Science and technology studies: exploring the knowledge base

DIME Final conference. 6-8 Abril 2011
One of a number of new research fields to emerge over the last four or five decades is Science and Technology Studies (STS). This paper attempts to identify the core contributions to this emerging field. Following the methodology developed by Fagerberg and Sapprasert (2010) in their parallel study of Innovation Studies, it adopts the perspective of the authors of individual chapters in a number of authoritative ?handbooks?, analysing the references cited by these authors. The assumption is that these authors will collectively have been reasonably systematic and comprehensive in their efforts to identify the core contributions to the field of STS. The study analyses those publications that have been most highly cited by the handbook authors, examining the content of those core publications and what they reveal about the various phases in the development of STS, as well as identifying the most prominent authors and the institutions in which they are based. In the second part of the empirical study, we analyse the ?users? of the STS core contributions ? in other words, the authors that have cited these contributions in their own work. This includes looking at the research fields of the users, the journals in which they publish, and their geographical location. The paper concludes with some comparisons between STS and the fields of Innovation Studies and Entrepreneurship, in particular with regard to the role of ?institution builders? in helping to develop a new research field.
Maastricht, Holanda