Avalance of Low-Qualtiy Research

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"Consider this tally from Science two decades ago: Only 45 percent of the articles published in the 4,500 top scientific journals were cited within the first five years after publication. In recent years, the figure seems to have dropped further. In a 2009 article in Online Information Review, Péter Jacsó found that 40.6 percent of the articles published in the top science and social-science journals (the figures do not include the humanities) were cited in the period 2002 to 2006.

As a result, instead of contributing to knowledge in various disciplines, the increasing number of low-cited publications only adds to the bulk of words and numbers to be reviewed. Even if read, many articles that are not cited by anyone would seem to contain little useful information. The avalanche of ignored research has a profoundly damaging effect on the enterprise as a whole."

This article doesn't address the effect of this on students and their choice of research to use in assignments and papers but talk about challenging! Imagine trying to tell students that half of the articles are considered low quality--often students are new to the discipline area and wouldn't have the expertise to judge low quality to high quality. Is this distinction appropriate at the major level or is this really a graduate level skill? Does anyone try to teach this spectrum? It seems like there could be a role for a databases--instead of mega databases like Academic Search Premier that go for quantity instead of quality. Thoughts...

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This page contains a single entry by katep published on June 17, 2010 11:10 AM.

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