Google Scholar: Use it

As we enter the final phase of research, a common dilemma is finding sources for thought that are not blogs, news articles. The following exercise is designed to increase the authoritative appearance of your research. To be an authority in research, you must show that you know the field.

In the next week, please use Google Scholar: — for ONE hour at least, searching for terms in your domain. Insert useful results into Zotero & post the results (a list of citations and quotations) on the blog.

The results provided there are pre-filtered: they represent research style writing. For university purposes, inclusion of results from these network searches can increase the credibility of your writing. Studying the style of results that exist in your subject area can also be useful as models for how-to write or structure and organize an essay.

Example paragraph from a scientific article. Note how it contains support for every statement.

While the categorization, interpretation and identification of faces from conspecifics is likely a consequence of the social life, which may have resulted in neural specialization for faces [11], it is a further challenge to achieve at least some of these abilities with faces of heterospecifics. The configuration of the face, the underlying facial muscles and the resulting expressions are more or less different from the own, depending on how taxonomically distant the other species is [12,13]. Nevertheless, a variety of animals have been shown to be able to identify and categorize faces and also emotions of heterospecifics (e.g. macaques [14], sheep [15], horses [16]). Several investigations on con- and heterospecific face processing suggest learned aspects in the information transfer and speed (c.f. face expertise, [1722]). Hereby individuals are able to recognize and discriminate best between faces similar to those that are most often seen in the environment. For instance, the influence of individual experience with the other species was shown for urban living birds like magpies [23] and pigeons [24]. Especially early exposure to faces facilitates the ability of face discrimination [25,26]. Although some individuals are able to learn about heterospecific faces also later in life (e.g. chimpanzees [27], rhesus macaques [28]), they will not reach the same high level of competence [12,21]. It remains an open question, however, whether the improved abilities to read faces due to early life exposure are caused solely by an acquired early sensitivity for faces (innate mechanisms) or simply by the larger amount of experience (learned responses).

Barber, Anjuli L. A., Dania Randi, Corsin A. Müller, and Ludwig Huber. “The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects.” PLOS ONE 11, no. 4 (April 13, 2016): e0152393. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152393.

Or note how in the prologue from 

Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1999. — Hayles weaves story with concrete reference.
You are alone in the room, except for two computer terminals flickering in the dim light. You use the terminals to communicate with two entities in another room, whom you cannot see. Relying solely on their responses to your questions, you must decide which is the man, which the woman. Or, in another version of the famous “imitation game” proposed by Alan Turing in his classic 1950 paper “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” you use the responses to decide which is the human, which the machine.1 One of the entities wants to help you guess correctly. His/her/its best strategy, Turing suggested, may be to answer your questions truthfully. The other entity wants to mislead you. He/she/it will try to reproduce through the words that appear on your terminal the characteristics of the other entity. Your job is to pose questions that can distinguish verbal performance from embodied reality. If you cannot tell the intelligent machine from the intelligent human, your failure proves, Turing argued, that machines can think.

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