Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2008 Jul 18;321(5887):395-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1150473.

Electronic publication and the narrowing of science and scholarship.

Author information

  • 1Department of Sociology, University of Chicago, 1126 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL60615, USA. jevans@uchicago.edu

Abstract

Online journals promise to serve more information to more dispersed audiences and are more efficiently searched and recalled. But because they are used differently than print-scientists and scholars tend to search electronically and follow hyperlinks rather than browse or peruse-electronically available journals may portend an ironic change for science. Using a database of 34 million articles, their citations (1945 to 2005), and online availability (1998 to 2005), I show that as more journal issues came online, the articles referenced tended to be more recent, fewer journals and articles were cited, and more of those citations were to fewer journals and articles. The forced browsing of print archives may have stretched scientists and scholars to anchor findings deeply into past and present scholarship. Searching online is more efficient and following hyperlinks quickly puts researchers in touch with prevailing opinion, but this may accelerate consensus and narrow the range of findings and ideas built upon.

Comment in

PMID:
18635800
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk