Mentors can use a number of pedagogical techniques, and recent developments in the realm of scientific publication have provided new opportunities, writes David A. Sanders.
It is axiomatic that students need to learn to read and write. At first, one might assume that this task is accomplished early in their education. But, in fact, learning to read and write is a continuing, lifelong process.
That is nowhere better demonstrated than in the training of a scientist. Their required reading and writing skills differ from those that a nonscientist might develop. For example, critical evaluation of experimental data presented in a number of formats is a central component of scientific reading. You have to learn how to examine each figural or tabular presentation of results and determine for yourself whether it supports the interpretation and conclusions that the authors of a published article have provided. Read more.