April 26, 2006

Algorithmization of the Sciences

A few interesting articles from the latest Communications of the ACM (v49i5)

  • Beyond the algorithmization of the sciences by Thomas A. Easton. "Algorithmic thinking is transforming both the descriptive sciences and the humanities, bringing them all closer to the mathematical core of computer science." In other words, it's computational everything these days.
  • Discovery of knowledge flow in science by Hai Zhuge.
    Recognizing and understanding knowledge flow between scientists is valuable for science. Discovering, managing, and utilizing such knowledge are advanced services of the e-science knowledge grid environment.
    Stop Presses! Computer Scientist invents citation databases! Oh, sorry, I guess that's been done already. Interesting how you can write and article like this without mentioning Web of Science, Scopus, Citeseer or Google Scholar. I hate to be dismissive of what is really a very interesting article, but this is a perfect example of a scholar who really should have visited the library somewhere along the way.
  • Is information systems a reference discipline? by Pairin Katerattanakul, Bernard Han, Alan Rea. Again this idea of computational everything. The study basically looks at citations to some core IS journals (Communications of the ACM, European Journal of Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, Information Systems Research, Information & Management, and MIS Quarterly) in non-IS fields.
    This study employs citation analysis to examine the contributions of IS knowledge—where and how often it is cited. Results from this study provide strong evidence that the IS discipline has become a reference discipline for others. That is, IS research published in IS journals is frequently cited by other disciplines, even those fields that previously served as reference disciplines for IS (such as computer science, management, and organization science). The frequent citations made from other disciplines to IS research also suggest that IS research contributes to advancing the body of scientific knowledge—as the intended purpose of publications in academic journals is to impart knowledge to others, furthering the advancement of scientific achievements.
    Interestingly enough, these guys knew to use the Social Science & Science Citation Indexes.

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