Nowadays, open science communication is facilitated with the affordance of multimodal semiotic resources. Against this backdrop, graphical abstracts have emerged as a digitally mediated genre and have become an important means of knowledge communication in academic settings. While its interactive visual designs have been discussed in the literature, the rhetorical patterns of verbal and visual resources used in this genre warrant more empirical investigation. Therefore, based on a corpus of 90 graphical abstracts from journals in biology, chemistry and engineering, this study explores the organizational use of verbal and visual resources to mediate knowledge presentation. Five moves were identified in the textual components of the graphical abstract: reference to visuals, research background, report of results, interpretation of results, and implications or applications of the research. Furthermore, we examined what and how contents are visualized in the graphical abstracts. We found that the most visually displayed contents are the results and the overview of research, and that the duplication of pictures in the full article is a dominant source of the graphical abstracts. Additionally, the most commonly used layout patterns in the graphical abstracts are narratives or ‘evolutions’.
Copyright (c) 2023 Yuanyuan Ma, Kevin Jiang
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