés Sanz

The book brings together a rich variety of perspectives on abstracts as an academic genre. Drawing on genre analysis and corpus linguistics, the studies collected here combine attention to generic structure with emphasis on language variation and change, thus offering a multi-perspective view on a genre that is becoming one of the most important in present-day research communication. The chapters are organized into three sections, each one offering distinct but sometimes combined perspectives on the exploration of this academic genre. The first section looks at variation across cultures through studies comparing English with Spanish, Italian and German, while also including considerations on variation across genders or the native/non-native divide. The second section centres on variation across disciplines and includes a wide range of studies exploring disciplinary identities and communities, as well as different degrees of centrality in the disciplinary community. The third and final section explores language and genre change by looking at how authorial voice and metadiscourse have changed over the past few decades under the influence of different media and different stakeholders.
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Abstract Quality in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Papers: A Structural and Cross-Generic Analysis: Françoise Salager-Meyer / María Ángeles Alcaraz Ariza / Beverly A. Lewin

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FRANÇOISE SALAGER-MEYER / MARÍA ÁNGELES ALCARAZ ARIZA / BEVERLY A. LEWIN

Abstract Quality in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Papers: A Structural and Cross-Generic Analysis

1.Introduction

In our increasingly busy world where researchers and academics are inundated by scholarly journals and, to a lesser extent, by books, efficient and effective literature searching is essential for the professional. It has indeed been established that physicians perceive periodicals, and, more specifically, scientific research articles, to be the most valuable and available source of information and their main channel for their on-going education and for distributing new knowledge worldwide (e.g. Leventhal 2011; Publishing Research Consortium 2011), but because of the tremendous growth in the number of periodicals published and the interdisciplinary nature of research, no professional can take the time to survey the literature. More than twenty years ago, the Louis Harris poll (1987) carried out for the New York Academy of Medicine and the Williamson et al. survey (1989) both concluded that journal literature was seen as having an “unmanageable” size. This assertion is all the more true today when, worldwide, the number of scientific journals and published papers is increasing, thanks in large part to the rise of electronic publishing (Science Daily 2008). It is estimated that 2.5 million articles are published yearly in the planet’s 25,000 peer-reviewed research journals across all scholarly and scientific fields (Harnad 2011), representing a 44% increase in the number of papers published over the past decade (van...

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