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IS DISRUPTION DECREASING, OR IS IT ACCELERATING?

    https://doi.org/10.1142/S0219525923500066Cited by:2 (Source: Crossref)

    A recent highly publicized study [Park, M., Leahey, E. and Funk, R. J., Papers and patents are becoming less disruptive over time, Nature613 (2023) 138–144] claiming that science has become less disruptive over recent decades represents an extraordinary achievement but with deceptive results. The measure of disruption, CD5, in this study does not account for differences in citation amid decades of exponential growth in publication rate. In order to account for both the exponential growth as well as the differential impact of research works over time, here we apply a weighted disruption index to the same dataset. We find that, among research papers in the dataset, this weighted disruption index has been close to its expected neutral value over the last fifty years and has even increased modestly since 2000. We also show how the proportional decrease in unique words is expected in an exponentially growing corpus. Finding little evidence for recent decrease in disruption, we suggest that it is actually increasing. Future research should investigate improved definitions of disruption.

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