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Written Communication “Writing and Science” call-for-papers


Call for Papers:
Special Issue on
Writing and Science

The editor and editorial board of Written Communication invite article submissions for a special issue on writing and science. Submissions from established and new scholars of writing studies are welcome. The special issue will tentatively be published as Volume 35, Issue 1, of the journal, in January 2019.

Nearly two decades into the 21st century, the study of writing in science continues to diversify and evolve as a field of inquiry. For some, this means responding to a shifting technological and rhetorical landscape; for others, it means engaging the material, technical, symbolic, and ideological dimen-
sions of scientific research and communication; and for still others, it means making our scholarly work applicable to a wide range of stakeholders, from expert practitioners to policy makers and lay audiences. The breadth of approaches and analytical foci represented in this scholarship speak both to
the vitality of the field and to the complexity of writing as a multidimensional practice and object of study.

Throughout its history, Written Communication has regularly published articles on topics related to writing and science. A sample would include studies that explore the reading and writing practices of scientists (Bazerman; Gragson and Selzer; Myers); processes of rhetorical accommodation (Fahnestock) and popularization (Charney; Paul); writing in scientific laboratories (Lerner) and institutional settings (Breuch et al.; Sterponi et al.); disciplinary and professional genres (Berkenkotter; Hyland; Swales); multilingual and intercultural communication (Hanauer and Englander; Luzón); rhetorics of health and medicine (Segal; Teston); and rhetorical inquiries that theorize the relationships between writing, science, and public engagement (Ross; Walsh). While distinctive in the way they approach their work, these scholars tend to share a common interest in data-driven research and a commitment to developing principled theories that add to our knowledge of writing and science as complex human activities.

Building on this tradition, the aim of this special issue is to gather together studies that represent new and emergent thinking about writing and science, broadly understood. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Writing and laboratory science
• Note-making as a rhetorical activity
• Scientific writing as material-semiotic practice
• Visuals in scientific inquiry and argumentation
• Multimodal analysis of scientific texts
• Emerging and hybrid genres in STEM disciplines
• Writing and interdisciplinary collaboration in the sciences
• Scientific publishing in an age of digital media and open access
• Rhetorical accommodation of science and technology
• Circulation of scientific information in popular media
• Citizen science as social and rhetorical practice
• Rhetorical figures in scientific communication
• Historical and cultural studies of writing in science
• Intercultural and multilingual scientific communication
• The rhetorical construction of gender, race, and sexuality in scientificdiscourse (and discourse more generally that uses science as warrant for arguments related to these and other socially relevant topics)

A wide range of approaches and topical foci are welcome. Each submission, however, should emphasize writing as a focal object of investigation. Relatedly, authors will ideally be able to show what the study of writing in science offers not only to the field of writing and rhetorical studies but also, more broadly, how such inquiries might lead to collaboration between writing and rhetoric scholars, STEM practitioners, policy makers, and public audiences. Theoretical contributions will be considered, but favor will be
given to data-driven research studies; and, as per WC’s established practice, accepted articles may be methodologically diverse, but the methodology must be handled expertly and described explicitly.

Authors submitting manuscripts should indicate in a cover letter that they wish the submission to be considered for the special issue on writing and science. Consideration of manuscripts for this special issue will begin immediately and continue through March 1st, 2018, or until a suitable number of publishable manuscripts has been identified. Submissions for this special issue will follow the normal peer-review practices of WC. If a submission is not selected for the special issue, it may still be considered for publication in a later issue of the journal at the editor’s and author’s (or authors’) discretion.

Prospective authors are strongly urged to acquaint themselves with previously published issues of the journal and to follow the Guidelines for Submission (in the print journal or on the website). Submitting an essay indicates that the work reported has not been previously published, that the essay—in present or revised form—is not being considered for publication in other journals or in edited volumes, and that the author(s) will not allow the essay to be so considered before notification in writing of an editorial decision by WC. Submission should generally not exceed 9,000 words and must follow the American Psychological Association’s (6th ed.) guidelines for publication.

All authors should (a) include with each copy an abstract of 100 to 150 words; (b) select five to seven keywords (which do not appear in the title) to facilitate electronic search; (c) provide a cover page that includes the title of the submission, author name(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing address(es), home and office telephone number(s), e-mail address(es), and three- to four-sentence biographical statements for each author. Author name(s) should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript. Note that the entire manuscript should be double spaced, including the abstract, block quo-
tations, tables, figures, notes, and references.

Questions about the special issue or about the journal more generally should be directed to Chad Wickman, Editor, at the following address:

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