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First Year Seminar - Research Strategies (via WebEx)

Disciplinary Cultures

Discipline - "a field of study"

-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary


Every field of study has it's own unique history and set of values.  As you study in any discipline, you should pay close attention to how information structures evolved and which information sources are considered authoritative.

Some Examples:

  • Law reviews are edited by graduate students (unlike prestigious journals in any other discipline).
  • Physicists pay much closer attention to preprints (preliminary results) than any other discipline.
  • Accreditors for Nursing programs hate out-of-date material and want libraries to discard books more than 5 years old.

Books remain prestigious in disciplines like history and philosophy in which scholars present their ideas in long form.

Math and many sciences generally favor articles in peer reviewed journals.

The social sciences might go either way depending on the area of specialization.

Traditional Model - Subscriptions sold to Libraries

for example:

The Open Access Movement

Predatory Publishing