Double-edged sword of interdisciplinary knowledge flow from hard sciences to humanities and social sciences: Evidence from China.

PLoS ONE. 2017;12(9):e0184977 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0184977


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

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Meijun Liu

Dongbo Shi

Jiang Li


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) increasingly absorb knowledge from Hard Sciences, i.e., Science, Technology, Agriculture and Medicine (STAM), as testified by a growing number of citations. However, whether citing more Hard Sciences brings more citations to HSS remains to be investigated. Based on China's HSS articles indexed by the Web of Science during 1998-2014, this paper estimated two-way fixed effects negative binomial models, with journal effects and year effects. Findings include: (1) An inverse U-shaped curve was observed between the percentage of STAM references to the HSS articles and the number of citations they received; (2) STAM contributed increasing knowledge to China's HSS, while Science and Technology knowledge contributed more citations to HSS articles. It is recommended that research policy should be adjusted to encourage HSS researchers to adequately integrate STAM knowledge when conducting interdisciplinary research, as over-cited STAM knowledge may jeopardize the readability of HSS articles.