There are many different corpora[1] for the English language:

However, one may want to do an analysis of the evolution of English as used in written academic works (theses, journal articles, etc.). This came apparent to me while I was trying to research usage of passive vs. active voice for this question.

So, are there any available corpora of academic works in English language?

  1. corpus: collections of written or spoken material in machine-readable form, assembled for the purpose of studying linguistic structures, frequencies, etc. [New Oxford American Dictionary]

Yes, JSTOR provides a corpus for linguistic (and other) analyses of academic literature, at JSTOR Data for Research

See this Language Log discussion of one such analysis done on that corpus.


Someone will no doubt provide a better answer for you, but here are a couple of resources that may be of interest/help/use:

"Applying corpus methods to written academic texts: Explorations of MICUSP" (Romer and Wulff, 2010).

"Looking at citations: Using corpora in English for Academic Purposes" (Thompson, 2001)


I'll self answer, because I realized just now that COCA (The Corpus of Contemporary American English) actually includes academic texts (a subpart of the corpus they refer to as COCA-Academic). It even allows one to search by section, for example restricting the search to academic works:

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(and it was right under my nose the whole time!)

  • that is usually where you'll find what you're after. – user7130 Sep 14 '13 at 11:10

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