Richard P. Phelps cries from his heart: what's happened to the literature search in academic research?

I would argue that the skill of literature searching, in general, may be approaching extinction. One would think that the wonderful improvements in data bases and computer search engines over the past quarter century would have dramatically improved literature searching. Instead, they may have made it worse. My conclusion derives from reading several too many research articles on standardized testing with a wholly erroneous assessment of the research base on the topic. This happens routinely, despite the fact that any new study is just one study among many, whereas a literature review is supposed to summarize the entirety of the research done on a topic. Which of these two aspects of the research process—the data analysis or the literature search--is more important to have done correctly?

Also interesting is Mr. Phelps's "If 'Mainstream' Educators Trained Olympic Athletes."

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