Table 1.

Descriptions of skill categories for use of evidence with examples from student work that were classified into each skill category

CategoryDescriptorExample
Lack of evidenceLacks citation or evidence for a claimFurthermore, caffeine is a known stimulator of the sympathetic nervous system, and when present in high doses causes increase in plasmatic [sic] [epinephrine] concentrations and plasmatic [sic] activity of renin.
Referring to literature indirectlyNonspecific citation, usually at the end of the sentenceIt is apparent that there is a paradoxical nature to both ROS and antioxidants, as there are negative and positive effects documented for both (Birben et al., 2012, Juranek et al., 2013, Villanueva and Kross, 2012).
Referring to own results/studyDirectly referring to findings of their experimentThere was a significant difference between post-exercise; fasted and low GI and also fasted and high GI, though there was no significant difference between post-exercise low and high GI.
Referring to literature directlySpecific citation to conclusions from literature; can appear at the end or within a sentenceGoodyear and Kahn (1998) suggest that skeletal muscles have a greater sensitivity to glucose when exercised.
Use of integrationUse of primary literature to explain a result of their experimentIt was found that a dosage of 1.5mg/kg caffeine presented similar results to the present study in terms of heart rate before, during, and after exercise (McClaran & Wetter, 2007).
Referring to findings of literatureSpecific citation to findings of experiments in the literatureA recent study by Desbrow and colleagues revealed that caffeine ingestion significantly increased the heart rate of individuals compared with those given the placebo treatment (Desbrow et al., 2012).
Identifying limitations of own studyIdentifying reasons why their findings were unexpected or cannot be fully generalizedOne possibility for this lack of ROS level increase for placebo treatment subjects may be that the participants (for both treatments) didn’t perform step exercise at high enough intensity for body to excessively accumulate ROS.
Highlighting limitations of literatureIdentifying reasons why experiments in the literature cannot be fully generalized or are not applicable in their contextIn previous experimental conditions, carbohydrates were controlled as a gram amount per kg of body mass.
Identifying gaps in literatureHighlighting areas where current evidence is inadequate/unavailable or suggesting future directionsAs such, it would be of interest to study the antioxidant potential of varying doses of caffeine in response to exercise-induced oxidative stress, and similarly, involving varying exercise intensities.

For references cited in the student examples, please see Refs. 3a, 11a, 11b, 17a, 23a, and 28a.