While the role of physical or spatial mobility in academic careers is an established research topic, the context for mobilities in the academic field has changed significantly in recent years, not least due to international and transdisciplinary interconnectedness and competition as well as the digital transformation of research. Particularly in the context of the recent pandemic, physical mobility was almost impossible. The role and context of mobility must therefore be re evaluated and examined.
In addition to physical or spatial mobility, processes of virtual and cognitive mobility are coming into focus. Cognitive mobility – conceived as the individual transition from one position to another in a knowledge space over time – may occur when researchers move from one discipline or subject area to another. Though these practices are strongly advocated by policy-makers and funding agencies, research on cognitive mobility is still rather fragmented. The cognitive dimensions of research have been explored in the context of peer review and evaluation, and attempts have been made in the sociology of science to understand how novel
topics and fields in the sciences emerge and consolidate. However, few efforts were made to more systematically understand effects and dynamics of cognitive
mobility both on the individual and the institutional level.
Given the difficulty of realising physical co-presence in recent years, it appears timely to reflect on the social, technological, and cultural conditions of cognitive
mobility. Research in the field of social network analysis emphasizes the role of collaboration structures for finding new ideas. Yet, how does the digital transformation affect these collaborative dynamics? And how do these changes in collaboration affect cognitive mobility? Does spatial mobility between national higher education and science systems create necessities or opportunity structures for cognitive mobility?
We welcome contributions from different disciplinary backgrounds on cognitive mobility, both conceptional and empirical. We are also interested in contributions
focusing on the interplay between cognitive and spatial or virtual mobility. Moreover, presentations of newly available data and methods in research on mobilities are welcome. Possible questions are, but are not limited to:
▪ How can cognitive mobility be conceptualized, measured, and analysed in
connection with other mobilities?
▪ What determines cognitive mobility of academics throughout their careers?
▪ Which challenges are associated with cognitive mobility – whether in connection with other mobilities or not.
More information can be found here. The submission deadline ends on September 30th.