Research Perspectives
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Research Perspectives Research Perspectives Presentation Transcript

  • Research Perspectives•  Identifying a Research Topic•  Format for a Proposal•  Writing Tips•  Publishing Your Results•  Ethical Issues
  • Identifying a Research Topic•  Read, read, read (record notes)•  Observation (record notes)•  Talking with others (record notes) –  Mentors –  Colleagues –  Stakeholders•  Seek to identify a problem –  Something causing a problem for people, resources –  Phenomena that are not well understood
  • Format for a Proposal•  Introduction –  Statement of the problem •  Problem stated in one concise sentence •  Significance –  Who would be interested in your study? –  Place your study in the context of bigger problems
  • Format for a Proposal•  Introduction (continued) –  Purpose and objectives (or research questions) •  Overall purpose stated in one sentence •  Itemize objectives (specific tasks) that must be achieved •  Objectives could be replaced by research questions
  • Format for a Proposal•  Introduction (continued) –  Research questions or hypotheses •  Research question: what do you want to know (could be redundant with objectives) •  Hypotheses: predictions –  Null hypotheses vs. alternate hypotheses –  Directional vs. non-directional alternate hypotheses
  • Format for a Proposal•  Introduction (continued) –  Definition of terms •  Define all terms in proposal: title, problem statement, purpose & objectives, theory, research questions & hypotheses, literature review, methods •  Define when first used
  • Format for a Proposal•  Introduction (continued) –  Delimitations and limitations •  Delimitations: narrow scope of your study (variables, location, approach) •  Limitations: potential weaknesses of your study
  • Format for a Proposal•  Review of the literature –  Organize your note-taking by “central argument” –  Write-down ideas in your words –  Demonstrate that you are familiar with the literature on this topic –  Summarize what is already understood and what is still NOT well understood –  Do competing schools of thought exist?
  • Format for a Proposal•  Review of the literature –  Has the topic been studied anywhere? If so, what was found? What remains to be understood? –  Has it been studied in your study area? If so, previous findings? If not, what might be different about your study area?
  • Format for a Proposal•  Methods –  General research approach •  Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods •  Field, lab, maps, remotely sensed imagery, archival… –  Techniques of data acquisition •  What variables: how many samples, where, how often
  • Format for a Proposal•  Methods (continued) –  Techniques of data analysis •  lab work, statistics, computer analyses, etc. –  Justify why each procedure is needed and why that particular method is best suited
  • Format for a Proposal•  Expected Results –  Preliminary studies, pilot studies –  How will raw data be reported? •  Tables, maps, figures, descriptive statistics,… –  How will data interpretations appear?
  • Format for a Proposal•  References Cited•  Appendices –  Timetable •  list of tasks for each objective and when that work will be undertaken –  Budget •  outline the expected costs & sources of funding –  Where will findings be reported? •  thesis, journal publication, professional meeting
  • Writing Tips•  Getting started –  Take the notes from your literature and set next to guidelines for proposal writing –  Develop an outline of ideas, sentences –  Track objectives/research questions through proposal (“coherence”) •  Literature review •  Methods •  Expected results
  • Writing Tips•  Write your first draft –  Shift and sort your ideas –  Share your ideas with friends, colleagues, advisor
  • Writing Tips•  Readability –  Voice tense (in proposal) •  Past/present tense in problem statement •  Future tense in purpose and objectives: “The purpose of this study will be to… •  Past tense in literature review: “Jones (2006) found…” •  Future tense in methods
  • Writing Tips•  Readability –  Does each paragraph develop one idea fully? –  Smooth transition between paragraphs? –  Proper use of subheadings?
  • Writing Tips•  Critique –  see Marston handouts –  See example of copyediting
  • Writing Tips•  Grammar –  The word “data” is plural •  Write “…the data show” not “the data shows.” –  Be consistent in using terms: avoid synonyms
  • Publishing Your Results•  Co-Editor-in-Chief, Geomorphology•  Member of Editorial Board, Annals of the AAG•  Frequent reviewer •  Edited 1500 manuscripts •  261 manuscripts, excl. editing •  217 research grant proposals
  • Publishing Your Results•  Why should you publish? •  Sense of accomplishment •  Making a contribution •  Getting that first job •  Promotion (and tenure in academia)
  • Publishing Your Results•  Brunn (1987): Five levels of research- oriented faculty…seek a good match…you & employer •  Publish in 4-5 major disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals each year •  Publish 1-3 major papers per year •  Publish a paper every other year
  • Publishing Your Results•  Brunn (1987): Five levels of research- oriented faculty…seek a good match…you & employer •  Conduct research but rarely present papers at meetings and rarely publish •  “Professionally inactive:” no research, do not attend meetings, never publish
  • Publishing Your Results•  Where should you publish? •  Disciplinary journals •  Annals of the AAG, The Professional Geographer •  Geographical Review •  Interdisciplinary Journals •  Mountain Research and Development •  Journal of the American Water Resources Association
  • Publishing Your Results•  Where should you publish? •  Specialty journals •  Geomorphology •  Physical Geography •  Regional journals
  • Publishing Your Results•  Manuscripts must be author’s own original research •  Not previously published elsewhere •  Not being considered for publication elsewhere •  Properly credits meaningful contribution of co- authors •  No “shingling”•  Authors shall not plagiarize the work of others
  • Publishing Your Results•  Manuscripts must be prepared in the format for the journal •  Abstract & keywords, text, figures, tables•  Manuscript must be free from grammatical errors •  Authors whose native language is not English•  Recommended general reference: Geowriting (5th ed., 2004), by Robert Bates, Marla D. Adkins-Heljeson, and Rex Buchanan
  • Publishing Your Results•  Why manuscripts are rejected •  Not appropriate for journal •  Lack of rigor in methods •  Interpretations not supported •  Format, grammar
  • Publishing Your Results•  If your manuscript is rejected… •  Revise and resubmit! •  Provide editor with detailed list of how you addressed the comments of reviewers (item-by-item) and comments from editor •  Submit to another journal
  • Publishing Your Results•  Thank the editor!
  • Ethical Issues•  Deception in problem statement, purpose, research questions•  In data collection: letter of disclosure –  Permission to access site –  Will site be disturbed? –  Possibility of information developed during the study that could be harmful to landowners
  • Ethical Issues•  In data collection: Institutional Review Board (IRB) when human subjects are involved –  Must assess risk for damage: physical, health, psychological, social, economic, legal, groups?
  • Ethical Issues–  Must develop Informed Consent Form for participants to sign before they are engaged •  Right to participate is voluntary and they can withdraw at any time •  Purpose, methods identified •  Participants have right to ask questions, privacy will be respected, can obtain copy of final study •  Benefits of study to individual, groups?
  • Ethical Issues•  In data analysis & interpretation –  Need to protect anonymity of participants? –  Archive data for 5-10 years, then discard •  Who owns data? Funding agency? Researcher?
  • Ethical Issues•  In data analysis & interpretation (continued) –  February 2010 issue of The American Naturalist announced an important development in Open Data within biology. The essentials of the policy are… –  Data underlying an article needs to be archived by the authors at the time of publication. –  The appropriate form of the data is the final processed form used in analysis..
  • Ethical Issues•  In data analysis & interpretation (continued) –  The essentials of the policy are… –  The data must be archived in an approved repository (one that makes it publicly available, has a guarantee of persistence, etc). –  The author should provide sufficient details so that a third party can reasonably interpret the data correctly. –  Embargoes of up to one year may be permitted, depending on the journal. –  Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as human subject data or the location of endangered species.
  • Ethical Issues•  In disseminating results of research –  Are results proprietary? –  Avoid language that express bias against groups on basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, age, … –  Anticipate repercussions of reporting results to individuals, groups
  • Ethical Issues•  Research fraud –  Plagiarizing •  Plagiarism is easy to avoid; credit your sources. Always credit your sources. Always. •  Plagiarism is easy to detect--your professors simply pop over to the Google line (Google classic, Google Scholar and Google Books) plus a few of the journal article databases the Libraries subscribe to like Expanded Academic and JStor. •  And, in the classic phrase of third-graders everywhere, "Dont be stupid.”
  • Ethical Issues•  Research fraud –  Fabricating results •  Suppressing •  Inventing •  Falsifying