Bad "scholarly article" needed for information literacy classes

Susan Kane adarconsulting at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 11 21:47:15 EDT 2015

There are a lot of these that focus on religious flash points in the United States ... evolution, homosexuality, contraception, divorce, abortion. Or immigration, schools, gun ownership.  

You can find lots of studies about the trauma of X Bad Thing with an n of 15. That's interesting because of course people are complex and those experiences are very likely true for that n of 15. But when you increase the n to 500 or 5000 you don't find the same effect or you find that it is qualified. 

I find that these sort of things are often published by think tanks or as position papers and they are valued by students because there is nothing peer reviewed that is broad enough for an undergraduate paper. It's actually hard to use peer reviewed material at the undergrad level because it is incredibly narrow. 

The poor student is trying to write a five to seven page paper on immigration reform and we expect them to use a journal article like "educational achievement among undocumented female immigrants from Guatemala 1983-1986". Is that reasonable?  Is it crazy for that student to turn to a think tank paper entitled "Immigration reform -- how it can help America"?  I think not. 

Maybe something on the Paleo diet?  Lots of conflicting research there. 


To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:


More information about the Web4lib mailing list