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ERIC Number: EJ1008082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-1492-3831
Uses of Published Research: An Exploratory Case Study
Fahy, Patrick J.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v14 n1 p145-166 Mar 2013
Academic publications are too often ignored by other researchers. There are various reasons: Researchers know that conclusions may eventually be proved wrong; publications are sometimes retracted; effects may decline when studied later; researchers occasionally don't seem to know about papers they have allegedly authored; there are even accusations of fraud (Cohen, 2011). In this exploratory case study, 10 papers were examined to determine the various ways they were used by others, whether there were cases of reported effects declining, and whether, among those who referenced the papers, there were suggestions that anything in the papers ought to be retracted. Findings showed that all the papers had been referenced by others (337 user publications were found, containing a total of 868 references). Other findings include the following: "Single references" were far more common than "multiple references"; "applications/replications" were the least common type of usage (23 occurrences), followed by "contrasts/elaborations" (34), and "quotations" (65); unlike reports regarding publications in the sciences, whether the paper was "solo-" or "co-authored" did not affect usage; appearance in a "non-prestige journal" was actually associated with more usage of some kinds; and well over 80% of uses were in heavily scrutinized sources ("journal articles" or "theses/dissertations"). The paper concludes with recommendations to writers about how to avoid producing publications that are ignored. (Contains 5 tables.)
Athabasca University. 1200, 10011 - 109 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8, Canada. Tel: 780-421-2536; Fax: 780-497-3416; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A