Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The Production of Scientific Knowledge


THE increase of scientific knowledge can be divided into three steps: first, the production of new knowledge by means of laboratory research; secondly, the publication of this knowledge in the form of papers and abstracts of papers; thirdly, the digestion of the new knowledge and its absorption into the general mass of information by critical comparison with other experiments on the same or similar subjects. The whole process, in fact, may be likened to the process of thought. We have first the perception by means of the senses. The percept is then stored in the memory, and in the mind is compared with other previously stored percepts, and finally forms with them a conception.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. From a paper read before the Rochester Sertion of the Optical Society of America on October 23, by Dr. C. E. Kenneth Mees .

  2. "The Organisation of Industrial Scientific Research," Science, 1916 p. 763 NATURE, 1916 pp. 411 and 431.

Download references

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

The Production of Scientific Knowledge. Nature 100, 355–358 (1918).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing