Johnson, D. M., & Shoulders, C. W. (2019). Beyond Magic Words and Symbols: Rethinking Common Practices in Quantitative Research. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(3), 291-303. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.03291

One of the keystones of scientific disciplines is the production and dissemination of quality, valid research. Within the Journal of Agricultural Education, traditions passed down from mentor to mentee have led to the establishment of magic words and symbols that, while used to meet criteria for acceptance for publication, actually obscure and obfuscate the research process. When used inappropriately, these terms can suggest appropriate methodology to the uninformed reader or reviewer, perpetuating the publication and dissemination of invalid research. Using the theory of planned behavior as a framework, this research note seeks to highlight some of the more common magic words and symbols used in manuscripts within the Journal of Agricultural Education and offers information to enable researchers to cease inappropriate use of these terms in an effort to enhance the validity of research published within the journal. This research note was an invited presentation at the 2019 American Association for Agricultural Education Conference and was approved for publication by the Chair of the Journal of Agricultural Education’s Editing Managing Board.

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