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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Making sense in the flood. How to cope with the massive flow of digital information in medical ethics

Giovanni Spitale published a new paper on the (over)proliferation of academic publications and the impossibility of keeping the pace with new literature. The article discusses the issue and presents a set of easily usable methodological strategies to cope with the flood. 

Scientific publications have become the currency of Academia, hence the concept of ‘publish or perish’. But there are consequences: the amount of existing literature and its proliferation rate have reached the point where keeping pace is just impossible. If this is true in general, it becomes a huge issue in interdisciplinary fields such as bioethics where knowing the state of the art in more than one single discipline is a concrete necessity. If we accept the idea of building new science on an exhaustive comprehension of existing knowledge, a radical change is needed. Smart iterative search strategies, frequency analysis and text mining, techniques described in this paper, can't be a long run solution. But they might serve as a useful coping strategy.

Publications' proliferation, Text mining, Search strategies, Information extraction, Topic tracking, Information science, Information systems management, Information technology, Content analysis, Data mining, Knowledge representation, Information management

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