, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 451–470 | Cite as

Disciplinary Networks and Bounding: Scientific Communication Between Science and Technology Studies and the History of Science

  • Frédéric Vandermoere
  • Raf Vanderstraeten


This article examines the communication networks within and between science and technology studies (STS) and the history of science. In particular, journal relatedness data are used to analyze some of the structural features of their disciplinary identities and relationships. The results first show that, although the history of science is more than half a century older than STS, the size of the STS network is more than twice that of the history of science network. Further, while a majority of the journals in the STS network are connected by weak ties, about half of the history of science network consists of strong ties. The history of science network is thus more cohesive than the STS network. The relatively strong cohesion within the history of science network is associated with comparatively high degrees of intra-disciplinary communication, but comparatively weak ties to only a few related disciplines. The analysis also shows that very few members of the history of science cliques are situated on the shortest path between both specialties. Moreover, given the relatively impermeable nature of the history of science network, the latter partially depends on STS to reach some of the neighboring disciplines.


Disciplinary networks Scientific communication Science and technology studies History of science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Antwerp, OASeSAntwerpenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of SociologyCenter for Social Theory, Ghent UniversityGentBelgium

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