Something To Think About: Dan Brown


“‘Google’ is not a synonym for ‘research’.” Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

I have to ask. If using Google is not research, then what is it? What do you think the difference is between research and searching?



  1. Great reminder, Dan, even for faculty =) With all of the time demands (see prior blog post) we tend to take the path of least resistance and Google is frequently it! I try to mix my research assignments to include: 1) library research (peer reviewed sources), 2) professional resources research (professional journals, white papers, etc.), and 3) SME interviews. My field, HR and OL, is much more reliant on current trends and so relying solely on library sources tends to miss that which is happening right now! I also like the SME interviews as they help students understand the application implications of theoretical concepts. Kath


    • Kath, you bring up a great point about the currency of information. Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles take time to go through the research, writing, and review process. In fast-paced fields, we need to think outside the box, yet still make sure that we carefully evaluate the sources for credibility.


  2. We should explore this question actively with our students.
    My opinion is that we can Google or Wikipedia an isolated fact or viewpoint, but when I assign “research” I expect a student to access multiple sources of information and to perform some analysis or integration of findings. Ultimately, the result of this “research” will appear in the student’s original writing which summarizes and integrates their findings.


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