Container Collapse and the Information Remix: Students’ Evaluations of Scientific Research Recast in Scholarly vs. Popular Sources 

By Amy G. Buhler, Ixchel M. Faniel, Brittany Brannon, Christopher Cyr, Tara Tobin Cataldo, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Joyce Kasman Valenza, Rachael Elrod, Randy A. Graff, Samuel R. Putnam, Erin M. Hood, and Kailey Langer

The scientific communication lifecycle relies on recasting information through a variety of genres, from scholarly to popular, as scientific findings are translated for different audiences. In the past several years, this has become increasingly important as scientists recognize the need to broadly communicate their findings in order to demonstrate the broader impacts of their research and gain public trust. When students turn to search engines to locate resources for a science project, this means they often encounter similar information in a variety of containers, formats, and genres. This variety requires them to make nuanced judgments about which resources will help them as they begin their research, which to cite and incorporate into their project, and which are the most credible.

Although a significant body of research addresses how scholars communicate with one another and how scientific information becomes news, little research examines how information consumers use and compare different iterations of the same information across the scientific communication lifecycle. This paper compares and contrasts 116 students’ point-of-selection judgments of three resources recasting the same scien-tific content: an original research article, a news piece about the article in a scientific journal, and a news piece about the article in a popular magazine.

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Suggested citation:

Buhler, Amy G., Ixchel M. Faniel, Brittany Brannon, Christopher Cyr, Tara Tobin Cataldo, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Joyce Kasman Valenza, Rachael Elrod, Randy A. Graff, Samuel R. Putnam, Erin M. Hood, and Kailey Langer. 2019. "Container Collapse and the Information Remix:Students’ Evaluations of Scientific Research Recast in Scholarly vs. Popular Sources." In Proceedings of the ACRL Conference 2019.