Recent research

    Editing the Pitch: Patterns of Editing Strategies of Written Pitches in a Chilean Accelerator Program

    After a six-month training program in the Chilean public accelerator Start-Up Chile, entrepreneurs are asked to update a short pitch they wrote in the submission stage to appear in the program’s online portfolio. We reviewed relevant literature related to the pitch as well as research aiming to track changes within pitches. Research questions: 1. Which are the editing strategies used to change their pitch? 2. Do these strategies conform to specific discursive patterns? To answer the research questions, we designed an exploratory qualitative study to describe in depth the editing strategies used by two generations of startups, corresponding to 148 pairs of written pitches. In order to contextualize the results, we conducted two interviews with the program managers and analyzed the accelerator’s official Playbook and Technical and Administrative Requirements. We identified ten editing strategies. Of those editing strategies, “Deleting technical descriptions” is by far the most common procedure. The identified patterns can be classified into two groups, those simplifying, hedging and focusing on certain elements of the first pitch, and those adding and specifying information of the first version. We conclude by discussing the strengths of this methodological approach for understanding such edits and for supporting successful edits in accelerator programs, as well as the potential for better understanding entrepreneur coachability.

  • Reference: Cabezas, P.; Spinuzzi, C.; Sabaj, O; & Varas, G. (2020). Editing the Pitch: Patterns of Editing Strategies of Written Pitches in a Chilean Accelerator Program. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2020.3029673.

    Feedback quality according the type of referees in the peer review process of scientific articles

    We explore the relationship between two relevant but scarcely studied aspects of the Peer Review Process of research articles, i.e., the quality of feedback in referee reports, and the types of evaluators according to their participation in a journal. Our aim was to describe and analyze the quality of feedback in referee reports according to the type of participation of the evaluators, i.e., those who participated in a journal as evaluators only once (EV); those who participated as reviewers in multiple times (EV+); those who played the roles of referee as well as authors only once (A2F); and those who fulfilled both functions in multiple times (A2F+). We analyzed 118 referee reports submitted to a journal of humanities in Chile between 2008 and 2012. The comments of the referee reports were grouped into three increasing levels of quality. The results showed that referees mostly use indirect comments of low quality (Level I); yet EVs were the ones who tended to use them in a greater proportion. A2Fs tended to give more and better feedback (Level III). These results could help us to better understand science as a collective construction as well as to assist editors in the referee selection process.

  • Referencia: Varas, G.; Sabaj, O. & Pina-Stranger, A. (2020). Feedback quality according the type of referees in the peer review process of scientific articles. Revista Hipatia, 2(1), 37-60
  • Fuzzy quantifications in the annual account of a Technology Transfer Office: rhetoric or style?

    Quantification is a grammatical and discursive resource especially important in the public account genre. In this type of texts, quantification is used to valorize the achievements of an institution. In the public account of a Technology Transfer Office, these achievements may refer to contracts, patents, awarded projects or funds, among other measurable indicators of productivity. Quantification in public accounts can be potentially expressed in a fuzzy way, for example, “our office reviewed more than 200 ventures”. Using mixed methods (a case study with quantitative phases), we describe how fuzzy quantities operate in the public account rendered by a Chilean Technology Transfer Office. Our analysis showed that fuzzy quantifications correspond to almost 50% of the total quantifications. Three semantic types of fuzzy quantifiers were found: those approaching a vector (approximants), those exceeding a vector (‘overreachers’) and those blurring a number (diffusers). The latter was the most frequent resource for fuzzy quantifications. Furthermore, we provide evidence that would favor a stylistic explanation over a rhetorical one regarding the fuzzy quantification in the discourse of the analyzed public account.

  • Reference: Varas, G. & Sabaj, O. (2020). Fuzzy quantifications in the annual account of a Technology Transfer Office: rhetoric or style? Boletín de Filología, 55(1), 379-403.

    Empirical Literature on the Business Pitch: Classes, Critiques and Future Trends

    The growing importance of entrepreneurship and innovation for economic growth has propitiated a discursive genre that nowadays is almost omnipresent, i.e., the pitch. As with other emerging genres used in professional settings (e.g., selling presentations, business plans, etc.), several instructional discourses regarding the pitch have come out in the form of manuals and courses offering training on “how to make a pitch more powerful”. Empirical research, however, is less common. The aim of this paper is to qualitatively review and sort out the existing empirical research on the pitch. For this, three classifying categories are proposed according to its reception (mainly by investors), the focus on discursive features, and its evolution. Finally, some critiques to the empirical research on the pitch and a description of some future trends on the field are provided. This work may be useful for professionals interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, areas in which this emerging discourse broadly circulates.

  • Reference: Sabaj, O.; Cabezas, P; Varas, G.; González, C. & Pina-Stranger, A. (2020). Empirical Literature on the Business Pitch: Classes, Critiques and Future Trends. Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, 15(1), 55-63.

Previous research