Edited by Theresa Lillis and Mary Jane Curry
[Journal of English for Research Publication Purposes 3:1] 2022
► pp. 6–28
In line with recent interest in mediation as a widespread phenomenon in multilingual academic publication in English, this paper describes and exemplifies a method of researching production practices that is based on text histories. The evolution of rhetorical patterning in two published articles by established Spanish biomedical authors is used to explore the authors’ writing and how their texts were evaluated by an in-house language editor and later by journal gatekeepers. Semi-structured interviews with the two authors using talk around texts reveals commonalities and differences in author orientations towards mediation from discourse community members (journal gatekeepers) and the language professional (the in-house editor). Textual analysis as exemplified by a single rhetorically significant modification proposed by the language editor to each of the two manuscripts is used to compare the selective engagement of one author with the language editor’s contributions against the extensive reassessment of the other author in response to similar feedback. Discussion highlights the advantages and limitations of the modified text history and genre approach to understanding mediation and author orientations to mediation. Implications for textual mediation practices are discussed.