In contrast to conventional closed research networks, the evolution of Web 2.0 opens up new forms of communication across the boundaries of hierarchies and disciplines and also allows (partially) the participation of the general public. This gives rise to new options of communication and self-projection. It is still unclear whether conventions and unwritten rules for these new communication situations have evolved already and if the violation of such conventions of communication can lead to (social) sanctions.
The boundaries between the various social roles of a person as researcher versus as a private person (in the sense of “online personae” according to Ranzini & Fieseler) are increasingly blurred. Services such as Twitter can be used for scholarly as well as private communication. Social networks such as Facebook render private information about individual researchers visible to anyone (beyond the usual CV).
The project orients itself on the following research questions (exemplary incomplete listing):