Internet Technology and Information ExchangeGiven the ease of access to information provided by the internet, modern researchers can interact faster with each other. This rapid interaction enhances research skills as learning ensues online. It facilitates information exchange at the speed of light. Fiber optic cables or thin flexible glass fibers that transmit light signals facilitate telecommunication between individuals across continents. The nature and flow of information have significantly changed.I illustrate the difference between the nature of information flow before and now in Table 1 especially in the Asia and Africa. This change in the mode of information exchange through internet technology favors contemporary researchers and enhances their research skills.Table 1. Comparison of information flows before and after the introduction of internet technology.
|Outdated references in the library||Recent literature accessible online|
|Manually accessible library collections||Libraries or databases accessible online|
|Slow exchange of information||Fast exchange of information|
|Publication of scientific articles takes years||Publication takes a few months|
|Paid subscription journals||Open access journals; creative commons|
Enhanced Research Skills Offered by Internet TechnologyAccessing thousands of articles available online allows beginning researchers to develop their trade and keep themselves updated in their field of specialization. When I started off doing research in the late 1990s, I have to content myself with what is available in the institution’s collection of scientific journals. Now, the following online databases help me write more sensible project reports, at a much faster pace:
2. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)I came across this directory of open access journals a few years back. As I teach the research subject, I usually refer students to DOAJ, but they complain that they can access only a few relevant articles for their study. The collection of scientific articles in the directory appears limited compared to Google Scholar, but it offers full papers for free. However, in many cases, you need to learn Latin American languages to understand what’s going on south of the equator. As more scientists make available their research in open access journals, the database collection will be a good source of scientific information.
The Web Log as Quick Mode of PublicationWhile peer-review of articles for publication has its merits, the ease of publication offered by blogs has its advantages in the age of information technology. Putnam (2011) discussed the pros and cons of this approach. Her main concern pertains to the quality of articles published online. But as more researchers give premium to the speed by which information gets delivered, the order of information exchange soon may just be sharing information through blogs. You get the information you need in a matter of hours. This mode of information sharing becomes more relevant in matters of life and death such as cure to cancer or averting impending disasters that require timely information.If there are questions about the reliability and soundness of information, such as the case of a NASA scientist who refused to answer another scientist’s critique of a bacteria that can survive in arsenic (see their discussion here), comments in the blog serve as peer review. As scientists interact in the comments section, the issue gets clarified.Literature CitedAbbate, J. E. (1994). From ARPANET to Internet: A history of ARPA-sponsored computer networks, 1966–1988.Bakkalbasi, N., Bauer, K., Glover, J., and Wang, L. (2006). Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. Biomedical Digital Libraries, 3(1):7.Falagas, M. E., Pitsouni, E. I., Malietzis, G. A., and Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2):338–342.Jacsó, P. (2005). Google Scholar: the pros and the cons. Online Information Review, 29(2):208–214.Meho, L. I. and Yang, K. (2007). Impact of data sources on citation counts and rankings of LIS faculty: Web of Science versus Scopus and Google Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(13):2105–2125.Putnam, L. (2011). The changing role of blogs in science information dissemination. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (65):4.Spector, A., Norvig, P., and Petrov, S. (2012). Google’s hybrid approach to research. Communications of the ACM, 55(7):34–37.Wright, R. (1997). The man who invented the web. Time Magazine, 149(20):64–8.©2015 October 17 P. A. Regoniel
Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick A. (October 17, 2015). The Role of Internet Technology in Enhancing Research Skills. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2015/10/17/internet-technology-research-skills/