Did you see this?
"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
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
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."
from We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research, June 13, 2010
Chronicle of Higher Education, by Mark Bauerlein, Mohamed Gad-el-Hak, Wayne Grody, Bill McKelvey, and
Stanley W. Trimble
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...