New researcher

I finally managed to submit a research paper. I’m fairly new to this and I can’t say that it’s all been plain sailing. For a start the focus on ensuring that your research is based on evidence has given me qualms about blogging. I know that blogging is about opinions, but if you have an audience then you have some sort of responsibility to ensure that you’ve got your facts right – or is that the reader’s responsibility in blogging?

What did I enjoy about the research? Mainly the thinking and analysis. What did the data reveal? What were the implications of the data? Has anyone else had anything to say about it? Do I agree with them or not? Where is the evidence for my thinking? Yes, the thinking through was the best bit.

Collecting the data wasn’t too difficult as the idea for the paper came after we had collected the data  (a project evaluation). Analysing data is hard work, especially if it involves interviews.

So what was difficult? For me it was the writing and trying to get the most salient points down in a limited number of words. Worrying about whether I really did have the evidence for the content. Worry about whether I had understood other authors correctly and cited them accurately. Working collaboratively at a distance. Trying to keep the train of thought going whilst waiting for c0-authors. Trying not to get in a muddle when co-authors’ ideas came back. Worry about how the paper might be received.

What don’t I enjoy about research? All those submission requirements. All those references to type up. Questions about who should be first author ( I really hate this aspect of academic work). The fact that even if the paper is accepted for publication its unlikely to be read by many people unless you pay an exhorbitant amount to allow open access. The fact that even when you’ve submitted it you know it could have been better – if you’d just had a bit more time!

I suppose its all a learning curve.

4 thoughts on “New researcher

  1. ctscho February 5, 2009 / 3:38 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    I so identify with much of your description; years of my contract research is stored away in obscure federal archives and state filing cabinets:-) And like you, I am always plagued by the feeling that there is more to do or that I may have left a stone unturned. I finally came to look at each “completed” project as the best snapshot I could produce at that moment, given the current conditions and resources. Since citing all the sources and formatting for submission is enough to drive anyone ’round the bend, not to mention the rigors of the research itself, I’d say you can and should enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and being, until the next phase/project, “done'”! Congratulations!


  2. Keith Lyons February 5, 2009 / 8:23 pm


    It is good to read your blog post. You write so well and synthesise ideas delightfully. I have regarded research report writing as a way of sharing a story and have hoped that my writing resonates with a reader. (It is a legacy of immersion in a qualitative research tradition.)

    I do think there are many forms of text and the use of hyperlinks now is transforming how we share. With your skills and insights you can offer your readers points of difference from other research writing. I hope too that you used your photographic skills to illuminate the report!

    Best wishes


  3. suifaijohnmak February 5, 2009 / 9:32 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    So excited to learn about your experience in submitting research papers. So you have enjoyed it! Would it be similar to the giving birth to a baby, where you have to undergo great pains before your child is born? Oh yes, you must have a few babies! And this one is so beautiful.

    Well, man like me could have babies too!

    Collecting evidence as part of the empirical research really takes a long time. Is it the case for your research?

    I share with you some of the roadblocks and redtapes in getting research papers published, in particular in response to the submission requirements. As for my research in Computerization that I have done, it took a year for it to be published in journal. That’s not surprising, given the high academic standards required for such publication.

    It is also quite a challenge to wait for the co-author ideas to come back, as you mentioned. How did you overcome that?

    What do you think may be better ways of conducting and publishing applied and academic researches?

    I would surely like to bear other “babies” (research) using different platforms.

    Would the proposal on interest you?

    I have done a few researches (formal and institutional ones), with the Distribution Centre Training publication on the Web site of my previous institution. And some others I worked on such as proposals and expression of interests on research for the Logistics Association of Australia.

    So, I am thinking of using our Ning website to have some babies published as well. Our babies!

    I share your interests in conducting research and sharing on blogs.

    Renewed thanks.

  4. suifaijohnmak February 5, 2009 / 9:32 pm

    Like to learn your views on collaborative research.

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