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2004 | 51 | 10 | 423-439

Article title

The false 'Ortega Hypothesis'. A literature science case study


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The well-known anti-elitist 'Ortega Hypothesis' came into being in 1972 in Science, the work of two American science sociologists: J. R. Cole and S. Cole who supported its validity with a quantitative author citation analysis conducted in the physics literature. This 'hypothesis' has since had a brilliant career in the literature of many widely differing disciplines. This sociometrologic 'hypothesis' - which has had a very big indexed influence - is anti-elitist and therefore anti-ORTEGA in meaning. The two sociometrologists created it by falsifying the quoted text of the eminent elitist Spanish philosopher J. ORTEGA Y GASSET and by misinterpreting his real doctrine. The fact of the falsification of the text serving as the basis of the 'hypothesis' has not even arisen in the decades of debates conducted in connection with the false 'hypothesis' and under its name, mainly on the subject of quantitative citation analysis. The scientific literature showing the indexed influence of the false 'hypothesis' has still not recognized the philological-mental crime committed: none of the much more than one hundred indexed referencing authors has checked the ideological correctness of the real subject/source of his or her reference. Analysis of the literature case of the false 'Ortega Hypothesis' throws a sharp light on the current depressing state of referencing practice of publishing researches. Scientific communications shown to be of doubtful authenticity and later even found to be false have continued to appear and in today's electronic flow of information there has been a leap in the speed and breadth of their world-wide dissemination. For this reason there has also been a great increase in the need for and importance of self-healing by science: the work of controlling and correcting itself.


  • E. Szava-Kovats, no address given, contact the journal editor


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Publication order reference


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