Issues with Research Papers

Issues with Research Papers

If you want to learn about something, you are probably going to turn to research papers at some point. Thank you for that. Academics do work all the time on those research papers. A lot of times, they work on it tirelessly in order to add the paper to their CV’s, since you have to have a really long CV in academia. Whether or not anyone actually reads the research paper is completely immaterial. I’ll get more readers on this blog in an hour than my adviser has probably ever gotten related to some of her original research. However, the important thing is that she got it published and it’s on her CV. She would certainly love it if you cited it in some way for your own research.

I’ve had my research cited by people who obviously didn’t read it. I have been told that this is a sign that you’ve made it. It’s a badge of honor. Still, this does mean that people didn’t actually get any useful information from what I wrote. You could argue that what I wrote was just bad and no one could get anything good from it. However, this is a fairly common problem. Lots of research papers get cited by the people who want to look like they have put a lot of effort into their research, but who really have only scratched the surface of the papers.

People can be sneaky about this. They might do summaries of papers that feel like they might be actually summaries of the papers, but will only be about the abstracts of the papers or which will recall the information in a way that is so vague that it doesn’t work. The fact that you often only get to see the abstract online or in whatever source you choose is one of the factors. I don’t blame people for not wanting to pay to read the rest of the article. However, reading only the abstract does affect the quality of your research in general. You are going to be writing a summary of a summary if you do it that way, and the actual truth is going to get lost along the way.

Doing a lot of research on a lot of papers can help with that. However, even that is only going to help so much if the pattern keeps on repeating itself over and over again. Using research papers to create more research papers sometimes causes the knowledge to become more and more condensed. You’re often better off going back to the original sources that the original writers used. As much as I want my work to be cited by as many people as possible, I would love it if those people looked at the works that I consulted in order to get a truly thorough picture of the field for real.

Michael Davidson

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