It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition by Ben Van Calster. (Van Calster, B. (2012), It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci.. doi: 10.1002/asi.22732)
The way in which scientific publications are picked up by the research community can vary. Some articles become instantly cited, whereas others go unnoticed for some time before they are discovered or rediscovered. Papers with delayed recognition have also been labeled “sleeping beauties.” I briefly discuss an extreme case of a sleeping beauty. Peirce’s short note in Science in 1884 shows a remarkable increase in citations since around 2000. The note received less than 1 citation per year in the decades prior to 2000, 3.5 citations per year in the 2000s, and 10.4 in the 2010s. This increase was seen in several domains, most notably meteorology, medical prediction research, and economics. The paper outlines formulas to evaluate a binary prediction system for a binary outcome. This citation increase in various domains may be attributed to a widespread, growing research focus on mathematical prediction systems and the evaluation thereof. Several recently suggested evaluation measures essentially reinvented or extended Peirce’s 120-year-old ideas.
I would call your attention to the last line of the abstract:
Several recently suggested evaluation measures essentially reinvented or extended Peirce’s 120-year-old ideas.
I take that to mean with better curation of ideas, perhaps we would invent different ideas?
The paper ends:
To conclude, the simple ideas presented in Peirce’s note have been reinvented and rediscovered several decades or even more than a century later. It is fascinating that we arrive at ideas presented more than a century ago, and that Peirce’s ideas on the evaluation of predictions have come to the surface regularly across time and discipline. A saying, attributed to Ivan Pavlov, goes: “If you want new ideas, read old books.”
What old books are you going to read this weekend?
PS: Just curious. What search terms would you use, other than the author’s name and article title, to insure that you could find this article again? What about information across the various fields cited in the article to find related information?