109

Why was the theory wrong? "It didn't work" is not the end -- the end is knowing why it didn't work. There are at least two possible answers: There is some fundamental, obvious mistake at the core of the model that should have been caught a long time ago. In this case, it may be a matter of starting over. It's difficult to produce a paper/thesis if the story ...


68

I work in a biomedical field and most of us are awful programmers. We tend to be more interested in getting the underlying back-end algorithm to work than worrying about the front-end, comments, documentation, version control, unit tests, etc. My suggestion, would be to look through the web pages at a nearby university and see if you can identify someone ...


47

On more than one occasion, a student has pointed out a resource to me that I am already familiar with. In those situations, I always thank the student but don't always mention that I was familiar with it. I don't lie and say that I hadn't seen it before, but see no reason to bring it up (since doing so might make them feel slightly disappointed). If it is ...


34

Research isn't about taking a statement and proving that it is true. That would assume that it is, in fact, true without the research being done. Research is about determining if something is true or not. But there are two possibilities here. One, which occurs in statistical studies, is a result that shows insufficient evidence that the theory is true. ...


27

I'm addressing just the first and what seems to be primary question: Is this professor's behavior ethical? and Would I be able to bring this as a complaint to a higher person in the department (since I have email evidence that he did not have knowledge of this data set prior to my informing him). Quite simply, no, I don't think your advisor violated any ...


26

Recently there's been a trend to involve non-experts in Citizen Science projects. The idea is to allow people to participate in research projects in various ways, for instance by helping collect or annotate data. You might find such a project directly by searching for citizen science projects about the topic, or at least find academic contacts from past ...


22

Two ideas that might help. The first is that you are new at this. Like any skill it is likely to improve with practice and time. As you progress you get insights that lead to further insights. But those insights don't come at regular intervals, can't be scheduled, and are harder for beginners. Frustration is common. Second is that if you are really doing ...


22

You pointed out a dataset and had a 15 minute conversation with your advisor, and now you are expecting credit for it. This certainly does not warrant authorship (even under the most lenient definitions of contribution I can think of), and perhaps not even an acknowledgement. Bringing this up to the department head will not do anything to help since it ...


18

Let's flip sides here. Your professors have pointed you to many ideas and useful resources (e.g. textbooks) in the subjects you study. Some years later, you will probably be writing a paper based on the techniques you learnt. Will you credit all your professors in it?


15

You talk to your advisor about it, then write a paper explaining your methodology and results. Obviously, the first step is to talk to your supervisor about it, to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and to ascertain the requirements for a PhD thesis in your particular department. In some cases, you might have several peer-reviewed papers already ...


12

Your question illustrates that publication bias starts in graduate school (or even earlier). To quote the Wikipedia article: Publication bias is a type of bias that occurs in published academic research. It occurs when the outcome of an experiment or research study influences the decision whether to publish or otherwise distribute it. Publishing ...


11

Depending on how much you need your volunteering to be recognised (in order to get dedicated days from your workplace for example), you could look into optimizing existing biomedical software. A lot of research software projects are open source, but their software quality varies wildly. Optimizations could make future research significantly faster. ...


10

You should and have to find out yourself if you want to do this lifelong. Being a researcher is very different from many other jobs: you have to show high integrity and autonomy your whole work life, breaking your integrity (e.g. academic misconduct) can break your tenured position and the possibility to be ever hired again as researcher (see cases jan ...


6

You might consider earning to give. That is, using your software engineering skills in a highly lucrative field, so that you may then fund either research itself, or support younger researchers who require funding to complete e.g. PhD programmes. This could be a good idea if you live in a city / country where software engineers earn several times a ...


6

IMHO. First thing to do is advise the thesis advisor immediately. There is an integrity question that must always be in the forefront -- the advisor must never have an excuse to question your friend's veracity. This is important for the 2nd step. If the advisor personally supports the discovery of something that is not true, he will talk to his peers and ...


5

I see many comments and answers saying that AI performs well on cancer diagnosis etc... and something that is often lacking when trying to scale academic research up into real-world production is a clean data pipeline. From a cursory search of the internet, I find that cancer research appears to lack a solid infrastructure for its data. This is due to a ...


5

Is it that I did not learn...how to do research or that it is not meant for me?? No it isn't: It sounds like you're experiencing imposter syndrome, [a] psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud",* which needn't prevent good research. * Source: Wikipedia.


4

This all sounds like they are interested in you for a reason you don't state and may not know. Laboring alone is difficult, but in some cases it has proved especially beneficial. The case of Srinivasa Ramanujan is instructive. Perhaps you have shown them something in your CV that they haven't considered and might find valuable. A sole researcher will ...


4

CS/AI perspective I get to them by a. reviewing (you get stuff outside your field every once in a while) b. Collaboration with colleagues outside my field (can be really fun but can take a while as you get used to each other’s discipline and its idiosyncrasies). c. Going to seminars, listening to talks in conferences outside my field.


3

I suppose I should clarify what I wrote in a brief comment: Not to sound rude, but do not volunteer to work in research for free, it devalues the contribution of people in the field, and academia already not well-paying and fraught with free labor extracted from students. What I was imagining from your post was finding a research group at your local ...


3

Some journals give free access to articles after publication for limited time. If you need older articles: google scholar crawls open copies and arXiv researchgate (ask directly the corresponding author for a copy) reddit/scholar sci-hub Read the according thesis if available, but often thesis are publicly published on university servers


3

This is going to depend a lot on your discipline. Some disciplines are very good at keeping papers and preprints publically available. For example, most math and physics papers get papers put up on the arXiv but this is rarer in other fields. Some other fields put papers up on SSRN, but some fields don't up up almost any preprints. It isn't clear from your ...


3

There are tons of research-software tools that are used in some way or another to do cancer research. From biomedical models, numerical simulations, image reconstruction, image processing and other techniques that are generally Free and open source Coded by researchers (meaning, bad code, bad software development approach) highly beneficial to medical ...


3

If you knew the answer before beginning, it wouldn't really be research. There've been plenty of theories that turned out to be wrong. A recent example is supersymmetry. This particle physics idea was really attractive for many reasons, and many physicists spent their careers working on the theory. Still, the LHC hasn't detected supersymmetric particles, ...


3

My advisor have told at the beginning of the workshops, that the thesis that turned to be wrong characterize usually the best dissertations. The explanation is simple: if your thesis proves to be correct, than you've actually, in most cases, proves something that is believed to be correct to be correct. In most cases, it doesn't move anything forward. On ...


3

My best advice, though it might not suit everyone, is to pick something, anything, that you are willing to work very hard at for a decade or so and become an expert in that field as an academic (my choice). At that point you can probably get tenure and with tenure you can set your own research agenda, more or less. But your ideal academic job may or may not ...


2

While a link to a website is probably fine, it might not be followed up, so make your short description clear. A link to a page on a university site or other obviously "safe" domain is preferred, of course. And, if you have a CV to submit, you can mention it there as "unpublished undergraduate research". But the "best" way is to have one of your letter ...


2

I suggest that you look at the recent CZI initiative for Essential Open Source Software for Science, which is mostly focused on life sciences (from what I can tell). It's based on excellent background studies, wide community involvement and sound reasoning. They only completed the first round, so there's a lot more software to be discovered, but it's a ...


2

Do you like doing research? You'll know better than anyone because you must be the best-positioned on the planet to tell what you like and what you don't. That said: I got stuck on something for almost three months, so there is no progress at all ... This happens quite often in research. You've encountered it now, and if you stay in research, will ...


2

Undertaking scholarly research almost invariably involves periods where you do a lot of work and then hit a dead end, where what you have done is not publishable. This means that it is not uncommon to "waste" several months pursuing leads that don't pan out. It is also common for a research assistant to struggle to make rapid progress through research ...


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