From the "Analogue Divide" to the "Hybrid Divide": The Internet Does Not Ensure Equality of Access to Information in Science

From the "Analogue Divide" to the "Hybrid Divide": The Internet Does Not Ensure Equality of Access to Information in Science

Franz Barjak (University of Applied Sciences Solothurn Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch223
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Abstract

This chapter investigates whether the internet has improved information access for scientists who did not participate fully in the transfer of information in pre-internet times. Several empirical analyses over the last decade have nurtured the hope that the internet had this effect. We argue that these findings were mostly due to the low level of dissemination of the internet in the early 90s. Based on a large European data set, we show that internet use is consistently higher for male, highly recognized and senior researchers. This suggests that the internet has become the dominant means of communication in science—to such an extent that any scientist, regardless of whether they are established or not, has to use the available internet tools in order to communicate effectively. The previous “analogue divide” of information access has become a “hybrid divide” including the analogue and the digital communication media.

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