Scientists Gaining Inspiration from Bob Dylan and the Beatles Song Titles: What Goes on in Biomedical Literature

17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ger Rijkers

Ger Rijkers

Utrecht University - University College Roosevelt

Anya Luscombe

University College Roosevelt

Carla Sloof

St. Antonius Ziekenhuis - Knowledge and Information Centre

Date Written: October 9, 2017

Abstract

Since 1990 there is a growing trend of using popular music titles in the scientific literature. We have investigated the extent to which songs written by Bob Dylan, recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for his work, and one of the most popular ‘supergroups’ of all time, The Beatles, are referred to in the title of biomedical scientific publications. The Beatles are cited more often than Bob Dylan (in 589 and 211 publications, respectively). It also appears that publications with Beatles song titles are quoted more often by others than publications with Dylan in the title. The Beatles’ greatest hit is the long and winding road for Dylan’s it’s the times they are a-changing. Most authors who use Dylan’s lyrics in their papers are from the US or Europe, while The Beatles appear have a more global impact. The study, while certainly in some sense tongue-in-cheek, does aim to find out what serious scientists hope to achieve by citing these particular pop artists, and what influence these artists’ words may be having on academia, an area beyond the traditional realm of popular culture.

Keywords: Song Titles, Biomedical Literature, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rhetoric in Music, Popular Culture, Bibliometric Analysis

Suggested Citation

Rijkers, Ger and Luscombe, Anya and Sloof, Carla, Scientists Gaining Inspiration from Bob Dylan and the Beatles Song Titles: What Goes on in Biomedical Literature (October 9, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3050226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3050226

Ger Rijkers (Contact Author)

Utrecht University - University College Roosevelt ( email )

Lange Noordstraat 1
Middelburg, 4331CB
Netherlands

Anya Luscombe

University College Roosevelt ( email )

Lange Noordstraat 1
Middelburg, 4331CB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucr.nl

Carla Sloof

St. Antonius Ziekenhuis - Knowledge and Information Centre ( email )

Netherlands

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