Resources for writing academic English when English is not your first language

Writing academic English when English is not your first language:  A bibliography

James Hartleyand Vera Sheridan2

1School of Psychology, Keele University, UK
[email protected]

2School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies, Dublin City University, Ireland
[email protected]

This bibliography lists books and papers on the experiences of writing academic English written by authors from different countries whose first language may not be English.  The concluding sections list similar experiential papers on editing international journals, and some useful websites.

Suggestions for additional resources to include should be sent to James Hartley.


  1. Books
  2. General papers
  3. Accounts from specific countries
  4. Editing in different countries
  5. Useful websites
  6. Acknowledgements

1. Books

Belcher, D. & Connor, U.  (2001).  Reflections on multiliterate lives.  Clevedon, Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Burgess, S. & Martín-Martín, P. (2008).English as an additional language in research publication and communication. Bern: Peter Lang.

Casanave, C. O. & Vandrick, S.  (Eds).  (2003).  Writing for scholarly publication: Behind the scenes in language education.  Abingdon, Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Lillis, T. & Curry, M. J. (2010).  Academic writing in a global context: The politics and practices of publishing in English. Abingdon, Oxford, UK: Routledge.

Tang, R. (Ed). (2012).  Academic writing in a second or foreign language: Issues and challenges facing ESL/EFL academic writers in higher education contexts.  London: Continuum.

Wallwork, A. (2010.  English for presentations at international conferences. New York:  Springer.

Wallwork, A.  (2011).  English for writing research papers.  New York: Springer

2.  General papers

Belcher, D. D.  (2007).  Seeking acceptance in an English-only research world.  Journal of Second Language Writing, 16, 1, 1-22.

Cho, S. (2004). Challenges of entering discourse communities through publishing in English: Perspectives of nonnative-speaking doctoral students in the United States of America. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 3, 1, 47-72.

Delamont, S. (2011). Academic writing in a global context: the politics and practices of publishing in English. Studies in Higher Education, 36, 4, 505-506.

Flowerdew, J.  (2007). The non-Anglophone scholar on the periphery of scholarly publication.  AILA Review, 20, 14-27.

Kozak, M. (2008).  A call from a non-native English speaker: Don’t look at my affiliation.  (with responses). European Science Editing, 34, 4, 100-104.

Lillis, T. Magyar, A. & Robinson-Pant.  (2010).  An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: developing a writing for publication programme. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education,40, 6, 781-800.

Stenius, K., Obot, I., Kerr-Correa, F., Furtado, E. F. & Babor, T. F. (2004) Beyond the Anglo-American world: Advice for researchers from developing or non-English-speaking countries.  Reprinted in Module 2 of the EASE Toolkit for Authors. (Note: mainly concerned with medical research on addictions and addiction science.)

Swales, J. M. & Leeder, C.  (2012).  A reception study of the articles published in English for Specific Purposes from 1990-1999.  English for Specific Purposes, 31, 137-146.

Tardy, C. (2004).The role of English in scientific communication: lingua franca or Tyrannosaurus rex?English for Academic Purposes, 3, 247–269.

Uzuner, S. (2008).  Multilingual scholars’ participation in core/global academic communities: A literature review.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 250-263.

The Journal of Second Language Writing has had a regular feature: ‘Selected bibliography of recent scholarship in second language learning’ every issue since 2010, Vol. 20, number 1, with four issues per year.

3.  Accounts from specific countries

Sahakyan, T. & Sivasubramaniam, S. (2008).The difficulties of Armenian scholars trying to publish in international journals. ABAC Journal, 28, 2, 31-51.

Hirano, E. (2009). Research article introductions in English for specific purposes: A comparison between Brazilian Portuguese and English. English for Special Purposes, 28, 4, 240-250.

Nkemleke, D. (2010). Cameroonian and foreign scholars’ discourse: the rhetoric of conference abstracts. World Englishes, 29, 2, 173–191.

Aiguo, W.  (2007). Teaching aviation English in the Chinese context: Developing ESP (English for Specific Purposes) theory in a non-English speaking country.  English for Specific Purposes, 26, 121-128.

Hu, G. & Cao, F.  (2011).  Hedging and boosting in abstracts of applied linguistic articles: A comparative study of English- and Chinese-medium journals.  Journal of Pragmatics, 43, 2795-2809.

Huang, J. C.  (2010). Publishing and learning writing for publication in English: perspectives of NNE (non-native English speakers) PhD students in science.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9, 33-44.

Li, Y-Y & Flowerdew, J.  (2007).  Shaping Chinese novice scientists’ manuscripts for publication.  Journal of Second Language Writing, 16, 2, 100-107.
Marušic, M., Markulin, H., Lukic, I. K., Marušic, A. (2006) Academic advancement of authors receiving tutoring from a medical journal. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 18 (2). pp. 126-129.

Petersen, M. & Shaw, P.  (2002).  Language and disciplinary differences in a biliterate context. World Englishes, 21, 3, 357-374.

Phillipson, R. & Skutnabb-Kangas, T.  (1996). Danish scholars and languages of scientific communication.  In B. Bakmand, R. Phillipson & T. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (Eds.).  Papers in language policy: Papers from the language policy conference, 29 January 1996.  ROLIG-papir 56 (pp. 33-42).  Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University.

A case study.  In Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp.203-208).

Rummel, K. (2009). The Estonian academic writers’ perceptions of the most important aspects of effective English texts: A questionnaire survey conducted at Tallinn University of Technology. Kalbų Studijos, 14, 56-64 NR./Studies about Languages,14, 56-64.

Van Bonn, S. & Swales, J. M. (2007). English and French journal abstracts in the language sciences: Three exploratory studies.  Journal for Academic Purposes, 6, 2, 93-108.

The Netherlands
Burrough-Boenisch, J. (2003).  Shapers of NNS research articles.  Journal of Second Language Writing, 12, 223-243.

Hong Kong
Braine, G.  (2005). The challenge of academic publishing: A Hong Kong perspective.  TESOL Quarterly, 39, 707-716.

Flowerdew, J.  (1999). Writing for scholarly publication in English: The case of Hong Kong.  Journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 2, 123-145.

Flowerdew, J.  (1999).  Problems in writing for scholarly publication in English: The case of Hong Kong.  Journal of Second Language Writing, 8, 3,243-264.

Kóntra, M. (2000). Prefatory note. Multilingua – Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, 19, 1–2.

Basrur, R. (2006).  Medical writing in India.  The Write Stuff, 15, 2, 50-51.

Adnan, Z.  (2008).  Some potential problems for research articles written by Indonesian academics when submitted to international English language journals.  Asian EFL Journal, 11, 1(Article 6)

Hasrati, M. (2005). Legitimate peripheral participation and supervising Ph.D. students.  Studies in Higher Education, 30, 5, 557-570.

Vessal, K. & Habibzadeh, F. (2007). Rules of the game of scientific writing: fair play and plagiarism.  The Lancet, 369, 9562, p.641.

Spolsky B. & Shohamy, E.  (2001).  The penetration of English as language of science and technology into Israeli linguistic repertoire: A preliminary enquiry.  In Ammon, U. (Ed.) The dominance of English as language of science: The effect on other language communities.  Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter (pp. 167-176)

Casanave, C. P.(1998). Transitions: The balancing act of bilingual academics. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7, 2, 175-203.

Okamura. A.  (2006).  Two types of strategies used by Japanese scientists when writing research articles in English.  System, 34, 68-79.

Cho, D. W. (2009).  Science journal writing in an EF: context: The case of Korea.  English for Specific Purposes, 28, 4, 230-239.

Marina, V. & Snuviškienė, G. (2005). Error analysis of scientific papers written by  non-native speakers of English.Transport, XX, 6, 274–279.

Englander, K. (2009): Transformation of the identities of nonnative English-speaking scientists as a consequence of the social construction of revision. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 8, 1, 35-53.

Hannauer, D. I. & Englander, K.  (2011).  Quantifying the burden of writing research articles in a second language: Data from Mexican scientists. Written Communication, 28, 4, 403-416.

Brock-Utne, B. (2001). The growth of English for academic communication in the Nordic countries. International Review of Education, 47, 3-4.

Duszak, A. & Lewkowicz, J.  (2008).  Publishing academic texts in English: A Polish perspective.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 109-120.

Bennett, K.  (2010). Academic writing practices in Portugal: a survey of Humanities and Social Science researchers.  Diacrítica24, 193-209.

Mckenny, J. & Bennett, K. (2009). Critical and corpus approaches to English academic text revision: A case study of articles by Portuguese humanities scholars. English Text Construction, 2, 2, 228-245.

Kirchik, O., Gingras, Y & Lariviere, V.  (2012) Changes in publication languages and citation practices and their effect on the scientific impact of Russian Science (1993-2010).  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63, 7, 1411-1419.

Baldauf, R. B. & Jernudd, B. H.  (1987).  Academic communication in a foreign language:  The example of Scandinavian psychology. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 10, 1, 98-117.

Pérez-Llantada,  C., Plo, R., & Ferguson, G. (2011). “You don’t say what you know, only what you can”: The perception and practices of senior Spanish academics regarding research dissemination in English. English for Specific Purposes, 30, 18–30.

Polo, F. J. F. & Varela, M. C. (2009). English for research purposes at the University of Santiago de Compostela: A survey.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 8, 152-164.

Sheldon, E. (2011). Rhetorical differences in RA introductions written by English L1 and L2 and Castilian Spanish L1 writers.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10,4,238-251.

St John, M. J.  (1987). Writing processes of Spanish scientists publishing in English.  English for Specific Purposes, 6, 113-120.
El Malik, A. T. & Nesi, H. (2008).  Publishing research in a second language: The case of Sudanese contributors to international medical journals.Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 87-96.

Olsson, A. & Sheridan. V.  (2012).  A case study of Swedish scholars’ experiences with and perceptions of the use of English in academic publishing.  Written Communication, 29, 1, 33-54.

Chang, Y. W. & Cheng, T. W.  (2012).  Characteristics and trends of research articles authored by researchers affiliated with the Institute of Chemical Engineering in Taiwan.  Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers, 43, 331-338.

Huang, J. C. (2010)  Publishing and learning writing for publication in English: Perspectives of NNES PhD students in science. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9, 33-44.

Mohamed. H.I., & Banda, F. (2008): Classroom discourse and discursive practices in higher education in Tanzania, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 29, 2, 95-109

Buckingham, L  (2008). Development of English academic writing competence by Turkish scholars.International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 3, 1-18.

Dong, Y. R.  (1998).  Non-native graduate students’ thesis/dissertation writing in science: Self reports by students and their advisors from two U.S. institutions.  English for Specific Purposes, 17, 4, 369-390

4.  Articles on editing in different countries


Proceedings of the Workshop on European Psychology Publication (2009). Supplement 1 of Psychology Science Quarterly, 51.  Contains separate pdfs describing editorial procedures in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Spain,

Flowerdew, J. (2001)  Attitudes of journal editors to non-native speaker contributions.Tesol Quarterly, 35, 1, 121-150.

Lichtfouse, E.  (2009). Cultural issues at the French journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development.  Paper to the Conference of European Science Editors, Pisa, Italy.
Contains the editor’s account of the development of his journal with respect to overseas contributors.
Contact: [email protected]

5.  Accounts of editing in different countries

Ahmed, H. S. (2012).  Scientific editing and scholarly publishing in Bangladesh: A personal journey.  European Science Editing, 38, 2, 42-43.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Masic, I.  (2011).  Scientific editing in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A personal journey.European Science Editing, 37, 4, 108-109.

Shengli, R and  Rousseau, R. (2004). The role of China’s English-language scientific journals in scientific communication. Learned Publishing, 17, 2, 99-104.

Shengli, R. (2005).  Editing scientific journals in China. European Science Editing, 31, 1, 8-11.

Simundic, A-M. (2012)  Editing a scientific journal in Croatia: The case of Biochemia Medica.  European Science Editing, 38, 3,  69-70.

Engelbrecht, J.  (2011).  Scientific publishing in a small country: An Estonian perspective.  European Science Editing, 37, 4, 106-107.

Fogelberg, P. (2006).  Publishing and editing learned society publications in Finland.  European Science Editing, 32, 1, 9-10.

Habibzadeh, F.  (2006).  A bird’s eye view of science publishing and editing in Iran. European Science Editing, 32, 4, 98-100.

Habibzadeh, F.  (2012). My life as an editor.  European Science Editing, 38, 3, 80.

Giannoni, D. S.  (2008).  Medical writing at the periphery: The case of Italian journal editorials.  Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 2, 97-107.
Barron, J. P. et al. (2005).  A survey of medical journal publishing in Japan: Editorial board structure, review systems, and ethics.European Science Editing, 31, 3, 79-80.

Harrison, B. et al. (2006).  A survey of medical journal publishing in Japan: Language of publication and trends in publishing formats.  European Science Editing, 32, 2, 39-42.

Uysal, S. & Coker, C.  (2011).  Scientific medical journals in Turkey: Current state and goals.   European Science Editing, 37, 4, 109-110.

Cronin, B.  (2012).  Language matters.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63, 2, 217.

6.  Useful websites

COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).  Contains flowcharts describing what to do when faced with problems such as plagiarism, fabricated data, and redundant (duplicate) publication, etc.   Flowcharts available in Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish.  Forthcoming flowcharts in Arabic, Brazilian, Croatian, Farsi (Persian), Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Turkish.

EASE Guidelines for authors and translators of scientific articles to be published in English.  (Copies available in 30 languages.)

European Association for Teachers of Academic Writing (EATAW)
European Medical Writers’ Association (EMWA)

International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE)  Website designed to support international staff in the UK


We are pleased to acknowledge the help of colleagues in the creation of this bibliography.  We would be happy to receive further suggestions for inclusion in any future edition.