Conference: Participation at the 40th International Conference of the Spanish Society of Applied Linguistics (AESLA). Mérida, Spain, 26th-28th April 2023

Lengua y discurso en géneros digitales: el caso de la comunicación pública de la ciencia (conferencia plenaria). Carmen Pérez-Llantada

En el contexto de la Ciencia Abierta y de la agenda para la “democratización de la ciencia”, la investigación en lingüística aplicada sobre lengua y comunicación en contextos sociales y culturales está ganando impulso en la actualidad, ofreciéndonos valiosas perspectivas para entender nuevas formas de comunicación digital que facilitan la comprensión de la ciencia por parte de públicos diversificados y el compromiso público de la ciencia con la sociedad. Esta charla adopta la perspectiva del análisis de los géneros para ilustrar cómo los géneros digitales para la comunicación pública de la ciencia abordan nuevas exigencias sociales. Una de ellas es la necesidad de construir credibilidad y confianza en la investigación científica. Otra exigencia importante es la necesidad de involucrar al público colaborando activamente en procesos científicos. En esta charla se tratarán cuestiones relacionadas con aspectos de lengua, discurso y género (en concreto, hibridación genérica, integración de géneros en otros géneros, intertextualidad entre géneros e interdiscursividad) para determinar cómo los géneros consiguen su funcionalidad comunicativa y retórica. Para terminar, abordaré algunas implicaciones de la comunicación multisemiótica y multilingüe a través de Internet y aportaré sugerencias para ayudar a los investigadores a desarrollar habilidades eficaces de comunicación científica digital, apoyando así su desarrollo profesional.

Plenary lecture: Language-in-use in digital genres: the case of public communication of science. Carmen Pérez-Llantada

In the context of Open Science and the “democratization of science” agenda, linguistic research on the social and cultural contexts of discourse and communication is gaining momentum, offering us valuable insights to understand emerging forms of digital communication for public understanding of science and public engagement in science. This talk takes the perspective of genre theory and genre analysis to illustrate how digital genres for public communication of science address new social (and rhetorical) exigences. One exigence is the need to build credibility and trust in scientific research. Another exigence, perhaps even more challenging than the previous one, is the need to engage the public in action (i.e. collaborating in scientific processes). The talk will discuss issues of language-in-use and some key generic features (e.g. hybridity, embedding, intertextuality and interdiscursivity) and showcase how the particular communicative intentions of these genres are fulfilled. In closing, I will address several implications of internet-based, multisemiotic and multilingual communication and provide suggestions for helping scientists develop effective digital science communication skills, by this means supporting their professional development.

“Over the to announce my new paper”: Recontextualizing research results in tweetorials. Luzón, M.J.


Tweetorials, long Twitter threads written by experts to communicate complex concepts, are becoming increasingly popular among medical experts. While a few studies have analyzed tweetorials which serve to communicate scientific information to a general audience (Gero et al., 2021; Tardy, 2023), no attention has been paid to how tweetorials are used to report on and improve the visibility of research and results published in an article or in a preprint. In this study I analyzed a corpus of 50 such medical “research reporting” tweetorials, in order to understand how the paper/preprint is recontextualized in this emerging digital genre. The first step consisted in the analysis of the rhetorical structure of the tweetorial, in order to determine which moves from the article are selected and whether this genre incorporates new moves not occurring in research articles. The second step consisted in an analysis of recontextualizing strategies. As this is a new genre, there is variability in rhetorical structure, although some moves, such as stating the topic or purpose of the paper in the first post, or thanking in the closing post, occur in many threads. The findings also reveal that the writers use a variety of strategies to support their arguments (e.g. embedded figures and tables taken from the article, embedded videos), and to engage the readers (e.g. more subjective language, questions, features of conversational discourse, emoji expressing emotion or attitude, gifs). The findings of the study are expected to help medical specialists who want to use Twitter to disseminate their research in a clear and engaging way.

“Thank you so so much, this is great and your data are so fascinating! :)”: interaction in academic Twitter discussions. Villares, R.


In the context of Open Science, scientists today benefit from Web 2.0 affordances to create, share, and re- use scientific knowledge in the interest of science democratization (Engberg & Maier, 2015; Mehlenbacher, 2019). From all the web-related dissemination options, Twitter has positioned itself as a preferred social media platform to share scientific knowledge through alternative ways of presenting and discussing science with audiences online. Following Bondi (2022) and Freddi (2020), this presentation examines online authors/readers interactions in the context of Twitter conference presentations (TCP), which are academic presentations comprising a series of threaded tweets. Major discussions are generally found at the end of TCP, where the readers pose questions and comments as they would in a face-to-face conference presentation during the discussion session (Xu, 2022). By examining these features in the online context, it is expected to identify the main characteristics of this emerging digital genre. A dataset of 562 tweets was retrieved, belonging to 55 English-written TCP. Atlas.ti was used for qualitative genre analysis to identify the primary communicative functions of the tweets, language choice, and the main rhetorical strategies used in the interactions (e.g. emojis, abbreviations, mentions and hyperlinks). The data analysis shows that the main communicative functions of the tweets included appraising, enquiring, and being promotional. The first two functions are primarily led by the readers, while authors during their answers, promote in more depth their work. Interestingly, most of the discussions started in English but also included different instances of linguistic diversity, especially in Portuguese and French. To resemble its rhetorical antecedent genre, the conference presentation, appraising and positive evaluative markers are also frequent during the interactions to create a friendly environment, therefore tweets tend to include greetings, emojis, and gratitude markers, imitating a face-to-face conversational style.

“Let me just give you one example”: Academic Video Publications or how to promote scientific work without trivialising it. Velilla Sanchéz, M.A.


Online videos are becoming a popular tool used by academics, universities and other organizations to make scientific knowledge accessible to all publics, i.e.  not only to reach the scientific community but also to engage the lay public (Scotto di Carlo 2014; Erviti & Stengler 2016; León & Bourk 2018; Luzón & Pérez-Llantada 2019). Its multimodal nature makes it a very effective and accessible format to communicate complex scientific ideas to a less specialist audience representing phenomena in different ways to achieve different purposes, most often to disseminate and promote scientific work and findings (Pasquali 2007; Hyland 2010). Nevertheless, criticism of this way of disseminating science as journalistic or simplified science accounts exists. Therefore, this paper aims to shed light on the way(s) researchers add transparency without reducing content’s meaningfulness by means of analysing a corpus of 20 videos along with the research articles from which knowledge has been recontextualised. The corpus has been compiled in the ‘Chemistry’ and ‘Medicine’ sections of the Latest Thinking (lt.org) website, an organization that is dedicated to helping researchers obtain attention and impact to their research using a specific genre called ‘Academic Video Publications’. This study takes a discourse analysis perspective focusing on how linguistic, pragmatic and multimodal strategies are used in these videos to recontextualize knowledge without trivialising it. Following Luzón (2019) three different levels of discourse analysis have been established: i. Content as in “content first”; ii. Researchers’ self as in “directly from the researcher”; iii. Viewers engagement/impact as in “impact is key” (lt.org 2022). The preliminary findings reveal three types of strategies, which may be performed through the orchestration of various semiotic modes: strategies to tailor or simplify information to the assumed knowledge of potential viewers; strategies to construct the researchers’ credibility and authority; strategies to bond with the viewers and guide them towards a common perceived relevance.