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Science communication research: an empirical field analysis

  • June 2020
  • Education & learning
  • Book or article
Science Communication: An Empirical Field Analysis

This first in-depth empirical analysis of the research field in science communication was conducted for the German Federal Ministry of Research. Its main parts are published openly here – without any access fees or book charges: E-book download [PDF, 1 MB].

This study of Science Communication Research (SCR) triangulates a bibliometric and content analysis of approx. 3,000 journal papers with a multi-stage panel study and a review of grey literature spanning four decades. Quantitative findings from the journal analysis (e.g. about disciplinary contexts or topics, research methods, data analysis techniques used) were considered by a panel of 36 science communication researchers in a multi-stage series of qualitative interviews. These experts represent the international and disciplinary diversity of the research field, including past and present editors of the most relevant journals of science communication, and the majority of the most often cited science communication scholars.

There are plans to conduct further deep-dives into specific aspects of this hugely comprehensive material, which includes dozens of expert interviews and thousands of publications content-analysed. For any suggestions about such specific research questions, please contact Prof. Alex Gerber, Chair of Science Communication at Rhine-Waal University.

Public resource


  • research
  • communication
  • science engagement
  • evaluation
  • theory