Timelines of Creativity...

Photo of Blaise Cronin
Photo of Lokman Meho

"Creativity announces itself in different ways and at different times in the lives of scientists, writers, and performers..." [introduction]

How does history identify masterpieces? What methods demonstrate the influence of key works? Can you analyze a person's creative output over time? Strategies of artistic evaluation can give clues for researching other disciplines -- in this case to information science. The article below explores the question: are there leaders in the field - innovators - creative artists of information science?

"This modest study is a first attempt to look for information science's Picassos, Mondrians, and Gricaults. Our focus, it need hardly be said, is on publications rather than paintings... We present here a preliminary bibliometric exploration of the creative life cycles of leading information scientists..." [excerpts, page 1949]

Timelines of creativity: A study of intellectual innovators in information science was recently published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Volume 58, Issue 13, Pages 1948-1959). Blaise Cronin (SLIS Dean) and Lokman Meho (SLIS faculty) co-authored the article. The article will be available through Wiley InterScience.


"We explore the relationship between creativity and both chronological and professional age in information science using a novel bibliometric approach that allows us to capture the shape of a scholar's career. Our approach draws on D.W. Galenson's (2006) analyses of artistic creativity, notably his distinction between conceptual and experimental innovation, and also H.C. Lehman's (1953) seminal study of the relationship between stage of career and outstanding performance. The data presented here suggest that creativity is expressed in different ways, at different times, and with different intensities in academic information science."

Posted October 25, 2007