The purpose of this paper is to respond to Urquhart and Urquhart’s critique of the previous work entitled “Discourse structure differences in lay and professional health communication”, published in this journal in 2012 (Vol. 68 No. 6, pp. 826-851, doi: 10.1108/00220411211277064).
The authors examine Urquhart and Urquhart’s critique and provide responses to their concerns and cautionary remarks against cross-disciplinary contributions. The authors reiterate the central claim.
The authors argue that Mann and Thompson’s (1987, 1988) Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) offers valuable insights into computer-mediated health communication and deserves further discussion of its methodological strength and weaknesses for application in library and information science.
While the authors agree that some methodological limitations pointed out by Urquhart and Urquhart are valid, the authors take this opportunity to correct certain misunderstandings and misstatements.
The authors argue for continued use of innovative techniques borrowed from neighbouring disciplines, in spite of objections from the researchers accustomed to a familiar strand of literature. The authors encourage researchers to consider RST and other computational linguistics-based discourse analysis annotation frameworks that could provide the basis for integrated research, and eventual applications in information behaviour and information retrieval.
Abrahamson, J.A. and Rubin, V.L. (2015), "Differences over discourse structure differences: a reply to Urquhart and Urquhart", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 71 No. 2, pp. 224-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-02-2014-0037
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