Research Context and Research Chemistry: Information Literacy, Scholarly Publishing, and Data Management in the Chemistry Curriculum
April 16, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Exponential growth in the number of chemistry publications  produced each year has made sorting through research topics increasingly difficult. This growth does have the advantage of exposing some of the flaws in the publication process that future chemists might be able to improve. Issues such as lack of reproducibility [2–4], overemphasis on citation metrics [5,6], data falsification [7,8], and predatory journals  will have to be addressed by the next generation of scientists. To that end a new type of chemical literature course in the undergraduate and graduate curricula at Vanderbilt University is being introduced. This course will be divided into three sections.
The first half will focus on information seeking and literacy by covering contentious topics within chemistry (e.g., fracking, nuclear energy, thalidomide, and research related to the supposed vaccine/autism link) and teaching students about the databases and techniques that can help them identify trustworthy information.
The second portion will focus on the history, present, and future of scholarly publishing. Students will learn about current practices by hearing from a journal editor and an acquisition librarian that frequently negotiates with publishers.
The final portion will be on data management as a potential solution to some of the issues with publishing. Students will learn how to manage, find, store, and share data related to their research. Other scientific literature or information curricula will be compared to this course by distributing a survey to faculty and staff at colleges and universities and student learning will be assessed by using a pre/post test to determine their confidence and comfort with finding, describing, publishing, and sharing research articles and data.