The chapter provides a brief outline of the development of the scientific article, tracing its origins in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its professionalization in the nineteenth, and its specialization in the twentieth. The focus is on how textual organization and language choices mirror changes in the epistemology and writing practices of the scholarly community. The rise of periodical publications in the Age of Empiricism reflected the dominant emphasis on fact, while the style was largely narrative and based on reliable testimony. During the nineteenth century, journals became increasingly specialized and oriented to the professional community: observations and experiments were used to build theory, while greater attention was paid to methodology and precision. With the twentieth century, the proliferation of scientific journals produced forms of highly specialized prose for a large, specialized, international audience, with an increasingly standardized textual structure requiring rigorous descriptions of methodology and results. The IMRAD structure – Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion – thus established itself as a powerful standard over the centuries – a standard which is only partly challenged today by the global dimension of digital communication.
"The Scientific Article: Variation and Change in Knowledge Communication Practices" / Bondi, M. - (2021), pp. 158-169. [10.4324/9781003043782]