The dillion hypothesis of titular colonicity: An empirical test from the ecological sciences

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The Dillion Hypothesis of Titular Colonicity has been proposed as the primary correlate of scholarly character in journal publication. The Hypothesis was developed and tested in the fields of education, psychology, and literary criticism; its geographical strengths have been tested in a study of the same fields from New Zealand. In this paper, The Hypothesis is tested across disciplinary lines. Data from 21,000 titles in six journals of ecology and aquatic sciences are examined. Titular colonicity has increased dramatically over the last 15 years. Striking differences are found between theoretical and applied sub‐fields (with theoretical papers being an order of magnitude more scholarly) and between the papers presented at international scientific congresses and those published in peer‐reviewed journals (the latter are more scholarly). No significant differences in scholarly character between aquatic and terrestrial ecology were detectable. A comparison of findings from available studies reveals that more theoretic research in biology is significantly more scholarly than that in psychology. In general, the results of this study support the Dillon Hypothesis of Titular Colonicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1985


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