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T-0.7050 (2009) Scientific Knowledge And Research


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T-0.7050 (2009) Scientific Knowledge And Research

  1. 1. T-0.7050: Introduction to Post-Graduate Studies in Computer Science Scientific Knowledge and Research 26.1.2009 Marko Nieminen & Marjo Kauppinen SoberIT Helsinki University of Technology
  2. 2. What is Scientific Knowledge?
  3. 3. Making a Doctoral Thesis Demands <ul><li>Passion and motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Determination and patience (pitkäjänteisyys) </li></ul><ul><li>Working systematically and independently </li></ul>What does it mean to conduct research work systematically?
  4. 4. What does it mean to work systematically? <ul><li>A simplified research process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining the research problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing the research strategy (Selecting your research method & designing your study) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describing data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyzing data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making conclusions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporting and publishing research results </li></ul></ul>Source: Niiniluoto (1997) Introduction to the philosophy of science (Johdatus tieteenfilosofiaan), in Finnish, pp. 24-29.
  5. 5. Systematic research work: Lessons learned <ul><li>A research process gives a structured view and forms a skeleton for your research work. </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing and updating your research topic </li></ul><ul><li>Reading and reviewing the existing literature related to your research topic </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and applying research methods throughout your research work </li></ul><ul><li>Updating your research plan throughout your research work </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cornerstones of the Post-graduate Studies <ul><li>Research topic </li></ul><ul><li>Research plan </li></ul><ul><li>The existing literature related to your research topic </li></ul><ul><li>Research methods </li></ul>What are characteristics of a good research topic?
  7. 7. What are characteristics of a good research topic? <ul><li>Mature enough, not totally new ~ there is scientific knowledge already available. </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant & topical, not too old ~ nobody is interested in it anymore </li></ul><ul><li>Not too narrow: Narrowness is seldom a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Not too wide: Wideness is usually the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>The researcher is interested in the topic and believes that the topic is important. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Focus, focus and focus What are characteristics of good research questions? Research topic Research problem Research questions or hypotheses
  9. 9. What are characteristics of a good research question? <ul><li>Relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Not too wide </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand - simple and not too long </li></ul><ul><li>Clear (unambiguous) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All the concepts used in the question are carefully considered. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All the key concepts are defined in the thesis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is possible to find an answer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to imagine in advance what answers could be </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Research problem and questions: Lessons learned <ul><li>Defining good research questions is not an easy task. </li></ul><ul><li>You have to do it over and over again. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask feedback from your supervisor, instructor and other researchers </li></ul>Half of the job is done when you have managed to pose yourself good and essential questions to answer in your thesis.
  11. 11. Dissertation & Process
  12. 12. Dissertation <ul><li>According to the degree regulations of Helsinki University of Technology (41 §) as a doctoral dissertation may be approved </li></ul><ul><li>a monograph or </li></ul><ul><li>a sufficient number of publications, </li></ul><ul><li>or manuscripts accepted for publication dealing with the same set of problems and a a summary of them, </li></ul><ul><li>or some other work that meets corresponding scientific criteria. Publications may include also joint publications if the independent contribution of the author can be demonstrated. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Monograph: ”One” <ul><li>” One” </li></ul><ul><li>In a monograph, reference shall be made to the candidate’s publications relevant to the present subject, but not to the candidate’s other publications. </li></ul><ul><li>A monograph does not contain a separate list of the candidate's publications; all references to such publications, however relevant they are to the dissertation, are included in the list of references. </li></ul>
  14. 14. ” Bundle”: ”Many” - What is a Publication? <ul><li>A publication here is taken to mean </li></ul><ul><li>a refereed (peer reviewed) </li></ul><ul><li>scientific article </li></ul><ul><li>which has been published or accepted for publication, in a scientific journal or </li></ul><ul><li>other refereed printed work. </li></ul><ul><li>Summary + a set of scientific articles </li></ul><ul><li>If the dissertation consists of several articles, they shall deal with the same scientific question or set of questions . The summary shall contain an explanation of the research subject , the most important results achieved by the candidate. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Scientific Knowledge and Quality <ul><li>The dissertation shall contain new scientific knowledge in the field it represents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The dissertation shall clearly set forth the new findings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The new scientific knowledge presented in the dissertation, or in the articles constituting it, shall be up to date. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The candidate’s own contribution to the research shall be clearly stated. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Methods, experimental setups, measurements and the data presented in a dissertation should withstand the scrutiny appropriate for scientific research. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The research findings and the analysis of results shall be so explained and described that they can be replicated and confirmed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The doctoral candidate shall present the results and conclusions clearly and in such a way as to meet the scientific demands. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The research shall be set in the correct frame of reference by referring to the research results and methods of other researchers relevant to the candidate’s research. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Particularly important are references to the latest published results, not forgetting primary sources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The dissertation should avoid verbosity; a concise style is appropriate for scientific presentation. Matters of opinion or emotional reactions are inappropriate to scientific style. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Dissertation Process 1/2 <ul><li>Applying for permission to publish </li></ul><ul><li>Processing of permission to publish </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Department decides which experts are needed by the department. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pre-examination request is always sent by the Chair of the Dissertations Committee. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The dissertation manuscript is always sent to the preliminary examiner by the department or the doctoral candidate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The preliminary examiners are requested to deliver their statements within two months. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On receiving the statements of the preliminary examiners, the Dissertations Committee processes the request for permission to publish. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the Dissertations Committee has in its recommendation for corrections requested that the corrected manuscript be sent to the Dissertations Committee or also to the preliminary examiners, the doctoral candidate returns the manuscript as soon as he/she has completed the corrections. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Dissertation Process 2/2 <ul><li>The opponents should be among the best experts within the field in Finland and abroad </li></ul><ul><li>The dissertation and, in the case of an article dissertation, the articles of which it consists, shall be publicly displayed on the notice board at least ten days prior to the defence </li></ul><ul><li>Defence of dissertation </li></ul><ul><li>Approval of the dissertation and obtaining the certificate </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>What is Science? What is Scientific Knowledge? How should I reflect Scientific Knowledge in my research plan? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Questions to be answered in the course report <ul><li>What is Science? </li></ul><ul><li>What is Scientific Knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>How should I reflect scientific knowledge in my research plan? </li></ul>