Disruption, Disruptors and Disruptiveness of Scholarly Communication: An Actor-Network Theory Approach





scholarly communication, actor-network theory, text mining, disruption


The rise of Open Access, the increasing pace of scientific work, the serial crisis and the need for interdisciplinary research are just some examples of the current disruptions of traditional scholarly communication. As publishing is a significant practice for distributing scientific knowledge and therefor for academic knowledge management, an understanding of the current disruptions in the field is necessary for the future development and maintenance of the system. The paper presents a conceptualization of disruptions drawing from Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory with reference to current understandings of disruption. The aim of the research is the identification and mapping of current disruptions, their disruptors and the disruptiveness in scholarly communication in the field of economic and social sciences by analyzing scientific editorials. Therefore, a short overview about previous analyses of scientific editorials is presented. For the sampling of editorials, a systematic literature search was conducted using Web of Science, followed by an application and comparison of Text Mining operations using R. Afterwards an in-depth investigation of the disruptors as source of disruption and disruptiveness as potential of disruption will be following using qualitative content analysis. The insights of this research will be helpful for anticipating and overcoming the current disruptions as well as for identifying and dealing with future disruptions in the field.

Author Biographies

Alina Praun, Technische Universität Dresden

Disruption and Societal Change Center (TUDiSC)

Anna Cunningham, Technische Universität Dresden

Disruption and Societal Change Center

Martina Pieperhoff, Technische Universität Dresden

Faculty of Business and Economics