Home > ResourceBlog > Article

« All ResourceBlog Articles

 

Feed

Saturday, 29th November 2008

Group think: The turn to online research is narrowing the range of modern scholarship, a new study suggests

Group think: The turn to online research is narrowing the range of modern scholarship, a new study suggests

But perhaps the greatest boon is the sheer quantity of readily accessible knowledge. Millions of journal articles are available online, enabling scholars to find material they never would have encountered at their university libraries. From classic psychology studies to the most esoteric literary theory, it's all just a few clicks away.

A recent study, however, suggests that despite this cornucopia, the boom in online research may actually have a "narrowing" effect on scholarship. James Evans, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, analyzed a database of 34 million articles in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and determined that as more journal issues came online, new papers referenced a relatively smaller pool of articles, which tended to be more recent, at the expense of older and more obscure work. Overall, Evans says, published research has expanded, due to a proliferation of journals, authors, and conferences. But the paper, which appeared in July in the journal Science, concludes that the Internet's influence is to tighten consensus, posing the risk that good ideas may be ignored and lost - the opposite of the Internet's promise.

"Winners are inadvertently picked," says Evans. "It drives out diversity."

Source: Boston.com


Category:




« All ResourceBlog Articles






 

 
 
 

Article Categories

All Article Categories »

Archive

All Archives »