Exploring prose style in scholarly journal articles in journalism and communications: do editors believe there is a need for change?
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Academic prose style has been criticized by some academics as willfully obtuse, intentionally opaque and impossible for anyone but an academic to understand. This research uses the theoretical lens of critical discourse analysis and framing theory to determine if academic prose style is problematic in journalism and communications scholarly publications. In-depth interviews of 10 academic journal editors show that academic prose is problematic. Editors agree that academic prose is used for power, control and inclusion/exclusion. Perceptions about academic jargon or language, too, suggest that academics use their words for matters well beyond knowledge sharing. Editors desire change, but they don't believe forces such as open access to scholarship will improve academic prose style. Academic culture as it relates to academic writing is studied via editor values and beliefs.