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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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Disciplines, Silos, and Webs

Disciplines, Silos, and Webs

(p.76) 5 Disciplines, Silos, and Webs
In Defense of Disciplines

Jerry A. Jacobs

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5 examines scholarly communication across fields by examining the question of whether disciplines can be viewed as isolated silos. The evidence is inconsistent with the ‘‘silo’’ framework because all fields are connected to one another to varying degrees. The chapter reviews the degree of intellectual contact between disciplines, including maps of science derived from the “Web of Knowledge” data base. The flow of particular ideas across disciplinary boundaries is tracked. Evidence on the prevalence of research focused on important social problems is presented, as are data on the ubiquity of research centers. The chapter also considers why the ‘‘silo’’ idea remains so appealing despite the considerable evidence against it.

Keywords:   silo, communication, diffusion, interdisciplinary, citation patterns, citation, reception of ideas, research on social issues

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