I just found something

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Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
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I just found something

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I just found out that apparently there's a thing called google scholar, and it's basically where google searches specifically through scholarly articles for a topic. I had no idea this existed, and I was wondering if anyone thinks it could be useful for writing questions and stuff. If anyone does have more experience using this, I saw it is still beta so do you know any restrictions it does have?
Sorry to sound like a n00b, I just thought this looked like it could be useful.
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Post by mrmaguda »

Google Scholar has been beta for at least 2 years. I used it a lot for a big research paper I wrote in 2005. It basically searches Scholarly Journal databases like JSTOR, HeinOnline and the like. But for a few of the journal articles it links to you need a password to access. You could probably provide a few obscure facts for the first lines of a tossup but beyond that, I'm not sure of its effectiveness. You would probably already have to know a lot about a topic before journal articles could help as they tend to be very specific and difficult to comprehend if you are not familiar with the subject matter.

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Post by Jeremy Gibbs Lemma »

I used it last year for a genetics research presentation... it worked quite well in prepping it the day before... not the best idea but I am glad I used it.

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Post by grapesmoker »

welcome to 2005
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Post by ArloLyle »

As other people have mentioned Google Scholar is primarily of use for people who are doing research for course projects or journal articles. While there are some older articles available most of the stuff is quite new and rather specialized. The stuff you would find here would be by no means standard in the same way that information in a textbook would be. There is no way to really know how well received a given article is unless you are dealing with something in your field or how widely read it is.

I think a somewhat good analogy for the use Google Scholar to write questions is using books read in a upper level English class to write questions. Curriculums change from school to school and from semester to semester.

I'm not saying that just because something is obscure you shouldn't use it to write questions, but imo you need to make sure that luck isn't a huge factor in someone getting a question.

Also, as far as writing the questions goes, these articles would probably make your job a lot harder than if you used some other reference source since they are generally written for a select audience.

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

grapesmoker wrote:welcome to 2005
Yeah I know, I haven't used most of the google applications due to intensely limited internets until now.
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Post by Sima Guang Hater »

ArloLyle wrote:Also, as far as writing the questions goes, these articles would probably make your job a lot harder than if you used some other reference source since they are generally written for a select audience.
I found the "problem of social cost" on there. Great for question material.

Other than that, I use it for leadins on science questions.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter »

ArloLyle wrote:I think a somewhat good analogy for the use Google Scholar to write questions is using books read in a upper level English class to write questions. Curriculums change from school to school and from semester to semester.

I'm not saying that just because something is obscure you shouldn't use it to write questions, but imo you need to make sure that luck isn't a huge factor in someone getting a question.

Also, as far as writing the questions goes, these articles would probably make your job a lot harder than if you used some other reference source since they are generally written for a select audience.
What are you talking about? Sure, you shouldn't assume a book you read in class is tossupable simply because you read it in class, but eschewing any books taught possibly exclusively in "upper level English classes" seems stupid. Additionally, a committed question writer should always attempt to use all the resources available to them while recognizing that a limited timetable will inevitably preclude spending too much time with any given material. If you do your research, and especially if you are a student of the subject in question, you can correctly choose which pieces of information are significant enough to warrant inclusion in a question. Criticism clues for lit tossups come to mind, but I hereby forbid all people from reopening that discussion at this or any other time.

Edit: I forgot to mention this the first time. Luck in quizbowl is inevitable. That being said, if you make educated decisions as to what to include, even if the subject is somewhat obscure, then the luck factor will be diminished in favor of those with legitimate knowledge of the subject.

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Post by cvdwightw »

mrmaguda wrote:But for a few of the journal articles it links to you need a password to access. You could probably provide a few obscure facts for the first lines of a tossup but beyond that, I'm not sure of its effectiveness.
If you access the articles through a campus library system you should have access to the entire article on some databases. Or maybe that's just at the UCs. I don't know.

Also, you can't access a lot of the older articles online, but if you look through several articles and you see something cited in a bunch of them, that's probably a good article to find (either online or in print at the library). There's probably a reason for that, like it's an important early experiment or it's a review that's reasonably accessible for someone with rudimentary knowledge of the subject.

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Post by mrmaguda »

cvdwightw wrote:
mrmaguda wrote:But for a few of the journal articles it links to you need a password to access. You could probably provide a few obscure facts for the first lines of a tossup but beyond that, I'm not sure of its effectiveness.
If you access the articles through a campus library system you should have access to the entire article on some databases. Or maybe that's just at the UCs. I don't know.
You're exactly right. Thanks for bringing that up. I remember having to use friends' ID numbers from other colleges to access the EconLit database because my school didn't have access to it. It was a pain.

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Post by ArloLyle »

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:
ArloLyle wrote:I think a somewhat good analogy for the use Google Scholar to write questions is using books read in a upper level English class to write questions. Curriculums change from school to school and from semester to semester.

I'm not saying that just because something is obscure you shouldn't use it to write questions, but imo you need to make sure that luck isn't a huge factor in someone getting a question.

Also, as far as writing the questions goes, these articles would probably make your job a lot harder than if you used some other reference source since they are generally written for a select audience.
What are you talking about? Sure, you shouldn't assume a book you read in class is tossupable simply because you read it in class, but eschewing any books taught possibly exclusively in "upper level English classes" seems stupid. Additionally, a committed question writer should always attempt to use all the resources available to them while recognizing that a limited timetable will inevitably preclude spending too much time with any given material. If you do your research, and especially if you are a student of the subject in question, you can correctly choose which pieces of information are significant enough to warrant inclusion in a question. Criticism clues for lit tossups come to mind, but I hereby forbid all people from reopening that discussion at this or any other time.

Edit: I forgot to mention this the first time. Luck in quizbowl is inevitable. That being said, if you make educated decisions as to what to include, even if the subject is somewhat obscure, then the luck factor will be diminished in favor of those with legitimate knowledge of the subject.
My point was that some people seem to think that just because they read something in a class then most other people who have taken similar class have read it too. I've noticed this at several tournaments particularly with Lit and it often leads to questions that go unanswered in all the rooms. You can just make the broad statement that these type of people are bad question writers and they probably are, but when someone asks "Hey, is [blank] a good source for question writing?" they are probably asking because they want to improve their writing ability. Thus it's a good idea to mention some of the pitfalls that can occur from using that source. This is all I was trying to do. I'm sure in some cases Google Scholar can be of great help, but based on my use of it, which has mostly been for computer science journal articles, the level of knowledge required for a lot of the articles is quite high. So sure if you are writing about something in your field it could be great, but you probably already have all sorts of sources of information dealing with you field. My main point was that if you are trying to write questions from outside your field, there are probably a good number of other sources which are more accessible to the general college student no matter his field.

Of course luck is always a factor in quiz bowl, but some of the lit questions I've heard before you would have to be very lucky to know. Didn't I have an argument with you where you basically said you should only write questions based on what is in the canon?

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