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.