Though technological inventions have markedly increased the pace of development, the tendency to view developmental accomplishments as mainly powered by technology is a partial view that misses the bigger picture. Technological innovation was spurred by the general advance in the social organization of knowledge. In the Middle Ages, efforts at scientific creativity were few and relatively and isolated for one another, mainly because there were no effective arrangements for the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. Since there was no organized protection for patent rights, scientists and inventors were very secretive about their activities and operations. The establishment of scientific associations and the publication of scientific journals spurred the exchange of knowledge among scientists and created a written record that could be examined by posterity.