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Adding to the scientific body of knowledge?

  1. Jul 26, 2010 #1
    What exactly does this mean? I have a paper due in Biology, where I had to read a research paper on Clathrin Coated Vesicles and answer some questions.

    Well that was kind of easy, until I got to the end and it asked "How do the findings in this paper contribute to the scientific body of knowledge?"

    And I am confused as to what the professor is asking me. My first reaction is just to put down whatever the paper proved, but some how that seems wrong and I feel like this is a trick question.

    Anyone know what that sentence means?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2010 #2
    Maybe the question is if anything new was learned that is not in the scholar textbooks yet, or maybe the results of that paper were challenging previous scholar assumptions.
     
  4. Jul 26, 2010 #3

    Gokul43201

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    This is the part where you have to read more than just the paper you have been assigned - you have to survey the state of knowledge within the specific field prior to the publication of this paper, and evaluate the role of the chosen paper. Start with the references cited in the introductory section of the paper.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2010 #4
    Just to echo what others have said. It seems to me you want to focus on the RESULTS. Was there anything found there that was surprising?

    Edit: Perhaps there are clues in the conclusions?
     
  6. Jul 26, 2010 #5
    That's exactly what is throwing me off. Cause the question before this was "What are the findings of this paper, and how does this contrast with current accepted views?"

    So it seems like it is asking the same question twice.
     
  7. Jul 26, 2010 #6

    Office_Shredder

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    Current accepted view meaning how does the conclusions of the paper differ from what we think now? This would be different from asking how the conclusions of the paper differ from what was thought then
     
  8. Jul 26, 2010 #7
    My bad , I accidentally threw the current in there. "it was contrast with accepted views".
     
  9. Jul 26, 2010 #8

    Office_Shredder

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    I think then that this question is may be asking how does the paper contribute to the current scientific body of knowledge. Let's say you are reading about the gold foil experiment. When it was run, it gave results contrary to that expected by the plum pudding model. It contributes to the current body of knowledge by providing the first evidence for the atomic model described 2 years after the experiment. So two subtle but distinct points to be made there
     
  10. Jul 26, 2010 #9

    Ygggdrasil

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    Other ways of adding to the scientific body of knowledge include contributing new reagents, experimental protocols, or instruments. For example, if the authors generated new reagents to study clathin-coated vesicles (siRNAs, antibodies, drugs, etc.) or new protocols for studying them (reconstitution methods, imaging protocols), etc., these would be things you could discuss that would go beyond talking about how the paper addresses the biology of clathrin-coated vesicles. For these types of contributions, it's important to discuss how widely applicable these new reagents and methods are (for example, are they only applicable to studying certain questions about clathin? Can they be used to study related processes involving clathrin? Can they be used in other areas of biology?).
     
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