Two Chinese medical doctors’ English scholarly publishing practices


International publishing; Academic writing; English-as-an-additional-language researchers; Activity Theory; Medical doctors

How to Cite

Ren, S., & Hu, G. (2023). Two Chinese medical doctors’ English scholarly publishing practices: Challenges, contradictions and coping strategies. Ibérica, (45), 289–315.


Against the backdrop of English being the academic lingua franca, Chinese medical doctors are under tremendous pressure to get their research published in English-medium journals. This paper reports on a multiple-case study of Chinese medical doctors’ scholarly publishing in English. Drawing on multiple types of data collected from two doctors at a major hospital affiliated with a top research-intensive university in mainland China, we explored the focal participants’ perspectives on their difficulties in scholarly publishing, their strategies for addressing these difficulties, and the factors and resources at work in their navigation of the publishing processes. Informed by Activity Theory, we identified contradictions within the doctors’ scholarly publishing activity systems. We focused on the rules and tools that framed the doctors’ scholarly publishing activities, and our findings revealed how they drew on an array of tools and signs to resolve the contradictions and meditate their scholarly publishing endeavors. Our study points to the need for institutional policies and initiatives to support Chinese medical doctors aspiring for international publication.

Copyright (c) 2023 Songsha Ren, Guangwei Hu

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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