Reviewers’ Comments in Academic Journal Peer Review Reports: A Speech Act Theory Perspective

  •  Wee Chun Tan    


This study sought to investigate the linguistic functions of reviewers’ comments in academic journal peer review reports, primarily from a pragmatics perspective. Drawing on Searle’s (1976) Speech Act Theory (SAT), reviewers’ comments from 20 academic journal peer review reports were qualitatively analysed. The analysis revealed two main types of speech acts, directive and expressive speech acts, underlined the reviewers’ comments. Among the two types of speech acts, the directive speech act was preferred by the majority of the reviewers. It was also found that the expressive speech act was much more prominent when the reviewers provided negative comments. The results obtained suggest the need for a collegial peer review with more positive and constructive suggestions by reviewers.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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