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Research. what?

  1. Feb 13, 2012 #1
    what is research? how would you define it? what am I doing if I am researching?

    Ok, that's pretty vague. I am talking about academic research. I have been working in a so called Research & Development organization for past two years, and no doubt, I am loving it. I love the freedom, I love the docile(ductility maybe :D) nature of my bosses. All in all, its good.

    However, I sometimes wonder, if what I am doing is really research? I get a problem statement, I study the phenomenon, study the causes, understand the mechanism of process, maybe predict the behavior of our product, write a report and holla! move on to next.

    What I am really doing is understanding what is already known. Maybe few times, I do end up looking at a concept from entirely another prospective, maybe a different understanding, another implication. But mostly, everything is there, we are just trying to look it & then look from various angles. And that is all there is to it.

    Is this really what research means? I mean, you just keep wandering, absent minded, and suddenly a realization hits you & you are soo excited, move on, same wandering starts again with something else . Or have I just drifted away?

    I mean, there is soo much information already available, how can I ever do something entirely new?

    PS: If you are thinking of blasting me for my immature thinking, dont bother:zzz:
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2012 #2
    Not at all. But I would suggest that Google and Wikipedia are your friends. Great research tools available to all.

  4. Feb 14, 2012 #3
    thanks wuli, but thats not what I meant.

    what I was(am) looking for was(is) what people in similar profession feel? How do you feel content with the lifestyle? What motivates you? how do you plan the next step? and most importantly, how do you know when to stop?
  5. Feb 14, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    When you've saved enough money to retire on, of course!
  6. Feb 14, 2012 #5
    ..... how do you know when to stop in a specific research topic?
  7. Feb 15, 2012 #6
    When you're sick of it/when you don't get anymore funding to do this.

    There are always more things you can investigate about something. There are always questions popping up. Once you've answered them, there are already new questions that are waiting. So you can go on in a specific research topic for a long long long time.
  8. Feb 15, 2012 #7


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    Gold Member

    if you build up a repoirtore in a niche, you're chances of getting grants in that niche or much better than other topics.
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