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The Dynamics of Exchanges and References among Scientific Texts, and the
Autopoiesis of Discursive Knowledge 

Discursive knowledge emerges as codification in flows of communication. The
flows of communication are constrained and enabled by networks of
communications as their historical manifestations at each moment of time.
New publications modify the existing networks by changing the distributions
of attributes and relations in document sets, while the networks are
self-referentially updated along trajectories. Codification operates
reflexively: the network structures are reconstructed from the perspective
of hindsight. Codification along different axes differentiates discursive
knowledge into specialties. These intellectual control structures are
constructed bottom-up, but feed top-down back upon the production of new
knowledge. However, the forward dynamics of diffusion in the development of
the communication networks along trajectories differs from the feedback
mechanisms of control. Analysis of the development of scientific
communication in terms of evolving scientific literatures provides us with a
model which makes these evolutionary processes amenable to measurement.

Diana Lucio Arias & Loet Leydesdorff
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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