"The Price of Big Science: Saturation or Abundance in Scientific Publishing?"

Caroline S. Wagner and Dae Joong Kim have published "The Price of Big Science: Saturation or Abundance in Scientific Publishing?" in Policy and Complex Systems.

Here's an excerpt:

The rate of production of scientific publications appears to be continuing on an exponential growth curve against the prediction of Derek de Solla Price. (This article examines only publications, but it has been noted that scientific data (Borgman, Wallis, and Enyedy 2007) and e-Science (Hey and Trefethen 2005) are also growing phenomena, as well.) The growth of scientific publications has many possible causes, but the system itself appears to be operating efficiently. The networked nature of global science (Wagner and Leydesdorff 2005), the expansion of source materials and venues, the expansion of the practice of science to new places, the application of science to new problems (such as climate change), and the rise of China as a scientific power all may be contributing to the very rapid growth in output, increasing the complexity of the system.

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