If blogs, how-to's, wikis, journals, and magazines don't count. What is left?
Instead of telling us what "research / academic" excludes, tell us what it includes. What type of information are you looking for?
One of my initial question to my professor was: "What exactly constitues an academic/research article". The response I recieved was publications from "academic journals and conferences (with bibliographies), as opposed to trade journals/articles and trade shows" excluding blogs, wiki's, and how-to's.
Does this help?
Basically what I am looking for is 2-3 sources that I can use on my research report that are "academic/research" in nature that come from a reliable source and are not a how-to/blog/wiki.
I'm having a hard time finding sources like these and was wondering if there was database out there that contained such articles. I would imagine that adobe has quite a few research publications but I was unable to find any (except for how-to's) when searching the site.
What kind of information are you looking for from these sources? That is, it sounds like you're looking for something like, say, SIGGRAPH papers, but related to Flex applications? What do you expect these papers to be about? I'm not sure you'll find anything Flex-specific; I would consider looking more generally at user interface research and trying to find something more relevant there.
It kind of helps. I once mentored a teacher on ColdFusion development and she spoke abot how academic journals are seen differently than trade journals. Apparently trade journals have a negative stigma in academic circles.
I didn't get a good understanding of what content is covered in academic circles, nor why trade journals were looked down upon. But, I would assume it the difference of "theory" vs "practical applications".
I have no idea where you'd find Flex info in academic circles. Another poster on this thread spoke about looking up info on user interface design and I think that is a great idea. Flex is really just one way to implement user interfaces, so the theory of interface design could be applied to Flex / Flex Development.
Whether that is enough for your professor I have no idea.
Search for white papers on RIAs and Flex like these:
Adobe did have some others on their webpage done by 3rd parties at one point, but I can't find them now. Hopefully they didn't take them down, that would be stupid to do...
A good suggestion, but the original poster should note that white papers run the gamut from almost-academic to self-serving marketing dross. That is, while the term "white paper" originally had an academic flavor, many marketing departments have co-opted the term and taken it to mean "a fancy way of telling you how great some feature of our product is".
Well he'll have to sort those out himself. Needless to say, if Adobe or Macromedia wrote it, you'll have to be more careful especially if they start pitching Flex. But I know for a fact I've seen 3rd party RIA white papers, they tend to be more about "RIA" and not about specific techs like Flex, but they are out there. If they do mention Flex they also mention alternatives, if they're not being used simply for marketing.
I have a few on my desktop at home.
Thanks for all of the replies/suggestions. Everything was helpful.
You won't find any academic journal articles on Flex per se because that would be a useless question, or really irrelevant (not trying to be demeaning to your professor or anything, it's just the wrong question). If you want to see a relevant line of research that does speak to RIAs and how they can play a role in instruction, look up an academic 'conversation' between Richard Clark and several others regarding 'media are mere vehicles' argument. Also Google Congnitive Load Theory and be sure to read one or two of Richard Mayer's books, or at least some of his articles. I think you'll find all that stuff a good point of departure to start any project. Good luck.