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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, Issue 4, 2019

Ilya T. Kasavin
Pages 29-36

The Gift Illusion
How Networks Turn Selfless Knowledge Sharing into Obsessive Crowdsourcing

The epitome of modern scientific infrastructure and distributed knowledge systems is scientific social networks (NSS). Their number, as well as the number of their users, is constantly growing and reaches millions. They are in demand, and, therefore, perform significant social functions. It is still unclear what their own nature is, what their functions are and how they perform and, finally, what are the consequences of their integration with the social institute of science. Along with the obvious advantages, the NSS creates clear cultural dissonances and challenges that change the usual ways of communication. There is already enough evidence that the NSS not only bring about positive change, but also face rejection. Science policy, the scientist's moral code, the scientific citation and evaluation systems are all affected by the activities of the NSS and become an important subject matter of science and technology studies (STS). This text is a response to the article “Social Networks for Researchers on the Internet: A New Sociality?” by S.V. Shibarshina.

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