CERLIS Conference Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Exchange in Academia

Murillo Ornat, Silvia:Reformulation processes in European project websites: an exploratory study”

Abstract

Nowadays, most international projects have an associated website, which is potentially used as a means to disseminate the results of their research and to enhance the academic projection of the participating scholars and institutions. These websites usually include several sections with common headings/ links (About us, Objectives, etc.) and, in order to write their contents, some constant assumptions must be made about the readers’ background knowledge and processing resources. We can find traces of such assumptions in reformulation processes, for instance in definitions of technical terminology, or in simple explanations or paraphrases of previous statements (Blakemore 1993, Hyland 2007).

Thus, the aim of this presentation is to explore the role that reformulation plays in the text included in international project websites. In order to do this, I will provide a qualitative analysis of 20 websites of European projects (funded by the Horizon 2020 research programme), which form part of the materials for a pilot study on digital genres carried out by the InterGedi research group at the University of Zaragoza. I will focus specifically on the sections of the websites that are used to state the aim of the project and describe their main activities. Both marked (by reformulation markers, metalinguistic expressions, and punctuation signs such as parentheses), and unmarked reformulations (for instance, paraphrases) will be considered. In order to analyse marked reformulations and to identify -and analyse- unmarked reformulations, I will take as a reference the different discourse processes introduced by reformulation markers in academic texts, mainly, identification, specification, explanation/illustration, definition and denomination (Murillo 2012).

From this analysis, some preliminary insights can be gained into the target readership of the analysed sections of the websites (i.e., the general public, scholars in the field, scholars not necessarily working in the same field, etc.).