Identifying Sleeping Beauties in the Lore of Regional Science
16 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018
Date Written: July 16, 2015
Over the last several decades the scientific world has seen an unprecedented growth in new knowledge, accompanied by an explosive growth in scholarly literature published in a rising number of journals. Conventional wisdom tells us that the new knowledge is built on top of current knowledge, which in turn traces its origins to older knowledge. However, this linear view of knowledge growth, studied typically with citation analysis, may not be universal. Many of us have heard or known of a significant scientific idea that was not recognized at the time it was discovered/invented and published; rather it lays dormant for an unspecified period of time till it was rediscovered much later for its contribution in the creation of valuable new knowledge. Such scholarly work with delayed recognition has been euphemistically referred to as “sleeping beauties” that were discovered by “waking princes” (new scholarly work). In this paper, we propose to study whether the field of regional science/economics has these so- called “sleeping beauties”; who, why and how long they laid in deep sleep; when and where they were rediscovered by “waking princes”: in brief, the dynamics behind the existence and delayed recognition of dormant but influential knowledge.
Keywords: Delayed Recognition, Sleeping Beauties, Knowledge creation
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