University of Birmingham; Centre for Corpus Research

Dr Paul Thompson


I am the Deputy Director of the Centre for Corpus Research at the University of Birmingham. My research interests are in academic and other specialised discourses, in uses of educational technologies in language learning, and in the exploitation of corpus resources and methodologies in learning about language. I am the Principal Investigator for this project.


About the project:

“Collaborating with Elsevier on this project is really exciting – this affords us the opportunity to analyse huge quantities of journal data and we also have access to the voices and views of scores of editors, reviewers and authors, giving us unparalleled insights into the discourse of interdisciplinary research.”

Prof Susan Hunston


I am Professor of English Language at the University of Birmingham, and co-investigator on the IDRD project. My research interests include evaluative language and phraseology, especially the lexis-grammar interface. I have always been interested in the language of science and the way it constructs both objectivity and value, and I am also fascinated by the use of corpora to derive ‘bottom up’ classifications of words and texts.


About the project:

“How do researchers from different disciplines negotiate a common language? Answering this question will be one of the key outcomes of this project.”

Dr Akira Murakami


Until 13th October 2015, I was a research fellow working for the IDRD project. My research interests include corpus linguistics, second language acquisition, TEFL, and quantitative data analysis in language research. My role in the project was primarily in its methodological aspects, including corpus data handling and multidimensional analysis. I am now working as a research fellow on a project in Cambridge.


About the project:

“Using multifactorial and multivariate statistical analyses, the project identifies the variation of linguistic features and explores the causes of the variation.”

Dominik Vajn


I have a PhD in Corpus Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. My research interests include forensic and sociolinguistics and discourse analysis, particularly the notions of individual style, authorship identification and social construction of discourse reality. I worked on the project until the end of September 2015 and I am now a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.


About the project:

“Investigating the conscious decisions people make when writing and editing journal articles offers a unique perspective on the style of academic discourse; especially, when these are compared to the linguistic features observed in such texts.”



Sarah Huggett

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As part of the Scientometrics & Market Analysis team in Research & Academic Relations at Elsevier, I provide strategic and tactical insights to colleagues and publishing partners, and strive to inform the research evaluation debate through various internal and external discussions. My specific interests are in communication and the use of alternative metrics for evaluating impact.


About the project:

“We are excited about our collaboration with the Centre for Corpus Research, whose expertise will help us better understand the nature and evolution of interdisciplinary research. As a publisher, this will help us in our continuous endeavour to improve services to the communities we support.”

Matthew Richardson

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Within Elsevier’s Research and Academic Relations department I study scientific research through the lenses of publication and citation trends, with a focus on the information flows that construct and change research disciplines. My particular focus is on visualizing networks of scientific publications and fields, to enable a deeper understanding of how journals and disciplines relate to one another.


About the project:

“This is a fascinating opportunity to see how researchers communicate across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and whether this discourse develops through time.”

Dr Andrew Plume


I am the Director of Scientometrics & Market Analysis in Research & Academic Relations at Elsevier. My expertise is in scientometrics, the ‘science of science’. I study information flows in the scholarly literature by analyzing patterns of publications and citations, from the level of single articles to entire countries and subject domains. My particular interests lies in the use (and abuse) of the Impact Factor and the emergence of alternative metrics (or ‘altmetrics’) for journal evaluation.


About the project:

“Scientometrics is more than just crunching numbers, it is a method of discovering patterns that tell us something about the fundamental workings of scholarly communication. This project focuses on this communication by observing the discourse of interdisciplinary communication, thus offering a new dimension to the science of science.”