Rhetorical Features and Functions of Data References in Academic Articles

Authors : Sara Lafia, Andrea Thomer, Elizabeth Moss, David Bleckley, Libby Hemphill

Data reuse is a common practice in the social sciences. While published data play an essential role in the production of social science research, they are not consistently cited, which makes it difficult to assess their full scholarly impact and give credit to the original data producers.

Furthermore, it can be challenging to understand researchers’ motivations for referencing data. Like references to academic literature, data references perform various rhetorical functions, such as paying homage, signaling disagreement, or drawing comparisons. This paper studies how and why researchers reference social science data in their academic writing.

We develop a typology to model relationships between the entities that anchor data references, along with their features (access, actions, locations, styles, types) and functions (critique, describe, illustrate, interact, legitimize). We illustrate the use of the typology by coding multidisciplinary research articles (n = 30) referencing social science data archived at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

We show how our typology captures researchers’ interactions with data and purposes for referencing data. Our typology provides a systematic way to document and analyze researchers’ narratives about data use, extending our ability to give credit to data that support research.

URL : Rhetorical Features and Functions of Data References in Academic Articles

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2023-010

La fin de la publication scientifique ? Une analyse entre légitimité, prédation et automatisation

Auteure/Author : Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri

La courte histoire de la communication scientifique sur le Web se caractérise par des régulations spécifiques au numérique : accélération, ouverture et fragmentation. Au cœur de ces régulations, le modèle de la « Revue » devient moins le vecteur de diffusion de l’information scientifique que le lieu de structuration et de convergence des stratégies des acteurs impliqués.

Revues légitimes, revues médias, revues prédatrices ou bien encore revues générées automatiquement, composent aujourd’hui « l’offre » de la publication scientifique disponible via des plateformes qui contribuent à en effacer les caractéristiques et les repères.

Ainsi, l’information scientifique, concept apparu après-guerre, trouve un champ d’intervention conceptuel et opératoire nouveau, qui dépasse la multiplication et la généralisation du modèle de la plateforme (archives ouvertes, serveurs de pré-prints, réseaux sociaux…). Il permet de prendre en charge l’évolution des sciences, de leurs objets et de leurs pratiques.

Mais surtout il permet de penser les nouvelles formes de validation scientifiques qui se redéfinissent, à l’intersection des champs scientifique, social et médiatique, et qui soulèvent de nouvelles questions à leur tour.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03435153

How common are explicit research questions in journal articles?

Authors : Mike Thelwall, Amalia Mas-Bleda

Although explicitly labeled research questions seem to be central to some fields, others do not need them.

This may confuse authors, editors, readers, and reviewers of multidisciplinary research. This article assesses the extent to which research questions are explicitly mentioned in 17 out of 22 areas of scholarship from 2000 to 2018 by searching over a million full-text open access journal articles. Research questions were almost never explicitly mentioned (under 2%) by articles in engineering and physical, life, and medical sciences, and were the exception (always under 20%) for the broad fields in which they were least rare: computing, philosophy, theology, and social sciences. Nevertheless, research questions were increasingly mentioned explicitly in all fields investigated, despite a rate of 1.8% overall (1.1% after correcting for irrelevant matches).

Other terminology for an article’s purpose may be more widely used instead, including aims, objectives, goals, hypotheses, and purposes, although no terminology occurs in a majority of articles in any broad field tested. Authors, editors, readers, and reviewers should therefore be aware that the use of explicitly labeled research questions or other explicit research purpose terminology is non-standard in most or all broad fields, although it is becoming less rare.

URL : How common are explicit research questions in journal articles?

Original location : https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/qss_a_00041?af=R&

Change in Format, Register and Narration Style in the Biomedical Literature: A 1948 Example

Authors : Carlo Galli, Stefano Guizzardi

Scientific communication has evolved over time and the formats of scientific writing, including its stylistic modules, have changed accordingly.

Research articles from the past fit a research world that had not been taken over by the internet, electronic searches, the new media and even the science mass production of today and reflect a reality where scientific publications were designed to be read and appreciated by actual readers.

It is therefore useful to have a look back to what science looked like in the past and examine the biomedical literature from older archives because several features of those publications may actually harbor vital insights for today’s communication.

Maintaining a vivid awareness of the evolution of science language and modalities of communication may ensure a better and steadfast progression and ameliorate academic writing in the years to come.

With this goal in mind, the present commentary set out to review a 1948 scientific report by I.L. Bennett Jr, entitled “A study on the relationship between the fevers caused by bacterial pyrogens and by the intravenous injection of the sterile exudates of acute inflammation”, which appeared in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in September 1948.

URL : Change in Format, Register and Narration Style in the Biomedical Literature: A 1948 Example

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications8010010

Assessing the Quality of Scientific Papers

Authors : Roman Vainshtein, Gilad Katz, Bracha Shapira, Lior Rokach

A multitude of factors are responsible for the overall quality of scientific papers, including readability, linguistic quality, fluency,semantic complexity, and of course domain-specific technical factors.

These factors vary from one field of study to another. In this paper, we propose a measure and method for assessing the overall quality of the scientific papers in a particular field of study.

We evaluate our method in the computer science domain, but it can be applied to other technical and scientific fields.Our method is based on the corpus linguistics technique. This technique enables the extraction of required information and knowledge associated with a specific domain.

For this purpose, we have created a large corpus, consisting of papers from very high impact conferences. First, we analyze this corpus in order to extract rich domain-specific terminology and knowledge.

Then we use the acquired knowledge to estimate the quality of scientific papers by applying our proposed measure. We examine our measure on high and low scientific impact test corpora.

Our results show a significant difference in the measure scores of the high and low impact test corpora. Second, we develop a classifier based on our proposed measure and compare it to the baseline classifier.

Our results show that the classifier based on our measure over-performed the baseline classifier. Based on the presented results the proposed measure and the technique can be used for automated assessment of scientific papers.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.04200

Thoughts on Publishing the Research Article over the Centuries

Author : David Banks

The first academic periodical was the Journal des Sçavans, which first appeared in January 1665. It was followed two months later by the Philosophical Transactions. The Journal des Sçavans was sponsored by the state and was made up mainly of book reviews and covered all the known disciplines of the time.

The Philosophical Transactions was a private venture based on Oldenburg’s correspondence and was restricted to science and technology. Scientific writers were motivated by personal reputation, the desire to improve the human condition, and, sometimes, priority.

The “publish or perish” syndrome is a recent development. Among the factors that have influenced it are the increasing professionalization of science, the development of the peer-review system, and, towards the end of the twentieth century, a desire for rapid publication.

The fact that English has (recently) become the lingua franca of scientific publishing creates additional difficulties for non-Anglophone scientists, which their Anglophone colleagues do not have to face. Scientific language, similar to all languages, evolves constantly.

One area that seems to be changing at the moment is that of passive use, which is the subject of ongoing research. Cultural differences may also have a role to play. For example, French scientists may have to overcome a basically Cartesian education.

URL : Thoughts on Publishing the Research Article over the Centuries

Alternative location : http://www.mdpi.com/2304-6775/6/1/10

Thirteen Ways to Write an Abstract

Authors : James Hartley, Guillaume Cabanac

The abstract is a crucial component of a research article. Abstracts head the text—and sometimes they can appear alone in separate listings (e.g., conference proceedings). The purpose of the abstract is to inform the reader succinctly what the paper is about, why and how the research was carried out, and what conclusions might be drawn.

In this paper we consider the same (or a similar) abstract in 13 different formats to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

URL : Thirteen Ways to Write an Abstract

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/publications5020011