B – Backstage solidarity in Spanish- and English-written medical research papers

Salager-Meyer F, Alcaraz Ariza MA, Pabón Berbesí M. Backstage solidarity in Spanish- and English-written medical research papers: Publication context and the acknowledgment paratext. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 2009 (60)2:307-317.
DOI 10.1002/asi.20981


This article analyzes the acknowledgment (ACK) paratext of medical research articles written in English and Spanish in three geographical contexts: Venezuela, Spain, and the United States of America. 150 research articles from leading medical journals in each country were randomly selected. The frequency and length of ACKs, the number of named and unnamed acknowledgees, the reasons why they were acknowledged, the number of grants received, and the sources of funding were recorded. Results show that ACKs from the English-language corpus are significantly more frequent and longer than those from both the Spanish and Venezuelan samples. The number of persons acknowledged and the number of grants received also were significantly greater in the U.S. sample than they were in the two Spanish-language corpora. Technical/instrumental assistance was more frequently acknowledged than was peers’ ideational input. Inconclusion, ACK practice differs from one context to another, and the communicative and sociocultural conventions of academic contributorship are not only discipline-dependent but also language- and context-dependent.

Thanksto F. Salager-Meyer