Exploring Intellectual Network Structure of an Interdisciplinary Research Community: A Case Study of Taiwan's STS Community

Da-Yu Yuan, Muh-Chyun Tang
2010 Journal of Library and Information Studies  
Applying methods in bibliometrics and social network analysis (SNA), the paper sets out to examine interdisciplinary knowledge transfer and synthesis of the Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS) community in Taiwan. Based on 61 STS members' journal articles, the researcher created two relational matrices to represent the intellectual structure of the community, one through bibliometric coupling technique; the other, author co-citation technique. By applying several SNA techniques, we
more » ... e able to analyze the intellectual configuration of STS community across different disciplinary boundaries. Research findings show that the network connection density tends to be low and that there are several central figures exerting greater influence on network cohesion. Based on actors' "structural equivalence", the network was divided into 7 to 8 subgroups that occupy different structural positions in the network. The within- and between- subgroup connection was further analyzed. The findings suggest that the network is woven on the basis of research topics and issues instead of disciplines. The connection among sub-groups points to the existence of knowledge redundancy, which could be critical in maintaining network cohesion in a heterogeneous community. (Article content in Chinese with English extended abstract)
doi:10.6182/jlis.2010.8(2).125 doaj:a9e01081fa3d4e34b17dfcfb38c63186 fatcat:zibk5ssagnelrcvcaannxmsyqy