Questions tagged [research-process]

Questions directly focused on PERFORMING academic research. Do not use this for questions about publishing research. Read the tag wiki before applying this tag.

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587
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12answers
72k views

How should I deal with becoming discouraged as a graduate student?

I am a third year (starting fourth year in the fall) PhD student in mathematics. I've passed all qualifying exams and am currently doing research. As far as I can tell, I am not doing poorly. I have ...
259
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20answers
28k views

How to avoid procrastination during the research phase of my PhD?

I just finished all of my coursework for my PhD program, and am entering the research phase of my degree with a topic already in mind. I've already started the research, but I'm already finding that ...
234
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8answers
18k views

How to read papers without falling into a rabbit hole?

Often while reading a paper, I will see a citation that that seems more relevant than my current one. I'll switch to the new paper, only to experience a similar feeling. Or maybe I need to look ...
181
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15answers
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How to stop hopping the learning chain and actually begin somewhere?

Here is what I feel whenever I find something interesting and feel like pursuing it : Oh so I like X (Computer Graphics), let me read up papers/books about it. Ok let me begin with reading up Y (...
180
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6answers
17k views

Is it possible to recover after a career setback such as this?

I'm sorry, I'm not a mathematician--I'm the wife of a very frustrated and depressed mathematician. My husband got a math PhD in 2009, and could not get a research post-doc in his chosen field. We ...
135
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10answers
12k views

Best-practice models for “research” code?

I have been a professional software developer for a number of years, I'm also an academic researcher - and my research has involved lots of software development. I sometimes feel as though my ...
113
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9answers
18k views

How to stop feeling guilty about unfinished work?

My biggest challenge as a PhD student is best summarized by the following from PHD Comics: "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com A consequence of working in research is that the ...
112
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13answers
46k views

Why do students go for a PhD even when chances of getting academic jobs on its completion are slim?

This is in reference to my question: How to do a PhD to equip myself for a job as assistant professor. I was told in the answer of the above linked question that chances of landing a job as an ...
89
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6answers
7k views

How to become well-known in the research community while being a PhD student

This question is mainly about building useful contacts during the course of the doctorate. How does one keep the relevant community in other universities informed about his/her research work? One way ...
87
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4answers
20k views

How do mathematicians conduct research?

I am curious as to how mathematicians conduct research. I hope some of you can help me solve this little mystery. To me, mathematics is a branch where you either get it or you don't. If you see the ...
83
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14answers
15k views

What good is engineering research with no practical relevance?

I am a Ph.D. student currently doing research at a top engineering school in North America. I am becoming more and more jaded at the fact that a sizable portion of the research conducted at my ...
80
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20answers
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How to deal with a colleague who always puts you down?

I am just starting out my PhD which will take 5 years to complete and I am dealing with a person in my own research group who cannot stop putting me down every chance she gets. In our research ...
80
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14answers
16k views

How did researchers find articles before the Internet and the computer era?

I find it hard to write a literature review, even though I have Google, the Internet, and all free, very easy to search for information tools. I have to search for days to find a piece of information ...
79
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13answers
32k views

How should an advisor handle an underperforming PhD student?

I'm a junior faculty in academia and I was asked to take a PhD student several months ago. I was not involved in the hiring process, hence I did not have a chance to evaluate his abilities before ...
78
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10answers
22k views

What do mathematics researchers do if they aren't good?

I am a high school student so I don't know much about academia, but I would like to clear up some confusion I have over research in mathematics. Please excuse my naivite/ignorance on this topic. I ...
75
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3answers
11k views

Rampant sharing of authorship among colleagues in the name of “collaboration”. Is not taking part in it a death knell for a future in academia?

I am a final year PhD student in chemical engineering. Since the start of my PhD, I was clear on one personal philosophy. I will put my name only on those papers where I have made substantial ...
74
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8answers
16k views

I proved a theorem I heard from another researcher. Can I publish my results?

Some time ago I heard a talk in which the speaker mentioned some theorem. I needed this theorem for another paper I wrote. I looked for this theorem in the relevant literature (which I know quite well)...
73
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7answers
10k views

Is uncredited use of grad students' unpublished research by professors accepted/common practice in academia?

I'm a master's student, and over the course of my studies I've conducted a few independent studies in which I investigate specific research questions that I formulate on my own. Those independent ...
71
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9answers
14k views

What should be done when the theory behind a PhD thesis turns out to be wrong?

I have a friend who has been working on a PhD dissertation for over 3 years and he is supposed to be wrapping it up. Unfortunately, his thesis involves a complex model and populating the model with ...
70
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3answers
10k views

How much percentage royalty do I get from Springer (as the paper's author) and how I can apply for royalty payment?

I have submitted a paper to a Springer conference and it has been published. The publisher will charge 24.95$ to anyone who would eventually download my paper and 201 copies of my research sold by ...
70
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14answers
8k views

How should a social scientist deal with envy of disciplines that are more quantitatively rigorous?

I am a student in social science who got into quantitative research at the start of my graduate school. Since then, I have had the valuable opportunity to take many Statistics classes and become aware ...
69
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18answers
19k views

Why does research cost so much money?

I have been dragged into an argument with someone who can't understand why millions are being raised to fund ALS research (that's the "ice bucket challenge", love it or hate it). He doesn't get why ...
69
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10answers
8k views

How to work efficiently under loose supervision during graduate studies?

I work in a very cross-disciplinary field, which has caused me some headache* over the past couple of years, partly due to the fact that my supervisor isn't very knowledgeable regarding the day to day ...
68
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6answers
13k views

Popular software used in research is incorrectly reporting solution is optimal: what to do?

I have an example demonstrating the solution produced by a popularly used software package is not the optimal solution, despite the software claiming that it is. Several recent papers published from ...
65
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6answers
8k views

Is it possible take take part in a research project if I'm not a part of a university?

I graduated with a Masters of Engineering, concentrating in digital signal processing, in particular medical and audio, almost two years ago. I've always been interested in research, but due to ...
63
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14answers
14k views

Inadmissible theorems in research

One of my engineering friends told me how he once had to take a make-up calculus I exam due to being hospitalised and so self-studied a lot of the missed topics. For the make-up exam, he used L'...
62
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6answers
10k views

I don't want to do research (First year tenure-track faculty)

I'm currently in my first semester as a tenure-track faculty in a small liberal arts college. I also finished my dissertation and defended about 5 months ago. While I'm grateful that I've got a tenure-...
61
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5answers
4k views

Why are CS researchers reluctant to share code and what techniques can I use to encourage sharing?

While researching a topic area I have come across a number of papers that claim to improve on the state of the art and have been published at respected outlets (e.g. CVPR, ICIP). These papers are ...
60
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5answers
12k views

As a new PhD supervisor, how should I deal with taking a student to a wrong direction?

I am a postdoc who was supposed to co-supervise a PhD student along with another academic who invited me for that. However, I ended up fully supervising the student after the supervisor became too ...
59
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13answers
10k views

I don't have the theoretical background in my PhD topic. I can't justify getting the degree

I did my PhD in computational materials science. I used molecular dynamics simulations and finite element method to carry out my research investigations. I have published several publications and ...
58
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10answers
7k views

How can a software developer best volunteer to help childhood cancer research? [closed]

I have 30 years of professional experience as a software engineer and I'm at the point in my career where I can volunteer lots of time. I have helped with several childhood cancer organizations over ...
57
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4answers
15k views

What to do when you spend several months working on an idea that fails in a masters thesis?

How shall a masters student deal with the complete failure to meet the expected results when working on a master's thesis? For example, in the field of machine learning a masters student might spend ...
57
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7answers
3k views

Popular proprietary program or obscure open source substitute for reproducible research?

For a long time, I had been using open source software for my work to boost "reproducible research". I believed that if I made my codes open source and the softwares to run those codes in were open ...
57
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7answers
2k views

What to do with spare research topics?

A while back I reached the stage where my ideas for research topics/papers exceeded my capacity to personally work on them. As a PostDoc, I tried to head-hunt students or more junior researchers in my ...
56
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4answers
5k views

How do you balance producing results with learning new skills?

On the one hand, I'd like to produce a few graphs every week so my project can move forward. Taking a month off to learn a new programming language, do a literature review, or work through a relevant ...
55
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13answers
16k views

Stuck without progress working on thesis - worried about failure

I am a student of Indian origin. I am Studying Mechanical Engineering in a local university in north of Germany. I am writing my thesis in a company. My task is to optimize the throughput of the line. ...
55
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6answers
11k views

If someone conducts unethical research unbeknownst to anybody, but produces positive results, what would happen to the research once discovered?

I was just wondering about this specific scenario. Say someone was researching nature vs. nurture, but his experiments involved keeping babies in a controlled environment for the first 10 years of ...
54
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4answers
50k views

Why do people publish on arXiv instead of other places? [duplicate]

I work in engineering and I was warned by a colleague years ago that I should not cite materials on arXiv because they are not peer reviewed. Although it was never clear to me what peer reviewed meant ...
53
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8answers
12k views

I solved their problem. Should I involve them?

I have dedicated time and effort to solve a theoretical problem posed by two other people. Now I think I have resolved it, and I have material for a publication. Should I involve them as co-authors? ...
53
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7answers
6k views

If you get stuck in research, at what point in time should you ask for help?

It's always worthwhile to take some time to try to figure it out by yourself. But eventually there's a point where you're unsure how much more time it would take to figure it out by yourself (which ...
53
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5answers
10k views

Do academics get bored of research?

I am wondering if academics (Professors, Researchers etc.) who usually have to spend their lives on research get bored of the subject or get tired of research? In this case, I want to know how they ...
52
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10answers
11k views

Can I have a PhD in one field, and be an avid academic contributor in another?

Disclaimer: I'm an undergrad with very limited knowledge of how academia really works and what the atmosphere and culture is like. I'm very interested in pure mathematics, and I think I'm pretty good ...
52
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6answers
12k views

Asking 'silly' questions to doctoral supervisor

My doctoral supervisor is very helpful and I really enjoy working with him on various problems. I have officially entered my second year of doctoral research this month. During discussions, I get few ...
51
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5answers
5k views

What to do when you are a promised a research-based research associate role but are required to act in an IT support role?

First some background. Two years ago I joined a research group as a research associate. My intention in obtaining that position was to publish with the group and build some academic capital, but in ...
50
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6answers
9k views

How do I know how well I am progressing in my PhD?

A striking difference between being a student following courses and a PhD student doing research is the independence and lack of rigid structures such as homework and exams. I started a PhD in ...
49
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3answers
7k views

Is it acceptable to use Mathematica to derive results in your research?

While doing research in statistics, sometimes I came across complex integration that I can't or don't want to solve analytically. Is it okay to use Mathematica to solve the integration and use the ...
49
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12answers
9k views

What to do with an overtly exasperating colleague in computer science?

I am working on my undergraduate research project in an HPCC. Whoever does programming knows this is a "teach-yourself" skill. Everytime a problem arises, you search the wealth of tutorials and guides ...
49
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2answers
3k views

Is there such a thing like “18-months/half-time syndrome”?

I am about 1, 5-2 years in my Ph.D. studies in the no-man's-land between bioinformatics, systems biology and proteomics. (If you are not sure what those terms are, read: "biomedical research") Coming ...
48
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3answers
8k views

My PhD research has a negative outcome — how can I still graduate with it?

A former PhD student at our lab had this idea for an algorithm for solving an engineering problem that has many well known solutions. The student developed preliminary results but ended up applying ...
48
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6answers
3k views

How to avoid thinking about research in free time?

I work on research, trying to get grants and publish papers and the like, I really like my job, could not think about doing anything else. When the weekend comes, or just free time I have the problem ...

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