Knowing about the field-specific content and conditions of work in a scientific discipline is essential for the design of socio-technical systems used for the production of scientific knowledge. In the context of automated knowledge production, it remains unclear which field-specific factors influence the possibilities to distribute labour between humans and machines. This study analyses a fundamental prerequisite for the automation of research processes, namely the possibility to formalise typical actions and knowledge, with regard to its field-specific conditions. A qualitative approach is used to compare the construction of evidence in two scientific fields, textual studies and climate research. In order to systematically compare research processes and to empirically investigate correlations between the properties of a research process and the possibilities of its formalisation, a comparative framework based on the sociological concept of epistemic conditions was developed. Field-specific conditions of doing research represent an explanatory approach for variants of knowledge production and thus for variant degrees of formalised processes. Results show that the degree of codification of knowledge has a significant influence on the occurrence and on the sequence of types of action and of knowledge resources with variant degrees of formalisation. In addition, the role of personal interpretation in problem formulation and construction of empirical evidence and the degree of decomposability of a research process are decisive factors for being able to delegate actions to machines. Furthermore, the study shows that a high degree of formalisation requires informal human action to complement automated processes and that formalisability is subject to temporal dynamics during research processes.
|Advisor:||Schirmbacher , Peter , Gläser , Jochen|
|School:||Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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