Can you trust academic research?

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March 7, 2016 by Kate Bowles

This blogpost, ‘Critical evaluation of information,’ by Australian researcher Mandy Lupton lays out in really helpful detail the issues and challenges involved in using published academic research to support your argument.

Mandy Lupton specialises in researching the ways in which inquiry-based learning depends on learners being able to navigate their way through resources, and she argues that there’s now a “crisis in credibility” in academic publishing that untrained researchers aren’t necessarily in a good position to judge.

She takes a critical position on the advice typically given by librarians (and many academics) that the internet is the source of the most untrustworthy data, and points out that academic publishing is full of it.

This is the first in what’s going to be a series of posts on critical information literacy that will help any student researcher learn about the context for academic publishing.

It’s also really worth bearing in mind that a substantial part of that context is business: academic publishers make money from publishing academic research, and academic researchers gain career points from publishing with academic publishers, and academic libraries pay very high prices so that students (and other academics) can have access to academic publications in order to raise the citation rates of the journals academic publishers publish.

Who do you trust?

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