Interdisciplinarity and insularity in the diffusion of knowledge: an analysis of disciplinary boundaries between philosophy of science and the sciences
John McLevey (),
Alexander V. Graham (),
Reid McIlroy-Young (),
Pierson Browne () and
Kathryn S. Plaisance ()
Additional contact information
John McLevey: University of Waterloo
Alexander V. Graham: University of Waterloo
Reid McIlroy-Young: University of Chicago
Pierson Browne: University of Waterloo
Kathryn S. Plaisance: University of Waterloo
Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 117, issue 1, 331-349
Abstract Two fundamentally different perspectives on knowledge diffusion dominate debates about academic disciplines. On the one hand, critics of disciplinary research and education have argued that disciplines are isolated silos, within which specialists pursue inward-looking and increasingly narrow research agendas. On the other hand, critics of the silo argument have demonstrated that researchers constantly import and export ideas across disciplinary boundaries. These perspectives have different implications for how knowledge diffuses, how intellectuals gain and lose status within their disciplines, and how intellectual reputations evolve within and across disciplines. We argue that highly general claims about the nature of disciplinary boundaries are counterproductive, and that research on the nature of specific disciplinary boundaries is more useful. To that end, this paper uses a novel publication and citation network dataset and statistical models of citation networks to test hypotheses about the boundaries between philosophy of science and 11 disciplinary clusters. Specifically, we test hypotheses about whether engaging with and being cited by scientific communities outside philosophy of science has an impact on one’s position within philosophy of science. Our results suggest that philosophers of science produce interdisciplinary scholarship, but they tend not to cite work by other philosophers when it is published in journals outside of their discipline. Furthermore, net of other factors, receiving citations from other disciplines has no meaningful impact—positive or negative—on citations within philosophy of science. We conclude by considering this evidence for simultaneous interdisciplinarity and insularity in terms of scientific trading theory and other work on disciplinary boundaries and communication.
Keywords: Disciplines; Intellectual networks; Exponential random graph models; Diffusion; Citations; Sociology of science; Science of science; Philosophy of science (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11192-018-2866-8 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:scient:v:117:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2866-8
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Scientometrics is currently edited by Wolfgang Glänzel
More articles in Scientometrics from Springer, Akadémiai Kiadó
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().