"Moving Beyond the Moment:

Reception Studies in the Rhetoric of Science"

 

Danette Paul, Davida Charney & Aimee Kendall

Journal of Business and Technical Communication

15 (2001) 372-399.

Abstract

Studies in the rhetoric of science have tended to focus on classic research articles and on the history of drafts and interactions up until the moment when they are accepted for publication by a journal. Similarly, research in the workplace on disasters tends to focus on the history of drafts and interactions up until the moment of the disaster. We argue that over attention to the moment skews our understanding of what makes scientific discourse successful and neglects other valuable sources of evidence. After reviewing the promises and limitations of studies from historical, observational, and text-analytic approaches, we call for studies of responses to research articles from disciplinary readers. We argue for studies using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies that will explore the real-time responses of readers to scientific texts, test the effects of rhetorical strategies on readers, and track the course of acceptance or rejection over time