The Resemiotization of Science into Graphical Abstracts: Major Semiotic Issues at Stake


  • Carmen Sancho Guinda Universidad Politécnica de Madrid


Parole chiave:

Scienze resemiotisation, Graphical abstracts, Semiotic Context, Interpretive Hurdles, Graphical Abstract Semiotics


This article serves a twofold objective: on the one hand, it questions the alleged universality of much of the current resemiotization of scientific content into graphical abstracts and diagnoses the major causes of ambiguity and misinterpretation. On the other, it intends to reunite the long-dissociated disciplines of Semiotics and Linguistics. Over 70 samples reported to be difficult to interpret by scholarly science bloggers and published in Q1 journals on Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry from January 2022 to June 2023 are analysed regarding the five contexts common to Semiotics and Linguistics: situational, actional, psychological, existential and cotextual. Specifically, the focus is set on major interpretive hurdles such as unfamiliar cotexts, jocular overtones, narrative occlusion, cognitive overload, discursive scope, interdiscursivity, and intertextuality. Findings suggest that most causes for misinterpretation seem to derive from compositional strategies and the choice of registers and metaphorical scenarios. A proposal of basic author-oriented semiotics in the form of self-reflection questions is finally provided. 

Biografia autore

Carmen Sancho Guinda, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Carmen Sancho Guinda is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, where she teaches English for Academic and Professional Communication and in-service seminars for engineering teachers undertaking English-medium instruction. Her research interests comprise the interdisciplinary study of academic, professional, and political discourses and genres and has published extensively in these areas. She was the editor-in-chief of Ibérica from 2018 to 2021 and is currently a member of several other international editorial boards. 




Come citare

Sancho Guinda, C. (2024). The Resemiotization of Science into Graphical Abstracts: Major Semiotic Issues at Stake. Elephant & Castle, (32), 111–124.