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In Defense of DisciplinesInterdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University$
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Jerry A. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226069296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226069463.001.0001

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Specialization, Synthesis, and the Proliferation of Journals

Specialization, Synthesis, and the Proliferation of Journals

(p.54) 4 Specialization, Synthesis, and the Proliferation of Journals
In Defense of Disciplines

Jerry A. Jacobs

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 emphasizes the unavoidable need for specialization by focusing on the size and rapid growth of new research and scholarship. Approaching scholarly communication from the point of view of research journals, the chapter reports on an analysis of 789 new academic journals founded in the year 2008. A typology of six different approaches to interdisciplinary publishing is presented, including a paradoxical category, “specialized interdisciplinarity.” This term refers to fields that cut across traditional disciplinary lines but do so in a focused and targeted manner. Chapter 4 also discusses forces that pull in the direction of intellectual synthesis, and thus serve to balance the tendencies toward specialization.

Keywords:   scholarly journal, interdisciplinary journal, division of labor, social issues research, knowledge, growth of knowledge, specialization, information, information overload, academic communication

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