The March of Paradigms

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Science  26 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5410, pp. 1998-1999
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5410.1998

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Use of the expression "new paradigm" in the scientific literature has been growing steadily throughout the 1990s; last year alone, 124 papers in leading journals invoked the term in their titles or abstracts. Yet according to an analysis by the Institute for Scientific Information, most of these papers seem to have little impact: Those using the term were cited less often, on average, than those that avoided it. Some say that the rise of new paradigms is linked to the increasing specialization of science; others say the term is used to attract attention and funding.