We use a trading metaphor to study knowledge transfer in the sciences as well as the social sciences. The metaphor comprises four dimensions: (a) Discipline Self-dependence, (b) Knowledge Exports/Imports, (c) Scientific Trading Dynamics, and (d) Scientific Trading Impact. This framework is applied to a dataset of 221 Web of Science subject categories.
We find that:
(i) the Scientific Trading Impact and Dynamics of materials science and transportation science have increased;
(ii) biomedical disciplines, physics, and mathematics are significant knowledge exporters, as is statistics and probability;
(iii) in the social sciences, economics, business, psychology, management, and sociology are important knowledge exporters; and
(iv) Discipline Self-dependence is associated with specialized domains which have ties to professional practice (e.g., law, ophthalmology, dentistry, oral surgery and medicine, psychology, psychoanalysis, veterinary sciences, and nursing).
“We developed a set of concepts to describe scientific trading. Using these concepts, we fashioned a framework comprising four dimensions: (a) Discipline Self-dependence, (b) Exports/Imports, (c) Scientific Trading Dynamics, and (d) Scientific Trading Impact. This framework enabled us to develop a unique, data-rich bird’s-eye view of trends in knowledge trading between disciplines and fields. Our study reveals the permeability and self-sufficiency of different scientific and social scientific disci-plines. The findings should stimulate further research into the nature and dynamics of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and also help inform science policy making.
A bird’s-eye view of scientific trading: Dependency relations among fields of science Erjia Yan, Ying Ding, Blaise Cronin, Loet Leydesdorff
Journal of Informetrics 7 (2013) 249– 264
knowledge transfer and impact
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