Discourse community

Swales (1990) found that a discourse community

"Communities of practice", "Speech community",  "epistemic community"; "intellectual community" and "thought collective" may be considered near synonymous concepts.


"Thought collective" was a term introduced by Ludwig Fleck, by many seen as a forerunner of Thomas Kuhn. Fleck's theory is interesting from an information science point of view because he considered the role of different kinds of documents as well as the interaction between the scientific community and the broader society.




Fleck, L. (1935/1979). Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Originally published in German in 1935).


Smith, M. & Kollock, P. (Eds). (1998). Communities in Cyberspace. London: Routledge.

Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis. English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


See also: Communities of practice;  Domain; Disciplinarity/Interdisciplinarity



Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 17-06-2006