Written Words – (Genius/Idiot)

Just had an “I’m a genius, no, maybe I’m an idiot” moment.

My supervisor has been killing me trying to get me to find a “literature” that fits my research interests. I’ve been poking around, basically based on the protocol that if I use google scholar to search enough key words, eventually something will show up.

That was the plan until I got an unfinished bit of research from the University of New Orleans. In their bibliography (new definition of nerd is that I skip ahead to the bibliography — exciting!) there was a link to a 1961 article on organizational incentives. Oddly, the article was by a colleague of my favorite professor at Penn.

The article was perfect, except it was old. It dealt with typologizing organizations, characterizing their functions, it was the type of theory I could use to do my field work. I quickly flipped to the back to look for other sources.

Only problem? It was from 1961. So all the sources were ancient (sorry for all readers born before 1961 — that’s you mom).

So I was stuck. Until I came up with my best idea of the week (granted, it’s only Tuesday). I brought the article up on google scholar and clicked the “article citations” link.

There in front of me were 514 more recent articles that had cited my original work.

Genius, I thought.

Until I asked myself why it took me a year at Oxford to figure out how to use the article citations link.


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