As part of a panel entitled “Analysing Scientific Digital Discourse: The case of research project websites in international contexts”, which took place at the 6th Asia-Pacific LSP & Professional Communication Association Conference organized by the City University of Hong Kong, Rosa Lorés delivered a paper entitled “Science on the web: Evaluative language in international research websites”, in which she presented her results on a study of evaluative language in Homepages and About pages of EU Horizon 2020 websites dealing with research projects on energy as generic instances of current digital scientific practices. Her quantitative and qualitative study identified the main values promoted and also showed the significant role that evaluative language plays in the construction of argument as discourse organiser. The affordances of the digital mode were also explored, which revealed that, as textual instances, Homepages and About pages replicate genres existing in the offline academic context and do not seem to fully exploit the technical affordances that the digital mode offers.
For further details and discussion, you should consult her open-access related publication for one of the latest issues of the journal Discourse, Context & Media.
Full abstract of her contribution to the InterGedi2021 panel:
Science on the Web: Evaluative Language in International Research Project Websites
The urge on scientists to disseminate and gain visibility for their research and on institutions to account for public expenditure are fostering the appearance of diverse digital practices as a way to respond to increasing demands to open science to society. New ways and new modes of scientific communication have thus evolved. This is the case of the international research project websites under focus here. Websites are internet products that offer a new communication environment in which multimedia content is combined. The present study explores a convenience corpus of 10 EU Horizon 2020 research project websites with a special focus on the use of evaluative language (Hunston & Thompson, 2000; Thompson & Alba-Juez, 2014) in their homepages and about pages, in the understanding that evaluative language mirrors the values promoted in scientific research nowadays. By means of a quantitative and qualitative analysis of evaluative language along the positive/negative parameter (Hunston & Thompson, 2000), the main values promoted are identified. Moreover, the study also shows the significant role that evaluative language plays in the construction of argument as discourse organiser. Finally, the extent to which the affordances of the digital mode are exploited is assessed. In this respect, the study reveals that, as textual instances, homepages and about pages do not differ much from offline genres, as they do not seem to fully exploit the technical affordances that the digital mode offers. However, they also seem to be subjected to a certain degree of recontextualization. In all, we might point at continuity rather than change in these digital generic instances.
Hunston, Susan and Geoff Thompson (Eds.). 2000. Evaluation in Texts: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Thompson, Geoff and Laura Alba-Juez (Eds.). 2014. Evaluation in Context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.