Amazing Research Race PubMed edition

The Amazing Research Race – PubMed edition: Games are fun to play, use similar strategies to engage your students

slides from the webinar

getting started guide

word document version used to make copies for in person race

google form: all at once or broken up

canvas package as .zip file here: the questions need updating!


bell work

ideas for starting class, I also want to find more ideas about what to do before class starts. One professor plays music, another has Grad Students hand out things at the start of class to students as they enter.

“how about four questions from yesterday? …Make them doable. This is not the midterm exam. If the students were here yesterday and were paying attention, they can start answering those questions or doing those problems.

…Some teachers use journal writing or silent reading. Others put word games or mind benders on the board. I remember one teacher who had a student read to the class from a library book while he took roll. …

Finally, Bell Work should not saddle you with an extra stack of papers to grade.

…teachers get off to a quick start with a political opinion survey or questionnaire….

You also might consider handing out 3-by-5 cards as you greet students at the door. On the blank side of the card is a seat number. All the desks have numbers taped to them. Greet the student and say: “This is your seat number. Find your seat, and then turn the card over and fill it out according to the instructions on the chalkboard.” On the board is a picture showing students how to fill out the card — name, birthday, home address, home phone, parents work phone, and so on.”

  • I put up a photo and asked students “what do you notice? what do you wonder?”

*in 212 was a photo of the roof of NLM in DC, after we had done work with PubMed.

other ideas:

  • Write the definition of __________. Use complete sentences.

  • Describe this object. Try to use at least 5 adjectives. Use complete sentences.

  • review terms, have students lead it

Teach 4 the Heart Home

  • Analyze photos: Have students view a different picture each day and make 3 observations, 3 inferences, and 3 predictions.
  • Science Journal Prompts: Have students answer a question each day in their science journal.
    Example: Science Bell Ringer Journal for MS/HS
  • Respond to Science Quotes. Show science quote – from current times or from history, and have students respond to it.
  • Switch it up. Have students complete a different activity each day of the week. For example, the bell ringers link to below have students learn a science term on Monday, have a discussion on Tuesday, respond to a video clip on Wednesday, analyze a quote on Thursday, and explain the science behind a science joke on Fridays.
    Example: Science Warm Up Bell Ringers for Earth, Physical, & Life Science





Office of research integrity with practice –


4 Steps
  1. Read the entire text, underlining key points and main ideas.
  2. In your own words, write a sentence about the main idea of the text (i.e. summarize). Also, write key points in the text. 
  3. Highlight any words, phrases, or key passages that you would want to quote directly.
  4. Combine the above into a new paraphrased paragraph, using your own words.

Consider using tools to help organize your research and keep your information in one place. Try keeping track of what you’re quoting or paraphrasing in a “research journal.”

avoid plagiarism – UCSD –


More Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Students sometimes unintentionally plagiarize for a variety of reasons. Here are some tips to help you avoid it:

*Take Careful Notes*
Keep track of sources (on the web and in print), being sure to use quotation marks around everything that comes directly from another text. Maintain an accurate bibliography of source by writing down the author, title, publisher, page number, etc, as you are taking notes.

*Remember that everything must be documented*
This includes direct quotations, paraphrases, and anything that is not “common knowledge.”

*Paraphrase correctly*
Be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words, here and there, from the original.  Instead, read carefully through what you intend to paraphrase and rewrite the idea in your own words without looking at the original work as a guide. Double-check it against the original after you’ve written it.

*Don’t Procrasinate!*
Many errors occur from lack of time. Don’t let that be you!



This long (paper-ish) document has 4 techniques and (non-science) examples.

Technique #1 – Finding the Main Idea

Technique #2 – Using Different Words

Technique #3 – Changing the Order of Ideas

Technique #4 – Memory Notes


paraphrase checklist [source I didn’t keep!]: Did the partner:

❏ put the definition/information in his/her own words?

❏ keep the meaning of the information the same?

Feedback: ________________________________________


New OWL:

Practice paraphrasing from OWL:

How to paraphrase with a fruit fly example.

Comprehensive handout about paraphrasing

A quiz – simple multiple choice with answers afterwards – good as a pre-class canvas quiz?

An activity like the quiz above with just 3 questions and immediate feedback.

quote or paraphrase?

Indiana – comprehensive site with video and quizzes – including this helpful chart about many different kinds of plagiarism.

Harvard – how to avoid plagiarism needs flash and is dated – the “tutorial“, slides, quiz and answers

There’s even a game – goblin threat

Lesson idea and .ppt:

I teach paraphrasing to my students who are enrolled in a combined writing and IL course. I’ve attached a PowerPoint that I use with my class.  I call it “Paraphrasing Breakdown” because I break paraphrasing down into a series of step. I use this PowerPoint interactively. I put the students into groups, and as I go through the slides I ask them to try their hand at each step. Then I show them my example and we discuss.

I begin by telling them that when paraphrasing, choose a piece of text that “packs a punch”  (I hand out a copy of the paragraph in the PP – this is just an example, you can obviously choose anything relevant to your group, a shorter passage might work better)

Step 1: I emphasize active and close reading of the passage (I hand out highlighters and encourage the groups to underline the parts they find significant, look up any words they don’t know, etc.)

Step 2: I ask them to think about how they might distill the passage down into a summary statement (I ask them to write one in their group, answering the question “what’s the author’s point?” ) * you don’t have to do this step, but I find that having students begin the paraphrasing process this way breaks them out of following the exact order of the original paragraph and helps them to think about the passage as a whole

Step 3: I explain that an effective and ethical paraphrase always attributes the source and that the best way to do this is with a signal verb ( I ask them to write an attribution combining the author, title, signal verb, and the summary statement they wrote in step 2) * if you have time you can take a moment to brainstorm signal verbs they might use instead of “said”.

Step 4 : At this point we talk about how to paraphrase ( I tell them that they’ve told us the author’s main point, now explain how this point was made.) * When I show them my paraphrase I highlight the fact that often paraphrasing can result in a LONGER passage than the original)   ** if I have time I like to compare each group’s paraphrase and build a new paraphrase combining their work. I mention that a good strategy for paraphrasing can be to paraphrase your own paraphrase ensuring that it is two steps away from the original.

Step 5: I explain the importance of the parenthetical citation stressing that the paraphrase is not complete without it (I ask them to add a parenthetical citation to their paraphrase)

At the end I recap the steps and give them a paraphrasing assignment for homework. I explain that I expect to see all the elements of a paraphrase that we discussed in class.”

Jen Hasse, Information Literacy Librarian, Holy Spirit Library, Cabrini College

#Hidden curriculum

When did physics start using the scientific method?

  1. When and at what meeting did physicists decide that they must use  

the scientific method in their research and not use Newtonian Mechanics? 

  1. When did physicists decide to use the scientific method only for  

exploring the physical universe? 


What was covered in our science classes in middle school and high school, apparently stems from the report of a survey of University of Michigan scientists done by Oreon Keeslar back in 1945.  Keeslar was just aiming for a list of things scientists commonly do when conducting experiments.  Science textbook writers turned the survey results into the rigid step-by-step methodology that has been cast about ever since.  While I’ve found social scientists try to follow “The Scientifiic Method,” scientists don’t follow such a rigid step-by-step approach.  Their work will involve many of the steps, but not necessarily in that order. 

These two items might help: 

McComas, William F. “The principal elements of the nature of science: Dispelling the myths.” The nature of science in science education. Springer Netherlands, 2002. 53-70. 

Keeslar, O. (1945). ‘A survey of research studies dealing with the elements of scientific method’, Science Education, (29), 212-216. 


The context in which the user is asking the question is important in understanding exactly what resources would be helpful. 

Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ explores the development of science  from a philosophy of science perspective – asserting that ‘science enjoys periods of stable growth punctuated by revisionary revolutions’

The classic anti-method work is: 

Against method. Feyerabend, Paul, 1924-1994. (Author) 


The question was from an emeritus professor who is not a physicist. This afternoon I did a little more research and found that physicists had a debate at LMU Munich in 2015 about the scientific method ( and Perhaps this is what the professor is referring to regarding a meeting among physicists about the scientific method. It’s a guess on my part, so I welcome further input if anyone has any. 

Perhaps you’re looking for the 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Protons: 

This conference was also the culmination of the struggle between Einstein and the scientific realists, who wanted strict rules of scientific method as laid out by Charles Peirce and Karl Popper, versus Bohr and the instrumentalists, who wanted looser rules based on outcomes. Starting at this point, the instrumentalists won, instrumentalism having been seen as the norm ever since. 


Interesting query. 

Regarding 1, I’d stress two things: a) the scientific method and 

Newtonian mechanics are not mutually exclusive; they’re not even the 

same sort of animal. Newtonian mechanics is a theory — that is, a 

formal, precise model of some aspect of the universe. The scientific 

method is, well, a methodology — a tool to arrive at theories and 

other results. b) Again showing that the two are not in opposition: 

Physicists still very much use use Newtonian mechanics, within its 

realm of applicability (speeds much less than speed of light, 

macroscopic systems). And the scientific method has been in use since 

long before alternatives to Newtonian mechanics (such as relativity) 

came up in the eary 20th century. 


Regard 2 (but also 1), there is no unique date for the adoption of the 

scientific method, if only because practitioners of science don’t all 

use the same methods in unison. On the one hand, the scientiic method 

has been in use since at least the 17th centry (e.g. by Galileo: 

On the other hand, the scientific method is *not* in use by *all* 

practicioners even today (it is ignored by the proponents of 

scientific creationism, for example). So it was really a gradual 

change, not something that scientists decided on at some meeting. 


The reference to Newtonian mechanics makes me think that perhaps the 

query has to do with when and how physicists decided that Newtonian 

mechanics is not always applicable. Surely then the answer must be in 

the early 20th century, with the (relatively quick) acceptance of 

Einstein’s theories of relativity and the founding of quantum 

mechanics. There was not single “aha” moment, but between 1905 and 

1925 the picture changed dramatically. But before then, many theories 

were created to complement Newtonian mechanics, and like it they are 

still valid in their realm of application: wave optics, 

electromagnestism, quantitative chemistry, … 


To recommend some reading it would be helpful to know a bit more about 

whoever asked the question, especially their background. A student, a 

member of the general public, a journalist, …? 


Nest wishes, 




Silvio Levy 

Librarian Emeritus, MSRI 

Director of Publications, Mathematical Sciences Publisher 

buttons for instruction

and because they are fun!

from L to R:

Eye Heart UO libraries for Human Physiology students

UO Libraries with images from our campus newspaper archive collection [5 different ones here]

Find yourself at UO Libraries with maps as a background for a Geography class [2 variations here with and without a heart shape]

UO Libraries save lives with a cholera virus for a class that worked on issues around cholera [5th from left]

Backwards design, backwards and forwards [above the cholera and I belong…]

I belong at my library, borrowed from Amanda VerMeulen, source information below.

this is nice:

Stop using Likert scales: 3 minute version and examples

For your library instruction feedback forms, we recommend a  model that produces actionable data as an alternative to Likert scale questions. [longer article linked below]

Dominique Turnbow and I developed performance based replies for our end of class evaluations, based on work by Will Thalheimer who does this in business settings. In short, we suggest turning your likert scales into something more useful. Dominique and Amanda Roth, both at UCSD, have this lovely example in qualtrics.

Or in like this in google forms or like this in Canvas (contact me if you’d like the export package).

They continue to update how they gather this information, example at right. Click to enlarge:

I have also printed out copies and brought them to class for students to fill out. When I don’t have students working on computers, that’s a good strategy. Qualtrics is so much nicer, but anything will work. Whenever possible I use our LMS (it’s now Canvas) to make a simple survey for students to fill out. We don’t have a formal system for reporting our results, but I can use these results to see what worked and what didn’t. If you’re getting students feeling confident about everything consider making sure you are addressing the topic in more complexity too. I use these forms for my own documentation of my instruction for contract renewals and performance reviews.

If I haven’t convinced you about this, that’s ok, but please use qualtrics which lets you label each reply, and if you need to use google forms, then use radio buttons so each answer can be labeled.

Will also has this super wonderful amazing Smile Sheet Diagnostic

Please consider reading our full published article.

misconceptions in librarianship

1.Everything is on google:

2. Students all have their own computers.

3. There is a peer reviewed article(s) about your topic.

4. Libraries and librarians are quiet

boolean is dead

Long live the Boolean? In what circumstances might Boolean be beneficial for undergraduate students? While outside the scope of this paper, Boolean may be more important for upper-level students or students with more complex research needs. For example, a student conducting an extensive literature review aiming for high recall (such as locating all possible relevant articles on a topic) or a student in a specialized discipline such as business where there may be many interrelated factors to consider (for example: industry, stakeholders, NAICS codes49).”

” Overall, natural search language is at least as good as Boolean searching. With evidence that students struggle to grasp Boolean searching, and may not use it even after instruction, it could be left out of first-year instruction, freeing up valuable class time to focus on concepts such as question development and source evaluation.”

LOWE, M. Sara et al. The Boolean is Dead, Long Live the Boolean! Natural Language versus BooleanSearching in Introductory Undergraduate Instruction. College & Research Libraries, [S.l.], v. 79, n. 4, p. 517, may 2018. ISSN 2150-6701. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 02 may 2018. doi:

And this:

“Also the study tests out natural language search vs  key concepts chained with AND operators and not my proposal that nested boolean is not necessary.”

7 types of mis- and disinformation, compare and contrast ideas

Stop calling it Fake News, 7 types of mis- and disinformation:

Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policymaking


A typology for fake news:

Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Zheng Wei Lim & Richard Ling (2017): Defining “Fake News”, Digital Journalism, DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1360143

To link to this article:

Then consider the following. (Thanks Dan Rather!)

1. Understand that trusting a news outlet doesn’t mean they’re perfect — no one’s perfect. It means they tell you when they screw up.

2. Don’t rely on just one news outlet.

3. Don’t rely on just the news to understand an issue. Read books. Find the experts. Find out how the issues are discussed outside of news.*

4. If you find yourself agreeing with everything your news outlet says, you’re doing it wrong. If your news doesn’t challenge you, challenge your news.

5. Find a commentator whose politics differ from yours.… If you can’t find such a person, maybe the media is not the problem.

6. Remember that what the news tells you is far less important than what they decide to talk about in the first place.

Rather added closing words in the video.

“The true test of trustworthy journalism isn’t that they never make mistakes. It’s whether they’re willing to challenge the powers that be on behalf of those without power.”

*This echos this fascinating summary of a great experiment. The whole post is awesome, but this is from #2.

“The fact checkers were easily able to  avoid all the traps and narrow down on reliable data, while the historians and undergraduates struggled.
Why? Again I’m not going to summarise the whole paper and I urge you to read the full paper because it goes in fascinating detail on how fact checkers think and search as compared to the other groups but the upshot is the fact checkers were very quick to do cross-checking of information on other sites.
The article calls this “Taking bearings”. While the historians and students spent a lot of time studying the webpages they were presented with,  the fact checkers quickly started searching other websites to learn more about the webpages they were studying.”
Which pointed me to this terrific infographic from IFLA:
Finally this:
“We will talk about bias later, but to him** list based methods like CRAAP have too many questions and doesn’t guide the user on what are the most critical questions to ask and the order to ask them in.
He draws an analogy with doctors trying to diagnose patents. Doctors now don’t ask questions in a random order or ask patients to just list all the symptoms. Instead they are trained to use decision trees to ask questions in a specific order to narrow down possibilities.
As such, he gives the following specific targeted advice when checking for fake news.
  • Check for previous work
  • Go upstream to the source
  • Read laterally
  • Circle back
Notice, he doesn’t just give you a bunch of evaluation points, but tells you the order to do them. In particular, he follows the strategy of the fact checkers in the Stanford study and prioritizes cross-checking and validation.”