Positional paper published in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, part of the research programme #xcol – Experimental collaborations
Experimental collaborations: An invocation for the redistribution of social research
(co-written with Adolfo Estalella)
Abstract: This positional paper argues in favour of a research program for the exploration of experimental collaborations, a methodological approach whose epistemic engagement with the empirical work is experimental and whose relational mode is collaborative. Digital technologies have effected a process of redistribution of social science research by which non-experts and lay people are increasingly using and developing tools for the production of sociological knowledge. Under these circumstances we argue that such a redistribution of social science research is an opportunity to renew the epistemic practices of social scientists. With the proposal of experimental collaborations we invoke a twofold displacement for social research: From a merely observational to an experimental mode or research; and from individualistic or merely engaged conceptions of research to a collective exploration of problems yet unknown.
Keywords: experimental collaborations, redistribution of methods, experimentation, collaboration, co-production of science, hybrid institutions, devices, methods, methodology, Internet