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Conceptualizations of language errors, standards, norms and nativeness in English for research publication purposes: An analysis of journal submission guidelines

McKinley, J; Rose, H; (2018) Conceptualizations of language errors, standards, norms and nativeness in English for research publication purposes: An analysis of journal submission guidelines. Journal of Second Language Writing , 42 pp. 1-11. 10.1016/j.jslw.2018.07.003. Green open access

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Abstract

Adherence to standards in English for research publication purposes (ERPP) can be a substantial barrier for second language (L2) writers and is an area of renewed debate in L2 writing research. This study presents a qualitative text analysis of author guidelines in 210 leading academic journals across 27 disciplines. It explores conceptualizations of language errors, standards, norms and nativeness in journal submission guidelines, and identifies key concepts related to so-called error-free writing. Findings indicate that most of the journal guidelines are inflexible in their acceptance of variant uses of English. Some guidelines state a requirement of meeting an unclear standard of good English, sometimes described as American or British English. Many guidelines specifically position L2 writers as deficient of native standards, which raises ethical considerations of access to publication in top journals. This study leads to a discussion of a need to re-conceptualize error-free writing in ERPP, and to decouple it from concepts such as nativeness. It focuses on a need to relax some author guidelines to encourage all authors to write using an English that can easily be understood by a broad, heterogeneous, global, and multilingual audience.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptualizations of language errors, standards, norms and nativeness in English for research publication purposes: An analysis of journal submission guidelines
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jslw.2018.07.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2018.07.003
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Elsevier Inc. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Standard English, Error-free, English as a lingua francaEnglish for research publication purposesJournal submission guidelines
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058004
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