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Paul Bond

Bohannon back in the news #infolit

2 min read

I was going to blog about Rudy Leon’s take on the Bohannon Sting a while ago, but never got around to finishing my thoughts. (I do that a lot.) The editorial considered the Sting and its implications for information literacy instruction. Since so many allegedly peer reviewed journals accepted an obviously bogus paper, Leon says the peer review designation cannot be used as a measure of quality anymore. How then do we teach students to evaluate the quality of articles?

I think that calling this a "crisis" overstates the case. Peer review has always had its flaws. Articles get retracted. Theories spread, getting championed with little rigor, and are later found to be highly questionable. I've seen articles on MOOC research and wondered how they ever made it through peer review.

Bohannon’s back in the news, this time for putting faux scientific research by a bunch of journalists, none of whom bothered to ask even basic questions about how the research was done. On the bright side, some people in those comments that you’re never supposed to read did ask some good questions, so maybe there’s hope for us after all. 

Asking questions is the important part. Who wrote this? Why should I listen to them? Why was it written? That’s just basic info lit, people. It doesn’t go away.