e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Are scientific abstracts written in poetic verse an effective representation of the underlying research? [version 3; referees: 3 approved]

Illingworth, SM (2016) Are scientific abstracts written in poetic verse an effective representation of the underlying research? [version 3; referees: 3 approved]. F1000Research, 5 (91). ISSN 2046-1402

[img]
Preview

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The central purpose of science is to explain (Purtill, 1970). However, who is that explanation for, and how is this explanation communicated once it has been deduced? Scientific research is typically communicated via papers in journals, with an abstract presented as a summary of that explanation. However, in many instances they may be written in a manner which is non-communicatory to a lay reader (Halliday & Martin, 2003). This study begins to investigate if poetry could be used as an alternative form of communication, by first assessing if poetic verse is an effective form of communication to other scientists. In order to assess this suitability, a survey was conducted in which two different groups of participants were asked questions based on a scientific abstract. One group of participants was given the original scientific abstract, whilst the second group was instead given a poem written about the scientific study. Quantitative analysis found that whilst a scientific audience found a poetic interpretation of a scientific abstract to be no less interesting or inspiring than the original prose, they did find it to be less accessible. However, further qualitative analysis suggested that the poem did a good job in conveying a similar meaning to that presented in the original abstract. The results of this study indicate that whilst for a scientific audience poetry should not replace the prose abstract, it could be used alongside the original format to inspire the reader to find out more about the topic. Further research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of this approach for a non-expert audience.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
19Downloads
76Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item