The role of citation in interdisciplinary discourse: an investigation into citation practices in the journal "Global Environmental Change"


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Aljabr, Fahad Saleh (2018). The role of citation in interdisciplinary discourse: an investigation into citation practices in the journal "Global Environmental Change". University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis proposes an innovative model for citation analysis and applies it to 1186 citations derived from twenty papers from one interdisciplinary journal: Global Environmental Change. The main aim of this thesis is to build, not to quantify, a model which facilitates understanding of how citations act, and are acted upon, in citing texts. The model builds on, extends and modifies certain aspects of some existing models on citation form, stance and function. This thesis argues that stance and function are different but related concepts in the analysis of citation. They operate in different directions and, when combined, can reflect the role of citation in the citing text.

In order to achieve a fine-grained understanding of the role of citation, citations are analysed within and beyond the level of the statements in which they occur. To achieve this, a new level is proposed for the analysis of citation function: the ‘citation block’. In this thesis, it is argued that citations operate in different directions within and beyond the proposition-level. The current thesis aligns and compares analyses at the clause- and block-levels for every citation. This alignment results in the identification of conventional and unconventional patterns of citing.

The model is applied to four sub-corpora of texts from two time periods and representing the more ‘science-like’ and ‘social science-like’ papers in the journal. The text-based analysis demonstrates the complexity of citation practices in interdisciplinary discourse. Overall it is suggested that in this journal the ‘social science’ papers over time have become more similar to the ‘science’ papers. The results also show variation in citation practices between the individual selected papers in each sub-corpus. This variation is attributed to the interdisciplinary nature of GEC. The proposed model has the potential to be used to investigate variation in citation practices beyond interdisciplinary discourse, within and between disciplines or genres.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Government of Saudi Arabia
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science


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