13 thoughts on “In defence of old literature

  1. zielonygrzyb January 5, 2017 / 5:56 PM

    Very nice post! I agree especially with your second point. In economics, my area of research, scientific progress is anything but linear, so old papers and books are often the best. And I would add one more thing: it’s not only classics that are interesting. Given the flood of literature that is threatening to drown us every day, it is still possible to find older, until-now ‘overlooked’ publications which are highly interesting, relevant and whatnot. An excessive focus on new literature can lead to missing true novelty in older publications.

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    • Manu Saunders January 5, 2017 / 7:16 PM

      Thanks, completely agree! Plenty of overlooked & rarely cited classics to be found.

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    • Manu Saunders January 5, 2017 / 7:12 PM

      Agree, one of the best sites for old natural history lit.

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  2. Ben Courtice January 5, 2017 / 8:52 PM

    That book on the bottom of the pile in your pic (Faegri & van der Pijl) certainly hasn’t been made obsolete yet.

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  3. sleather2012 January 5, 2017 / 11:00 PM

    Exactly why I started my series Ten papers that shook my world – sadly tenth and last will be appearing third week of January – I may have to start a new series 🙂

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  4. Natasha January 7, 2017 / 10:19 PM

    This is brilliant. I wasn’t 100% comfortable with the idea of any number of papers in a year, but couldn’t put my finger on why. You’ve summed it up brilliantly, so thank you! 🙂

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    • Manu Saunders January 12, 2017 / 8:28 AM

      Thanks for the link, great post! Agree, I find older foreign language lit especially useful for insect ecology.

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