nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒09
one paper chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Gift and Open Science By Henrik Egbert

  1. By: Henrik Egbert (Anhalt University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: This short note illustrates how social structures and behavior of scientists in the societal sub-system of open science resemble patterns analyzed in the Gift, an essay written by Marcel Mauss nearly 100 years ago. The presented analysis goes beyond existing interpretations of gift giving in science. The latter has mainly focused on the exchange of knowledge and citations. I argue that the Gift explains also identity, competition, co-opetition, rituals, and punishment. Mauss’s Gift is seen as a complementary model to existing economic and sociological approaches regularly used to analyze structures and behavior in open science. By accentuating such an anthropological approach, I conclude that the Gift provides explanations of the stability and the expansion of the open science community.
    Keywords: open science; scientific competition; gift; Marcel Mauss; reciprocity; anthropology of open science
    JEL: A12 A14 Z11 Z13
    Date: 2018–04

This nep-sog issue is ©2018 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.