mostly by Prof. Ben Stark
Research Guidelines: Things to remember :
- Be very careful in your work and be as skillful as you can be.
You are trying to work at a professional level. You will get better with practice!
- Be absolutely objective:
You cannot predict what your results might be.
Your job is not to presuppose what the answers/solutions are, but rather find out what the answers are and report them accurately.
- Be your own toughest critic:
Constantly look at what you have done and how you have done it and make sure you have not introduced any bias or systematic errors in your protocols.
- Keep detailed, neat and copious notes/documentation of what you did.
Even if you think that some part of the procedure might not be important, write down (or save, such as data) exactly what you did and found--the more detail, the better. You can use hard copy or e-copy or a combination. Never think that you will remember everything that you did and how you did it; that almost always breaks bad on you.
- Writing is essential: Learn how to write scientific journal article from reading others' work.
- Interpreting your results: You do not want to "overinterpret" your results, i.e., read more conclusions into them than the data warrants.
But at the same time, you want to look carefully at the data so that you do not leave any reasonable conclusions behind.
Experience is the best teacher in this regard.
Research Guidelines: Ethnics
- Be absolutely objective and honest in performing and recording the results of your work. No fudging or "massaging of data" ever. Never!
If you expected one result and got another, what you actually got is the only thing you report as actual findings.
- Things you find by searching the internet are the work by others: you can quote the results by including the detailed sources.
- In collaborative work, ensure that everyone who worked on the project gets proper respect and credit in proportion to their effort and contribution.
- Make sure to cite the related work when you present or report your work:
using bibliography (authors, titles, journal name, year, volume, pages, etc.).
- Always live by the Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
- Probably need to do some literature search to find out what work has been done by others regarding the problem you are working on.
- A good first step is to use a search engine on your topic or keywords.
- IIT's library resources:
Galvin Library: http://library.iit.edu/ (or, start at www.iit.edu and use the quick link to "Libraries" in the search menu, and then the link to the Galvin Library).
On the Galvin library page, you will find links to "books", "journals", and many other resources.
If Galvin Library does not have the book or journal article you need,
you can get the article through the Galvin Library's interlibrary loan procedure ("MyILL"; see below).
- Most journals will have a link to their "archives" where you can quickly find any article by the date, volume number, issue number and page number. You can always get at least the abstract of any article, and often times download the entire article. If you cannot download the entire article for free (many journals charge for that) you can get the article through the Galvin Library's interlibrary loan procedure ("MyILL").
- In this case click on the link in the right hand column of the Galvin Library homepage entitled "MyILL Account" and set up an account for requesting books and journal articles from other of our partner libraries. You can then go into your account and can request a book or journal article; the process is very easy. The material usually arrives in a few days (as an attachment to an e-mail).
Some useful links: