A Investigation of Textual Conventions of Citations in Journals of Information Systems

Project: Research

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A key feature that distinguishes academic discourse from other types of discourse is its manifest intertextuality (Fairclough, 1992) realized in form of citation. The role citations play is particularly prominent in research texts in which references need to be made to source texts not only as a gesture of attributing ideas to other scholars but also as a device employed to advance a host of private and manifest goals (Bekenkotter & Huckin, 1995; Myers, 1990). The centrality of citations in scholarly writing has been one major reason for the vigor in research on the discursive practice pursued in the fields of Sociology of Science, Information Science, Rhetoric Studies (RS) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Scholarships in RS and EAP in particular have covered various grounds and has illuminated our understanding of not only the forms and functions of the discursive practice but also the rhetorical subtleties involved as well as the disciplinary variations on all these. A tremendous amount of theoretical insights have been generated some of which have already cascaded to pedagogical ends informing instruction in citation for novice writers from specific disciplines. The study proposed here is to continue the line of research by examining four macro groups of features of citations displayed in research articles (RAs) published in journals of Information Systems (IS) which up to date is still under-explored in the citation literature.The analysis will be performed on the citations provided in 80 research articles (RAs) drawn from 4 SCI-listed journals in IS of hard and soft orientations (Becher & Trowler, 2001; Biglan, 1973) and will seek to characterize the following four clusters of citation features: 1) the meanings signified by names of cited authors; 2) the propositional contents of the citations; 3) the rhetorical functions served by the citations; and 4) the linguistic realizations of the citations. The study will also examine the possible variations of the above features across the generic sections and moves of the RAs, as well as across the four journals.


Project number7002550
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/05/104/02/13