Spikning: Kristofer Söderström – The dynamics of beamline configurations and user communities: Quantitative studies of Big Science publications

Publicerad den 10 november 2023
Kristofer Söderström spikar sin avhandling vid spikbrädan. Foto.

Kristofer Söderströms avhandling i biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, spikades 10 november 2023. Disputationen äger rum fredagen 8 december 13.00 i LUX B152. Opponent är professor Rickard Danell, Umeå universitet.

Thesis summary

In the evolving landscape of Big Science’s user-centric turn, this thesis provides insights into the role of beamlines at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Conceptualising beamlines as unique collaborative spaces, it employs quantitative techniques on scientific publication metadata to reveal how beamline configurations shape access, collaboration, and knowledge production between diverse user communities.

Drawing from over 30,000 ESRF publications from 1994-2021, this thesis employs various sample sizes across four research articles to analyse the disciplinary, collaborative, geographical, and informal processes associated with beamlines. The results reveal that beamlines attract specialised and interdisciplinary user communities based on the technological configurations of their scientific instruments. Moreover, continuous upgrades to beamline instrumentation often led to increased collaboration and participation from diverse global user communities.

Overall, the thesis emphasises beamlines as cross-disciplinary spaces fostering both specialised and interdisciplinary research. It highlights the significant, yet often overlooked, impact of beamline configurations on shaping user access and collaboration within the ESRF. Methodologically, it enriches the scientometrics toolbox through the novel application of computational techniques to publication metadata. Theoretically, it advances the understanding of user-oriented big science facilities as interconnected beamline infrastructures that adapt to serve evolving user communities.