A social-context approach to writing for international publication
MetadataShow full item record
As a result of the hegemony of English over the world scientific production, a restricted system of communication has established itself, threatening visibility, limiting opportunities, and excluding non English speaking scientists from mainstream publication. Complex reasons lie behind this marginalisation: north / south inequity in research capacities, editorial prejudice … but mainly linguistic bias against non English speakers’ submissions. Despite this situation, the language barrier in scientific communication is not deemed great importance. The issue of how nonEnglish speaking scientists produce their articles and the difficulties they meet to acquire membership in the international research community have not been fully addressed. To understand clearly how language hinders scientific communication, there is a need to examine the social context where science writing takes place. Using interviews, questionnaires and case studies, the study explores how scientists write, how they negotiate their membership in the publishing world, and how the international audience responds to their submissions. The research concludes: a) that the language variable in the evaluation of manuscripts is as important as the scientific craft. b) That the language of science is determined by scientific conventions which are grounded in the scientific community body of beliefs and practices. c) That the range of strategies that Algerian scientists have developed might be effective at an individual level. These techniques help the researchers fulfil their immediate needs; they enable them to bypass both the linguistic and editorial constraints. But in the long run, these solutions remain ineffective. The manner in which research articles are written lacks expertise and professionalism. And neither amateurish translation nor unprofessional language teachers’ assistance can provide an adequate remedy. The ultimate solution lies in the acquisition of an English proficiency both at the linguistic and the discoursal levels. To achieve this, new collaborative and teaching methodologies are suggested. The research has implications for those who do research on writing, those who teach writing and those who write for publication purposes.
- Doctorat langue Anglaise