And the Newest Academic Buzzword to be Used When We Mean “I Can’t Do Actual Research” is…

“Roundup.”

Like what a cowboy does to cattle or an engineer does because he can’t accept irrational numbers. But not in either of those senses of the word, but as in “We’ve aggregated, done some descriptive stats, but haven’t done any actual research as other social scientists understand the term.”

“Research Roundup” or “Data Roundup” or (gods forbid) “Intelligence Roundup” are all being used now in a way that suggests that someone is preparing a meta-analysis or something equally quasi-useful, but often it just means the person doing the “Roundup” is looking for articles that support their biases.

These types of “publications” are often institutional in nature, not peer reviewed, and certainly not subject to IRB scrutiny. That is, they appear on a professor’s personal website, a department website, a university website, or in an intra-institutional newsletter; they’re not scientific or worthy of referencing.

Please, make no mistake: When you see “Roundup” remember that it causes cancer.

Shriek into the Void...

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