The Social Shaping of the Scholarly Communication System in Mongolia

Volume 07, Issue 4

The adoption of electronic methods dominates the modern discussion of the scholarly communication process. What is often overlooked in this discussion, however, is how the scholarly communication process is constructed, with researchers, patrons, and librarians negotiating over how to finance and package the distribution of research findings. The constructed nature of the scholarly communication process calls into question the dominant theme in the literature that all disciplines across all cultures will eventually converge on a common set of scholarly communication practices. It stands to reason that the scholarly communication process is likely to look quite different in a developed country, where networked technology is widely available and where scholars and their patrons see value in their intellectual property, than in a developing country, where networked technology is less prevalent and financial constraints play an outsized role. And while there have been a number of investigations of the use of electronic scholarly communication methods in specific developing countries that address differences in the availability of resources, there has been an absence of discussion of electronic scholarly communication methods in developing countries from the perspective of social shaping of technology where the interaction process across actors and with technology is highlighted. In this article we investigate the constructed nature of the electronic scholarly communication process in Mongolia and identify some of the social and economic forces that are shaping it.

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