Analysis: Science used to be simpler

January 5, 2013

I guess most people have a feeling that life used to be simpler in the past. The other day it occurred to me that we researchers very often talk about how advanced our methods are, although simple methods are in many cases preferable.

So this morning I resorted to my usual strategy for analyzing such things, namely counting in Medline. More specifically I calculated for each year the percentage of publication titles that contain the words “simple” and “advanced”, respectively. In the plot below, the dots show the values for each year and the lines show five-year running averages thereof (click for PDF version):


As can be clearly seen, life as a researcher was indeed simpler in the 50s and 60s.

About these ads

3 Responses to “Analysis: Science used to be simpler”

  1. […] Analysis: Science used to be simpler […]

  2. And you may want to look at the whole printed English corpus over the same period to control if it is a general trend or it is specific for Medline publications (it seems so).

  3. billytsalvo Says:

    I have read several just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,211 other followers

%d bloggers like this: