Why do scholars cite the New York Times so much? The New York Times as a resource for Mode 2 knowledge

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

Abstract

The New York Times receives more citations from academic journals than the American Sociological Review, Research Policy, or the Harvard Law Review. This paper explores the reasons why scholars cite the New York Times so much. Reasons include studying the newspaper itself or New York City, establishing public interest in a topic by referencing press coverage, introducing specificity, and treating the New York Times very much like an academic journal. The phenomenon seems to reflect a Mode 2 type of scholarship produced in the context of application, organizationally diverse, socially accountable and aiming to be socially useful as well as high quality as assessed by peers.

 

The authors: ” In this study we investigate the relationship between the scholarly literature and the New York Times as expressed through references in journal articles. We find that NYT referencing is extensive and that growth in NYT referencing has accelerated in recent years, probably due to easier access to NYT articles over the internet. Referencing is widespread, though most intensive in law, international relations and political science. Nevertheless, academics have not become journalists and journalists have not become academics. Examining the contexts of NYT references, we find authors most often leveraging the differences between the scholarly and newspaper genres to advance their arguments. Sometimes the NYT is referenced because the NYT is the subject of the research. Sometimes New York City is the subject, which leads to extensive use of the NYT as a source. More often, authors seek to establish the importance of their topic by using press coverage as evidence of public concern. The New York Times is also used as a primary source, for example in discussing a recent event or inserting words spoken by an influential person. Perhaps half of NYT referencing uses the NYT as a
primary source. Authors who use the NYT for evidence of public concern and to support their turn to specificity are leveraging differences between scholarship and journalism as genres of social knowledge making. In contrast co-citing with journal articles or citing academics writing in the NYT are patterns that seem to violate long standing concerns with demarcation among scholars. These patterns can be understood within a
framework that recognizes that social scientists and humanists work in more than one genre, one of which is enlightenment literature. That the New York Times reigns supreme in the enlightenment literature testifies to the success of 100 years of strategic development that explicitly targeted academia at key points. The New York Times and academia, though distinct, have become symbiotic enterprises within the ecology of public
knowledge.”

 

Source:

Diana Hicks and Jian Wang. 2013. “The New York Times as a resource for Mode 2” The Selected Works of Diana Hicks
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/diana_hicks/34

 

See on works.bepress.com

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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: www.rsm.nl Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/694621/RMIMR-Repository/ The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/rss/694621/ Here is my other weblog on impact of research: http://www.scoop.it/t/dualimpact

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