Paths, Spaces, and Networks: On the interaction between physical, virtual and cognitive mobility in knowledge production (InterMo)

Start of the project: 2022-Jan-01 - End of the project: 2024-Dec-31

The science system is in a state of transition. Not only does the progressing digital transformation of scholarly practices lead to novel research dynamics, accelerating communication and exchange. Also, a trend towards team science, transcending discipline oriented knowledge production, demands new forms cooperation.

These emerging new practices of collaboration also change the mobility of researchers. How mobility within the science system is conceived and practiced has also been disrupted by the recent pandemic, making travelling and physical exchange almost impossible in recent years. Against that background, the concept of scientific mobility needs to be re- evaluated and re-interpreted. While much research focused on physical mobility and its effects on scholarly performance, little is known about how researchers find and change their ideas and topics over their academic career and how such cognitive mobility is enforced or irritated by virtual forms of mobility, that is, digital technologies supporting exchange and collaboration.

It is the goal of the project to reflect the changing concept of scientific mobility and to define it a new in the context of digital transformation. The project explores, how different forms of scientific mobility relate to each other and how they may shape or are influenced by different modes of knowledge production.

The project addresses these questions by relying on a wide range of different methods, combining a novel bibliometric approach for exploring the relationship between physical and cognitive mobility with elements of qualitative ethnographic methods as well as survey based research. The project intends to generate practical impulses for policy makers and stakeholders in the realm of scientific mobility based on a differentiated understanding of what mobility of scholarly knowledge may mean in a globalized and digitally accelerated world.

Contact person

Clemens Blümel
Clemens Blümel +49 30 2064177-31


Paul Donner Gregor Fabian Dr. Nicolai Netz Nathalie Schwichtenberg Dr. Stephan Stahlschmidt

Funded by

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung