How I Do Research | Scott H Young - Deepstash
How I Do Research | Scott H Young

How I Do Research | Scott H Young

Curated from: scotthyoung.com

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Art of Doing Research

Art of Doing Research

A major problem while doing research is that we tend to forget what we've read or where did you read it. 

  1. Some people use Zettlekasten which is a note-taking system.
  2. Another system is Caplan's approach, where you highlight the sections you may need to revisit later that will contain your notes and quotes as well as your summary of the work. 

The goal is to create a map of everything, so you know where to find it again.

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1. Beginning research

1. Beginning research

Experts always use the right words & you should too. They have chosen words carefully to point out minor distinctions in ideas.

Wikipedia is a good starting point to find the ordinary language that points to expert concepts.

Type your idea in Wikipedia as you see it, then note the words used by experts. Then use these keywords to identify key works.

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2. Literature review

2. Literature review

Once you've found the right keywords & some main papers, try to find reviews.

  • Literature reviews qualitatively review all the papers on a topic.
  • Meta-analyses try to collect effects from multiple papers on the topic to give a quantitative answer.
  • Textbooks are used to present the field the way experts want a beginner to learn about it.

It can be helpful to type a keyword with the words "review" or "meta-analysis" in Google Scholar

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3. Must-know tools for research

3. Must-know tools for research

These are some of the essential things you should know:

  • Sci-Hub is helpful to get access to papers. Alternatively, emailing authors can give you access to papers, but it tends to slow reading down.
  • Google Books can help you find specifics in a particular book.
  • Don't be hesitant to take courses first. It will provide a background on the topic.

Experts are very willing to talk to you.

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4. Limiting Yourself

4. Limiting Yourself

Once you gained some understanding in a field, follow citation trails

There will often be dozens of other papers cited and can result in an extensive reading list. Thus it is helpful to limit yourself to the few most promising ones.

Citations should have 2 major factors: 

  1. Frequency 
  2. Relevance

Always remember that works cited more often are more centralized to a topic.

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Closing note -> Research is always open-ended

Closing note -> Research is always open-ended

There is always something more to read which can potentially give you more insights on your topic

You will never reach a point that will tell you you're done.

Since, research is open-ended, it can be hard to keep up.

Thus, it is better to decide before starting that how much time you want to commit to research.

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