Understanding early research experiences through the lens of connected learning

Rachel M. Magee, Amari T. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the early research experiences of eighteen researchers from a variety of scholarly fields to identify key factors in effective, successful experiences. Applying thematic analysis to semi-structured interviews, and using the Connected Learning framework as a lens to examine early research experiences, we identify three factors that are common in successful experiences: exposure to key events early in researchers' lives, mentorship from a variety of sources that proactively connects early researchers to opportunities and models support, and experiences that prompt curiosity and joy, sparking the interests of those who go on to become researchers. This work has implications for the design of early research experiences and demonstrates how connecting youth to research opportunities early in their learning allows them to pursue their interests, build relationships with mentors/mentees, and access opportunities to develop as researchers and critical thinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-215
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Connected Learning
  • Early Research Experience
  • Informal Learning
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


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