A Comparison of Author Reference in the Spanish Context of Biomedical RAs Publication

  • Oana Maria CarciuEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


Arguably, language-related conventions in the biomedical field do not seem to show concern for the manifestation of authorship and identity. However, since authorship and its social, academic and financial implications are put forth in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted for biomedical publication (URM), it is essential to explore its manifestation in writing and publishing biomedical research internationally in English-medium journals. In this chapter I inquire into the authorship issue in relation to acculturation (cf. Padilla and Pérez 2003) as reflected in research articles published both in international and national journals by Spanish scholars. The analysis is carried on a section-coded specialized corpus of research articles (the biomedical and health sciences component of the SERAC corpus) and it applies a mixed-methods approach to obtain both quantitative and qualitative results. Based on the frequencies and discourse roles of first person plural references, findings provide clear evidence of the section and language-related contrast in first person plural references’ occurrence, distribution and discourse function across biomedical RAs published internationally in English (L2) and in national journals in Spanish (L1). In light of the findings, it appears that using the expected rhetorical roles in the international context is a strong indication that belonging to an international scientific discourse community involves not just linguistic acquisition and learning but also appropriation of Anglo-American rhetorical norms, implying a possible of acculturation. Secondly, in this context, nativeness/mother language status together with experience or communicative performance seem important aspects to consider in the study of author reference language patterning (cf. Römer 2009; Swales 2004) and would probably be worth focusing on in academic biomedical RA writing for publication purposes.


Personal pronoun Research articles Medicine English as a lingua franca 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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