Scientific publications are becoming less “disruptive”: Editorials


Two recent articles in Nature and the Atlantic respond to a study on the drop in “disruptive” science in scientific publications. Max Kozlov for Nature writes that the US-based study found a drop in the disruptiveness of science and technology research papers; research done in the 2000s, compared with mid-twentieth-century research, was less likely to veer in a new direction. Kozlov discusses some potential reasons behind this shift, including author concerns about citations and the fact that researchers are now in a more competitive environment. In an article in The Atlantic, Derek Thompson questions whether “America is running out of new ideas” and discusses his theories on the reasons behind the change. Thompson notes that many papers are designed to advance careers rather than knowledge, and questions if disruptive science is becoming less productive.

Nature | The Atlantic