What’s new in academic research is new because it is different from the past research in approach and methodology but NOT in taste. No matter how different a given thesis tastes from the past ones it is immediately rejected unless it is different technically from the past.
But if you’d come to real life, it is totally the opposite. We all thrive for the new taste. iPOD is new , in taste but not necessarily technically. Prince was new, not at all technically, but it tastes way too different from the rest of the crowds.
Ironically it is precisely this new taste that primarily advances our economy.