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Incorporating Primary Scientific Literature in Middle and High School Education

    Authors: Sarah C. Fankhauser1,3,*, Rebeccah S. Lijek2,3,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford, GA 30054; 2: Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115; 3: The Journal of Emerging Investigators, www.emerginginvestigators.org
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
      Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding authors. Mailing address: R. Lijek. Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, NRB 852, Boston, MA 02115. Phone: 617-432-1875. Fax: 617-432-4787. E-mail: lijek@hms.harvard.edu; S. Fankhauser. Oxford College of Emory University, 100 Hamill St., Oxford, GA 30054. Phone: 770-784-8398. Fax: 770-784-0774. E-mail: sarah.fankhauser@emory.edu.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 120-124. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1004
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    Abstract:

    Primary literature is the most reliable and direct source of scientific information, but most middle school and high school science is taught using secondary and tertiary sources. One reason for this is that primary science articles can be difficult to access and interpret for young students and for their teachers, who may lack exposure to this type of writing. The () was created to fill this gap and provide primary research articles that can be accessed and read by students and their teachers. is a non-profit, online, open-access, peer-reviewed science journal dedicated to mentoring and publishing the scientific research of middle and high school students. articles provide reliable scientific information that is written by students and therefore at a level that their peers can understand. For student-authors who publish in , the review process and the interaction with scientists provide invaluable insight into the scientific process. Moreover, the resulting repository of free, student-written articles allows teachers to incorporate age-appropriate primary literature into the middle and high school science classroom. articles can be used for teaching specific scientific content or for teaching the process of the scientific method itself. The critical thinking skills that students learn by engaging with the primary literature will be invaluable for the development of a scientifically-literate public.

References & Citations

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6. Gonon F, Bezard E, Boraud T2011Misrepresentation of neuroscience data might give rise to misleading conclusions in the media: the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorderPLoS One61e1461810.1371/journal.pone.0014618212979513031509 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014618
7. Han H, Kurtz R2013An investigative analysis of climate change using historical and modern weather dataJ Emerg Investigators[Online.] www.emerginginvestigators.org/2013/12/an-investigative-analysis-of-climate-change-using-historical-and-modern-weather-data/
8. Hoskins SG Stevens LM, Nehm RH2007Selective use of the primary literature transforms the classroom into a virtual laboratoryGenetics1761381138910.1534/genetics.107.071183174834261931557 http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.107.071183
9. Lijek RS, Fankhauser SC2016Using scavenger hunts to familiarize students with scientific journal articles JMicrobiol Biol Educ171122125
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13. Funk C, Rainie L2015Public and scientists’ views on science and societyPew Research Centers Internet American Life Project[Online.] www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/29/public-and-scientists-views-on-science-and-society/-_Chapter_3:_AttitudesAccessed 22 July 2015
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1004
2016-03-01
2017-11-18

Abstract:

Primary literature is the most reliable and direct source of scientific information, but most middle school and high school science is taught using secondary and tertiary sources. One reason for this is that primary science articles can be difficult to access and interpret for young students and for their teachers, who may lack exposure to this type of writing. The () was created to fill this gap and provide primary research articles that can be accessed and read by students and their teachers. is a non-profit, online, open-access, peer-reviewed science journal dedicated to mentoring and publishing the scientific research of middle and high school students. articles provide reliable scientific information that is written by students and therefore at a level that their peers can understand. For student-authors who publish in , the review process and the interaction with scientists provide invaluable insight into the scientific process. Moreover, the resulting repository of free, student-written articles allows teachers to incorporate age-appropriate primary literature into the middle and high school science classroom. articles can be used for teaching specific scientific content or for teaching the process of the scientific method itself. The critical thinking skills that students learn by engaging with the primary literature will be invaluable for the development of a scientifically-literate public.

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FIGURE 1

Outline of the publication process. Students, along with their mentors (teacher, parent, or scientist), submit their original research manuscript through the website. Editors select three scientists with expertise in the subject of the study to review the manuscript for scientific and written clarity. A manuscript will always require some changes or modifications prior to publication, and these changes may be minor communication changes or larger changes that require additional experimentation. Accepted papers are copy-edited and published on a rolling-basis on ’s website. There are no costs associated with .

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 120-124. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1004
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FIGURE 2

publication statistics as of May 2015. (A) Number of publications each year from first publication in 2012 to May 2015. (B) Geographic location of published student authors from 2012 to May 2015. (C) articles broken down by subject area.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 120-124. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1004
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