How (and why) to read Scientific Research Papers – a student’s perspective

I distinctly remember my first meeting (about atmospheric chemistry research) and having no idea what was being discussed around me. Up until this point I had no knowledge of CFCs and felt completely out of my depth around those who had read and understood the paper.

After being surrounded by specialist language for an hour, I still couldn’t blag my way through questioning so decided to learn to read a paper in a way I would find easy.

Reading Group and Hattie (2) Inspiration (and pragmatism)

The concept of Hattie’s ‘visible learning’ is clever. It’s a meta-analysis of many educational research papers (a study of the studies). The key premise is that Hattie evaluates educational practice in terms of its’ effect size on progress. However, when you flick through the pages at the end of a long day (or at the beginning of a short day) you’re bombarded with statistical analysis, which can be a little hard to swallow.

Threshold concepts (4) confidence and retrieval

The confidence measures for individual classes are useful for informing immediate planning, but I also want to understand which of the concepts are more difficult to understand and retain.

So I grouped scores from each class together for every concept tested. I also tabulated how many correct/ incorrect answers there were for each question, to ensure that it gives a similar picture to the confidence measures.

Science Journal Club

A couple of years ago, I started a Science Journal Club for students. The idea is that students read a recent scientific paper in advance of the meeting, and we get together to discuss it. The idea was to help students find out about “real” research, and to teach them how to read scientific papers.