Reading research

scientificI have to say Bravo! to the class for their research so far. I was concerned that people would pull things from content farms, but so far almost everything has been serious academic research. There are pros and cons to those articles though. Some of them look highly technical, and may require an expert background to understand fully. That type of literature is sometimes written by PhDs for PhDs, which doesn’t always help out the rest of us. So if you run into one of those, you can either toss it out and find another, or try to work through it. Our friends at Purdue made a flash tutorial that gives a process for reading scientific papers. They suggest a reading order of abstract – discussion – introduction – results, saving the methodology for last or perhaps skipping it altogether. Instead of reading from beginning to end, they say to go from the ends to the middle. The reason is that the methods tend to be lengthy and technical, and possibly inaccessible to non-experts. It’s a good way of getting the gist without getting bogged down.  The tutorial also shows you what the internet looked like back in the 90s, but I won’t make fun of it in public.

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