Knowledge Management Research & Practice

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 218–233

The world wide web of research and access to knowledge

Part of the following topical collections:
  1. SPECIAL ISSUE: Knowledge Management and e-Research Technologies: To Codify or to Collaborate?


This paper examines the shift to online knowledge in research. In recent years there has been a major transformation in how formal and informal science communication is disseminated by electronic means. At the same time, researchers’ practices in accessing knowledge and information have changed, particularly in the use of search engines and digitized resources apart from traditional journals. While we still know little about how this affects the nature of research, particularly in light of disciplinary differences, we reject here the idea that the simple growth of outputs and proliferation of outputs also leads straightforwardly to a richer and more diverse information and knowledge environment. Instead, we argue that gatekeepers such as search engines which shape online visibility, combined with competition for limited attention space at the leading edge of research, leads to a different model of how access to knowledge and information is being shaped.


e-Research scholarly communication disciplines knowledge and information knowledge creation knowledge dissemination socio-technical systems 

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society Ltd 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Internet Institute, University of OxfordOxford, OxfordshireU.K.

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