Between the long hours, the ever-changing projects, and the challenge of navigating an evolving career, most scientists can get overwhelmed from time to time. However, it requires extensive planning and studying to get things right when it comes to doing scientific research. Here are a few tips you can use for your next research paper.
Start With a Research Plan
Any scientific research project starts with a plan. A plan is simply a document highlighting things like the problem to be explored, an outline of the present literature, the participants, data collection methods, and the expected results. Whether you are working with a team or alone, a plan acts as a guide to everyone involved in the research project. It also ensures that all aspects of the research have been covered.
Decide How Many Participants Will Be Involved
The sample size is critical. While some researchers may agree that around 10 participants will be enough, others choose their sample size based on the goal they want to achieve. However, most scientists feel that a bigger number comes with a lower percentage of risk. Bentham Science Open recommended that if you want to be more analytical, choose a bigger sample size. Either way, you have to decide how many participants you will be using before you begin your research. That number you have chosen will help ensure you are not swayed by an early trend that can lead to you missing other vital issues.
Test Your Research
Do a pilot test for your research. A pilot test is essential for any researcher in checking the validity of whatever you want to research on. It can also help you identify whether there are any problems with the plan. Pilot tests are usually done with a small group acting as a representation of the targeted audience.
Do Not Allow Your Interests in Conflict
An essential part of scientific research is objectivity, especially when there are other humans involved. That means you should not have conflicting interests in the project you are going to research on. Most scientific researchers will look into subjects that make sense to them. And while this is okay, it might also open doors to multiple biases affecting how you make decisions. That is why Bentham Open advises researchers to have an experienced and unbiased researcher look at their questions to see whether they are leaning towards bias.
Once you start your research, try as much to motivate yourself and your team. Expect negative results, failed experiments, and some unusable data. However, do not lose sight of why you started the research in the first place. That will help you stay on course.