Citations and the Nature of Cited Sources: A Cross-Disciplinary and Cross-Linguistic Study

Guihua Wang, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Extant scholarship on citation has examined a limited number of citational features, adopted disciplinary and ethnolinguistic perspectives disjunctively, and paid little systematic attention to the nature of cited sources. Drawing on appraisal theory, the present study investigated the nature of cited sources, namely personalization (i.e., whether humans are foregrounded as a cited source) and identification (i.e., whether and how the cited sources are identified), to understand their dialogic functionality in knowledge making. We analyzed citations in a corpus of 84 research articles sampled from two disciplines and two languages. Greater citation-based dialogic contraction was found in the medical articles than in the applied linguistic articles, whereas the cross-linguistic contrasts revealed a mixed picture. The differences are explained in terms of divergent epistemologies, cultural beliefs, discursive practices, institutional settings, and co-patterning of different citation features.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • appraisal
  • citation
  • dialogic functionality
  • identification
  • personalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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