, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 875–893 | Cite as

How physics works: scientific capital in the space of physics institutions

  • Yurij L. KatchanovEmail author
  • Yulia V. Markova
  • Natalia A. Shmatko


This paper investigates the social space of physics research institutions. Scientific capital is a well-known concept for measuring and assessing the accumulated recognition and the specific scientific power developed by Pierre Bourdieu. The scientific capital of a physics research institution manifests itself as a reputation, a high-profile name in the field of physics, symbols of academic recognition, and scientific status. Using citation statistics from the Web of Science Core Collection and sociological data of dedicated survey “The Monitoring of the Labor Market for Highly Qualified R&D Personnel” we construct the social space of Russian physics institutions. The analysis reveals generalized grounds of social space of Russian physics institutions: principles of visibility and scientific capital. The study highlights internal differentiation of physics institutions on three groups (“major”, “high energy”, and “secondary” institutions). The social space of physics research institutions provides a map of field of physics in Russia. This research may be a useful starting point for developing a more comprehensive study of the field of physics.


Scientific capital Scientometrics Sociology of science Physics research institutions 

Mathematics Subject Classification

91D30 91D99 



The article was prepared within the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and supported within the framework of a subsidy by the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100”.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)MoscowRussia
  2. 2.American Association for the Advancement of ScienceWashingtonUSA

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