• Ida Illi
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen
This paper approaches scholarly communication with the perspective of social epistemology. Being a field within information science, Scholarly communication traditionally contains several theoretical approaches. For information specialists who are to guide through, structure and make information and knowledge accessible, learning about the production, usage and communication of knowledge and information is essential. Coined by Egan & Shera in 1952, the term of Social epistemology has its roots in library science. In those days, they argued that the focus of librarians and bibliographers was too narrow, contained in a specific type of communication. They recognized that a holistic understanding of communication was required for understanding specific practices of communication. Instead of focusing on the epistemology of the individual, they advocated an orientation towards social aspects. Therefore, they presented social epistemology as a field of study focusing in on the production, distribution, and utilization of intellectual products. Today, social epistemology has spread to an array of scholarly fields. In this paper it is applied in the study of scholarly communication. The central task of this paper is to study in what ways social epistemology can function as a framework within scholarly communication. In the analysis three elements of scholarly communication is looked upon in an orderly fashion: knowledge production, knowledge publication and knowledge dissemination. Provided are examples displaying how each element can be studied with a set of theoretical approaches: a system-oriented approach, a user-oriented approach and a social epistemological approach. This paper argues and concludes that information science will benefit from utilizing a social epistemological approach in the study of scholarly communication. This conclusion is drawn from the argument that social epistemology can contribute to making the approach of information sciences towards scholarly communication more theoretically grounded by acknowledging that there is no such thing as objective communication. The communication is affected by the scholarly paradigm in which it takes place, and so is any empirical results originating from the study of said communication.
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  • videnskabelig kommunikation, social epistemologi