My forty-year-old feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving California, my vacation over, to go back to my desk.
Defining a research strategy
But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again. Challenging the reader: By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the paper, and they may apply it to their own lives. Though serving on a jury is not only a civic responsibility but also an interesting experience, many people still view jury duty as a chore that interrupts their jobs and the routine of their daily lives. However, juries are part of America's attempt to be a free and just society. Thus, jury duty challenges us to be interested and responsible citizens.
Looking to the future: Looking to the future can emphasize the importance of your paper or redirect the readers' thought process.
It may help them apply the new information to their lives or see things more globally. Without well-qualified teachers, schools are little more than buildings and equipment. If higher-paying careers continue to attract the best and the brightest students, there will not only be a shortage of teachers, but the teachers available may not have the best qualifications. Our youth will suffer. And when youth suffers, the future suffers.
Posing questions: Posing questions, either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main ideas together to create a new meaning. This survey was administered online via www. The text and order of questions is identical, with the exception of where institutional specific terms have been amended for a broader audience [indicated with italic text].
For A: 2nd year undergraduates and B: 3rd year undergraduates, participants were asked which courses they were taking a proxy for disciplinary background. Response rates cannot be determined for researchers as surveys were distributed via departmental bulletins or email lists for which the total number of individuals contacted is unknown. We thank Jacqui Poon and Jeremy Solly for their contributions to the development of research questions, and Domino Joyce, Dominic Henri and Julian Hibberd for critical reading of the manuscript prior to submission. We also thank Bob Burwell for thought provoking discussions over the barriers to engaging with the literature.
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National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. PLoS One. Published online Dec Katharine E. Sonja D. Etsuro Ito, Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Strategies for Writing a 20-Page Paper
Received Sep 1; Accepted Dec 3. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. S2 File: Copy of the researcher survey questions. S3 File: Raw data from the survey responses collected online. S4 File: Disciplinary backgrounds of survey participants. Abstract Reading primary research literature is an essential skill for all scientists and students on science degree programmes, however little is known about how researchers at different career stages interact with and interpret scientific papers.
Methods Survey design, implementation and ethics A pilot survey of both students and researchers was designed to answer the following lines of enquiry for both students and researchers: How frequently did participants read scientific papers?
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How did participants feel about reading scientific papers? How easy to read did participants find different sections of papers? How important did participants think different sections of papers were? Quantitative analysis Responses to Likert Scale questions were converted to numbers from 1—6 for statistical analysis, with 1 representing the most negative response to the question e.
Qualitative analysis For the question If you could only give one piece of advice to someone reading a scientific paper for the first time, what would it be? Results We obtained responses to the survey, of which completed responses to all questions. Perceptions of the research literature changes throughout academic careers To explore the relationship that participants had with the literature, we asked them to what extent they agreed with a series of statements on a 6 point Likert scale Fig 1. Open in a separate window.
Fig 1. The relationship with the research literature changes as a function of career stage. Fig 2. Different sections of scientific papers are considered easy to read and important at different stages of academic careers. Senior researchers place higher value on results and methods sections than those starting their academic careers To explore the value that researchers placed on different sections of papers, we asked participants to rank the 6 sections in order of how important they thought that section was for understanding the paper, thereby forcing participants to make a relative value judgement Fig 2B.
Researchers at different career stages read papers for different purposes Scientific researchers read papers for many different reasons, which may shape the relative importance placed on different sections of a manuscript. Fig 3. Researchers at different career stages read papers for different purposes. Fig 4.
Increased familiarity with scientific literature allows experienced researchers to read papers selectively. Table 1 Thematic analysis of advice researchers gave to someone reading a scientific paper for the first time. Discussion In this study, we identify significant differences in both opinions of papers and reading strategies between researchers at all career stages within the institution surveyed, indicating that the way researchers engage with scientific literature varies throughout an academic career.
Supporting information S1 File Copy of the student survey questions. PDF Click here for additional data file. S2 File Copy of the researcher survey questions. S3 File Raw data from the survey responses collected online. XLSX Click here for additional data file. S4 File Disciplinary backgrounds of survey participants.
Acknowledgments We thank Jacqui Poon and Jeremy Solly for their contributions to the development of research questions, and Domino Joyce, Dominic Henri and Julian Hibberd for critical reading of the manuscript prior to submission. Funding Statement The author s received no specific funding for this work. Data Availability All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.
References 1. Bridging the gap between the language of science and the language of school science through the use of adapted primary literature. Research in Science Education. Tenopir C, King DW. Communication Patterns of Engineers. Electronic journals and changes in scholarly article seeking and reading patterns.
Aslib Proc. Fang Z. Scientific literacy: A systemic functional linguistics perspective. Sci Educ. Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Before You Start Writing That Paper | Student Learning Center
Figure facts: Encouraging undergraduates to take a data-centered approach to reading primary literature. Dunbar S. Dealing with arsenic—an investigation with undergraduates—Plant Science Today [Internet]. Thompson K. How to read a journal article [Internet].
Research strategies based on inductive approach
Williams M. How to Read a Scientific Paper [Internet]. American Society of Plant Biologists; Selective use of the primary literature transforms the classroom into a virtual laboratory. Introducing undergraduate students to scientific reports. Bioscience Education. Spiegelberg BD. A focused assignment encouraging deep reading in undergraduate biochemistry. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. Int J Sci Educ. The C. An intensive primary-literature-based teaching program directly benefits undergraduate science majors and facilitates their transition to doctoral programs.
Practice makes pretty good: Assessment of primary literature reading abilities across multiple large-enrollment biology laboratory courses. Teaching the process of science: faculty perceptions and an effective methodology. National Academy Press; Glazer N. Challenges with graph interpretation: a review of the literature.
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