Posted on October 9, 2020
We Need All Research Papers to Be Dated Regardless of Their Level – It’s a Real Problem
Now then, I understand that with the onslaught of new studies and research, along with the cost to produce these studies, reports, and papers, if not the experimentation and research itself, that those universities and R&D groups producing all of these documents want them to be as Evergreen as possible. However, something very troubling has happened, no one seems to be dating their research papers anymore, and therefore you have no idea when it was written. Okay so let’s talk about this shall we?
As an individual that runs a think tank, I doubt a day goes by where I don’t read at least 12 research papers. No, I am not reading all of them with total intensity, much of this I scan, especially as I read through the big buzzwords in the introduction, although I am paying very close attention to the abstract and the conclusion. And since I read so many of these papers, I can get some sort of an idea by the format which is used, the approximate decade the research paper was written. Still, within a decade, or 10 years is an awful long time, and a lot can happen in any given scientific area of endeavor.
Indeed, I believe it is highly unfair not to date these papers, because science seems to be built on the shoulders of giants, with incremental gains as each new research and piece of information is discovered. Reading an old research paper without knowing it right away is a severe waste of time, and it’s simply unfair to the reader or the person who is trying to gain knowledge. Often, research papers and reports are presented at symposiums, conferences, and seminars. This is all well and good, but then the same papers end up in the search engines separated from the conference, therefore they have no date.
Even reading a small research paper that is under 20 pages, you could have you easily 20 minutes into the process trying to eke out a new piece of information, only to realize that the paper was written long ago, and is of no value to what you are trying to ascertain as you go through it. Another common place this happens is with graduate students writing papers for their professor, it’s as if the date of the research report was conveniently removed.
It seems disingenuous, and without moral authority for anyone to do that, not to mention it has become a pet peeve of mine, and perhaps cost me personally hundreds of hours each quarter in time. We have the Internet to share relevant information with mankind, and we should be doing it in the appropriate manner, and the time at which the paper was written is a significant component to information sharing. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.