Stephan Gauch: The Ironic Becomings of Reflexivity – The Case of Citation Theory in Bibliometrics. [Abstract]

An attempt to capture the meaning of the term reflexive is incompletable. Rather than thinking of reflexivity as something fixed, it may be more productive to think of reflexivity as a process of becoming. Based on a conceptual framework inspired by Deleuze, the following contribution addresses notions of reflexivity between sociology and bibliometrics from a perspective of reflexive bibliometrics by a partial reconstruction, or, more precisely, a reconstructive rereading of the history of citation theory. I argue that following the procedural heuristic I will propose may be productive by neither framing reflexivity as an issue of static being of a discipline by asking “How reflexive are we?”, nor an imperative of “We should be more reflexive!” but rather by asking “How and why do we want to become more reflexive by seeking connections to different perspectives?”. Finally, I will discuss the potential of irony as a distancing function complementary to objectivity when applying the framework to your own discipline.

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