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Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Blogs Hit the Academy! (Sorta)

By Steven Taylor @ 10:59 am

For the first time, I am getting student papers that cite blogs in their bibliographies. Amusingly, one student cited PoliBlog (this post on Mill’s Harm Principle), however I am fairly certain that the student didn’t know who owned the site. Rather, the second item that comes up on a Google search of “harm principle” gives PoliBlog so I suspect the usage was utter serendipity. A second paper, in another class, cites one of Joe Carter’s posts on immigration at the Evangelical Outpost.

Of course, what this actually reflects are the poor research skills of students who think that putting keywords into Google equates to research. It further demonstrates that they lack the skills needed to discern whether what they have found is news, opinion or scholarly analysis.

More evidence that Google is the new “research” tool: another student made wide use of Wikipedia.

Back to blogs: what this further demonstrates is the prevalence of blogs in search engine results. We are everywhere.

Filed under: Academia
  • Outside the Beltway linked with Blogs and Research
  • Wizbang linked with 5 Miles, In The Snow, Uphill Both Ways..
  • Pennywit linked with Credibility, Blogging, and Research
  • A Single Southern Guy In America linked with Ramifications of the Berg Video and the Ethics of Blogging
  • PoliBlog » Pardon Me, While I go Google-up a Response… linked with a pingback

Click here to go to the main page.


  1. Yep. OTB is coming up very high-usually above big time media outlets-for stories even a day after they came out. I’m #1 on Google and MSN for a couple different searches related to the Souter mugging and the Iraq prisoner scandals.

    Comment by James Joyner — Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 11:53 am

  2. I don’t know if I should be honored that someone would cite me as a reference or be offended that they used such a lame post.

    I guess I should be happy that I’m at least a footnote in someone’s world. ; )

    Comment by Joe Carter — Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 1:13 pm

  3. Because I got tired of fighting my students, I have simply instituted a policy under which papers lose one letter grade per website cited. The fact that they would argue it baffles me - especially when it’s from my graduate students.

    Comment by Mud Blood & Beer — Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 3:08 pm

  4. False friends are worse than open enemies...

    Comment by Rod — Wednesday, May 5, 2004 @ 1:31 pm

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