"Backstage solidarity" in Spanish- and English- written medical research papers: publication context and the acknowledgment paratext
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The purpose of this paper is to analyze the acknowledgment (ACK) paratext of medical research articles written in English and Spanish in three geographical contexts: Venezuela, Spain and the United States of America. We thus randomly selected 150 research papers from leading medical journals in each country. The frequency and length of ACKs, the number of named and unnamed acknowledgees, the reasons why they were acknowledged, the number of grants received and the sources of funding were recorded. The motivations that underpinned each ACK were classified according to Cronin’s (1995) and Giles and Councill’s (2004) typology. Results were analyzed by means of Chi-square tests. Our results show that ACKs from the English-language corpus are significantly more frequent and longer than those from both the Spanish and Venezuelan samples. The number of persons acknowledged and of grants received was also significantly greater in the US sample than in the two Spanish-language corpora. Differences were found in the number and types of funding sources. Moreover, in the three corpora technical/instrumental assistance was more frequently acknowledged than peers’ ideational input. A small-scale ethnographic research was conducted with Spanish and Venezuelan researchers in order to get first-hand feedback on the motivations that could lie behind their ACK behavior. We conclude that “backstage solidarity” (Goffman 1959, cited in Cronin and Franks 2006) significantly differs from one context to another and that the communicative and socio-cultural conventions of academic contributorship are not only discipline-dependent but also language- and context- dependent.
|Editor||Journal of the American Association of Information Science and Technology. Vol. 60(2), p. 307-317|