The Narrowing of Scholarship

For scholars — especially scholars who like to wear pajamas — the Internet has been a godsend. It allows instant communication with colleagues around the globe, and makes tracking down published research a matter of seconds. But perhaps the greatest boon is the sheer quantity of readily accessible knowledge. Millions of journal articles are available online, enabling scholars to find material they never would have encountered at their university libraries. From classic psychology studies to the most esoteric literary theory, it’s all just a few clicks away. A recent study, however, suggests that despite this cornucopia, the boom in online research may actually have a “narrowing” effect on scholarship.  [Boston.com, 23 Nov 2008]

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