So What? Justifying Conclusions and Interpretations of Data

Although often asked tactfully, a frequent question posed to authors by JRME reviewers is “So what?” Through this simple and well-known question, reviewers are asking: What difference do your findings make? How do your results advance the field? “So what?” is the most basic of questions, often perceived by novice researchers as the most difficult question to answer. Indeed, addressing the “so what” question continues to challenge even experienced researchers. All researchers wrestle with articulating a convincing argument about the importance of their own work. When we try to shape this argument, it can be easy to fall into the trap of making claims about the implications of our findings that reach beyond the data.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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