January 8, 2003

One of the most valuable research skills it is possible to have is the ability to dig up obscure and forgotten knowledge. This skill may not be as important in the sciences as in journalism or history, although it should not be undervalued. Physicists, mathematicians, botanists and many others often use dusty old tomes as part of their research. Unfortunately, most new students refuse to believe that anything not on the Web could be important or useful. The Web may be transforming how research is done forever, but I don't think we need to throw out the baby with the bath water. One of our Science & Technology Studies profs, Ernst Hamm, pointed out this wonderful little article to me about journalism students. I think it is just as relevant to virtually every other field, highlighting some of the "old-fashioned" research skills such as persistence, imagination and hard work.

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