Science & Technology Studies

Guest Editors
Helena Karasti, Florence Millerand, Christine M. Hine, Geoffrey C. Bowker

In recent decades we have witnessed important changes in research and knowledge production. Whether these changes are promoted as a transformative force enabling new forms of investigation or perceived as buttressing existing forms of research, they are associated with developments in information technologies and infrastructures. These developments aim to pull people together, supporting distributed collaboration or facilitating new joint activities and endeavors across domains, fields, institutions, and geographies. They offer new opportunities for the sharing and connecting of information and resources – data, code, publications, computing power, laboratories, instruments, and major equipment. They often bring together a diversity of actors, organizations and perspectives from, for instance, academia, industry, business, and general public. The social, material, technical, and political relations of research and knowledge production are changing through digitalization of data, communication and collaboration, virtualization of research communities and networks, and infrastructuring of underlying systems, structures and services. These emerging phenomena participate in ongoing transitions in the scholarly arena, and in society in general: traditional ways of doing research may be challenged and knowledge production may become more distributed and broader in participants. These phenomena have been cast under several labels such as big science, data-driven science, networked science, open science, Digital Humanities, and science 2.0. Other terms used are: e-Science, e-Social Science, e-Research, e-Infrastructure, and cyberinfrastructure.

The aim of this first special issue on the topic of knowledge infrastructures in an STS journal is to take stock of existing research and chart new directions. For taking stock our scope is inclusive. We are open to investigations of knowledge infrastructures of all disciplines and research fields, from all theoretical and methodological perspectives, from all geographical locations. We also solicit studies of knowledge infrastructures that are not limited to scholarly knowledge production, but address, for instance citizen science, ‘hacker science’, as well as studies that address emerging forms of knowledge production, for instance open science and research 2.0, or studies that explore knowledge infrastructures in commercial or public services domains. To be able to chart new directions we encourage papers that clearly focus on knowledge infrastructures and contribute to furthering our understanding of infrastructures for research and knowledge production.

This special issue seeks articles that help the STS field to understand complex issues involved with knowledge infrastructures for research and knowledge production. We encourage empirical, conceptual, theoretical, and methodological contributions.

Submission date: October 19, 2014

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