(Re)searching Scientific Careers. 2014
The rationale for preparing a scientific meeting and subsequent book on academic careers rests not only on the cognitive and policy relevance of this research theme but also on its neglect and underrepresentation in STS (science and technology studies).
The twofold meaning (of its title) denotes the two aims of the book. The first one is to present some relevant findings on searching for a scientific career, which has an additional connotation of a personal activity in career development. The second goal was to simultaneously present some interesting approaches and methods for researching scientific careers. In a word, both the social phenomenon and the modes of its study are the subjects of this book.
All the book chapters are empirical but theoretically well-informed and well-founded research. The qualitative studies are based on interviews, and one of them also applied participatory observation. The quantitative studies mostly use questionnaire surveys or national databases, sometimes combining them with bibliometric analyses. There are also combinations of both quantitative and qualitative methods, which have become a desirable methodological option for research into more complex social phenomena. Such methodological variety indicates that career studies might have promising reconciliatory potential, to encourage bridging the gap between the two traditional streams of STS, the hiatus between qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and their alleged critical or positivistic theoretical correlates.