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Agriculture and Bioresources 492/494: Tutorials for Finding and Evaluating Information Sources

This guide contains two modules designed to assist 492/494 AgBio students in contributing to the scholarly conversation in their fields, and finding and retrieving relevant and credible information.

The Scholarly Conversation

Discussion, talk, chat, gossip, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart, exchange, dialogue, consultation, confab, jaw, chitchat - there are lots of words and phrases to describe a conversation. But what is a scholarly conversation? Whether you know it or not, by virtue of being a university student, writing papers, presenting posters, and doing experiments, you are participating in the scholarly conversation. Now, let's find out what exactly that is.

What is a Scholarly Conversation?

When you are in university, conducting research and writing papers, essays, and theses, you are participating in the scholarly conversation. But who is talking, what are they talking about, and how can you jump in?

This video aptly describes the scholarly conversation and your place in it as a university student.

And here's another short video of students talking about how they view the scholarly conversation.

Reflect on the following:

Does a peer-reviewed journal article have more validity in the scholarly conversation than popular literature does?

When you looked at the different forms of information earlier, you learned about peer-reviewed journal articles which are the most rigorous forms of dissemination in Agriculture and Bioresources. These sources are reviewed by other experts in the field. They often report on original research and they provide an analysis of the state of the current literature.

Your literature review is part of the scholarly conversation and it should be a snapshot of what is happening in the conversation at this time.


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