How can we strengthen the integration of findings in communication sciences?


  • Matthias Potthoff University of Münster, Department of Communication



research fragmentation, knowledge fragmentation, undiscovered public knowledge, phenomenon mapping, theory construction, theory development


Individual studies in the empirical social sciences have limited explanatory power, as they focus on particular aspects of the overarching objects of research. To explain complex communicative phenomena or describe multistep processes, individual findings need to be combined. Often, however, such an integration does not occur, and opportunities to expand the explanatory power of existing results beyond their immediate scope remain unexploited. Drawing from examples in practical research, this paper describes six metatheoretical, methodological, and context factors that explain why a higher degree of co-creation and integration remains unrealized. A good understanding of these factors can easily be translated into measures that can achieve more integration and make our results more impactful. Furthermore, the illustration of the six factors indicates where integrable findings can be found in this fragmented research landscape. The resulting recommendations are made in the hope that integrative work will be upgraded and further established as a methodological niche in the generation of insights.




How to Cite

Potthoff, M. (2023). How can we strengthen the integration of findings in communication sciences?. Studies in Communication Sciences, 23(1), 7–26.