Basics of Summarizing Research Findings
Muhammad Usman Tariq
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
Saad Masood Butt
Atlantic International University, USA
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 2
Purpose- This paper presents the analysis of different research papers and methodology of
presenting and documenting research reports.
Design/methodology/approach- The author presents the importance of quality attributes in
documenting research and publication of the report.
Research limitations/implications- The study is limited to analysis of research findings,
documenting findings, research reports and publication of research.
Originality/value- This paper will help to build up the understanding of the basic attributes used by
researchers in presenting their research work.
Keywords- Research Methods, Documenting Research, Experiments, Scientific methods
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 3
Basics of summarizing research findings
Science is based on many different pillars that combine to provide the methods of reasoning,
logic, and ethics to conduct research. Based on the research methods the foundation of all the
research is scientific reasoning. Science is based on experiments, and it involves variables to conduct
any experiment and find out the results. The research is not completed until all the results and
finding are documented in a proper way. After that, research is prepared for publication or
conference depending on the nature of the subject. Most of the time, authors publish their research
work for gaining recognition and future research enhancement based on sharing of research with the
community. The findings of research must be properly documented according to the analysis of the
audience. The research report must be according to the interest of the targeted audience to serve
them better. Every finding must be documented within the given time frame for the audience. The
methodology of finding will change according to the need of the audience. Scientific research
requires a greater time than the ordinary research and do not have any limited time period.
Without any concept of the topic, research cannot be conducted, and findings will not be as
per the requirement. There are different type of research deliverables used as per requirements to
document the findings. In informal way, it will be an email including summary of the finding. In
formal way, it will be presentations along with a detailed report of the findings. It is very rare that
any research is completed without documenting the findings. Scientific research requires a broad
knowledge of the research subject before conducting and documenting it. The topic and
methodology cannot be selected without any sound beginning (Barbara & John, 2000). Hidi and
McLaren stated, “The underlying rationale for self-selected scientific topics is that they increase
interest, motivation and intellectual activity in conducting the research” (188). The findings require
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 4
a space between the limitations of the experimental design systems and the fine approach of writing
them effectively so that they are released to the scientific community at a later stage (Rheinberger,
2003). The current research representations are widely based on drawing and note taking practices
as a means of observation (Hoffmann & Wittmann, 2013). A good scientific research follows the
quality attributes and balanced approach in documenting the research.
Presenting and preparing reports
Research is most of the time mistaken for gathering information, documentation of facts and
finding the managing the information (Leedy & Ormord, 2001). After collecting the samples and
data analysis, the research is needed to be presented in an intellectual way to be understood by the
community. The research findings must be linked with the analysis conducted in the study. Freimer,
M. B., Linderoth, J. T., & Thomas, D. J. (2012) conducted research on the sampling methods and
collected data by comparing across different sampling method. The report consists of abstract,
introduction, computational examples, and conclusion. The findings are documented in the form of
graphical charts along with computational examples. Based on the data a detailed methodology is
used for documenting and presenting the findings. More than five tables are used for representation
of the findings in the tabular format with detailed analysis of each estimate. The research report uses
a lot of statistical terms for the explanation of the results. The findings show that sample average
approximation is the useful method for obtaining the required solutions. The references used in
presenting the research report are properly defined within the context of the research report. Overall,
the report provides the required solution.
Bornstein and Robert (2003) conducted research on construct validity problems in
contemporary personality disorder. The research report consists of an introduction section, problems
identification section, literature review, solution to the problem, framework, implementation, and
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 5
improvements in the research. The overall research provides a detailed analysis of the disorders and
explanation with the literature review. The findings in the research are documented through the
theoretical framework and implementing it in the actual environment for observations. The findings
are based on studying the different behaviors along with proving the advantage of using the
referenced experimental approach derived from the theoretical framework. The author provides
improvement and possible objects to the study too for the findings. The report published consists of
proving the framework through the implementation based on findings during the implementation
Miller & Shamsie, (2001) research is based on notions from the literature on organizational
learning and investigation on product line experiments based on organizational performance change
across the roles of top management. The research report is based on the introduction, literature
review, hypothesis presentation, methodology, findings, discussion, and conclusions. The findings
are documented in the form of tables for each variable of the hypothesis. It provides detailed
descriptive statistics and correlation matrices for the variables that were used in the study. Test for
each of the hypothesis is reported in the research. The findings are further discussed by comparison
of research variables on both independent and dependent variables. The hypothesis are proved using
the findings of the research. The conclusion provides the improvements and ideas for the future
Rudin (2003) provides the overview of previously published research in the field of the
ecology and usage of continuous dependent variables. The publication report consists of introduction,
limitations, methods, findings, and conclusion. The author compares the effect of dependent
variables across the different units based on limitation in the previous research. The correlation
among the variables is tested by usage of dummy variables and data. The findings are documented
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 6
in the tabular format for proving the autocorrelation of the datasets. The conclusion provides the
overview of the paper along with future research ideas. The report is a small scale research without
any actual implementation of data collection.
Similarities and Differences between the approaches
The similarities and different in the research differ widely on the basis of the research subject.
All of the researchers are focused on proving their methodology by available techniques, tools, and
methodology. The initial section of the research reports used same methodology with the little
difference. Some of the authors have used statistical approach in the methodology and literature
review section as they have strong knowledge on the statistical approaches. The knowledge required
for the research subject plays an important role in the representation of the findings. The differences
across the approaches can be due to the following factors:
1. Limited conceptual knowledge of the research domain
2. Domain type such as population research are more focused on data representation
than the behavioral research that is focused on using hypothesis testing
3. Knowledge of the statistical data representation and tools plays an important role in
documenting the research. Authors who have less knowledge use the ordinary
techniques of correlation and comparison, whereas others have used pure scientific
statistical terms too.
Another notable difference among the research reports is the representation of the data. The reports
which are based on theoretical framework focus on implementing the framework and then deriving
the results or simulations are used to test the framework. Reports that are based on hypothesis use
correlations, comparison of variables and effects of the variables through literature review for
acceptance and rejection of the hypothesis depending on the aim of the researcher. In case of
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 7
hypothesis, the researcher mindset plays an important role in deriving the desired output. Reports
based on population studies collect the data either from the previous datasets or collecting the new
samples and documenting the finding using different sampling methods. The results in such reports
can be tested again by any researcher using the same data set that should exhibit same results for a
scientific research validity. The type of publication report also depends on the type of the domain, if
it is a highly researched domain, then it would be providing a lot of data for simulation, testing, and
hypothesis. But in case of new research domain, the findings validity can be questioned along with
the methodology. Almost all the researchers focused on documenting positive findings to strengthen
their research reports.
Findings and publication reports: Research area improvements
Finding the research is an important task in writing the publication report. After the collection
of data, it must be compiled into an understandable format for the research community.
Rule 1. The researchers should first understand the domain conceptually and practically
before conducting the research. A research will be complete when the findings are compiled intro
meaningful format. The understanding of the problem domain is must for accurate research. Without
the domain knowledge, the researchers try to avoid usage of difficult representation of data and
mostly end on the comparison of data that provides just high-level overview without any meaningful
interpretation. If the research domain is not specialization of researcher, then proper training must
be attained before conducting the research.
Rule 2. The findings part of the research is the crunch of the research report. Any reader can
easily analyze the research validity by reading the finding and discussion section. The finding section
can exhibit most of the time greater mistakes than all the other section. The representation techniques
must be studied by the researchers for using the accurate finding methodology for the research
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 8
domain. Such as the population studies can be categorized by statistical analysis but will not give
accurate results through hypothesis. Similarly, if the research is conducted in the medical domain,
then the emphasis is based on collecting samples and documenting the findings of the samples in the
form of statistical data along with graphical representations for better understanding. Researchers
should select proper finding representation for their data, and this can be done by reviewing old
research in the researched domain.
Rule 3. Researcher avoids usage of statistical tool and graphical representations in finding
section of the publication reports. Also, the interpretation and selection of wrong tools result in a
different image of the research. Some of the researchers have used purely statistical terms without
prior explanation in the research that makes it difficult for a reader to understand the research
findings. The researchers must provide abbreviations and definitions in case of using any statistical
technique in research report. The graphical notation of the research is also an important factor to
understand the research domain more easily than the tabular format. The researchers must provide a
graphical notation for difficult statistical tests and computational analysis. It will make it easy for
the research community to use the research in beneficial way.
Rule 4. It must be understood that all research domain cannot have the same data sections.
Depending on the type of domain the research report should be altered accordingly. The problem in
current research reports is that researchers find out the errors in the data or disadvantages of the
framework but do not focus on the representation of the report and errors in it. A proper analysis
should be conducted on research writing methods for meaningful research.
Future work and Conclusion
The findings are the important part of the research and must be represented carefully to
provide the actual context of the research. The researches should focus on providing benefit to the
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 9
research community rather than using desired methodologies for desired results. The research
findings is a broad area with limitation and application in every research domain. The representation
techniques can be different but should be meaningful for the community.
BASICS OF SUMMARIZING FINDINGS 10
Bornstein, R. F. (2003). Behaviorally referenced experimentation and symptom validation: A
paradigm for 21st-century personality disorder research. Journal of Personality
Disorders, 17(1), 1-18.
Freimer, M. B., Linderoth, J. T., & Thomas, D. J. (2012). The impact of sampling methods on bias
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