Communities of Scholars and Mixed Methods Research: Relationships Among Fields and Researchers
Keywords:methods, research communities, citation network analysis, knowledge circulation
In this paper I explore processes of knowledge production and circulation within a specific research community: the self-identified community of mixed methods scholars—i.e., the group of researchers adopting a mixed methods approach and using the label mixed methods—during the phase of its emergence and institutionalization. I focus on citations within this community, considering that the act of citing is linked to the intention of scholars to position their work not only within a research area but also within a community contributing to that specific area. I employed strategies from citation network analysis (CNA) to understand the fields involved, as well as the structure of the community in relation to citation practices. I identified the most common subjects and methodological fields in which mixed methods are mentioned by isolating sub-communities and the most influential authors in the network. I discuss the implications of this network structure with regard to power relations and hegemony. This also includes the function of nodes which appear to be marginal, but are relevant in citation practices since these authors play a bridging role across the various sub-communities.
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