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Doing RFLP paper-any good stuff?

Stacy Ferguson sferguso at kimbark.uchicago.edu
Tue Sep 26 23:09:09 EST 1995


In article <cvl-2609952129590001 at stout.whoi.edu>,
Craig V.W. Lewis <cvl at gause.whoi.edu> wrote:
>Hey folks, give the kid a break!  
>
>So she wants to do a good job and is using the internet mildly

Actually, it sounds more like she wants us to do the good 
job for her. There's nothing inappropriate about asking for 
help, so she isn't using the internet unwisely. What she is
unwise about is that her plea for help is the result of her
own laziness and the appropriate question would have been 
"How do I find articles published recently on RFLP analysis?"
Instead, she wants us to find them for her rather than having
to do the work herself. THAT's the inappropriate part. 

>inappropriately.  The request was not entirely unreasonable; she was
>asking for information on recent releases, not the field as a whole. 
>These are harder for an undergrad to find; not all of us have a nose for
>what's great and what isn't.  I haven't noticed CD-ROM's listing papers

Learning to use a library is something most school children learn.
If she's already to the point of applying to medical school, she's
old enough to use a library. Recent releases are also found in the
library. No, there aren't CD-ROMs listing the papers. It's easier 
than that. If she has an email account, she can figure out how 
to use Medline. Any fool could do it. If I can get non-science 
work-study students to go xerox papers for me or to find a reference
for me based on the year and subject matter, I think a future med
student could figure it out.


>with a rating system and we all know there's some serious trash out there,
>and some obscure gems.
>

Well then she can always post what she finds and we can help her out
at that point. The rest of us don't feel like doing library work
for her and frankly, the topic she's covering isn't exactly a 
science where one can distinguish gems from trash. It's a technology.

>The request is probably mildly inappropriate, but does that mean we have
>to accuse her of all manner of malingering, opportunism and and political
>expediency.  I imagine most successful scientists got good reccomendations

We don't have to accuse her. She knows it herself by admitting that 
the reason she's writing this paper is to impress. By using others 
and representing that effort of her own, she's exhibiting enough signs
that she's unethical and lazy. Not the sort of person I'd want performing
brain surgery on a member of my family. We're talking about lives here
and when a potential health professional shows these signs, we're all
ethically involved in any tragic mistakes she may make in the future
if we help her attain that goal unethically. 

Had she asked the following, she would have gotten precisely the 
help she wanted.

"I'm applying to med school and have an interest in the uses of
RFLP in genetic analysis. I realize that as a physician, I will
need to learn how to find medically relevent papers. Could someone
please explain to me how one goes about doing that?"

>by doing good work.  Some did it conciously to impress and others did it
>purely for the sake of the science.  In either case, it was still good
>work.
>


The issue here isn't how she's going to produce good work. It's how
to get others to do that good work for her so she can avoid it.


>CVL


Stacy





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