Posted on May 4th, 2020 by Mª Amor Pérez-Rodríguez – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

A good article is defined by the timeliness of the topic, the scientific writing, the level of its references in the writing of the state of the question and the novelty and significance of the results. Numerous blog posts have emphasized each of these aspects. And it could be said that all of them have reading as their central axis. Hence, the most important task of a good researcher is to know what to read and where. Books, works published in journals in the field, reviews, informative texts, … International reference databases (Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed…) and a good selection of keywords or topics provide the material for the start of the study. However, there are other ways to access knowledge.

Today, with technological development, accessing content opens up a wide range of options. Perhaps not all first-rate, but probably many of them necessary towikipedia draw the map of ideas that outline what you want to expose yourself or to open the way to deeper inquiries. A Twitter thread, a post on Facebook, or a blog post are increasingly, means in which texts, discussions, positions and approaches are disseminated and  are then either challenged or refuted in a much more dynamic and immediate way. It is a way of spreading and sharing knowledge, collaborative learning, participatory culture, open science. In this sense, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is an example of massive collaboration to be the receptacle of universal knowledge.

Obviously, a good researcher is aware that not everything that is read is useful or necessary. The sources must be reliable, they must be contrasted and appropriately cited. Hence, the readings made in scientific journals, books and other indexed publications, are given more prestige and are considered more reliable than these other modes of access to knowledge. Wikipedia, Facebook or Twitter, among others, conform as sources that are usually rabidly current, open, and free. However, they are also very partial, or very general. But they should not be disdained, logically, using them with rigor and due system. That is, never a single source, nor a secondary source or without contrast can be the main reference of a scientific work. A rich and diverse reading, with all the possible readings of the subject in question, provides the appropriate wickerwork to weave the framework of a significant contribution and contribution to knowledge.

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