Mandatory Genres: The Case of European Public Assessment Report (EPAR) Summaries

Inger Askehave, Karen Korning Zethsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of this article is to consider the nature of mandatory genres (legally regulated genres) emanating from European Union directives and point to the challenges which such genres pose due to their legal origin and complex text production and text reception processes. Taking its point of departure in one of the most recent mandatory genres within an EU medicinal assessment and approval context (the European Public Assessment Report [EPAR] summary) the article presents the results of an empirical study of 15 EU approved, Danish EPAR summaries, testing whether the respondents believe the EPAR summaries live up to their declared purpose. The article concludes that the majority of the respondents do not think the EPAR summary fulfils its communicative purposes of providing information about The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use's review and recommendation of the product and providing information which is understandable and useful to laypersons, respectively. The article points to some of the reasons why, in spite of careful preparation, and extensive guidelines prior to its ‘launch' into the discourse community, the EPAR summary apparently fails to fulfil its communicative purposes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalText & Talk
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)167-191
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

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