Research in Critical Discourse Studies - Website Teun A. van Dijk

Discourse Studies:  Criteria for Preferred Papers

Contributions to Discourse Studies should satisfy the following criteria:

1. Systematic discourse analysis. Discourse Studies is primarily a discourse analytical journal. That is, articles should provide a detailed, systematic and theoretically based analysis of text or talk. It is insufficient to merely quote, summarize or paraphrase such discourse, or to comment only on their 'content' without paying attention to any kind of non-trivial discourse structures.

Articles are preferred that focus on specific structures or strategies of discourse that are not self-evident to the casual reader. These may include grammatical, stylistic, rhetorical, narrative or argumentative structures; cognitive processes and mental representations; pragmatic, conversational or interactional dimensions of socially situated talk; properties of non-verbal activity (e.g., gestures), images or other graphic elements, among many other properties of communicative events.  For detail, see  What do we mean by 'discourse analysis'?

See also the very useful discussion paper of the Loughborough discourse analysis group:  "Discourse Analysis Means Doing Análisis."

Discourse Studies does not publish exclusively theoretical papers, but each paper should feature a prominent theoretical section and a critical review of the relevant literature as a foundation for empirical research. Theoretical notes or short discussion pieces are welcome for the DS Forum section. It goes without saying that both theory and analysis should make an original contribution to the field.

Articles that specifically address the relations between discourse structures on the one hand, and social and political structures, phenomena and relevant issues on the other hand, are particularly welcome for DS's companion journal Discourse & Society

2. A sizeable corpus of data. Articles are preferred that are based on a sizeable corpus of interesting texts or talk collected by the author(s) themselves, and not merely on a single or few discourses. Authors are expected to have a thorough knowledge of, and experience with, the corpus, domain or genre of discourse being analyzed, for instance as a result of an extended research project, so as to facilitate empirical generalizations and broader insights than those based on one or a few examples. Analyses should be illustrated by several extracts quoted in the text.

3. Multidisciplinary, multicultural, international. The study of discourse takes place in several disciplines, in many countries and by women and men from many different cultural backgrounds. Discourse Studies highly values this diversity and particularly invites contributions which reflect such diversity in their authorship, theories, methods, data and the use of scholarly literature.

4. Accessibility. Discourse Studies aims to be accessible to readers from a broad range of disciplines, and of various levels of specialization and expertise, especially including students. For theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and social reasons, therefore, contributions should be well-organized, have a clear style, avoid esoteric jargon, and explain unfamiliar or new technical concepts.

See also: Aims and Scope and Instructions to Authors (Stylesheet)