Arts & Humanities, Linguistics; chemical engineering; journal publications; lexical choices; collocations; impact factor; training
The combination of increased pressures for high-volume, high-impact publications in English language with the high rejection rates of submitted manuscripts for publications presents an often unsurpassable obstacle for (early career) researchers. At the same, the register requirements of peer-reviewed journals -that can contribute to whether a paper is accepted for publication- has received little attention. This paper redresses this gap, by investigating the linguistic choices in 60 published manuscripts in four journals, with impact factor (IF) above 2; all 4 journals, publish original research papers in the field of chemical engineering science and specifically focus on wastewater treatment. Our survey shows that chemical engineering research publications tend to comply to a set of unwritten requirements: multidisciplinarity, brevity, co-authorship, focus on the description of practical results (rather than methods), and awareness of non-specialised audiences. It is found that less discipline-specific vocabulary was used in higher IF journals and this is interpreted within the current context of manuscript publication and consumption. Also, a complex relationship between the advertised scope of each journal and the actual published papers exists, indicating that guide for authors and aims and objective published by the journal's editorial office should be critically evaluated.