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Like Sleeping Beauty, some research lies dormant for decades

476706_actualWhy do some discoveries fade into obscurity while others blaze a new trail the moment they are published? More mysteriously, why do some research papers remain dormant for years and then suddenly explode with great impact upon the scientific community?

The last group, dubbed “sleeping beauties,” is the subject of a new study from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing’s Center for Complex Networks and Systems. It was released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This study provides empirical evidence that a paper can truly be ‘ahead of its time,'” said Alessandro Flammini, an associate professor of informatics and corresponding author on the study. “A ‘premature’ topic may fail to attract attention even when it is introduced by authors who have already established a strong scientific reputation.”

Click here to read more from this May 25, 2015 press release from Indiana University Bloomington.

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