The platformization of science: Towards a digital platform taxonomy

A long-term view analysis to identify the participation of distinct groups of actors – within State, Market and Science subsystems – in the process of science platformization

Despite the existence of studies addressing the historical development of digital platforms, none of them has yet drawn a coherent and comprehensive interpretation of the emergence of scientific digital platforms. The previous literature (i) focuses on specific scientific practices; (ii) does not reach far enough back into the past; (iii) does not cover all relevant groups of social actors; (iv) does not propose a taxonomy for scientific digital platforms; and (v) does not provide a definition for scientific digital platforms.

In this paper Victo José da Silva Neto (Radboud University) and Tulio Chiarini (CTS/IPEA) propose a long-term view (from 1990 onwards) to identify the participation of distinct groups of social actors—within State, Market and Science subsystems—in the process of science platformization. Dialoguing with the most up-to-date literature, the authors broaden the understanding of the ongoing process of platformization of the research life cycle, proposing a taxonomy and a definition for scientific digital platforms.

The evidence provided throughout the paper unveils that (i) the changes (caused by platformization) in each of the phases of the research cycle are not at all linear and are not happening simultaneously; (ii) actors from different subsystem played important roles in the platformization of science; and (iii) specific categories of platforms have consolidated themselves as infrastructures and certain scientific infrastructures have been platformed, although this varies by category.

To continue reading this article, access the full text here.