METM09 presentation     Thread: Promising practices

Navigating across concepts for understanding the research article: observations and implications of a Cmap for guiding translators and their trainers

Carmen Pérez-Llantada -“ Spain

The purpose of this presentation is to report on the applicability of a self-contained concept map (Cmap) of the research article genre. The Cmap instantiates the complex nature of this academic genre par excellence as both a process for and a product of the -˜manufacture of scientific knowledge' -” following the thinking of both sociologist Karin Knorr-Cetina and genre analyst John Swales. The multifaceted nature of the research article genre should be an area of concern for professional translators since they may work with this text type at various stages as it is -œslowly gestated, undergoes several drafts, and receives multiple inputs from coauthors, colleagues, reviewers, and editors- (Swales in Research Genres. Explorations and Applications, page 218).

By navigating across a research article Cmap, we will discuss the intersecting paths of i) the dynamics involved in the process of writing an article, ii) the textualisation processes of scientific knowledge (how knowledge becomes text and text begets knowledge), iii) the socio-rhetorical functionality of the genre, and iv) the ways the sociology of scientific knowledge shapes both the process and the final outcome of research article writing.

In discussing these intersecting paths, we will specifically address several considerations that translators should take into account because they are direct agents involved in the processes through which these texts are written for publication in English.


Carmen Pérez-Llantada has been teaching academic writing to students in the Humanities for the past 10 years. At present, she is involved in the teaching of translation of specialised texts in a professionally-oriented Masters program at the University of Zaragoza. Her current interests lie in genre-based analysis of specialised texts and its application to professional translating and editing activities.