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The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that publishes research related to literacy and literacy education from preschool through adulthood.

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Journal of Literacy Research (JLR)

The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that publishes research related to literacy and literacy education from preschool through adulthood. JLR publishes research and scholarly papers, including original research and essays in its Insights column. Articles represent diverse research paradigms and theoretical orientations, and they employ a variety of methodologies and modes of inquiry. JLR serves as a forum for sharing innovative areas of research and pedagogy and encourages papers that disrupt traditional notions of literacy and literacy instruction.

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The Palgrave Handbook of Teacher Education Research pp 1–26 Cite as

Developing a “Research Literacy Way of Thinking” in Initial Teacher Education: Students as Co-researchers

  • Tone M. Eriksen 2 &
  • Lisbeth M. Brevik   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2478-5677 2  
  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online: 06 December 2022

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Recent trends within teacher education have promoted the development of students’ research literacy during initial teacher education (ITE) and beyond. However, knowledge is lacking about how to operationalize research literacy and, in particular, how research literacy is implemented in ITE. This chapter discusses how research literacy can enrich ITE by allowing for the development of what has been coined here as “a research literacy way of thinking”.

Research literacy is herein conceptualized as more than an engagement with research through research-based education. The argument is that to enrich the understanding of how to develop research literacy in teaching and teacher education, emphasis should be placed on connecting research and education by actively engaging students in research, for instance, by inviting students to become co-researchers in ongoing projects as part of their education. Research literacy is outlined as a key construct before delving into research engagement , competence as continuum and co-research as key issues facing ITE researchers and practitioners. Together, these key issues are framed as “a research literacy way of thinking”. Used as an empirical lens, the co-research model is presented as a way to develop research literacy, comprising co-research in dissertations, in university seminars, as formative assessment and as data collection. This illustrates how “a research literacy way of thinking” has the potential to connect research and education by providing opportunities to develop situation-specific skills to connect student teachers’ dispositions and school performance during ITE.

  • Research literacy
  • Co-research
  • Competence continuum
  • Research engagement

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UNESCO. (2021, April 7). Literacy . https://en.unesco.org/themes/literacy

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Tone M. Eriksen & Lisbeth M. Brevik

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Eriksen, T.M., Brevik, L.M. (2022). Developing a “Research Literacy Way of Thinking” in Initial Teacher Education: Students as Co-researchers. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Teacher Education Research . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59533-3_9-1

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Writing a Literature Review

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A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis ). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays). When we say “literature review” or refer to “the literature,” we are talking about the research ( scholarship ) in a given field. You will often see the terms “the research,” “the scholarship,” and “the literature” used mostly interchangeably.

Where, when, and why would I write a lit review?

There are a number of different situations where you might write a literature review, each with slightly different expectations; different disciplines, too, have field-specific expectations for what a literature review is and does. For instance, in the humanities, authors might include more overt argumentation and interpretation of source material in their literature reviews, whereas in the sciences, authors are more likely to report study designs and results in their literature reviews; these differences reflect these disciplines’ purposes and conventions in scholarship. You should always look at examples from your own discipline and talk to professors or mentors in your field to be sure you understand your discipline’s conventions, for literature reviews as well as for any other genre.

A literature review can be a part of a research paper or scholarly article, usually falling after the introduction and before the research methods sections. In these cases, the lit review just needs to cover scholarship that is important to the issue you are writing about; sometimes it will also cover key sources that informed your research methodology.

Lit reviews can also be standalone pieces, either as assignments in a class or as publications. In a class, a lit review may be assigned to help students familiarize themselves with a topic and with scholarship in their field, get an idea of the other researchers working on the topic they’re interested in, find gaps in existing research in order to propose new projects, and/or develop a theoretical framework and methodology for later research. As a publication, a lit review usually is meant to help make other scholars’ lives easier by collecting and summarizing, synthesizing, and analyzing existing research on a topic. This can be especially helpful for students or scholars getting into a new research area, or for directing an entire community of scholars toward questions that have not yet been answered.

What are the parts of a lit review?

Most lit reviews use a basic introduction-body-conclusion structure; if your lit review is part of a larger paper, the introduction and conclusion pieces may be just a few sentences while you focus most of your attention on the body. If your lit review is a standalone piece, the introduction and conclusion take up more space and give you a place to discuss your goals, research methods, and conclusions separately from where you discuss the literature itself.

Introduction:

  • An introductory paragraph that explains what your working topic and thesis is
  • A forecast of key topics or texts that will appear in the review
  • Potentially, a description of how you found sources and how you analyzed them for inclusion and discussion in the review (more often found in published, standalone literature reviews than in lit review sections in an article or research paper)
  • Summarize and synthesize: Give an overview of the main points of each source and combine them into a coherent whole
  • Analyze and interpret: Don’t just paraphrase other researchers – add your own interpretations where possible, discussing the significance of findings in relation to the literature as a whole
  • Critically Evaluate: Mention the strengths and weaknesses of your sources
  • Write in well-structured paragraphs: Use transition words and topic sentence to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts.

Conclusion:

  • Summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance
  • Connect it back to your primary research question

How should I organize my lit review?

Lit reviews can take many different organizational patterns depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the review. Here are some examples:

  • Chronological : The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time, which helps familiarize the audience with the topic (for instance if you are introducing something that is not commonly known in your field). If you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze the patterns, turning points, and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred (as mentioned previously, this may not be appropriate in your discipline — check with a teacher or mentor if you’re unsure).
  • Thematic : If you have found some recurring central themes that you will continue working with throughout your piece, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about women and religion, key themes can include the role of women in churches and the religious attitude towards women.
  • Qualitative versus quantitative research
  • Empirical versus theoretical scholarship
  • Divide the research by sociological, historical, or cultural sources
  • Theoretical : In many humanities articles, the literature review is the foundation for the theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You can argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach or combine various theorical concepts to create a framework for your research.

What are some strategies or tips I can use while writing my lit review?

Any lit review is only as good as the research it discusses; make sure your sources are well-chosen and your research is thorough. Don’t be afraid to do more research if you discover a new thread as you’re writing. More info on the research process is available in our "Conducting Research" resources .

As you’re doing your research, create an annotated bibliography ( see our page on the this type of document ). Much of the information used in an annotated bibliography can be used also in a literature review, so you’ll be not only partially drafting your lit review as you research, but also developing your sense of the larger conversation going on among scholars, professionals, and any other stakeholders in your topic.

Usually you will need to synthesize research rather than just summarizing it. This means drawing connections between sources to create a picture of the scholarly conversation on a topic over time. Many student writers struggle to synthesize because they feel they don’t have anything to add to the scholars they are citing; here are some strategies to help you:

  • It often helps to remember that the point of these kinds of syntheses is to show your readers how you understand your research, to help them read the rest of your paper.
  • Writing teachers often say synthesis is like hosting a dinner party: imagine all your sources are together in a room, discussing your topic. What are they saying to each other?
  • Look at the in-text citations in each paragraph. Are you citing just one source for each paragraph? This usually indicates summary only. When you have multiple sources cited in a paragraph, you are more likely to be synthesizing them (not always, but often
  • Read more about synthesis here.

The most interesting literature reviews are often written as arguments (again, as mentioned at the beginning of the page, this is discipline-specific and doesn’t work for all situations). Often, the literature review is where you can establish your research as filling a particular gap or as relevant in a particular way. You have some chance to do this in your introduction in an article, but the literature review section gives a more extended opportunity to establish the conversation in the way you would like your readers to see it. You can choose the intellectual lineage you would like to be part of and whose definitions matter most to your thinking (mostly humanities-specific, but this goes for sciences as well). In addressing these points, you argue for your place in the conversation, which tends to make the lit review more compelling than a simple reporting of other sources.

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Literature reviews, what is a literature review, learning more about how to do a literature review.

  • Planning the Review
  • The Research Question
  • Choosing Where to Search
  • Organizing the Review
  • Writing the Review

A literature review is a review and synthesis of existing research on a topic or research question. A literature review is meant to analyze the scholarly literature, make connections across writings and identify strengths, weaknesses, trends, and missing conversations. A literature review should address different aspects of a topic as it relates to your research question. A literature review goes beyond a description or summary of the literature you have read. 

  • Sage Research Methods Core Collection This link opens in a new window SAGE Research Methods supports research at all levels by providing material to guide users through every step of the research process. SAGE Research Methods is the ultimate methods library with more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences, including the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. – Publisher

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Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review

Marco pautasso.

1 Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE), CNRS, Montpellier, France

2 Centre for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis (CESAB), FRB, Aix-en-Provence, France

Literature reviews are in great demand in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications [1] . For example, compared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively [2] . Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single new paper relevant to their interests [3] . Thus, it is both advantageous and necessary to rely on regular summaries of the recent literature. Although recognition for scientists mainly comes from primary research, timely literature reviews can lead to new synthetic insights and are often widely read [4] . For such summaries to be useful, however, they need to be compiled in a professional way [5] .

When starting from scratch, reviewing the literature can require a titanic amount of work. That is why researchers who have spent their career working on a certain research issue are in a perfect position to review that literature. Some graduate schools are now offering courses in reviewing the literature, given that most research students start their project by producing an overview of what has already been done on their research issue [6] . However, it is likely that most scientists have not thought in detail about how to approach and carry out a literature review.

Reviewing the literature requires the ability to juggle multiple tasks, from finding and evaluating relevant material to synthesising information from various sources, from critical thinking to paraphrasing, evaluating, and citation skills [7] . In this contribution, I share ten simple rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoctoral student. Ideas and insights also come from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from reviewers and editors.

Rule 1: Define a Topic and Audience

How to choose which topic to review? There are so many issues in contemporary science that you could spend a lifetime of attending conferences and reading the literature just pondering what to review. On the one hand, if you take several years to choose, several other people may have had the same idea in the meantime. On the other hand, only a well-considered topic is likely to lead to a brilliant literature review [8] . The topic must at least be:

  • interesting to you (ideally, you should have come across a series of recent papers related to your line of work that call for a critical summary),
  • an important aspect of the field (so that many readers will be interested in the review and there will be enough material to write it), and
  • a well-defined issue (otherwise you could potentially include thousands of publications, which would make the review unhelpful).

Ideas for potential reviews may come from papers providing lists of key research questions to be answered [9] , but also from serendipitous moments during desultory reading and discussions. In addition to choosing your topic, you should also select a target audience. In many cases, the topic (e.g., web services in computational biology) will automatically define an audience (e.g., computational biologists), but that same topic may also be of interest to neighbouring fields (e.g., computer science, biology, etc.).

Rule 2: Search and Re-search the Literature

After having chosen your topic and audience, start by checking the literature and downloading relevant papers. Five pieces of advice here:

  • keep track of the search items you use (so that your search can be replicated [10] ),
  • keep a list of papers whose pdfs you cannot access immediately (so as to retrieve them later with alternative strategies),
  • use a paper management system (e.g., Mendeley, Papers, Qiqqa, Sente),
  • define early in the process some criteria for exclusion of irrelevant papers (these criteria can then be described in the review to help define its scope), and
  • do not just look for research papers in the area you wish to review, but also seek previous reviews.

The chances are high that someone will already have published a literature review ( Figure 1 ), if not exactly on the issue you are planning to tackle, at least on a related topic. If there are already a few or several reviews of the literature on your issue, my advice is not to give up, but to carry on with your own literature review,

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The bottom-right situation (many literature reviews but few research papers) is not just a theoretical situation; it applies, for example, to the study of the impacts of climate change on plant diseases, where there appear to be more literature reviews than research studies [33] .

  • discussing in your review the approaches, limitations, and conclusions of past reviews,
  • trying to find a new angle that has not been covered adequately in the previous reviews, and
  • incorporating new material that has inevitably accumulated since their appearance.

When searching the literature for pertinent papers and reviews, the usual rules apply:

  • be thorough,
  • use different keywords and database sources (e.g., DBLP, Google Scholar, ISI Proceedings, JSTOR Search, Medline, Scopus, Web of Science), and
  • look at who has cited past relevant papers and book chapters.

Rule 3: Take Notes While Reading

If you read the papers first, and only afterwards start writing the review, you will need a very good memory to remember who wrote what, and what your impressions and associations were while reading each single paper. My advice is, while reading, to start writing down interesting pieces of information, insights about how to organize the review, and thoughts on what to write. This way, by the time you have read the literature you selected, you will already have a rough draft of the review.

Of course, this draft will still need much rewriting, restructuring, and rethinking to obtain a text with a coherent argument [11] , but you will have avoided the danger posed by staring at a blank document. Be careful when taking notes to use quotation marks if you are provisionally copying verbatim from the literature. It is advisable then to reformulate such quotes with your own words in the final draft. It is important to be careful in noting the references already at this stage, so as to avoid misattributions. Using referencing software from the very beginning of your endeavour will save you time.

Rule 4: Choose the Type of Review You Wish to Write

After having taken notes while reading the literature, you will have a rough idea of the amount of material available for the review. This is probably a good time to decide whether to go for a mini- or a full review. Some journals are now favouring the publication of rather short reviews focusing on the last few years, with a limit on the number of words and citations. A mini-review is not necessarily a minor review: it may well attract more attention from busy readers, although it will inevitably simplify some issues and leave out some relevant material due to space limitations. A full review will have the advantage of more freedom to cover in detail the complexities of a particular scientific development, but may then be left in the pile of the very important papers “to be read” by readers with little time to spare for major monographs.

There is probably a continuum between mini- and full reviews. The same point applies to the dichotomy of descriptive vs. integrative reviews. While descriptive reviews focus on the methodology, findings, and interpretation of each reviewed study, integrative reviews attempt to find common ideas and concepts from the reviewed material [12] . A similar distinction exists between narrative and systematic reviews: while narrative reviews are qualitative, systematic reviews attempt to test a hypothesis based on the published evidence, which is gathered using a predefined protocol to reduce bias [13] , [14] . When systematic reviews analyse quantitative results in a quantitative way, they become meta-analyses. The choice between different review types will have to be made on a case-by-case basis, depending not just on the nature of the material found and the preferences of the target journal(s), but also on the time available to write the review and the number of coauthors [15] .

Rule 5: Keep the Review Focused, but Make It of Broad Interest

Whether your plan is to write a mini- or a full review, it is good advice to keep it focused 16 , 17 . Including material just for the sake of it can easily lead to reviews that are trying to do too many things at once. The need to keep a review focused can be problematic for interdisciplinary reviews, where the aim is to bridge the gap between fields [18] . If you are writing a review on, for example, how epidemiological approaches are used in modelling the spread of ideas, you may be inclined to include material from both parent fields, epidemiology and the study of cultural diffusion. This may be necessary to some extent, but in this case a focused review would only deal in detail with those studies at the interface between epidemiology and the spread of ideas.

While focus is an important feature of a successful review, this requirement has to be balanced with the need to make the review relevant to a broad audience. This square may be circled by discussing the wider implications of the reviewed topic for other disciplines.

Rule 6: Be Critical and Consistent

Reviewing the literature is not stamp collecting. A good review does not just summarize the literature, but discusses it critically, identifies methodological problems, and points out research gaps [19] . After having read a review of the literature, a reader should have a rough idea of:

  • the major achievements in the reviewed field,
  • the main areas of debate, and
  • the outstanding research questions.

It is challenging to achieve a successful review on all these fronts. A solution can be to involve a set of complementary coauthors: some people are excellent at mapping what has been achieved, some others are very good at identifying dark clouds on the horizon, and some have instead a knack at predicting where solutions are going to come from. If your journal club has exactly this sort of team, then you should definitely write a review of the literature! In addition to critical thinking, a literature review needs consistency, for example in the choice of passive vs. active voice and present vs. past tense.

Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure

Like a well-baked cake, a good review has a number of telling features: it is worth the reader's time, timely, systematic, well written, focused, and critical. It also needs a good structure. With reviews, the usual subdivision of research papers into introduction, methods, results, and discussion does not work or is rarely used. However, a general introduction of the context and, toward the end, a recapitulation of the main points covered and take-home messages make sense also in the case of reviews. For systematic reviews, there is a trend towards including information about how the literature was searched (database, keywords, time limits) [20] .

How can you organize the flow of the main body of the review so that the reader will be drawn into and guided through it? It is generally helpful to draw a conceptual scheme of the review, e.g., with mind-mapping techniques. Such diagrams can help recognize a logical way to order and link the various sections of a review [21] . This is the case not just at the writing stage, but also for readers if the diagram is included in the review as a figure. A careful selection of diagrams and figures relevant to the reviewed topic can be very helpful to structure the text too [22] .

Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback

Reviews of the literature are normally peer-reviewed in the same way as research papers, and rightly so [23] . As a rule, incorporating feedback from reviewers greatly helps improve a review draft. Having read the review with a fresh mind, reviewers may spot inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and ambiguities that had not been noticed by the writers due to rereading the typescript too many times. It is however advisable to reread the draft one more time before submission, as a last-minute correction of typos, leaps, and muddled sentences may enable the reviewers to focus on providing advice on the content rather than the form.

Feedback is vital to writing a good review, and should be sought from a variety of colleagues, so as to obtain a diversity of views on the draft. This may lead in some cases to conflicting views on the merits of the paper, and on how to improve it, but such a situation is better than the absence of feedback. A diversity of feedback perspectives on a literature review can help identify where the consensus view stands in the landscape of the current scientific understanding of an issue [24] .

Rule 9: Include Your Own Relevant Research, but Be Objective

In many cases, reviewers of the literature will have published studies relevant to the review they are writing. This could create a conflict of interest: how can reviewers report objectively on their own work [25] ? Some scientists may be overly enthusiastic about what they have published, and thus risk giving too much importance to their own findings in the review. However, bias could also occur in the other direction: some scientists may be unduly dismissive of their own achievements, so that they will tend to downplay their contribution (if any) to a field when reviewing it.

In general, a review of the literature should neither be a public relations brochure nor an exercise in competitive self-denial. If a reviewer is up to the job of producing a well-organized and methodical review, which flows well and provides a service to the readership, then it should be possible to be objective in reviewing one's own relevant findings. In reviews written by multiple authors, this may be achieved by assigning the review of the results of a coauthor to different coauthors.

Rule 10: Be Up-to-Date, but Do Not Forget Older Studies

Given the progressive acceleration in the publication of scientific papers, today's reviews of the literature need awareness not just of the overall direction and achievements of a field of inquiry, but also of the latest studies, so as not to become out-of-date before they have been published. Ideally, a literature review should not identify as a major research gap an issue that has just been addressed in a series of papers in press (the same applies, of course, to older, overlooked studies (“sleeping beauties” [26] )). This implies that literature reviewers would do well to keep an eye on electronic lists of papers in press, given that it can take months before these appear in scientific databases. Some reviews declare that they have scanned the literature up to a certain point in time, but given that peer review can be a rather lengthy process, a full search for newly appeared literature at the revision stage may be worthwhile. Assessing the contribution of papers that have just appeared is particularly challenging, because there is little perspective with which to gauge their significance and impact on further research and society.

Inevitably, new papers on the reviewed topic (including independently written literature reviews) will appear from all quarters after the review has been published, so that there may soon be the need for an updated review. But this is the nature of science [27] – [32] . I wish everybody good luck with writing a review of the literature.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to M. Barbosa, K. Dehnen-Schmutz, T. Döring, D. Fontaneto, M. Garbelotto, O. Holdenrieder, M. Jeger, D. Lonsdale, A. MacLeod, P. Mills, M. Moslonka-Lefebvre, G. Stancanelli, P. Weisberg, and X. Xu for insights and discussions, and to P. Bourne, T. Matoni, and D. Smith for helpful comments on a previous draft.

Funding Statement

This work was funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) through its Centre for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity data (CESAB), as part of the NETSEED research project. The funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript.

As literacy lags nationwide, Purdue researcher highlights ways to enhance reading and writing in young children

Written By: Rebecca Hoffa, [email protected]

A mother holds a book in front of her baby, who looks at it intently.

A text message from a friend. A product label at the grocery store. A street sign. Even in the most basic elements of day-to-day life, reading is everywhere.

Cammie McBride , professor in the Purdue University Department of Human Development and Family Science and associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Sciences , has dedicated her career to taking a global approach toward understanding how children learn to read, exploring literacy across English and Chinese languages, among others.

“Children need to learn to read and write because it helps us navigate our environments,” McBride said. “If we can’t read, that’s more difficult. If you look worldwide, illiteracy is correlated with gross domestic product and the learning of a country’s people.”

Cammie McBride headshot

Cammie McBride

From contributing to a massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Teaching Struggling Readers Around the World” to developing new resources and screening capabilities, McBride’s developmental psychology approach toward literacy ranges from cognitive linguistics, or how the brain processes language, to the relationships among parents, children and teachers and how those influence reading and writing.

McBride also serves as a co-lead on a $1.5 million grant to strengthen literacy preparation for Indiana teachers using science-based methods.

“My whole career, I’ve tried to look at how children read in different aspects,” McBride said. “I’m really interested in: Does reading develop from birth or before birth even? There are lots of aspects that go into reading that start at the very beginning. I’ve always been interested in those developmental models.”

McBride noted that one of her most interesting research findings has been enhancing understanding of a new cognitive-linguistic skill that has a direct impact for reading in Chinese as well as vocabulary in English, Dutch and other languages. The task requires children to put together morphemes, or the smallest unit of meaning in language, in ways that make sense. For example, if a teacher or parent gave the example that the sun going down in the sky is called a sunset and then asked the child what the moon going down in the sky would be called, the expectation would be the child would answer “moonset.” They’re putting together smaller units in ways that make sense.

“I think this task is really useful because we can test vocabulary to improve vocabulary, but this is another way, which is a focus on morphemes and how they come together,” McBride said. “If you understand how to put these together to make new aspects of meaning, you tend to be a better reader in Chinese, but also, this is a really good way to test for kids’ vocabulary development over time in every language. It’s a fun task — kids love to do that.”

McBride uses cognitive-linguistic skills like the example above in her research to understand methods for assessing children’s literacy and training teachers and families in what children need to learn to read. In order to read, McBride explained children must develop both oral language, such as vocabulary and forming sentences, as well as an understanding of print, such as understanding letters and their sounds. She explained that assessing children’s literacy skills early is important to keep them on track in their reading and writing development.

“These cognitive-linguistic skills are things we use in assessment and training,” McBride said. “Most 3- and 4-year-olds cannot read, and it would be weird to try to test them with reading materials before they can read, but you need to catch them quickly so that they don’t have a sense of failure and are always trying to catch up. If you test them at 3, 4 or 5 on cognitive-linguistic skills, this often can be a good way to determine if they’re at risk for reading difficulties and then give them some tools to help them improve.”

McBride mentioned dialogic reading is an effective tool parents can use to build up their child’s language skills. Rather than simply reading a book and looking at the pictures or testing the child on knowledge presented in the book, dialogic reading turns the process of reading into a conversation. Parents can ask open-ended questions, such as what the child thinks will happen next or if they’ve ever had a similar situation happen to them. The goal is to encourage two-sided communication.

If the child is struggling with reading, McBride’s go-to piece of advice is giving them more practice. While the same learning methods still can be effective with students who have a learning disorder, such as dyslexia, they may need to put more time and energy into practicing the reading process. McBride suggested literacy-based video games as a great tool to help children master literacy skills they may be struggling with. The important thing to keep in mind is to avoid burning the child out on reading.

“Keep it light because the other part of reading besides oral language and print is motivation,” McBride said. “You don’t want to get kids to feel like they’re being tested early; you want them to get interested themselves.”

After various nationwide setbacks toward literacy resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, McBride is currently looking to take her research one step further by making literacy tests, which screen for children’s risks for reading problems and often are expensive and require a licensed educational psychologist to administer, more accessible. Her most recent work is focusing on the development of affordable online tests for children and families — a significant step in continuing to improve children’s reading preparation.

“If we want to understand if children are maybe at risk for reading and writing problems early, it’s good to have tests that can help us to determine that,” McBride said.

Rick Hess Straight Up

Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Read more from this blog.

Student Literacy Rates Are Concerning. How Can We Turn This Around?

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The ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Bill Cassidy has represented Louisiana in the upper chamber since 2015. Cassidy recently released a much-discussed report , “Preventing a Lost Generation: Facing a Critical Moment for Students’ Literacy.” As schools struggle to address learning loss, and at a time when “the nation’s report card” finds that just 33 percent of 4th graders are proficient in reading, it’s heartening to see leaders step up. Given that, I reached out to the senator to discuss his report and what he has in mind. Here’s what he had to say.

Rick: Senator, you’ve had a long-standing interest in literacy and dyslexia in particular. Can you talk a bit about why this issue is so important to you?

Cassidy: Literacy—the basic ability to read—is at the heart of all other learning. If students do not learn to read, they cannot read to learn new material in other subjects. There are significant societal impacts for those who cannot read, including being less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to be incarcerated. Also, without a literate workforce, we as a nation cannot fill the 9 million jobs currently open or adequately staff the military, which hurts our competitiveness with other nations.

Within literacy, research shows dyslexia impacts millions of people across the country, specifically an estimated 1 in 5 Americans. Dyslexia is not about an individual’s intelligence but the need for specialized instruction and tools. As a parent of a child with dyslexia, I know how hard it can be to get your child the resources they need to meet their full potential. Unfortunately, many students are not screened for dyslexia until after they have already fallen behind, if at all. And, even after a parent finds out that their child has dyslexia, they may not be able to find or afford a school that provides the proper, tailored education.

We need to have a 21st-century approach to literacy and dyslexia based on science, including early screening and evidence-based instruction, so every child can achieve their God-given potential.

Rick: You recently issued a new report on literacy. What prompted it? And why now?

Cassidy: We are now at risk of having an entire generation of children—who were in their prime learning years during the pandemic—fail to become productive adults if reading proficiency does not improve. While many states continue to take meaningful steps to improve literacy instruction, more must be done. This report highlights this pressing issue and requests feedback from stakeholders across the nation. This feedback will be crucial to informing our efforts at the federal level so we can better support teachers, parents, students, and schools to ensure every child can read proficiently.

Rick: Your report cites a number of troubling statistics when it comes to reading. What are a few of the data points that you find most illuminating?

Cassidy: The 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that two-thirds of 4th and 8th graders are unable to read proficiently. The average reading score for 4th graders is the lowest it has been in over 20 years. For 8th and 12th graders, average scores are near a 30-year low. These numbers should concern us all; they are completely unacceptable.

Rick: As you know, there’s been growing interest in science-based reading instruction. Can you share a few of the key research findings from your report and the kinds of practices or policies that you find especially promising?

Cassidy: It’s important to be clear that when we say “science of reading,” we’re discussing an evidence-based body of research. It’s not one curriculum or program and it’s not just phonics-based instruction. This body of research has identified key components necessary for students to learn how to read and write and how teachers can best implement these components into reading instruction. Specifically, the science of reading has shown that students need explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction in each of the five key pillars of literacy—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

The states implementing the science of reading approach especially well are supporting the implementation by deploying literacy coaches, updating teacher-preparation programs, and providing explicit training for current teachers in the science of reading. These states are also supporting all educators—not just reading teachers—in learning evidence-based reading practices. It is crucial that improving student literacy be an all-hands-on-deck effort.

Rick: We’ve seen a number of states launch ambitious efforts to overhaul reading instruction, including your own state of Louisiana. Which states are doing this particularly well and what can we learn from them?

Cassidy: I’m proud of the work being done in Louisiana to improve student literacy. A key to that success has been the comprehensive nature of these efforts. Louisiana is one of three states that are implementing all 18 components of what science of reading experts outline as a comprehensive literacy policy. Unsurprisingly, Louisiana had the largest gains out of all 50 states in grade reading on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

There is also the “ Mississippi Miracle ,” which describes that state’s enormous gains in literacy over the past decade. Mississippi achieved these results by focusing on the implementation of science-of-reading reforms. They didn’t pass a law and just hope for the best. The Mississippi department of education worked relentlessly to create clear guidelines and resources so that teachers had the necessary support and training to improve instruction. Mississippi also ensured parents were engaged and students had access to high-quality materials.

Rick: Your report offers a general call to action rather than specific prescriptions. Still, I’m curious if you have some general thoughts about what Congress should be contemplating in terms of information-gathering, oversight, or lawmaking?

Cassidy: Feedback from teachers and families, which can be sent to [email protected] , will be crucial in this process. I plan to share more on this front after reviewing responses to the report and workshopping ideas with stakeholders. Any policy that is considered will need to support teachers in using the science of reading and parents in understanding and identifying it. While curriculum decisions should remain the responsibility of states and districts, there are likely opportunities to strengthen how federal funds are used for literacy and to support states in tackling the more complex pieces of this puzzle.

Rick: Twenty-odd years ago, during the Bush administration, the Reading First program sought to promote research-based reading instruction. Do you look back at Reading First as a cautionary tale, a model worth reviving, or something else?

Cassidy: It’s a cautionary tale. Reading First had worthy goals aimed at aligning literacy instruction with evidence-based methods and materials. However, it was fraught with implementation issues and conflicts of interest. My hope is this report gives the education field an opportunity to reflect on all previous attempts to support literacy and offer constructive feedback to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Rick: Last question: Given existing law, are there things the U.S. Department of Education could do to more effectively tackle the challenges you’ve noted? Are there particular changes to existing programs, funding streams, or rules you’d like to see the department explore?

Cassidy: This is the exact question I hope to explore with the education field as we receive responses to the report. I have already heard concerns that all is not well and that we can and must do better. This is the time to put all ideas on the table and chart a path forward collectively to improve literacy. If we do not seize this moment, the long-term implications will be dire.

The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol on March 7, 2024, in Washington.

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  • Published: 21 March 2024

Expert review of the science underlying nature-based climate solutions

  • B. Buma   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2402-7737 1 , 2   na1 ,
  • D. R. Gordon   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-6398-2345 1 , 3   na1 ,
  • K. M. Kleisner 1 ,
  • A. Bartuska 1 , 4 ,
  • A. Bidlack 5 ,
  • R. DeFries   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3332-4621 6 ,
  • P. Ellis   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7933-8298 7 ,
  • P. Friedlingstein   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3309-4739 8 , 9 ,
  • S. Metzger 10   nAff15   nAff16 ,
  • G. Morgan 11 ,
  • K. Novick   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-0879 12 ,
  • J. N. Sanchirico 13 ,
  • J. R. Collins   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5705-9682 1 , 14 ,
  • A. J. Eagle   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0841-2379 1 ,
  • R. Fujita 1 ,
  • E. Holst 1 ,
  • J. M. Lavallee   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3028-7087 1 ,
  • R. N. Lubowski 1   nAff17 ,
  • C. Melikov 1   nAff18 ,
  • L. A. Moore   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0239-6080 1   nAff19 ,
  • E. E. Oldfield   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6181-1267 1 ,
  • J. Paltseva 1   nAff20 ,
  • A. M. Raffeld   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5036-6460 1 ,
  • N. A. Randazzo 1   nAff21   nAff22 ,
  • C. Schneider 1 ,
  • N. Uludere Aragon 1   nAff23 &
  • S. P. Hamburg 1  

Nature Climate Change ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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  • Climate-change ecology
  • Climate-change mitigation
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Viable nature-based climate solutions (NbCS) are needed to achieve climate goals expressed in international agreements like the Paris Accord. Many NbCS pathways have strong scientific foundations and can deliver meaningful climate benefits but effective mitigation is undermined by pathways with less scientific certainty. Here we couple an extensive literature review with an expert elicitation on 43 pathways and find that at present the most used pathways, such as tropical forest conservation, have a solid scientific basis for mitigation. However, the experts suggested that some pathways, many with carbon credit eligibility and market activity, remain uncertain in terms of their climate mitigation efficacy. Sources of uncertainty include incomplete GHG measurement and accounting. We recommend focusing on resolving those uncertainties before broadly scaling implementation of those pathways in quantitative emission or sequestration mitigation plans. If appropriate, those pathways should be supported for their cobenefits, such as biodiversity and food security.

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Nature-based climate solutions (NbCS) are conservation, restoration and improved management strategies (pathways) in natural and working ecosystems with the primary motivation to mitigate GHG emissions and remove CO 2 from the atmosphere 1 (similar to ecosystem-based mitigation 2 ). GHG mitigation through ecosystem stewardship is integral to meeting global climate goals, with the greatest benefit coming from near-term maximization of emission reductions, followed by CO 2 removal 3 . Many countries (for example, Indonesia, China and Colombia) use NbCS to demonstrate progress toward national climate commitments.

The scope of NbCS is narrower than that of nature-based solutions (NbS) which include interventions that prioritize non-climate benefits alongside climate (for example, biodiversity, food provisioning and water quality improvement) 4 . In many cases, GHG mitigation is considered a cobenefit that results from NbS actions focused on these other challenges 2 . In contrast, NbCS are broader than natural climate solutions, which are primarily focused on climate mitigation through conservation, restoration and improved land management, generally not moving ecosystems beyond their unmodified structure, function or composition 5 . NbCS may involve moving systems beyond their original function, for example by cultivating macroalgae in water deeper than their natural habitat.

The promise of NbCS has generated a proliferation of interest in using them in GHG mitigation plans 6 , 7 ; 104 of the 168 signatories to the Paris Accord included nature-based actions as part of their mitigation plans 8 . Success in long-term GHG management requires an accurate accounting of inputs and outputs to the atmosphere at scale, so NbCS credits must have robust, comprehensive and transparent scientific underpinnings 9 . Given the urgency of the climate problem, our goal is to identify NbCS pathways with a sufficient scientific foundation to provide broad confidence in their potential GHG mitigation impact, provide resources for confident implementation and identify priority research areas in more uncertain pathways. Evaluating implementation of mitigation projects is beyond our scope; this effort focuses on understanding the underlying science. The purpose is not evaluating any specific carbon crediting protocol or implementation framework but rather the current state of scientific understanding necessary to provide confidence in any NbCS.

In service of this goal, we first investigated nine biomes (boreal forests, coastal marine (salt marsh, mangrove, seagrass and coral reef), freshwater wetlands, grasslands, open ocean (large marine animal and mesopelagic zone biomass, seabed), peatlands, shrublands, temperate forests and tropical forests) and three cultivation types (agroforestry, croplands and macroalgae aquaculture); these were chosen because of their identified potential scale of global impact. In this context, impact is assessed as net GHG mitigation: the CO 2 sequestered or emissions reduced, for example, discounted by understood simultaneous emissions of other GHG (as when N 2 O is released simultaneously with carbon sequestration in cropland soils). From there, we identified 43 NbCS pathways which have been formally implemented (with or without market action) or informally proposed. We estimated the scale of mitigation impact for each pathway on the basis of this literature and, as a proxy measure of NbCS implementation, determined eligibility and activity under existing carbon crediting protocols. Eligibility means that the pathway is addressed by an existing GHG mitigation protocol; market activity means that credits are actively being bought under those eligibility requirements. We considered pathways across a spectrum from protection to improved management to restoration to manipulated systems, but some boundaries were necessary. We excluded primarily abiotically driven pathways (for example, ocean alkalinity enhancement) or where major land use or land-use trade-offs exist (for example, afforestation) 10 , 11 , 12 . Of the 43 pathways, 79% are at present eligible for carbon crediting (sometimes under several methodologies) and at least 65% of those have been implemented (Supplementary Table 1 ). This review was then appraised by 30 independent scholars (at least three per pathway; a complete review synthesis is given in the Supplementary Data ).

Consolidation of a broad body of scientific knowledge, with inherent variance, requires expert judgement. We used an expert elicitation process 13 , 14 , 15 with ten experts to place each proposed NbCS pathway into one of three readiness categories following their own assessment of the scientific literature, categorized by general sources of potential uncertainty: category 1, sufficient scientific basis to support a high-quality carbon accounting system or to support the development of such a system today; category 2, a >25% chance that focused research and reasonable funding would support development of high-quality carbon accounting (that is, move to category 1) within 5 years; or category 3, a <25% chance of development of high-quality carbon accounting within 5 years (for example, due to measurement challenges, unconstrained leakage, external factors which constrain viability).

If an expert ranked a pathway as category 2, they were also asked to rank general research needs to resolve: leakage/displacement (spillover to other areas), measuring, reporting and verification (the ability to quantify all salient stocks and fluxes), basic mechanisms of action (fundamental science), durability (ability to predict or compensate for uncertainty in timescale of effectiveness due to disturbances, climate change, human activity or other factors), geographic uncertainty (place-to-place variation), scaling potential (ability to estimate impact) and setting of a baseline (ability to estimate additionality over non-action; a counterfactual). To avoid biasing towards a particular a priori framework for evaluation of the scientific literature, reviewers could use their own framework for evaluating the NbCS literature about potential climate impact and so could choose to ignore or add relevant categorizations as well. Any pathway in category 1 would not need fundamental research for implementation; research gaps were considered too extensive for useful guidance on reducing uncertainty in category 3 pathways. Estimates of the global scale of likely potential impact (PgCO 2 e yr −1 ) and cobenefits were also collected from expert elicitors. See Methods and Supplementary Information for the survey instrument.

Four pathways with the highest current carbon market activity and high mitigation potential (tropical and temperate forest conservation and reforestation; Table 1 and Supplementary Data ), were consistently rated as high-confidence pathways in the expert elicitation survey. Other NbCS pathways, especially in the forestry sector, were rated relatively strongly by the experts for both confidence in scientific basis and scale of potential impact, with some spread across the experts (upper right quadrant, Fig. 1 ). Conversely, 13 pathways were consistently marked by experts as currently highly uncertain/low confidence (median score across experts: 2.5–3.0) and placed in category 3 (for example, cropland microbial amendments and coral reef restoration; Supplementary Tables 1 and 2 ). For the full review, including crediting protocols currently used, literature estimates of scale and details of sub-pathways, see Supplementary Data .

figure 1

Pathways in the upper right quadrant have both high confidence in the scientific foundations and the largest potential scale of global impact; pathways in the lower left have the lowest confidence in our present scientific body of knowledge and an estimated smaller potential scale of impact. Designations of carbon credit eligibility under existing protocols and market activity at the present time are noted. Grassland enhanced mineral weathering (EMW) is not shown (mean category rating 2.9) as no scale of impact was estimated. See Supplementary Table 1 for specific pathway data. Bars represent 20th to 80th percentiles of individual estimates, if there was variability in estimates. A small amount of random noise was added to avoid overlap.

The experts assessed 26 pathways as having average confidence scores between 1.5 and 2.4, suggesting the potential for near-term resolution of uncertainties. This categorization arose from either consensus amongst experts on the uncertain potential (for example, boreal forest reforestation consistently rated category 2, with primary concerns about durability) or because experts disagreed, with some ranking category 1 and others category 3 (for example, pasture management). We note that where expert disagreement exists (seen as the spread of responses in Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 1 ; also see Data availability for link to original data), this suggests caution against overconfidence in statements about these pathways. These results also suggest that confidence may be increased by targeted research on the identified sources of uncertainty (Supplementary Table 3 ).

Sources of uncertainty

Durability and baseline-setting were rated as high sources of uncertainty across all pathways ranked as category 2 by the experts (mean ratings of 3.6 and 3.4 out of 5, respectively; Supplementary Table 3 ). Understanding of mechanisms and geographic spread had the lowest uncertainty ratings (2.1 and 2.3, respectively), showing confidence in the basic science. Different subsets of pathways had different prioritizations, however, suggesting different research needs: forest-centric pathways were most uncertain in their durability and additionality (3.8 and 3.4, respectively), suggesting concerns about long-term climate and disturbance trajectories. Agricultural and grassland systems, however, had higher uncertainty in measurement methods and additionality (3.9 and 3.5 respectively). Although there were concerns about durability from some experts (for example, due to sea-level rise), some coastal blue carbon pathways such as mangrove restoration (mean category ranking: 1.7 (20th to 80th percentile 1.0–2.0)) have higher confidence than others (for example, seagrass restoration: mean category ranking 2.8, 20th to 80th percentile 2.6–3.0)), which are relatively poorly constrained in terms of net radiative forcing potential despite a potentially large carbon impact (seagrass median: 1.60 PgCO 2 e yr −1 ; see Supplementary Data for more scientific literature estimates).

Scale of impact

For those pathways with lower categorization by the expert elicitation (category 2 or 3) at the present time, scale of global impact is a potential heuristic for prioritizing further research. High variability, often two orders of magnitude, was evident in the mean estimated potential PgCO 2 e yr −1 impacts for the different pathways (Fig. 1 and Supplementary Table 2 ) and the review of the literature found even larger ranges produced by individual studies (Supplementary Data ). A probable cause of this wide range was different constraints on the estimated potential, with some studies focusing on potential maximum impact and others on more constrained realizable impacts. Only avoided loss of tropical forest and cropland biochar amendment were consistently estimated as having the likely potential to mitigate >2 PgCO 2 e yr −1 , although biochar was considered more uncertain by experts due to other factors germane to its overall viability as a climate solution, averaging a categorization of 2.2. The next four highest potential impact pathways, ranging from 1.6 to 1.7 PgCO 2 e yr −1 , spanned the spectrum from high readiness (temperate forest restoration) to moderate (cropland conversion from annual to perennial vegetation and grassland restoration) to low (seagrass restoration, with main uncertainties around scale of potential impact and durability).

There was high variability in the elicitors’ estimated potential scale of impact, even in pathways with strong support, such as tropical forest avoided loss (20th to 80th percentile confidence interval: 1–8 PgCO 2 e yr −1 ), again emphasizing the importance of consistent definitions and constraints on how NbCS are measured, evaluated and then used in broad-scale climate change mitigation planning and budgeting. Generally, as pathway readiness decreased (moving from category 1 to 3), the elicitor-estimated estimates of GHG mitigation potential decreased (Supplementary Fig. 1 ). Note that individual studies from the scientific literature may have higher or lower estimates (Supplementary Data ).

Expert elicitation meta-analyses suggest that 6–12 responses are sufficient for a robust and stable quantification of responses 15 . We tested that assumption via a Monte Carlo-based sensitivity assessment. Readiness categorizations by the ten experts were robust to a Monte Carlo simulation test, where further samples were randomly drawn from the observed distribution of responses: mean difference between the original and the boot-strapped data was 0.02 (s.d. = 0.05) with an absolute difference average of 0.06 (s.d. = 0.06). The maximum difference in readiness categorization means across all pathways was 0.20 (s.d. = 0.20) (Supplementary Table 2 ). The full dataset of responses is available online (see ʻData availabilityʼ).

These results highlight opportunities to accelerate implementation of NbCS in well-supported pathways and identify critical research needs in others (Fig. 1 ). We suggest focusing future efforts on resolving identified uncertainties for pathways at the intersection between moderate average readiness (for example, mean categorizations between ~1.5 and 2.0) and high potential impact (for example, median >0.5 PgCO 2 e yr −1 ; Supplementary Table 1 ): agroforestry, improved tropical and temperate forest management, tropical and boreal peatlands avoided loss and peatland restoration. Many, although not all, experts identified durability and baseline/additionality as key concerns to resolve in those systems; research explicitly targeted at those specific uncertainties (Supplementary Table 3 ) could rapidly improve confidence in those pathways.

We recommend a secondary research focus on the lower ranked (mean category 2.0 to 3.0) pathways with estimated potential impacts >1 PgCO 2 e yr −1 (Supplementary Fig. 2 ). For these pathways, explicit, quantitative incorporation into broad-scale GHG management plans will require further focus on systems-level carbon/GHG understandings to inspire confidence at all stages of action and/or identifying locations likely to support durable GHG mitigation, for example ref. 16 . Examples of this group include avoided loss and degradation of boreal forests (for example, fire, pests and pathogens and albedo 16 ) and effective mesopelagic fishery management, which some individual studies estimate would avoid future reductions of the currently sequestered 1.5–2.0 PgC yr −1 (refs. 17 , 18 ). These pathways may turn out to have higher or lower potential than the expert review suggests, on the basis of individual studies (Supplementary Data ) but strong support will require further, independent verification of that potential.

We note that category 3 rankings by expert elicitation do not necessarily imply non-viability but simply that much more research is needed to confidently incorporate actions into quantitative GHG mitigation plans. We found an unsurprising trend of lower readiness categorization with lower pathway familiarity (Supplementary Fig. 3 ). This correlation may result from two, non-exclusive potential causes: (1) lower elicitor expertise in some pathways (inevitable, although the panel was explicitly chosen for global perspectives, connections and diverse specialties) and (2) an actual lack of scientific evidence in the literature, which leads to that self-reported lack of familiarity, a common finding in the literature review (Supplementary Data ). Both explanations suggest a need to better consolidate, develop and disseminate the science in each pathway for global utility and recognition.

Our focus on GHG-related benefits in no way diminishes the substantial conservation, environmental and social cobenefits of these pathways (Supplementary Table 4 ), which often exceed their perceived climate benefits 1 , 19 , 20 , 21 . Where experts found climate impacts to remain highly uncertain but other NbS benefits are clear (for example, biodiversity and water quality; Supplementary Table 4 ), other incentives or financing mechanisms independent of carbon crediting should be pursued. While the goals here directly relate to using NbCS as a reliably quantifiable part of global climate action planning and thus strong GHG-related scientific foundations, non-climate NbS projects may provide climate benefits that are less well constrained (and thus less useful from a GHG budgeting standpoint) but also valuable. Potential trade-offs, if any, between ecosystem services and management actions, such as biodiversity and positive GHG outcomes, should be explored to ensure the best realization of desired goals 2 .

Finally, our focus in this study was on broad-scale NbCS potential in quantitative mitigation planning because of the principal and necessary role of NbCS in overall global warming targets. We recognize the range of project conditions that may increase, or decrease, the rigour of any pathway outside the global-scale focus here. We did not specifically evaluate the large and increasing number of crediting concepts (by pathway: Supplementary Data ), focusing rather on the underlying scientific body of knowledge within those pathways. Some broad pathways may have better defined sub-pathways within them, with a smaller potential scale of impact but potentially lower uncertainty (for example, macroalgae harvest cycling). Poorly enacted NbCS actions and/or crediting methodologies at project scales may result in loss of benefits even from high-ranking pathways 22 , 23 , 24 and attention to implementation should be paramount. Conversely, strong, careful project-scale methodologies may make lower readiness pathways beneficial for a given site.

Viable NbCS are vital to global climate change mitigation but NbCS pathways that lack strong scientific underpinnings threaten global accounting by potentially overestimating future climate benefits and eroding public trust in rigorous natural solutions. Both the review of the scientific literature and the expert elicitation survey identified high potential ready-to-implement pathways (for example, tropical reforestation), reinforcing present use of NbCS in planning.

However, uncertainty remains about the quantifiable GHG mitigation of some active and nascent NbCS pathways. On the basis of the expert elicitation survey and review of the scientific literature, we are concerned that large-scale implementation of less scientifically well-founded NbCS pathways in mitigation plans may undermine net GHG budget planning; those pathways require more study before they can be confidently promoted at broad scales and life-cycle analyses to integrate system-level emissions when calculating totals. The expert elicitation judgements suggest a precautionary approach to scaling lower confidence pathways until the scientific foundations are strengthened, especially for NbCS pathways with insufficient measurement and monitoring 10 , 24 , 25 or poorly understood or measured net GHG mitigation potentials 16 , 26 , 27 , 28 . While the need to implement more NbCS pathways for reducing GHG emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere is urgent, advancing the implementation of poorly quantified pathways (in relation to their GHG mitigation efficacy) could give the false impression that they can balance ongoing, fossil emissions, thereby undermining overall support for more viable NbCS pathways. Explicitly targeting research to resolve these uncertainties in the baseline science could greatly bolster confidence in the less-established NbCS pathways, benefiting efforts to reduce GHG concentrations 29 .

The results of this study should inform both market-based mechanisms and non-market approaches to NbCS pathway management. Research and action that elucidates and advances pathways to ensure a solid scientific basis will provide confidence in the foundation for successfully implementing NbCS as a core component of global GHG management.

NbCS pathway selection

We synthesized scientific publications for nine biomes (boreal forests, coastal blue carbon, freshwater wetlands, grasslands, open ocean blue carbon, peatlands, shrublands, temperate forests and tropical forests) and three cultivation types (agroforestry, croplands and macroalgae aquaculture) (hereafter, systems) and the different pathways through which they may be able to remove carbon or reduce GHG emissions. Shrublands and grasslands were considered as independent ecosystems; nonetheless, we acknowledge that there is overlap in the numbers presented here because shrublands are often included with grasslands 5 , 30 , 31 , 32 , 33 .

The 12 systems were chosen because they have each been identified as having potential for emissions reductions or carbon removal at globally relevant scales. Within these systems, we identified 43 pathways which either have carbon credit protocols formally established or informally proposed for review (non-carbon associated credits were not evaluated). We obtained data on carbon crediting protocols from international, national and regional organizations and registries, such as Verra, American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve, Gold Standard, Clean Development Mechanism, FAO and Nori. We also obtained data from the Voluntary Registry Offsets Database developed by the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project and Carbon Direct company 34 . While we found evidence of more Chinese carbon crediting protocols, we were not able to review these because of limited publicly available information. To maintain clarity and avoid misrepresentation, we used the language as written in each protocol. A full list of the organizations and registries for each system can be found in the Supplementary Data .

Literature searches and synthesis

We reviewed scientific literature and reviews (for example, IPCC special reports) to identify studies reporting data on carbon stocks, GHG dynamics and sequestration potential of each system. Peer-reviewed studies and meta-analyses were identified on Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar using simple queries combining the specific practice or pathway names or synonyms (for example, no-tillage, soil amendments, reduced stocking rates, improved forest management, avoided forest conversion and degradation, avoided mangrove conversion and degradation) and the following search terms: ‘carbon storage’, ‘carbon stocks’, ‘carbon sequestration’, ‘carbon sequestration potential’, ‘additional carbon storage’, ‘carbon dynamics’, ‘areal extent’ or ‘global’.

The full literature review was conducted between January and October 2021. We solicited an independent, external review of the syntheses (obtaining from at least three external reviewers per natural or working system; see p. 2 of the Supplementary Data ) as a second check against missing key papers or misinterpretation of data. The review was generally completed in March 2022. Data from additional relevant citations were added through October 2022 as they were discovered. For a complete list of all literature cited, see pp. 217–249 of the Supplementary Data .

From candidate papers, the papers were considered if their results/data could be applied to the following central questions:

How much carbon is stored (globally) at present in the system (total and on average per hectare) and what is the confidence?

At the global level, is the system a carbon source or sink at this time? What is the business-as-usual projection for its carbon dynamics?

Is it possible, through active management, to either increase net carbon sequestration in the system or prevent carbon emissions from that system? (Note that other GHG emissions and forcings were included here as well.)

What is the range of estimates for how much extra carbon could be sequestered globally?

How much confidence do we have in the present methods to detect any net increases in carbon sequestration in a system or net changes in areal extent of that?

From each paper, quantitative estimates for the above questions were extracted for each pathway, including any descriptive information/metadata necessary to understand the estimate. In addition, information on sample size, sampling scheme, geographic coverage, timeline of study, timeline of projections (if applicable) and specific study contexts (for example, wind-break agroforestry) were recorded.

We also tracked where the literature identified trade-offs between carbon sequestered or CO 2 emissions reduced and emissions of other GHG (for example, N 2 O or methane) for questions three and five above. For example, wetland restoration can result in increased CO 2 uptake from the atmosphere. However, it can also increase methane and N 2 O emissions to the atmosphere. Experts were asked to consider the uncertainty in assessing net GHG mitigation as they categorized the NbCS pathways.

Inclusion of each pathway in mitigation protocols and the specific carbon registries involved were also identified. These results are reported (grouped or individually as appropriate) in the Supplementary Data , organized by the central questions and including textual information for interpretation. The data and protocol summaries for each of the 12 systems were reviewed by at least three scientists each and accordingly revised.

These summaries were provided to the expert elicitation group as optional background information.

Unit conversions

Since this synthesis draws on literature from several sources that use different methods and units, all carbon measurements were standardized to the International System of Units (SI units). When referring to total stocks for each system, numbers are reported in SI units of elemental carbon (that is, PgC). When referring to mitigation potential, elemental carbon was converted to CO 2 by multiplying by 3.67. Differences in methodology, such as soil sampling depth, make it difficult to standardize across studies. Where applicable, the specific measurement used to develop each stock estimate is reported.

Expert elicitation process

To assess conclusions brought about by the initial review process described above, we conducted an expert elicitation survey to consolidate and add further, independent assessments to the original literature review. The expert elicitation survey design followed best practice recommendations 14 , with a focus on participant selection, explicitly defining uncertainty, minimizing cognitive and overconfidence biases and clarity of focus. Research on expert elicitation suggests that 6–12 responses are sufficient for a stable quantification of responses 15 . We identified >40 potential experts via a broad survey of leading academics, science-oriented NGO and government agency publications and products. These individuals have published on several NbCS pathways or could represent larger research efforts that spanned the NbCS under consideration. Careful attention was paid to the gender and sectoral breakdown of respondents to ensure equitable representation. Of the invitees, ten completed the full elicitation effort. Experts were offered compensation for their time.

Implementation of the expert elicitation process followed the IDEA protocol 15 . Briefly, after a short introductory interview, the survey was sent to the participants. Results were anonymized and standardized (methods below) and a meeting held with the entire group to discuss the initial results and calibrate understanding of questions. The purpose of this meeting was not to develop consensus on a singular answer but to discuss and ensure that all questions are being considered in the same way (for example, clarifying any potentially confusing language, discussing any questions that emerged as part of the process). The experts then revisited their initial rankings to provide final, anonymous rankings which were compiled in the same way. These final rankings are the results presented here and may be the same or different from the initial rankings, which were discarded.

Survey questions

The expert elicitation survey comprised five questions for each pathway. The data were collected via Google Forms and collated anonymously at the level of pathways, with each respondent contributing one datapoint for each pathway. The experts reported their familiarity (or the familiarity of the organization whose work they were representing) with the pathway and other cobenefits for the pathways.

The initial question ranked the NbCS pathway by category, from one to three.

Category 1 was defined as a pathway with sufficient scientific knowledge to support a high-quality carbon accounting system today (for example, meets the scientific criteria identified in the WWF-EDF-Oeko Institut and ICAO TAB) or to support the development of such a system today. The intended interpretation is that sufficient science is available for quantifying and verifying net GHG mitigation. Note that experts were not required to reference any given ‘high-quality’ crediting framework, which were provided only as examples. In other words, the evaluation was not intended to rank a given framework (for example, ref. 35 ) but rather expert confidence in the fundamental scientific understandings that underpin potential for carbon accounting overall. To this end, no categorization of uncertainty was required (reviewers could skip categorizations they felt were not necessary) and space was available to fill in new categories by individual reviewers (if they felt a category was missing or needed). Uncertainties at this category 1 level are deemed ‘acceptable’, for example, not precluding accounting now, although more research may further substantiate high-quality credits.

Category 2 pathways have a good chance (>25%) that with more research and within the next 5 years, the pathway could be developed into a high-quality pathway for carbon accounting and as a nature-based climate solution pathway. For these pathways, further understanding is needed for factors such as baseline processes, long-term stability, unconstrained fluxes, possible leakage or other before labelling as category 1 but the expert is confident that information can be developed, in 5 years or less, with more work. The >25% chance threshold and 5-year timeframe were determined a priori to reflect and identify pathways that experts identified as having the potential to meet the Paris Accord 2030 goal. Other thresholds (for example, longer timeframes) could have been chosen, which would impact the relative distribution of pathways in categories 2 and 3 (for example, a longer timeframe allowed could move some pathways from category 3 into category 2, for some reviewers). We emphasize that category 3 pathways do not necessarily mean non-valuable approaches but longer timeframes required for research than the one set here.

Category 3 responses denoted pathways that the expert thought had little chance (<25%) that with more research and within the next 5 years, this pathway could be developed into a suitable pathway for managing as a natural solutions pathway, either because present evidence already suggests GHG reduction is not likely to be viable, co-emissions or other biophysical feedbacks may offset those gains or because understanding of key factors is lacking and unlikely to be developed within the next 5 years. Notably, the last does not mean that the NbCS pathway is not valid or viable in the long-term, simply that physical and biological understandings are probably not established enough to enable scientific rigorous and valid NbCS activity in the near term.

The second question asked the experts to identify research gaps associated with those that they ranked as category 2 pathways to determine focal areas for further research. The experts were asked to rank concerns about durability (ability to predict or compensate for uncertainty in timescale of effectiveness due to disturbances, climate change, human activity or other factors), geographic uncertainty (place-to-place variation), leakage or displacement (spillover of activities to other areas), measuring, reporting and verification (MRV, referring to the ability to quantify all salient stocks and fluxes to fully assess climate impacts), basic mechanisms of action (fundamental science), scaling potential (ability to estimate potential growth) and setting of a baseline (ability to reasonably quantify additionality over non-action, a counterfactual). Respondents could also enter a different category if desired. For complete definitions of these categories, see the survey instrument ( Supplementary Information ). This question was not asked if the expert ranked the pathway as category 1, as those were deemed acceptable, or for category 3, respecting the substantial uncertainty in that rating. Note that responses were individual and so the same NbCS pathway could receive (for example) several individual category 1 rankings, which would indicate reasonable confidence from those experts, and several category 2 rankings from others, which would indicate that those reviewers have lingering concerns about the scientific basis, along with their rankings of the remaining key uncertainties in those pathways. These are important considerations, as they reflect the diversity of opinions and research priorities; individual responses are publicly available (anonymized: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7859146 ).

The third question involved quantification of the potential for moving from category 2 to 1 explicitly. Following ref. 14 , the respondents first reported the lowest plausible value for the potential likelihood of movement (representing the lower end of a 95% confidence interval), then the upper likelihood and then their best guess for the median/most likely probability. They were also asked for the odds that their chosen interval contained the true value, which was used to scale responses to standard 80% credible intervals and limit overconfidence bias 13 , 15 . This question was not asked if the expert ranked the pathway as category 3, respecting the substantial uncertainty in that rating.

The fourth question involved the scale of potential impact from the NbCS, given the range of uncertainties associated with effectiveness, area of applicability and other factors. The question followed the same pattern as the third, first asking about lowest, then highest, then best estimate for potential scale of impact (in PgCO 2 e yr −1 ). Experts were again asked to express their confidence in their own range, which was used to scale to a standard 80% credible interval. This estimate represents a consolidation of the best-available science by the reviewers. For a complete review including individual studies and their respective findings, see the Supplementary Data . This question was not asked if the expert ranked the pathway as category 3, respecting the substantial uncertainty in that rating.

Final results

After collection of the final survey responses, results were anonymized and compiled by pathway. For overall visualization and discussion purposes, responses were combined into a mean and 20th to 80th percentile range. The strength of the expert elicitation process lies in the collection of several independent assessments. Those different responses represent real differences in data interpretation and synthesis ascribed by experts. This can have meaningful impacts on decision-making by different individuals and organizations (for example, those that are more optimistic or pessimistic about any given pathway). Therefore, individual anonymous responses were retained by pathway to show the diversity of responses for any given pathway. The experts surveyed, despite their broad range of expertise, ranked themselves as less familiar with category 3 pathways than category 1 or 2 (linear regression, P  < 0.001, F  = 59.6 2, 394 ); this could be because of a lack of appropriate experts—although they represented all principal fields—or simply because the data are limited in those areas.

Sensitivity

To check for robustness against sample size variation, we conducted a Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis of the data on each pathway to generate responses of a further ten hypothetical experts. Briefly, the extra samples were randomly drawn from the observed category ranking mean and standard deviations for each individual pathway and appended to the original list; values <1 or >3 were truncated to those values. This analysis resulted in only minor differences in the mean categorization across all pathways: the mean difference between the original and the boot-strapped data was 0.02 (s.d. = 0.05) with an absolute difference average of 0.06 (s.d. = 0.06). The maximum difference in means across all pathways was 0.20 (s.d. = 0.20) (Supplementary Table 2 ). The results suggest that the response values are stable to additional responses.

All processing was done in R 36 , with packages including fmsb 37 and forcats 38 .

Data availability

Anonymized expert elicitation responses are available on Zenodo 39 : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7859146 .

Code availability

R code for analysis available on Zenodo 39 : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7859146 .

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported through gifts to the Environmental Defense Fund from the Bezos Earth Fund, King Philanthropies and Arcadia, a charitable fund of L. Rausing and P. Baldwin. We thank J. Rudek for help assembling the review and 30 experts who reviewed some or all of those data and protocol summaries (Supplementary Data ). S.M. was supported by a cooperative agreement between the National Science Foundation and Battelle that sponsors the National Ecological Observatory Network programme.

Author information

Present address: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Present address: AtmoFacts, Longmont, CO, USA

R. N. Lubowski

Present address: Lombard Odier Investment Managers, New York, NY, USA

Present address: Ecological Carbon Offset Partners LLC, dba EP Carbon, Minneapolis, MN, USA

L. A. Moore

Present address: , San Francisco, CA, USA

J. Paltseva

Present address: ART, Arlington, VA, USA

N. A. Randazzo

Present address: NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Present address: University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

N. Uludere Aragon

Present address: Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA

These authors contributed equally: B. Buma, D. R. Gordon.

Authors and Affiliations

Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY, USA

B. Buma, D. R. Gordon, K. M. Kleisner, A. Bartuska, J. R. Collins, A. J. Eagle, R. Fujita, E. Holst, J. M. Lavallee, R. N. Lubowski, C. Melikov, L. A. Moore, E. E. Oldfield, J. Paltseva, A. M. Raffeld, N. A. Randazzo, C. Schneider, N. Uludere Aragon & S. P. Hamburg

Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA

Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

D. R. Gordon

Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, USA

A. Bartuska

International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, USA

Department of Ecology Evolution and Environmental Biology and the Climate School, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

P. Friedlingstein

Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université PSL, Sorbonne Université, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France

National Ecological Observatory Network, Battelle, Boulder, CO, USA

Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

J. N. Sanchirico

Department of Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA

J. R. Collins

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Contributions

D.R.G. and B.B. conceived of and executed the study design. D.R.G., K.M.K., J.R.C., A.J.E., R.F., E.H., J.M.L., R.N.L., C.M., L.A.M., E.E.O., J.P., A.M.R., N.A.R., C.S. and N.U.A. coordinated and conducted the literature review. G.M. and B.B. primarily designed the survey. A. Bartuska, A. Bidlack, B.B., J.N.S., K.N., P.E., P.F., R.D. and S.M. contributed to the elicitation. B.B. conducted the analysis and coding. S.P.H. coordinated funding. B.B. and D.R.G. were primary writers; all authors were invited to contribute to the initial drafting.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to B. Buma .

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Competing interests.

The authors declare no competing interests. In the interest of full transparency, we note that while B.B., D.R.G., K.M.K., A.B., J.R.C., A.J.E., R.F., E.H., J.M.L., R.N.L., C.M., L.A.M., E.E.O., J.P., A.M.R., N.A.R., C.S., N.U.A., S.P.H. and P.E. are employed by organizations that have taken positions on specific NbCS frameworks or carbon crediting pathways (not the focus of this work), none have financial or other competing interest in any of the pathways and all relied on independent science in their contributions to the work.

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Nature Climate Change thanks Camila Donatti, Connor Nolan and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

Supplementary Tables 1–4, Figs. 1–3 and survey instrument.

Supplementary Data

Literature review and list of reviewers.

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Buma, B., Gordon, D.R., Kleisner, K.M. et al. Expert review of the science underlying nature-based climate solutions. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-024-01960-0

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literacy research review

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ECON 231: The Economics of Inequality: Literature Review and Research

  • Literature Review and Research
  • Finding Data This link opens in a new window
  • Evaluating and Using Sources

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a systemic review of previous research related to or informing your problem. The goal of a lit review is to provide a picture of the scholarly research landscape on your topic and to put your work in conversation with this existing research. Questions you might ask yourself as you begin your literature review are:

  • How have other researchers approached this problem?
  • What data have they used?
  • What analysis have they done?

As you continue in the process, you might begin to think about:

  • How a piece of research relates to other sources you have found
  • How all of the sources work together to form a picture of economic thought on your topic

Using a Synthesis Matrix

  • Literature Review Matrix Use this matrix to keep track of your research and organize your literature review.

Start in the Libraries

The Library catalog is a great place to start your research. Our search function allows you to comb through our physical and digital offerings, including our robust collection of academic journals. 

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  • EconPapers This link opens in a new window Provides access to working papers in economics.
  • RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) This link opens in a new window Provides access to economic research papers, many freely available. more... less... RePEc is a collaborative volunteer effort to disseminate economic literature. The bibliographic data is in the public domain. Thus, its data is used in many online sites and databases (including EconLit). This link goes to IDEAS, which is run by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Finding Related Research

Once you find a few good papers, you might want to do some citation searching to get a sense of the how that article is related to the ones it cites and the ones that cite it.

Below, you'll find our guide on citation searching and a few helpful tools to get you started.

  • Guide to Citation Searching
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IMF Working Papers

The economic impacts and the regulation of ai: a review of the academic literature and policy actions.

Author/Editor:

Mariarosaria Comunale ; Andrea Manera

Publication Date:

March 22, 2024

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

We review the literature on the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption and the ongoing regulatory efforts concerning this technology. Economic research encompasses growth, employment, productivity, and income inequality effects, while regulation covers market competition, data privacy, copyright, national security, ethics concerns, and financial stability. We find that: (i) theoretical research agrees that AI will affect most occupations and transform growth, but empirical findings are inconclusive on employment and productivity effects; (ii) regulation has focused primarily on topics not explored by the academic literature; (iii) across countries, regulations differ widely in scope and approaches and face difficult trade-offs.

Working Paper No. 2024/065

9798400268588/1018-5941

WPIEA2024065

Please address any questions about this title to [email protected]

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Research: How Women Can Build High-Status Networks

  • Carla Rua-Gomez,
  • Gianluca Carnabuci,
  • Martin Goossen

literacy research review

Companies can help women overcome common obstacles they face when trying to forge powerful professional ties.

Despite the potential career benefits of building high-status networks, research has long shown that women face greater obstacles in establishing these networks compared to men. The authors’ research , published in the Academy of Management Journal, not only underscores what we know about the unique challenges women face in building high-status networks; it also offers a strategic roadmap for overcoming these challenges. By understanding and leveraging the power of shared social connections, women as individuals can navigate around systemic biases and forge valuable professional ties that propel their careers forward. For organizations committed to gender equality, their study provides a clear directive: Invest in building network sponsor programs that recognize and use the distinct pathways through which women can achieve high-status connections.

In the context of career advancement, the notion that “It’s not what you know, but who you know” holds some truth. However, for many women, this concept presents unique challenges. Despite the potential career benefits of building high-status connections within an organization, research has long shown that women face greater obstacles in establishing such connections compared to men. Our research , published in the Academy of Management Journal, offers new insights into this persistent challenge, and we share some of those insights in this article.

literacy research review

  • CR Carla Rua-Gomez  is an assistant professor of management and organization at SKEMA Business School, Université Côte d’Azur (GREDEG). She received her PhD from Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Switzerland. Her research interests revolve around innovation, social networks, and gender inequality. Carla is particularly interested in understanding how workplace dynamics perpetuate or limit gender inequality within research-intensive corporations.
  • GC Gianluca Carnabuci is a professor of organizational behavior at ESMT Berlin. He is also the holder of the Ingrid and Manfred Gentz Chair in Business and Society. His research and teaching focus on how informal networks shape the flow of information and knowledge within organizations, and how that affects the productivity of leaders, teams, and organizations.
  • MG Martin Goossen is an assistant professor in the Department of Management of Tilburg University. His research focuses on the role of individual employees in the R&D activities of high-technology firms.

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The Morning

A crisis of school absences.

Fewer children are attending school, across rich and poor districts.

Empty seats and desks in a classroom.

By Sarah Mervosh

A few years ago, a troubling phenomenon began to spread in U.S. education: Students were not showing up to school.

This was not particularly surprising. Schools had shut down in the spring of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, and some did not fully reopen until fall 2021. Quarantines for Covid symptoms and exposures were still common. It would take time, many thought, to re-establish daily routines.

What is surprising is how little the numbers have budged since, an issue my colleague Francesca Paris and I explore in depth in a new article published today .

Before the pandemic, about 15 percent of U.S. students were chronically absent, which typically means missing 18 days of the school year, for any reason. By the 2021-22 school year, that number had skyrocketed to 28 percent of students. Last school year, the most recent for which national estimates are available, it held stubbornly at 26 percent.

In interviews, many educators say the problem is continuing this school year.

Perhaps most strikingly, absenteeism has increased across demographic groups, according to research by Nat Malkus, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Students are missing more school in districts rich and poor, big and small.

Increase in chronic absenteeism

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All students

By child poverty rates

Richest districts

By lengh of school closures

Most remote

Most in-person

literacy research review

By length of school closures

Even the length of school closures during the pandemic was not a particularly useful predictor of absenteeism. On average, districts that were closed longest have experienced similar increases as those that opened sooner.

What is going on here?

I spoke with school leaders, counselors, researchers and parents. They offered many reasons for the absences: illness, mental health, transportation problems. But underlying it all is a fundamental shift in the value that families place on school, and in the culture of education during the pandemic.

“Our relationship with school became optional,” said Katie Rosanbalm, a psychologist and associate research professor at Duke University.

A cultural shift

To some degree, this is a problem facing society at large since the pandemic. Anyone who works in an office with a flexible remote-work policy will be familiar with the feeling: You diligently show up, but your co-workers aren’t there. What’s the point?

Something similar may be going on in schools.

Though school buildings are open, classes are in person and sports and other extracurricular activities are back in full, the stability of school seems to have shifted.

For one thing, teachers are also missing more school , often because of professional burnout or child care challenges — or because, since the pandemic, more people are actually staying home when they’re sick.

Some schools have kept their pandemic policies around online class work, giving the illusion that in-person attendance is not necessary.

And widespread absenteeism means less stability about which friends and classmates will be there. This can beget more absenteeism. For example, research has found that when 10 percent of a student’s classmates are absent on a given day, that student is nearly 20 percent more likely to be absent the following day. “We are seeing disengagement spreading,” said Michael A. Gottfried, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied this issue.

Sign of other problems

This cultural shift is not simply a hit to perfect attendance records.

The share of students missing many days of school helps explain why U.S. students, overall, are nowhere close to making up their learning losses from the pandemic . Students who are behind academically may resist going to school, but missing school also sets them further back. These effects are especially pernicious for low-income students, who lost more ground during the pandemic and who are more negatively affected by chronic absence.

Absenteeism is also closely linked to other challenges schools have faced since the pandemic, including a rise in student anxiety and behavioral problems.

“The pandemic increased stress in every way in our lives, but it really embedded ourselves in our stress response system — fight, flight or freeze,” Dr. Rosanbalm, the Duke psychologist, said.

An increase in behavioral problems in schools is an example of the “fight” response, she said. On the other hand, she added, “flight is absenteeism.”

For more: A tool in our article lets you see the absenteeism numbers for public school districts in most states.

THE LATEST NEWS

Bankman-fried sentencing.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the cryptocurrency mogul convicted of stealing billions from customers, was sentenced to 25 years in prison .

The sentence is among the longest imposed on a white-collar defendant in recent years. Bankman-Fried was also ordered to forfeit about $11 billion in assets.

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton joined President Biden for a fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Biden also gathered major donors privately .

Donald Trump was also in New York City yesterday. He attended a wake for a police officer who was killed this week during a traffic stop.

A Republican operative who accused Matt Schlapp, the head of a major conservative advocacy group, of groping him dropped his lawsuit after receiving a $480,000 settlement .

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Workers began clearing debris and dismantling the wreckage in an attempt to reopen the port. A 1,000-ton crane, the largest on the Eastern Seaboard, will help.

How hard did the container ship Dali strike the bridge? Calculations show it could have had the same force as a rocket launch .

The disaster killed six men who were immigrants from Latin America . It has shaken Baltimore’s Hispanic community.

War in Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been detained in Russia for a year. Read an interview with his parents .

Vladimir Putin dismissed claims that Russia planned to invade other countries but warned nations against hosting warplanes meant for Ukraine.

If the U.S. abandons Ukraine, that would embolden China to move against Taiwan , Taiwan’s foreign minister said.

The last two coal-fired power plants in New England are set to close . New England will be the second region in the U.S., after the Pacific Northwest, to stop burning coal.

Garbage dumps release methane , a powerful greenhouse gas, at higher rates than previously estimated, a study found.

Other Big Stories

A judge is expected to rule on whether the U.S. government must provide shelter and food to migrant children as they wait in outdoor holding areas .

In California, a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers , America’s highest, is about to take effect.

Lawsuits accuse two county jails in Michigan of banning in-person family visits for inmates as a way to bolster revenue through phone calls and messages.

An 8-year-old girl was the sole survivor of a bus crash in South Africa that killed 45. The bus fell off a bridge and burst into flames.

The Supreme Court is “traditionalist,” meaning justices interpret the Constitution by enduring political and cultural norms, Marc De Girolami argues.

Antiracism is commendable in art. At universities, it can distort curiosity , John McWhorter writes.

Here are columns by David Brooks on the rise and fall of liberalism and David French on minors using social media .

MORNING READS

Accent chair: See the most influential pieces of furniture from the last 100 years.

Hilarity and wonder: Meta’s glasses are becoming artificially intelligent. We tried them .

Dogs: A German breeding bill could lead to bans for the beloved Dachshund .

Modern Love: “ How I learned to trust (some) men .”

Lives Lived: Linda Bean was a granddaughter of L.L. Bean. She used her wealth to support right-wing causes and politicians, to amass paintings and properties associated with the Wyeth art family and to become an entrepreneur in her mid-60s. She died at 82 .

March Madness: Alabama upset the No. 1 seed North Carolina to reach its first men’s Elite Eight in 20 years.

M.L.B.: Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped the league’s investigation into the gambling allegations surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter would be “short.”

N.H.L.: A Russian hockey player is expected to finally come to North America after being drafted nearly nine years ago. During the wait, he was arrested and forced into military service .

U.S. Soccer: Korbin Albert, a rising star, apologized yesterday after Megan Rapinoe criticized anti-L.G.B.T.Q. content that Albert had reposted on social media.

Caitlin Clark : The Iowa star was among the 14 players selected for Team USA’s training camp in Cleveland.

ARTS AND IDEAS

A new album: Beyoncé has gone country. Her just-released album, “Cowboy Carter,” has plucked banjos, lines about hoedowns and cameos from Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

But “that’s only the half of it,” Ben Sisario writes. The 27-track album is a tour of popular music with a Beatles cover and features from Miley Cyrus and Post Malone. “The album’s range suggests a broad essay on contemporary pop music, and on the nature of genre itself,” Sisario adds. Read more about the album .

More on culture

The music producer Metro Boomin helped shape rap over the last decade. Next week, he is poised to claim his fourth No. 1 album. Here’s a guide to his music .

Alessandro Michele, the designer who brought profits and plenty of buzz to Gucci, was named creative director of Valentino .

Seth Meyers joked about Trump Media’s stock .

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

Roast salmon with peas and radishes for a quick dinner .

Jog with these strollers .

Give a good gift to a frequent traveler .

Make over your foyer .

Take our news quiz .

Here is today’s Spelling Bee . Yesterday’s pangram was galumph .

And here are today’s Mini Crossword , Wordle , Sudoku and Connections .

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

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Sarah Mervosh covers education for The Times, focusing on K-12 schools. More about Sarah Mervosh

COMMENTS

  1. Journal of Literacy Research: Sage Journals

    The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR) is a peer-reviewed journal that has contributed to the advancement literacy and literacy education research for over 50 years.JLR is a forum for sharing innovative research and pedagogy that considers a broad range of topics encompassing instruction and assessment, policy development, understandings of literacies, and relationships of ideology and knowledge.

  2. A review of academic literacy research development: from 2002 to 2019

    The study conducted a systematic review of academic literacy research based on 94 systematically selected research papers on academic literacy from 2002 to 2019 from multiple databases. These papers were then coded respectively in terms of their research methods, types (interventionistic or descriptive), settings and research focus.

  3. Journal of Literacy Research (JLR)

    The Journal of Literacy Research (JLR) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that publishes research related to literacy and literacy education from preschool through adulthood. JLR publishes research and scholarly papers, including original research and essays in its Insights column. Articles represent diverse research paradigms and ...

  4. Feedback literacy: a critical review of an emerging concept

    Systemic challenges for feedback practice are widely discussed in the research literature. The expanding mass higher education systems, for instance, seem to inhibit regular and sustained teacher-student interactions. The concept of feedback literacy, representing students' and teachers' capacities to optimize the benefits of feedback opportunities, has gained widespread attention by ...

  5. PDF A review of academic literacy research development: from 2002 to 2019

    academic literacy and its relations to actual pedagogical practices while shedding light on future directions of research. Literature review Academic literacy as a set of literacy skills specialized for content learning is closely associated with individual higher order thinking and advanced language skill develop-ment (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008).

  6. Literacy Research and Instruction

    The journal is especially focused on instructional practices and applied or basic research of special interest to reading and literacy educators. Peer Review Policy: All articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymous refereeing by reviewers.

  7. How to Write a Literature Review

    Examples of literature reviews. Step 1 - Search for relevant literature. Step 2 - Evaluate and select sources. Step 3 - Identify themes, debates, and gaps. Step 4 - Outline your literature review's structure. Step 5 - Write your literature review.

  8. How the Science of Reading Informs 21st‐Century Education

    Reading research that uses translational and implementation science frameworks and methodologies will make more ... White TG, & Joiner R (2019, December). A systematic review of the research on the effect of knowledge building in literacy instruction on comprehension and vocabulary in the elementary years. Presentation at the annual ...

  9. Developing a "Research Literacy Way of Thinking" in Initial Teacher

    For this purpose, the review of the term research literacy is linked to the model of competence as continuum (Blömeke & Kaiser, 2017). A theoretically founded understanding of competence in relation to research literacy invites conclusions on what it means to understand research literacy in ITE and beyond.

  10. Digital competence and digital literacy in higher education research

    4.3. Implications for HE research. This systematic research review provides an understanding of research and policy approach to the definitions of digital literacy and digital competence in HE research revealing the evolution of the concepts and referencing strategy over time, disciplines, countries, methods and level of analysis. A general ...

  11. Writing a Literature Review

    A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis ). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays).

  12. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines

    This is why the literature review as a research method is more relevant than ever. Traditional literature reviews often lack thoroughness and rigor and are conducted ad hoc, rather than following a specific methodology. Therefore, questions can be raised about the quality and trustworthiness of these types of reviews.

  13. Research Guides: Literature Reviews: What is a Literature Review?

    A literature review is meant to analyze the scholarly literature, make connections across writings and identify strengths, weaknesses, trends, and missing conversations. A literature review should address different aspects of a topic as it relates to your research question. A literature review goes beyond a description or summary of the ...

  14. A systematic review on digital literacy

    This study employed the systematic review method where the authors scrutinized the existing literature around the major research question of digital literacy. As Uman ( 2011 ) pointed, in systematic literature review, the findings of the earlier research are examined for the identification of consistent and repetitive themes.

  15. Physical Literacy Research in the United States: A Systematic Review of

    Physical Education Children (7-11.9 years old) 88 C To systematically review the scientific literature for tools to assess PL and its domains in children aged 7-11.9 years X Trecroci et al ...

  16. Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review

    Literature reviews are in great demand in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications .For example, compared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively .Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every ...

  17. As literacy lags nationwide, Purdue researcher highlights ways to

    After various nationwide setbacks toward literacy resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, McBride is currently looking to take her research one step further by making literacy tests, which screen for children's risks for reading problems and often are expensive and require a licensed educational psychologist to administer, more accessible. Her ...

  18. A systematic literature review of TALIS secondary research: Trends and

    This study provides a systematic literature review of secondary analyses of TALIS data, summarising the past 15 years of TALIS research. The review includes a synthesis of 238 peer-reviewed journal articles, providing bibliographical information about articles as well as the scope and impact of analysis of TALIS data across time, countries, and ...

  19. Student Literacy Rates Are Concerning. How Can We Turn This Around

    Within literacy, research shows dyslexia impacts millions of people across the country, specifically an estimated 1 in 5 Americans. Dyslexia is not about an individual's intelligence but the ...

  20. Why do we trust in online reviews? Integrative literature review and

    Online reviews are an important information source in decision-making processes. Basing decisions on online reviews, however, requires consumers to trust. Consequently, studying trust has become a major research concern. This article provides an integrative literature review of 70 articles published between 2005 and 2021 that, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, investigated ...

  21. Expert review of the science underlying nature-based climate solutions

    Through literature review and expert elicitation, this analysis shows that for some major pathways there is strong support, while for others their efficacy remains uncertain. ... Research and ...

  22. Literature Review and Research

    A literature review is a systemic review of previous research related to or informing your problem. The goal of a lit review is to provide a picture of the scholarly research landscape on your topic and to put your work in conversation with this existing research. Questions you might ask yourself as you begin your literature review are:

  23. The Economic Impacts and the Regulation of AI: A Review of the Academic

    We review the literature on the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption and the ongoing regulatory efforts concerning this technology. Economic research encompasses growth, employment, productivity, and income inequality effects, while regulation covers market competition, data privacy, copyright, national security, ethics concerns, and financial stability. We find that: (i ...

  24. Research: How Women Can Build High-Status Networks

    Despite the potential career benefits of building high-status networks, research has long shown that women face greater obstacles in establishing these networks compared to men. The authors ...

  25. Book Review: 'Reading the Constitution,' by Stephen Breyer

    Written in Breyer's careful, tentative style, "Reading the Constitution" is well meaning, tedious and exasperating; it is also rather telling, showing how a thoughtful, conscientious jurist ...

  26. A Crisis of School Absences

    Fewer children are attending school, across rich and poor districts. By Sarah Mervosh A few years ago, a troubling phenomenon began to spread in U.S. education: Students were not showing up to ...