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The kaleidoscope of disciplinarity

The kaleidoscope of disciplinarity Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria for and definitions of disciplinarity, and how they differ between different types of literature. Design/methodology/approach – This synthesis is achieved through a purposive review of three types of literature: explicit conceptualizations of disciplinarity; narrative histories of disciplines; and operationalizations of disciplinarity. Findings – Each angle of discussing disciplinarity presents distinct criteria. However, there are a few common axes upon which conceptualizations, disciplinary narratives, and measurements revolve: communication, social features, topical coherence, and institutions. Originality/value – There is considerable ambiguity in the concept of a discipline. This is of particular concern in a heightened assessment culture, where decisions about funding and resource allocation are often discipline-dependent (or focussed exclusively on interdisciplinary endeavors). This work explores the varied nature of disciplinarity and, through synthesis of the literature, presents a framework of criteria that can be used to guide science policy makers, scientometricians, administrators, and others interested in defining, constructing, and evaluating disciplines. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

The kaleidoscope of disciplinarity

Journal of Documentation , Volume 71 (4): 20 – Jul 13, 2015

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/JD-06-2014-0082
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria for and definitions of disciplinarity, and how they differ between different types of literature. Design/methodology/approach – This synthesis is achieved through a purposive review of three types of literature: explicit conceptualizations of disciplinarity; narrative histories of disciplines; and operationalizations of disciplinarity. Findings – Each angle of discussing disciplinarity presents distinct criteria. However, there are a few common axes upon which conceptualizations, disciplinary narratives, and measurements revolve: communication, social features, topical coherence, and institutions. Originality/value – There is considerable ambiguity in the concept of a discipline. This is of particular concern in a heightened assessment culture, where decisions about funding and resource allocation are often discipline-dependent (or focussed exclusively on interdisciplinary endeavors). This work explores the varied nature of disciplinarity and, through synthesis of the literature, presents a framework of criteria that can be used to guide science policy makers, scientometricians, administrators, and others interested in defining, constructing, and evaluating disciplines.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 13, 2015

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