January 27, 2022

Research Preprint: “Mapping Three Decades of Intellectual Change in Academia”

The preprint linked to below was recently posted on arXiv.


Mapping Three Decades of Intellectual Change in Academia


Daniel Rammage
Stanford Computer Science Department

Christopher Manning
Stanford Computer Science Department

Daniel A. McFarland
Stanford School of Education


via arXiv


Research on the development of science has focused on the creation of
multidisciplinary teams. However, while this coming together of people
is symmetrical, the ideas, methods, and vocabulary of science have a
directional flow. We present a statistical model of the text of
dissertation abstracts from 1980 to 2010, revealing for the first time
the large-scale flow of language across fields. Results of the
analysis include identifying methodological fields that export
broadly, emerging topical fields that borrow heavily and expand, and
old topical fields that grow insular and retract. Particular findings
show a growing split between molecular and ecological forms of biology
and a sea change in the humanities and social sciences driven by the
rise of gender and ethnic studies.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
15 pages; PDF.

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Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.