The dynamics of beamline configurations and user communities: Quantitative studies of Big Science publications

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (sammanläggning)

125 Nedladdningar (Pure)


This thesis examines the role of beamlines with publication metadata from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF a large scientific facility offering diverse conditions for scientific research. As a user-oriented Big Science facility, the ESRF channels extremely brilliant light into different experimental areas called beamlines that house specific instruments that cater to the needs of diverse user communities. These beamlines are conceptualized as spaces where diverse scientific communities interact, share, and produce knowledge, drawing mainly from Derek de Solla Price’s concept of instrumentalities and the works of Susan Leigh Star, Geoffrey C. Bowker, and Karen Ruhleder on infrastructure theory and boundary objects.

With the beamline as the unit of analysis, emphasising its scientific, technical, and social configurations, diverse computational techniques are applied to bibliometric metadata in four individual research articles to analyse and understand the relationship between the configuration of the beamline and their user communities. The four articles employ computational and bibliometric techniques to map the disciplinary, collaborative, geographical, and process dynamics surrounding ESRF’s beamlines. The results reveal that beamlines foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among user communities. Furthermore, beamlines serve as collaborative hubs in user facilities like the ESRF, offering a space for diverse user communities to engage with in-house scientists (beamline scientists and/or technicians). While some beamlines cater to specific scientific domains, others are—or become—adaptable across disciplines.

The study emphasises that beamlines are not solely individual instruments but integral parts of a larger infrastructure for interdisciplinary research. Their technological configuration remains pivotal in shaping access and collaboration patterns amongst user communities, thus enabling specialised and interdisciplinary research. Furthermore, their evolution, including automation and remote access, have expanded the reach of beamlines.  
Tilldelande institution
  • Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper
  • Åström, Fredrik, handledare
  • Hallonsten, Olof, handledare
  • Snickars, Pelle, handledare
Tilldelningsdatum2023 dec. 8
ISBN (tryckt)978-91-987325-4-2
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-91-987325-5-9
StatusPublished - 2023 okt. 9

Bibliografisk information

Defence details
Date: 2023-12-08
Time: 13:00
Place: B152, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund.
External reviewer
Name: Danell, Rickard
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Umeå universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
  • Kulturstudier


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