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Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing for national, transnational and international journals

Lillis, Theresa and Hewings, Ann (2008). Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing for national, transnational and international journals. ESRC, Swindon, UK.

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The dominance of English as the global language of scholarly publishing in almost every academic field is well documented. More than 90% of the social science journals indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information (Thompson Corp., 2008) and 80% of the 59,591 scholarly periodicals indexed by Ulrich’s Periodical Directory (2007) are published in English. English might therefore be viewed as an academic lingua franca (EALF) increasing opportunities for global participation in academic knowledge making and exchange across national borders. However, findings from our previous research (Curry and Lillis, 2004, 2006a, b) indicated that the global status of English is creating significant obstacles for scholars researching and writing from non-Anglophone contexts and is impacting on written academic knowledge production and dissemination in unacknowledged ways: in particular, that the different contexts of English medium publication (national or international) influence both the knowledge that is produced and the ways in which it is circulated.

Our project investigated the production and publication of English medium academic journal articles in one disciplinary area, psychology. Using a text-oriented ethnographic approach (see Lillis and Curry 2006a) we tracked how articles by non-Anglophone scholars from four European countries – Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal – were produced, from early drafts through successive stages towards publication. Using a corpus of 1.5 million words, we compared the reporting of knowledge by non-Anglophone and Anglophone psychologists in two distinct contexts of publication: English medium national journals, that is English medium journals published in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal (henceforward EMN) and English medium international journals, that is journals usually classified as ‘international’ because of their high status or high ‘impact factor’ (henceforward EMI).

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2008 The Authors
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Extra Information: Final report to ESRC - RES-000-22-2234 (awarded Outstanding)
Keywords: language; English; non-English; academic; writing; research; knowledge; publishing; journal; texts; psychology; English as a lingua franca (EALF); corpus approach; ethnographic
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Language & Literacies
Item ID: 25881
Depositing User: Theresa Lillis
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 16:31
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 11:11
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