Resources and Links for Doing Research

Research and Writing go hand-in-hand

Prof. George Whitesides, Harvard University, states that "Writing [papers] is an integral part of research process. It provides a method for organizing your thinking, about the data you are going to collect and putting it in coherent form. [...] Regard it as a part of the research."

American Chemical Society has an excellent ten-episode video series on Publishing-101. Very highly recommended

Your MS/PhD Research

Conducting good quality research is a time-consuming activity requiring patience, perseverance, dedication and critical thinking. The immediate aim of receiving a graduate degree is to secure a suitable job, be it in industry, research labs or in academics. However, the larger goal is to understand and be involved with the scientific way of thinking, to develop ability to formulate and solve problems and acquire technical communication (written and oral) skills.

Dr. Richard Hamming's advice on doing research is a must read for young and experienced researchers alike.

Most importantly, always think of the Big Picture. Its often too easy to get lost in the details while pursuing a PhD. One should always step back and ask oneself " why is this work relevant and why do we care about this issue?"

Plagiarism

Plagiarism means using someone else's idea and passing them as your own. In other words, it implies stealing: either copying from others or using their ideas without giving due credit to the source.

Plagiarism is a big deal and it is inexcusable.

I have also posted some more information about plagiarism and how to stop plagiarism.

General Tips on Doing Research

Dr. Scott Keogh of Australian National University has an excellent collection of resources for graduate students, post-docs and researchers. If you are starting your career as a graduate student or a researcher, you will get lots of valuable suggestions on Scott's site. I have distilled some of this information and provided it in the links below.

Reading Literature

One of the most important requirements of a good researcher is that they should be well-versed with the current literature in their and related fields of interest. Literature survey is very important, yet often neglected activity. Some tips about literature survey:

Research and Technical Communication

Additional Tips