Case Study #1: The Blue Arctic Singing Frog
Producing Primary Research Articles
Peggy and Dermit, researchers in the Amphibians Department at Waycool University, have spent the past four years researching the Blue Arctic Singing Frog. They have monitored and recorded the frog's eating, sleeping, migrating, hopping, and singing patterns. They're made some pretty extraordinary new discoveries about how the frogs use songs to communicate with other frogs.
They've written an extensive research paper documenting their discoveries. Their paper includes several sections that are expected in research reports, including:
- the methods they used to gather data.
- the results of the study, which includes a lot of charts and graphs.
- a lengthy discussion of how they interpret the results.
- a list of all the sources (books, articles, web sites) they used, giving credit to other scholars whose work contributed to their study.
Their research report is the first source documenting the singing patterns of the Blue Arctic Singing Frog. It is a primary research article.
They've written the paper; now what?
Peggy and Dermit want to share their research with other scholars. They want to have it published in a scholarly (academic) research journal. They submitted the paper to the Journal of Arctic Amphibians, which is a peer-reviewed journal. Several other wildlife and biology scholars read the paper carefully. These scholars, Peggy's and Dermit's peers, scrutinized the methods, results and discussion. They even sent it back to Peggy and Dermit for clarification and revisions.
Eventually, Peggy and Dermit's paper was accepted to the Journal of Arctic Amphibians. It only took a year after they finished their paper, but often it can take two or more years.