Finding and Connecting

Wendy’s thoughts on finding things vs. making connections reminds me of something Earl casually said about graduate students in relation to my thesis research at a research group meeting. At the graduate level, he suggested that students are dealing with not so much with finding new things, but more so with the linking up of relations between what we already know and think about. Someone struggling to understand something, perhaps a difficult theoretical concept, may not be making the links that others are making.

How does this connect to my thoughts about weblogs? Well, sometimes a blog I subscribe to in Bloglines mentions a reference or author that that I follow up on. This is not my primary way of finding scholarly literature. I rely more on library database searches; alerts on high-impact, peer-reviewed journals in my research area; references cited in key articles; and other researchers. I cannot stress this last resource enough. The researchers who share with me works-in-progress, direct me to references, and even leave things on my desk may have already made links between things that I haven’t made yet. In my blog, if I link to something that is meaningful to me, maybe it would also be useful to someone else? Would it help them make the links that they weren’t able to make before? Is that emergent integration? Possibly.


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