In Mythbusting the ‘Google generation’ report, Jon Udell digs into a claim about "the Google Generation" and tries to find out where the evidence comes from. What he finds is that it's not as easy as it should be. The deeper you go, the more you have to dig because the papers are all published in PDF and contain no hyperlinks.
Eventually he concludes:
But do you see the irony here? The study making this claim was constructed and published in a way that resists all efforts to evaluate its relevance, accuracy, or authority. Which hardly matters, since none of the reporting about the study seems to have made any such effort.
Pioneering research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth? So far as I can see, that report says more about the researchers who wrote it, and about the reporters who reacted to it, than it says about any real or imaginary trends.
The larger issue (one of them) has been bugging me for a while now. The Web is clearly not going away. So why is it that so many respected journals and research publishing outlets completely fall down when it comes to providing actual URLs that point to supporting material?
This stuff shouldn't be rocket surgery.
You need to assume that people will discover and read your material on-line, in a web browser. Make it EASY for them to verify your claims and understand where the reasoning comes from. It'll actually make your case stronger in the long run.
Posted by jzawodn at February 08, 2008 01:16 PM