Isabel Herrando was a presenter at the 9th Conference on Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and Social Media Corpora, hosted by the University of Santiago de Compostela during the days 28th and 29th September 2022. In her paper she explored The Conversation.com, which is a research dissemination platform, as an example of digital scientific recontextualisation practice, and she analysed three articles from it to identify the discursive features and multimodal devices that are used to build credibility on this platform.
The full abstract of Isabel Herrando’s talk can be consulted as follows:
“Our editors work with academics and researchers to bring you stories no one else in the media can”: Credibility building in The Conversation.com
Potentially encouraged by the health context, non-specialised audiences have refined their reception competences, overcoming malinformation and disinformation (Herrando, Satústegui and Navas, 2021), and directly turned to trustworthy digital scientific recontextualisation sources such as The Conversation.com to be informed. Additionally, academic institutions are eagerly inviting their staff to participate in knowledge transfer platform. This paper aims to explore this Internet research dissemination platform as an example of digital scientific recontextualisation practice (Gruber, 2019; Lorés-Sanz, 2021; Herrando-Rodrigo, 2022). The Conversation.com invites researchers with an institutional affiliation to postulate themselves and their research to the editorial team. If accepted, researchers are asked to rhetorically and discursively recontextualize their own research and produce an article, with the guidance of an editor, for a non-specialised Internet audience. Thus, it would be interesting to interpret how credibility is built from a discoursal and textual perspective in The Conversation.com.
The paper focuses on the generic nature of the articles of The Conversation.com. For such genre study, Askehave and Nielsen’s (2005) approach to electronic genres -based on Swales’ (1990) model will be followed. The aim is to determine whether it could be considered a reconfigured, emergent, hybrid genre (Orlikowski & Yates, 1994; Crowston & Williams, 2000; Herring, 2001; Giltrow & Stein), new research dissemination genre (Mur-Dueñas, 2018) or a cluster of digital scientific popularizations. Secondly, the paper seeks to identify the discursive features and the multimodal devices (Squires, 2016) which may be associated to the creation of credibility on this digital platform. Therefore, an exploratory study on three articles on mental health and covid published in The Conversation in 2022 is conducted. I will dive into the credibility strategies used in researchers’ self-representation (Lorés & Diani, 2021) focusing on the discourse features associated to: i) researchers’ research as the object of study and ii) researchers’ agency as human actors and agents of the research process.
Overall, results suggest that The Conversation could be considered a new type of research dissemination interactive digital genre based on transversal collaboration with the editorial team. In this cooperative digital platform researchers self-represent themselves and their research for a demanding non-specialised audience, who need -or want- to be up-dated with the latest scientific findings for which they surf this specific site. The gatekeepers of the knowledge dissemination process, the platform specialised editors, mediate between the mode and the medium to recontextualize the digitally shared research. This interdisciplinary cooperation allows to construct a communicatively effective and trustworthy source of recontextualized scientific knowledge allocated in a user experience design (Egger, 2001).
Askehave, I. & Nielsen, A. E. (2005). Digital genres: A challenge to traditional genre theory. Information, Technology & People 18: 120-141.
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Gruber, H. (2019). Genres, media, and recontextualization practices: Re-considering basic concepts of genre theory in the age of social media. Internet Pragmatics, 2(1), 54-82.
Giltrow, J & Stein, D. (2009). Genres in the Internet: innovation, evolution and genre theory. En J. Giltrow y D. Stein (eds.), Genres in the Internet. Amsterdam: John Benjamins: 1-26.
Herrando-Rodrigo, I. (2022). ‘Is voice inevitable in written texts?’ Animate agents followed by active verbs as writers’ (de)voicing mechanisms in knowledge dissemination practices. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación, 90, 81-94. https://doi.org/10.5209/clac.81309
Herrando I, Satúsgegui, P and Navas, N. (2021). Disinformation and COVID in Spain: Disseminating (para)scientific knowledge through podcasts. Brno Conference on Linguistic Studies in English. University of Masaryk, Brno (16/09/2021).
Herring, S. C. 2001. Computer-mediated discourse. En D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen, y H. Hamilton (eds.), The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers: 612-634.
Lorés, R. (2021). From print form to digital communication: The one-way journey of academic research. Discourses on Culture 15, 45-65. https://doi.org/10.36145/DoC2021.04
Lorés, R. & Diani, G. (2021) Disseminating knowledge: the effects of digitalised academic discourse on language, genre and identity, European Journal of English Studies, 25:3, 249-258, DOI: 10.1080/13825577.2021.1988262
Mur-Dueñas, P. (2018) Disseminating and constructing academic knowledge in online scholarly journals: An analysis of virtual special issue introductions. Discourse, Context & Media, 24, 43-52.
Orlikowski, W. y Yates, J. A. 1994. Genre repertoire: The structuring of communicative practices in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 39(4): 541-574.
Squires, L. (ed.). 2018. English in Computer-Mediated Communication. Hong Kong: De Gruyter.
Digital scientific recontextualisation practices