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Differences by discipline

When it comes to publishing, differences between disciplines are mostly focused on the importance of internal communication and collaboration within that discipline. Whereas within the humanities 62 percent of scholars do research alone, that is the case with only 5 percent of researchers within the health sciences*.

In the latter discipline, the majority of scholars work together in groups, which is also the case in other life and physical sciences such as mathematics, chemistry and technology. This difference in the extent of collaboration and the extent of dependence on results from fellow scholars has as a result that the role and forms of publishing also differ. 

In disciplines where communication and collaboration are essential, for example, it is much more important that research results be made public as soon as possible. The impact of a movement like open access is much greater here than in disciplines where research is more individual and less time bound.


* Sanna Talja, Pertti Vakkari, Jenny Fry & Paul Wouters 2007, "Impact of research cultures on the use of digital library resources", Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol. 58, no. 11, pp. 1674.