Question: studies on the size of scientific specialties?

Steven A. Morris samorri at OKSTATE.EDU
Sun Feb 22 13:57:47 EST 2004

Does anyone out there know of any studies that try to measure the size of
"scientific specialties" in terms of either the number of members or the
number of papers?    Kuhn says something like "about 100 members, sometimes
considerably less".  Price, in "Big Science, Little Science", implies that
once a specialty gets to 100 members or so, it becomes untenable as a
community and undergoes fission into smaller communities.  Are there any
studies out there to support this?   I think Crane's book "Invisble
Colleges" implies about the same size range, without discussing size
directly.  Actually, I'm not sure there is a decent definition of "scientify
specialty" out there either, but I'm thinking in terms of a core group that
is focussed on a single narrow problem, that reads each other's papers and
whose members attend the came conferences.


S. Morris

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