The Covid infodemic: Competition and the hyping of virus research

Hyland, Ken and Jiang, Feng Kevin (2021) The Covid infodemic: Competition and the hyping of virus research. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 26 (4). pp. 444-468. ISSN 1384-6655

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Covid-19, the greatest global health crisis for a century, brought a new immediacy and urgency to international bio-medical research. The pandemic generated intense competition to produce a vaccine and contain the virus, creating what the World Health Organization referred to as an ‘infodemic’ of published output. In this frantic atmosphere, researchers were keen to get their research noticed. In this paper, we explore whether this enthusiasm influenced the rhetorical presentation of research and encouraged scientists to “sell” their studies. Examining a corpus of the most highly cited SCI articles on the virus published in the first seven months of 2020, we explore authors’ use of hyperbolic and promotional language to boost aspects of their research. Our results show a significant increase in hype to stress certainty, contribution, novelty and potential, especially regarding research methods, outcomes and primacy. Our study sheds light on scientific persuasion at a time of intense social anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: covid-19,hype,boosters,attitude markers,science research articles,academic persuasion,hype,scientific writing,covid research,arts and humanities(all),language and linguistics,linguistics and language ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Language in Education
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2021 23:49
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 20:34
DOI: 10.1075/ijcl.20160.hyl


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