Scholarly work is diffused among members of a discipline through a process which is essentially communicative in nature. As such, that process serves both content and relational functions, and has unintended as well as intended consequences. Beyond the transmission of scientific and scholarly information within a field, communication dynamics shape and control the sorts of information which can be diffused and accepted. This article examines this generic role of communication in the growth and development of scholarly paradigms and literatures, with particular reference to the implications of these issues for the field of communication.
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