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What is group? How should it be defined?

As any other term referring to social agents of scientific change, group deserves a proper definition.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Nicholas Overgaard in 2016. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Group (Overgaard-2017) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term. It is defined as: "Two or more people who share any characteristic."

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this term (it includes all the instances when the term was accepted as a part of a community's taxonomy):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy19 May 2017The question became accepted with the publication of Overgaard's A Taxonomy for Social Agents of Scientific Change.Yes

All Theories

The following definitions of the term have been suggested:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Group (Overgaard-2017)Two or more people who share any characteristic.2017
If a definition of this term is missing, please click here to add it.

Accepted Theories

The following definitions of the term have been accepted:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyGroup (Overgaard-2017)2 February 2018

Suggested Modifications

Here is a list of modifications concerning this term:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2017-0012Scientonomy19 May 2017Accept a new taxonomy for group and its two sub-types - accidental group, and community.AcceptedA consensus has emerged after a long discussion that the distinction and the respective definitions should be accepted. It was noted that "these formulations tend to be the starting point for so many of our discussions"c1 and that "despite all disagreements that this taxonomy causes, it is actually accepted by the community".c2 Yet, it was also indicated that whereas the definition of group as "two or more people that share a characteristic" is the best we have at the moment, it may be potentially necessary to pursue the idea of redefining it as "one or more people..." to allow for one-scientist communities.c3 Finally, while a question was raised whether there is any "value in defining accidental groups as something separate from groups",c4 it was eventually agreed that it is important to draw "a clear distinction between the two kinds of groups as accidental groups and communities".c52 February 2018

Current Definition

In Scientonomy, the accepted definition of the term is Group (Overgaard-2017).

Group (Overgaard-2017) states: "Two or more people who share any characteristic."

Group (Overgaard-2017).png

In Overgaard's taxonomy, the term group refers to the most basic societal entity - a set of two or more people. As such, it is meant to play the role of the most abstract class which has two sub-classes - community and accidental group.1



There is currently no accepted view concerning the existence of groups.


No classes are currently accepted as being disjoint with this class.


No classes are currently accepted as subtypes of a group.


No classes are currently accepted as supertypes of a group.


No associations of a group are currently accepted.

If a question concerning the ontology of a group is missing, please add it here.


If a question concerning the dynamics of a group is missing, please add it here.

Related Topics

This term is also related to the following topic(s):


  1. ^  Overgaard, Nicholas. (2017) A Taxonomy for the Social Agents of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 1, 55-62. Retrieved from