What is this talk about anyway
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Some of the practicalities of documenting research Theoretical insight Attention shaping Inspiration Kill two birds with one stone Please do not take it too seriously!. What is This Talk About Anyway?. • Theoretical insight • Practical exercises • Attention shaping • Inspiration.

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What is This Talk About Anyway?

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What is this talk about anyway

Some of the practicalities of documenting research

Theoretical insight

Attention shaping

Inspiration

Kill two birds with one stone

Please do not take it too seriously!

What is This Talk About Anyway?


Designing writing a report

• Theoretical insight

• Practical exercises

• Attention shaping

• Inspiration

Designing & Writing a Report

• The science of writing scientific papers

• The craft of scientific writing

• Variations between disciplines

• Differences in personal style

• Writing and reviewing


What is research well ahmmm

Documented activity

One should be held accountable

Peer review

Accumulation of results

What is Research? .... well, ahmmm???


Theses i do not want to read

Great idea: “I have just had this great idea! I do not know if anyone else has ever had the same idea, because I’ve not checked, and I’m rather new in this field. Anyway, my idea is brilliant, so I really would like to share it with you all.”

Other peoples ideas: “I have just read this great book that I really like a lot. I’ll just give you a short resume of the interesting points in the book.”

Software hacker: “I have just built this great computer system. It is not based on previous theories or empirical findings. I am not very theoretical myself, but the system has a lot of fantastic features, and the interface is really neat.”

Theory hacker: “I have come up with this theory; conceptual framework; model. It is not related to other theories; conceptual frameworks; models, or any empirical data for that matter. Most of the concepts have been defined differently by all the big shots in the field, but I just do not like their categories so I have invented my own.”

Theses I do not want to read

(Sørensen, 1994)


Deserve your place on the soap box

Deserve your Place on the Soap-Box

Theoretically based method, guidelines, framework, taxonomy, model, or prototype

Theoretical

approach

State-of-the-art survey, theory assessment

Empirically based method, guidelines, framework, taxonomy, model, or prototype

Case study, questionnaire survey, experiment

Empirical

approach

Analytical result

Constructive result

(Sørensen, 1994)


The life of an article

The Life of an Article

Journal

Refereed conference

Workshop/seminar

Working paper

Technical report

New article: new title and at least 30–50% “new stuff”


Submitting articles

There are lots of places to publish

It is a very long and difficult process to get an article published

Make sure to match intentions and capablities

Take reviewer comments serious, but don't panic!

Enclose response to editor when resubmitting

If at first you don't succeed, try again

Submitting Articles


Five important questions

(1) What is the problem domain?

(2) What is the problem?

(3) What is the research approach?

(4) What have others done?

(5) What are the results?

Five Important Questions

(Sørensen, 1994)


Reasoning from experiments

Reasoning From Experiments

Scope

Inference

Reality

Real World

Experiment

Result

Theory

Confirmation

Knowledge

(Mason 1989)


Rigor versus relevance

Rigor Versus Relevance

Relevance

Knowledge domain defined by theory and conceptual variables

Relevance=

Richness of worldly realism

B

Iso-Epistme Curve

Rigor=

Tightness of control

A

Rigor

(Mason 1989)


Budgets limit

Budgets Limit

Relevance

Budgets limit the amount of knowledge yielded by any experiment

Amount of worldly realism purchable with "X" resources

A

Amount of control purchable with "X" resources

Rigor

(Mason 1989)


Say something interesting but do it properly

Say Something Interesting...But Do It Properly!

Relevance

Threshold for trade journals

Threshold for discipline journals

Rigor


Triangulation

Triangulation

Relevance

Improved controls increase the amount of reliable knowledge generated by experiment A

A2

A1

Rigor

(Mason 1989)


Concepts theory

Concepts & Theory


Focus

Focus

C

B

A


Where are you the expert

Where Are You the Expert?

1. Introduction

6. Conclusion

2. Method

5. Discussion

3. Theory

4. Results


Hints

Hints

9Acknowledgements are crucial (friends and finance)

10Be open about who are authors and the sequence of authors

11If English is not your first language, spend a LOT of time on linguistic improvements

12Start out accumulating a bibliographic database. This way you avoid the tedious work of writing reference lists every time you write an article

13Writing and rewiewing are two sides of the same coin

14Get your papers reviewed in order to get others to comment

15Be ready to kill your darlings

1You need to do something in order to deserve to take the stand

2It is a good idea to copy others when you begin writing articles

3Keep to the standard format for papers, what ever the standard is

4Aim at a top-down writing process and plan the process carefully

5Focus focus focus focus .........

6Only one point per paper

7Only stick your neck into one guillotine

8Use a lot of time on the "packaging", i.e. title, abstract, introduction, and conclusion


Extended imrad template

1Title: Funny or informative?

2Author(s): Alphabetic ordering or not?

3Affiliation

4Abstract: Contents-based or summary

5 Introduction: The five important questions. "Sell" the point

6Method

7(Section)*: Results

8Discussion

9Conclusion: Problem setting, summary, conclude, further research

10Acknowledgments: Funding, help, reviewers, etc.

11(Appendix)

12References

Extended IMRAD Template


Where to find more

Some of the basic arguments presented in this talk are outlined in This is not an Article (handout) . A discussion of rigor and relevance can be found in (Mason 1989).

Day’s (1977) article provides initial input to a discussion on writing scientific articles. Gopen & Swan (1990) discuss how to improve the line of argumentation in articles. Smith (1990) and Parberry (1990) describe the task of refereeing articles. Those who are interested in how to write mathematics should consult the two classics Steenrod et al. (1962) and Steenrod et al. (1973).

Robert Day (1991) has also written a very good book which outlines important aspects of how to write a paper and subsequently getting it published, plus a lot of other relevant issues. Weston (1987) provides a very inspiring fundament for how to build a line of argumentation, and the classic by Strunk and White (1979) will teach you most of what is worth knowing about style in the English language. Finally, Beer (1992) contains a collection of useful and provoking papers on writing and speaking in the technology profession.

Where To Find More


References

References

  • Beer, David F., ed. (1992): Writing & Speaking in the Technology Professions — A Practical Guide. New York: IEEE Press.

  • Benbasat, Izak, ed. (1989): The Information Systems Research Challenge: Experimental Research Methods, vol. 2. Boston Massachusetts: Harward Business School Research Colloquium Harward Business School.

  • Cash, James I. and Paul R. Lawrence, ed. (1989): The Information Systems research Challenge: Qualitative Research Methods, vol. 1. Boston Massachusetts: Harward Business School Research Colloquium Harward Business School.

  • Cook, Claire Kehrwald (1985): Line By Line — How to Improve Your Own Writing. Boston, USA: Modern Language Association.

  • Dahlbom, Bo and Lars Mathiassen (1993): Computers in Context — The Philosophy and Practice of Systems Design. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.

  • Day, Robert A. (1977): How to Write a Scientific Paper. IEEE Transactions on Proffessional Communication, vol. PC-20, no. 1, pp. 32–37.

  • Day, Robert A. (1991): How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Gopen, George D. and Judith A. Swan (1990): The Science of Scientific Writing — If the reader is to grasp what the writer means, the writer must understand what the reader needs. American Scientist, vol. 78, November-December, pp. 550–558.

  • Kraemer, Kenneth L., ed. (1991): The Information Systems Research Challenge: Survey Research Methods, vol. 3. Boston Massachusetts: Harward Business School Research Colloquium. Harward Business School.

  • Krathwohl, David R. (1988): How to Prepare a Research Proposal — Guidelines for Funding and Dissertations in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Third Edition, Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press.

  • Mason, R. O. (1989): MIS Experiments: A Pragmatic Perspective. In The Information Systems Research Challenge: Experimental Research Methods, ed. Izak Benbasat, vol. 2. Boston Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Research Colloquium Harvard Business School, pp. 3-2.

  • Naur, Peter (1992): Writing Reports — A Guide. In Computing: A Human Activity. New York: ACM Press, pp. 254–258.

  • Parberry, Ian (1990): A Guide for New Referees in Theoretical Computer Science. Unpublished manuscript Department of Computer Sciences, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 3886, Denton, TX 76203-3886, U.S.A.

  • Smith, Alan Jay (1990): The Task of the Referee. IEEE Computer, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 65–71.

  • Snyder, Alan (1991): How to get Your paper Accepted at OOPSLA. In OOPSLA ‘91, pp. 359–363.

  • Steenrod et al., N. E. (1962): A Manual for Authors of Mathematical Papers. Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 68, no. 5.

  • Steenrod, N. E., P. R. Halmos, M. M. Schiffer, and J. E. Dieudonné (1973): How to Write Mathematics. American Mathematical Society. ISBN 0-8218-0055-8. (Third printing 1983).

  • Strunk Jr., William and E.B. White (1979): The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.

  • Sørensen, C. (1994): This is Not an Article — Just Some Thoughts on How to Write One. In 17th Information systems Research seminar In Scandinavian at Syöte Conference Centre, Finland, August 6–9, Syöte, Finland, ed. Penti Kerola, Antti Juustila, and Janne Järvinen. Oulu University, vol. I, pp. 46-59. Also available on-line at: http://www.aston.ac.uk/~sorensec/docs/not/notart.html

  • Wegman, Mark N. (1986): What it’s like to be a POPL Referee or How to write an ex-tended abstract so that it is more likely to be accepted. SIGPLAN Notices, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 91–95.

  • Weston, Anthony (1987): A Rulebook for Arguments. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.


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