Interdisciplinary perspectives on abstracts for information retrieval


English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
information science
academic writing
Inglés para Fines Específicos (IFE)
ciencia de la información
escritura académica

How to Cite

Chan, P. K., & Foo, S. (2004). Interdisciplinary perspectives on abstracts for information retrieval. Ibérica, (8), 101–124. Retrieved from


The paper examines the abstract genre from the perspectives of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) practitioners and information professionals. It aims to determine specific interdisciplinary interests in the abstract, and to explore areas of collaboration in terms of research and pedagogical practices. A focus group (FG) comprising information professionals from the Division of Information Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, convened for a discussion on the subject of abstracts and abstracting. Two major issues that have significant implications for ESP practices emerged during the discussion. While differences in terms of approach to and objectives of the abstract genre are apparent between information professionals and language professionals, the demands for specific cognitive processes involved in abstracting proved to be similar. This area of similarity provides grounds for awareness raising and collaboration between the two disciplines. While ESP practitioners need to consider adding the dimension of information science to the rhetorical and linguistic scaffolding that they have been providing to novice-writers, information professionals can contribute useful insights about the qualities of abstracts that have the greatest impact in meeting the end-users' needs in information search

Copyright (c) 2004 Pronto Keng Chan, Schubert Foo

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