A Personal View on Research and Writing

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A Personal View on Research and Writing

  1. 1. A (Personal) View:Research, Writing, and Publications Dr. Sandeep Purao Professor of IST Penn State University 1
  2. 2. About Me• PhD in Management Science (Minor: Computer Science)• Was faculty in a Business School, now in an Information School• Research and publications – Focus: IT in organizational settings – Source Discipline: MIS (affinity to Org Sciences and SE) – Publications: ACM, IEEE, IS, CSCW – Two recent (from 2011): • Action Design Research. MIS Quarterly 35(1): 37-56 (with Sein, Henfridsson, Rossi, Lindgren) • Monitoring Service Systems from a Language-Action Perspective. IEEE Transactions on Services Computing 4(1):17-30. (with Robinson)• Editorial responsibilities include / have included – Several including CS and IS; among others: MIS Quarterly, ISR 2
  3. 3. What do you do during your PhD years?• What do you / should you do during your PhD years?• Take classes• Get good grades• Work with your advisor• Attend project meetings• Prepare reports to sponsors• Generate papers to report your research• Do research under your advisor’s guidance• Present your research in conferences when you can 3
  4. 4. What should you do during your PhD years?• What do you / should you do during your PhD years?• Learn how to think about research• Learn how to scope research ideas• Learn how to place these in prior streams• Learn how to use appropriate research methods• Learn how to contribute to the academic disciplines• Learn how to use and create many kinds of manuscripts• Learn how to communicate ongoing and completed work• Learn how to become an effective independent researcher 4
  5. 5. Emphasizing Key To-Do’s• What do you / should you do during your PhD years?• Learn how to think about research• Learn how to scope research ideas• Learn how to place these in prior streams• Learn how to use appropriate research methods• Learn how to contribute to the academic disciplines• Learn how to create and use many kinds of manuscripts• Learn how to communicate ongoing and completed work• Learn how to become an effective independent researcher 5
  6. 6. The Role of Writing Do the research, THEN Report the results OLD• Conducting Research • Reporting Research• Understand problem • Describe approach• Create solution • Describe algorithms• Refine solution • Describe benefits• Gather data • Demonstrate results• Analyze data • Describe limitations• Generate findings • Describe next steps Is this true? 6
  7. 7. Consequences• We tend to form the following impressions: – Writing is fluff, research is key – Writing is something you have to do – Writing is not important, doing research is – Writing well does not mean that your research is good NOT true! 7
  8. 8. WritingThat’s an Obama Speech 8
  9. 9. The Importance of Writing• Time as a Surrogate for the importance of Writing ?• Conference Papers vs. Journal Articles 8 months conference journal 24 months 9
  10. 10. The Importance of Writing• Time as a Surrogate for the importance of Writing• Conference Papers vs. Journal Articles 12 months 8 months conference journal 18 months 24 months 10
  11. 11. A Personal Narrative - I• Several years ago: on a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm• Purao, Rossi and Sein: – “We should articulate our ideas about combining organizational intervention and technology design as a research method”• Working with R. Cole (IST PhD student, then taking 532, did this as part of that course) – a first effort submitted to ICIS (premier conference in IS). – comparing our hazy proposal against two existing approaches: action research and design research• Paper accepted at ICIS 11
  12. 12. A Personal Narrative - II• Sein, Purao and Rossi on multiple continents – “We should move ahead on articulating our ideas about combining organizational intervention and technology design as a research method – now that we have a better understanding of how it compares with other research methods” – R. Cole (IST PhD student) moved on to his dissertation effort related to security• In 2007, meeting at Design Research conference with Henfridsson and Lindgren – “Would you like to join the team to articulate this? We see your work with Volvo as the perfect example of what we would like to articulate.” 12
  13. 13. A Personal Narrative - III• The Team of Five working across continents and time- zones – “Let’s pull together a manuscript for submission. We can target MIS Quarterly. Our ideas have been brewing for some time now and we have rich experiences about this method”• In 2008, at the next annual conference, after several iterations of the manuscript online including: – “What the @#@$% are you doing? Why did you go back to the previous version? You wasted all my edits.” – “I think we are doing this all wrong. We need to have the example at the beginning so that the readers can appreciate ..” 13
  14. 14. A Personal Narrative - IV• Submission to MIS Quarterly – Early 2008 – Manuscript: 55 pages• First Round Reviews Received – Late 2008 – Three Reviewers – 6 pages, 12 pages, 25 pages – Associate Editor Report – 15 pages• Responses to First Round – Devised strategy for response, multiple documents including some named ‘plan of attack’ – Jan 2009 – 3-5 pages – Responses to reviewers crafted – 8 pages, 10 pages, 27 pages – Responses to AE crafted – 8 pages – Manuscript thoroughly revised – 51 pages 14
  15. 15. A Personal Narrative - V• Submission of Revised Manuscript – July 2009 – Manuscript: 51 pages – Response to review team: ~ 53 pages• Research presented in many universities by authors• Second Round of Reviews Received – March 2010 – Three Reviewers (not sure if one changed from first round) – Conditional acceptance indicated by the journal – Reviews - 6 pages, 5 pages, 8 pages – Associate Editor Report – 12 pages – AE would like clarification on role of theory and how it changes 15
  16. 16. A Personal Narrative - VI• Responses to Second Round – Devised strategy for response – April 2010 – 2 pages – Responses to reviewers crafted – shorter now – Responses to AE crafted – 20 pages – Manuscript revised – 46 pages• Re-submitted – May 2010 – Acceptance indicated – June 2010• Queued for publication – September 2010• Actual publication in print – March 2011 16
  17. 17. A Personal Narrative - VII• Now – Multiple dissertations under way in at least 5 universities – SAP-sponsored workshop in Shanghai in December – Follow-on research investigations – Multiple queries for talking with industry partners – Personal celebrations 17
  18. 18. Some Statistics 18Source withheld. 2004 Study.
  19. 19. Some Statistics 19Source withheld. 2004 Study.
  20. 20. The Review Process Submission AE Decides Reviewers Desk-reject by SE Assigned by AE SE Decides Assignment of AE Reviewers Accept Authors Receive Desk-reject by AE Report Reviewers Submit reviews Authors Revise 20One Version
  21. 21. Selecting Journals• Journal Rankings – Select: Information Science – http://www.journal-ranking.com• FT-40 – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bd9e8b74-fd17-11dd-a103- 000077b07658.html#axzz1b2xuxoAv• AIS Journal Ranking – http://ais.affiniscape.com/displaycommon.cfm? an=1&subarticlenbr=432• UT Dallas Ranking – http://som.utdallas.edu/top100Ranking/searchRanking.php?t=j 21
  22. 22. A Different Role for ‘Writing’• Writing is not a process of reporting NEW – It is an integral part of doing research• Writing is not a process of reporting – It is a process of communicating with colleagues• Writing is critical because it allows you to connect – With appropriate audiences and communities and colleagues• Writing is critical because it allows you to work – Work with multiple researchers 22
  23. 23. Using ‘Writing’• Start writing as you start doing your research NEW – Use it to clarify your thoughts – If unclear, emulate prior writings – If necessary, create skeletons• Identify audiences and communities• Work with multiple researchers – Within and outside your department – Within and outside your university• Prepare manuscripts for conferences and journals• Subject your writing to informal and formal reviews 23
  24. 24. The Writing Process• How does the writing process work?• Goals – Writing as reflection – Writing as persuasion – Writing as story-telling and narrative• Techniques – Writing as increasingly elaborate outlining – Writing as moving across levels of abstraction 24
  25. 25. Emulate the Best 25http://bravenewworld099.blogspot.com/
  26. 26. Dialog• Sandeep Purao• http://www.purao.net• http://www.linkedin.com/sandeeppurao• Email: spurao@ist.psu.edu• October 2012 26

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