This article addresses the invisible college concept with the intent of developing a consensus regarding its defin- ition. Emphasis is placed on the term as it was defined and used in Derek de Solla Price’s work (1963, 1986) and reviewed on the basis of its thematic progress in past research over the years. Special attention is given to Lievrouw’s (1990) article concerning the structure versus social process problem to show that both condi- tions are essential to the invisible college and may be reconciled. A new definition of the invisible college is also introduced, including a proposed research model. With this model, researchers are encouraged to study the invisible college by focusing on three critical components—the subject specialty, the scientists as so- cial actors, and the information use environment (IUE).
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