On academic reading: citation patterns and beyond
The article discusses the process of textually mediated communication in science and proposes an approach that complements citation analysis. Namely, it addresses the question of how the author’s text is read by the reader and whether the reader interprets the text in the same manner as the author. Fifty-seven scholarly contributions (articles, book chapters and book reviews), written by three social scientists, were content analyzed with the help of the QDA Miner and WordStat computer programs. The outcomes of the qualitative coding were compared with the outcomes of the analysis of word co-occurrences and the outcomes of the analysis on the basis of a dictionary based on substitution. Our findings suggest that texts have plural interpretations. Depending on the reading context, either the author’s or the reader’s perspective prevails. Also, both the author and the reader may read the text in a either deep or perfunctory manner. Deep reading necessitates spending significant time and cognitive resources.
KeywordsAcademic reading Comprehension Interpretation Citation analysis Content analysis
The authors are grateful for the Scientometrics anonymous reviewers’ deep and constructive reading of the text. An earlier, Russian, version of the text appeared in SOCIS (Sotsiologicheskie Issledovaniia). The remaining errors and inaccuracies are their own.
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