Rob Kling & Geoffrey McKim April 27, 2000 Indiana University School of Library and Information Science 10th & Jordan, Bloomington, IN 47405 USA +1 812 855 5113 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Accepted for publication in: Journal of the American Society for Information Science
The shift towards the use of electronic media in scholarly communication appears to be an inescapable imperative. However, these shifts are uneven, both with respect to field and with respect to the form of communication. Different scientific fields have developed and use distinctly different communicative forums, both in the paper and electronic arenas, and these forums play different communicative roles within the field. One common claim is that we are in the early stages of an electronic revolution, that it is only a matter of time before other fields catch up with the early adopters, and that all fields converge on a stable set of electronic forums. A social shaping of technology (SST) perspective helps us to identify important social forces – centered around disciplinary constructions of trust and of legitimate communication – that pull against convergence. This analysis concludes that communicative plurality and communicative heterogeneity are durable features of the scholarly landscape, and that we are likely to see field differences in the use of and meaning ascribed to communications forums persist, even as overall use of electronic communications technologies both in science and in society as a whole increases.
The use of electronic media to support scientific communication is one of the major shifts in the practice of
science in this era. There are other shifts in the science system, such as the rise of global science, the increasing importance of the biomedical sciences, the plateauing of support for mega-science projects... [continues]
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