Lately, I've been getting the impression that before I can conduct cutting edge research, I have to first master state of the art methods/techniques. Often, this requires spending (i.e. wasting) lots of time trying to replicate the results that others have already established (i.e. make sure that I can do what others have done first before moving on to other territory). When I try to master a new technique, I often find that it is extremely difficult because
- Research papers don't seem to disclose enough details to replicate their results easily.
- There are no advisors/colleagues that are familiar with these methods
- Emailing the corresponding authors with questions about specific details about their research tend to go unanswered.
The only advice i've been given thus far is simply to read and re-read the research paper and dissect every little detail until I figure it out. But are there any other general strategies I can use to replicate others' results more quickly? In particular, I'm looking for strategies for replicating numerical results that require very careful implementations of mathematical algorithms.