Clausal and phrasal complexity in research articles published in well-established and predatory journals
A case study of two journals in political science
Keywords:predatory publishing, research articles, syntactic complexity, political science, disciplinary writing
Predatory publishing has attracted much scholarly attention recently, but little is known about the actual material published in predatory journals. In this paper, we address this gap focusing on syntactic complexity. Using both traditional syntactic complexity measures and more fine-grained indices of phrasal and clausal complexity, the study explores the similarities and differences between two corpora consisting of 220 research articles drawn from two comparable journals in the discipline of Political Science, one purportedly predatory and one top-ranking. The results show that the articles look similar in many respects (e.g., mean length of sentences/T-units, number of T-units per sentence). Differences are found in more fine-grained indices such as clausal complements, adverbial clauses, and noun phrases with noun premodifiers, which are associated with discipline-specific rhetorical and ideational functions. The study demonstrates the potential of linguistic analyses in contributing to our understanding of predatory publishing as a complex phenomenon.
- 2023-05-23 (2)
- 2023-03-16 (1)
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ying Wang, Josep Soler
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