RESEARCH METHODOLOGY S. Rajasekar School of Physics, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli – 620 024, Tamilnadu, India P.

Philominathan Department of Physics, Sri AVVM Pushpam College, Poondi, Thanjavur – 613 503, Tami lnadu, India V. Chinnathambi Department of Physics, AKGS Arts College, Srivaikundam – 628 619, Tamilnadu, India In this manuscript various components of research are listed and brie y discussed . The topics considered in this write-up cover a part of the research methodolog y paper of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) course and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. ) course. The manuscript is intended for students and research scholars of scien ce subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, biology and com puter science. Various stages of research are discussed in detail. Special care has been taken to motivate the young researchers to take up challenging problems . Ten assignment works are given. For the bene t of young researchers a short inte rview with three eminent scientists is included at the end of the manuscript. I. WHAT IS RESEARCH? arXiv:physics/0601009 v2 25 Jan 2006 (3) to analyse an event or process or phenomenon to identify the cause and e ect r elationship (4) to develop new scienti c tools, concepts and theories to solve and understand scienti c and nonscienti c problems (5) to nd solutions to scienti c, nonsc ienti c and social problems and (6) to overcome or solve the problems occurring in our every day life. B. Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information on a particular topic. It is an investigation of nding solutions to scienti c and social problems through objective and systematic analysis. It is a search for knowledg e, that is, a discovery of hidden truths. Here knowledge means information about matters. The information might be collected from di erent sources like experience , human beings, books, journals, nature, etc. A research can lead to new contrib utions to the existing knowledge. Only through research is it possible to make p rogress in a eld. Research is done with the help of study, experiment, observatio n, analysis, comparison and reasoning. Research is in fact ubiquitous. For examp le, we know that cigarette smoking is injurious to health; heroine is addictive; cow dung is a useful source of biogas; malaria is due to the virus protozoan pl asmodium; AIDS (Acquired Immuno De ciency Syndrome) is due to the virus HIV (Human Immuno de ciency Virus). How did we know all these? We became aware of all these information only through research. More precisely, it seeks predictions of event s and explanations, relationships and theories for them. What Makes People do Research? This is a fundamentally important question. No person would like to do research unless there are some motivating factors. Some of the motivations are the follow ing: (1) to get a research degree (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)) along with its bene ts like better employment, promotion, increment in salary, etc. (2) to get a research degree and then to get a teaching position in a college or university o r become a scientist in a research institution (3) to get a research position in countries like U.S.A., Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc. and set tle there (4) to solve the unsolved and challenging problems (5) to get joy of d oing some creative work (6) to acquire respectability (7) to get recognition A.

What are the Objectives of Research? The prime objectives of research are (1) to discover new facts (2) to verify and test important facts Electronic address: (8) curiosity to nd out the unknown facts of an event

2 (9) curiosity to nd new things (10) to serve the society by solving social prob lems. Some students undertake research without any aim possibly because of not b eing able to think of anything else to do. Such students can also become good re searchers by motivating themselves toward a respectable goal. In the words of Pr of.P.Balaram [Current Science, 87(2004)1319] Ph.D. degree is a passport to a res earch career. The Ph.D. period often in uence a research scholar to make or to bre ak in a scienti c career. (9) Social research helps nd answers to social problems. They explain social phenomena and seek solution to social problems. (10) Researc h leads to a new style of life and makes it delightful and glorious . Emphasizin g the importance of research Louis Pasteur said “I beseech you to take interest in these sacred domains called laboratories. Ask that there be more and that they be adorned for these are the temples of the future, wealth and well-being. It is here that humanity will learn to read progress and individual harmony in the wo rks of nature, while humanity’s own works are all too often those of babarism, fan aticism and destruction.” (Louis Paster – article by S.Mahanti, Dream 2047, p.29–34 (M ay 2003)). In order to know what it means to do research one may read scienti c au tobiographies like Richard Feynmann’s “Surely you are joking, Mr.Feynmann!”, Jim Watso n’s “The double helix”, “Science as a way of life – A biography of C.N.R. Rao” by Mohan Sun ararajan, etc. C. Importance of Research Research is important both in scienti c and nonscienti c elds. In our life new proble ms, events, phenomena and processes occur every day. Practically implementable s olutions and suggestions are required for tackling new problems that arise. Scie ntists have to undertake research on them and nd their causes, solutions, explana tions and applications. Precisely, research assists us to understand nature and natural phenomena. Some important avenues for research are: (1) A research probl em refers to a di culty which a researcher or a scienti c community or an industry o r a government organization or a society experiences. It may be a theoretical or a practical situation. It calls for a thorough understanding and possible solut ion. (2) Research on existing theories and concepts help us identify the range a nd applications of them. (3) It is the fountain of knowledge and provide guideli nes for solving problems. (4) Research provides basis for many government polici es. For example, research on the needs and desires of the people and on the avai lability of revenues to meet the needs helps a government to prepare a budget. ( 5) It is important in industry and business for higher gain and productivity and to improve the quality of products. (6) Mathematical and logical research on bu siness and industry optimizes the problems in them. (7) It leads to the identi cat ion and characterization of new materials, new living things, new stars, etc. (8 ) Only through research can inventions be made; for example, new and novel pheno mena and processes such as superconductivity and cloning have been discovered on ly through research. II. RESEARCH METHODS AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Is there any di erence between research methods and research methodology? Research methods are the various procedures, schemes, algorithms, etc. used in research. All the methods used by a researcher during a research study are termed as rese arch methods. They are essentially planned, scienti c and value-neutral. They incl ude theoretical procedures, experimental studies, numerical schemes, statistical approaches, etc. Research methods help us collect samples, data and nd a solutio n to a problem. Particularly, scienti c research methods call for explanations bas ed on collected facts, measurements and observations and not on reasoning alone. They accept only those explanations which can be veri ed by experiments. Research methodology is a systematic way to solve a problem. It is a science of studying

how research is to be carried out. Essentially, the procedures by which researc hers go about their work of describing, explaining and predicting phenomena are called research methodology. It is also de ned as the study of methods by which kn owledge is gained. Its aim is to give the work plan of research. A. Importance of Research Methodology

research methodology tells you which method or formula or algorithm has to be u sed out of the various existing methods or formulas or algorithms.(4– 5) instead of the formulas given by eqs. (1) The formulas often used for calculating the roots of eq. (2) Distinguish bet ween research methods and research techniques. (iii) what is the e ciency of the method? and so on. Here the two formulas constitute the method of nding roots of the equation of the form given by eq. inaccurate when b ≈ √ c. (3) Distinguish between research methods and research methodology with an example of your own choice.3 in Research Study It is necessary for a researcher to design a methodology for the problem chosen.(2) and x− should be comp uted with the formula given by eq. a researcher not only needs to know how to calculate mean. = b − b2 − 4ac (4) III. If b < 0 then x+ should be evaluated usin g eq. TYPES OF RESEARCH Research is broadly classi ed into two main classes: 1.(3).( 2–3) were not considered. then x+ should be computed with the formula given by eq. That is. To unders tand the di erence between research methods and methodology let us consider the pr oblem of nding the roots of the quadratic equation ax + bx + c = 0. b + b2 − 4ac −2c √ . On the other hand. It is important for the researcher to know not only the research methods necessary for the research under taken but also the methodo logy. (ii) what is the order of acc uracy of the result of a method?. For example. More precisel y. rese arch methodology is concerned with the explanation of the following: Basic research is an investigation on basic principles and reasons for occurrenc . Fundamental or basic resea rch 2. If you us e the formulas given by eqs. research methods help us get a solution to a problem.(2–3) (often used and familiar to us) to compute the roots then you should clearly explain w hy the formulas in eqs. Basic Research When b ≈ − 4ac one must proceed with caution to avoid loss of precision. Consideration of these aspects constitute a research methodology.(1) are √ −b + b2 − 4ac x+ = . materials. If b > 0. This is what we mean by a research methodology. 2 (1) Why is a particular research study undertaken? (2) How did one formulate a r esearch problem? (3) What types of data were collected? (4) What particular meth od has been used? (5) Why was a particular technique of analysis of data used? T he study of research methods gives training to apply them to a problem. va riance and distribution function for a set of data. The stud y of research methodology provides us the necessary training in choosing methods . Applied research A. (2) 2a √ −b − b2 − 4ac · (3) x− = 2a These formulas are. scienti c tools and training in techniques relevant for the problem c hosen. Assignment: (1) List out at least 10 methods which you have learned in yo ur UG and PG courses and write their purpose or application. One should note that even if the method considered in two problems are same the methodology may be di erent. however. how to nd a solution of a phy sical system described by mathematical model.(5). The equivalent formulas are x+ x− √ b2 −2c √ = .(4) and x− should be evaluated using eq.(1).(4–5) were chosen and why the other formulas given by eqs. how to determine the roots of alge braic equations and how to apply a particular method but also need to know (i) w hich is a suitable method for the chosen problem?.

e of a particular event or process or phenomenon. But it is original or basic in character. For example. Study or investigation of some natural phenomenon or relating to pure science are termed as basic research. It is not concerned with solving any practical p roblems of immediate interest. Researchers working on applied research have to make use of the outcom es of basic research and explore the utility of them. It helps build new frontie rs of knowledge. Basic researches some times may not lead t o immediate use or application. The outcomes of basic research form the basis for many applied research. It is also called theoretical research. It prov ides a systematic and deep insight into a problem and facilitates extraction of scienti c and logical explanation and conclusion on it. suppose . Research on improving a th eory or a method is also referred as fundamental research.

descriptive. That is. Modifying the theory to apply it to a general situation is a basic res earch. Determination of exact amount of a par TABLE I: Di erences between basic and applied researches. (7) structure. feeling and describe the situation. The detection of a particula r compound is a qualitative analysis. Attempts to nd answers to the following questions actually form basic rese arch. case studies an d interdisciplinary research are essentially applied research. the knowledge of which has not been known or reported earlier. This can be done by carrying out physical or chemical tests. B. If one wishes to investigate why certain data are random then it is a qua litative research. (5) chemical reactions leads to development of new compounds. preparing vaccination for a disease. Explaining how digestion of food takes place in our body is a qualitative description. increasing gain factor of production of a materi al. whereas basic research is directed towards nding information that has broad base of applications and thus add new informati on to the already existing scienti c knowledge. C. (4) di erential equations results in new types of solution s or new properties of solutions not known so far. But to study patterns we must map a con guration of rel ationships. If the aim is to study how random the data is. (6) medicinal chemistry leads to an understanding of physio logical action of various chemicals and drugs. what is the me an. fundamental research on (1) astronomy may lead to identi cation of new pl anets or stars in our galaxy. contents and funct ioning of various parts of human body helps us identify the basis for certain di seases. the outcome of which has immediate ap plication is also termed as applied research. (3) complex functions may leads to new patterns or new propertie s associated with them. pollution control. Here a process is expressed or described in terms of one or more quantities. mechanism of chemi cals reactions. Its aim is to get t he meaning. variance and distribution function then it becomes quantitative. A research. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods The basic and applied researches can be quantitative or qualitative or even both .1. the central     . (2) elementary particles results in identi cation of new particles. research on social problems have immediate u se. We measure and weigh things in t he study of substance or structure. Such a research is of practical us e to current activity. Obviously. Some of the di erences between basic and a pplied research are summarized in table 1. For example.4 a theory is applicable to a system provided the system satis es certain speci c co nditions. they have immediate potential applications. Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. aim of applied research is to nd a solution for a practical problem which warrants solution for immediate use. Qualitat ive research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon involving quality. structures involve quantities whereas patterns involve qual ities. It d oes not involve any numbers or data and quantities. Thus. It is n on numerical. etc. Can we measure or weigh patterns? We cannot measure or weigh patterns. etc. Applied Research Basic research Applied research In an applied research one solves certain problems employing well known and acce pted theories and principles. Applied research is concerned with actual life research such as research on increasing e ciency of a machine. Why are materials like that? What they are? How does a crystal melt? Why i s sound produced when water is heated? Why do we feel di cult when walking on seas hore? Why are birds arrange them in ‘>’ shape when ying in a group? Fundamental resea rch leads to a new theory or a new property of matter or even the existence of a new matter. For example. Applied research is helpful for basic research. applies reasoning and uses words. new properties of chemicals. Most of the experimental research.

Seeks generalization Studies individual or speci c cases without the objective to generalize Aims at an y variable which makes the desired di erence why Tries to say how things can be ch anged Tries to correct the facts which are problematic Aims at basic processes Attempts to explain things happen Tries to get all the facts Reports in technical language Reports in common language of the topic .

A general set of sequential components of research is the following: 1 . Then point out how many of them have already been solved and how many were found in applications. Research design 7. Thi s can be done by volumetric. This will r equire experience and an understanding of the situation in which the problem is embedded. Assessment of current status of the topic chosen 5.project or M.Sc. Assignment: (4) List out at least 10 theoretical and applied methods which you have learned in your UG. De nition of a research problem 3.). If a student is able to get a supervisor working in his M. more advanced text boo ks or review articles will be needed to learn about the techniques and procedure s. Interpretation of result Other types of research include action research (fact ndings to improve the quali ty of action in the social world).Sc. Actual investigation D. • Topic should be suitable for research.Phil dissertation? The answer is not necessary. For discussion on these types of research see refs. Report In the following sections the above mentioned various stages of resea rch are discussed in detail. Literature s urvey and reference collection A. VARIOUS STAGES OF A RESEARCH Whenever a scienti c problem is to be solved there are several important steps to follow. The researcher has to narrow it and de ne it in operat ional form.5 ticular compound present in a volume is essentially quantitative analysis. IV.Phil diss ertation topic then it would save about six months in the duration of his Ph. (8) Bring out the importance of inter disciplinary research. exploratory research (getting more information on a t opic) and comparative research (obtaining similarities and differences between e vents. (5) Write at least 20 questions in your subject the investigat ion of which forms basic research. Identifying a suitable topic for work is one of the most di cult parts of a res earch. project and M. Before choosing a research topic and a problem the young researchers shou ld keep the following points in mind. Topic and problem can be xed in consultation with the resear ch supervisor. explanatory research (searching explanations for events and phenomena.D.   . PG courses and write their features in two or three sentences. the results have to be interpreted to arrive at a decision. methods. Other Types of Research 8.D. Formulation of hypoth eses 6. techniques. Frequently. • The researcher should have interest in it. gravimetric and calorimetric methods or instrumenta l methods. for example nding answer to the question why are the th ings like what they are?). One may ask: Is it necessary that the topic of a Ph. including any simplifying assumption s. etc. (7) Write a note on importance of theory in basic and applie d researches. Data analysis 9. SELECTION OF A RESEARCH TOPIC AND PROBLEM The starting point of a research is the selection of a research topic and proble m. 4. The problem must be stated clearly. 10. Then develop a mathematical statement of the problem.[1–3]. Next. This process may involv e use of one or more mathematical procedures. work. should be di er ent from M. Selection of a research topic 2. • Topic should not be chosen by compulsion from some one else. (6) Distinguish between the ory and experiment. Experimental and simulation studies are generally quantitative resear ch. In our country often research supervisors suggest a topic and sta te a problem in broad view. V.

The style of re search in our country and various other factors like the infrastructure facility available in a research institute. time limit.Phil. research work. . M. many research superv isors give complete freedom to choose a problem in the topic suggested by him fo r a Ph. However. dissertation and Ph.Can a Researcher Choose a Topic by himself ? A youngster interested to start a research career wishes to know whether he/she has freedom to do research in the topic of his/her own interest. thesis.D. Because the normal time duration of M.D. it is better to work on the problem suggested by the super visor.Phil dissertation is about 6-8 months. our commitment to family and soc ial set up hardly allow a young researcher to choose a topic by himself for his PG project.

Our daily experiences and day to a airs have rich open ings on various aspects such as the daunting tasks of AIDS. breadt h of the topic and so on. • there is an opportunity to spend a long time on something that is a continuous source of his pleasure and • the results would prove better in te rms of the growth of the investigator and the quality of the work. A researcher in India after tw o years of research experience with few (two or more) publications can apply for a senior research fellowship (SRF) to CSIR (Council for Scienti c and Industrial Research) (for details see its and other relevant web sites). string theory. Fellows and Stipends’ by K. a yo ung researcher can make use of their expertise in knowing various possible probl ems in the topic the solving of which provide better opportunities in all aspect s. In this case • the researcher can pursue his/her own interest to the farthest limits. etc. supervisor which can lead to a fellowshi p. But the intricate problem here is that we do not nd enough number of such couples to stu dy. For example. then he will not be able to face and over come the obstacles which come at every stage in research. problems of aged citizens. For example. For exa mple. On the other hand. business and marketing changes rapidly. Recent r esearch on fullerenes resulted in many practical applications. nano particles. in the early years. Now the interest is in developi ng e cient. Don’t choose a topic simply because it is fascinating. child labor. degree) with fellowship then he cannot have freedom to choose a topic since he has to work on a project the goal of which is already de ned by the project investigator.       . New Delhi)) Considering the above. Then he can nd a resear ch guide who is working in this eld or interested to work in this eld and then cho ose a problem for research. Ho wever. For details see the book ‘How to get scholarships. On the other hand. qu antum cloning and quantum cryptography and gene immunology are fascinating topic s and are in preliminary stages. Then evolution in electronic technology replaced them by integrated circuits.D. thin lm has multiple elds of applications. a researcher should make-up his mind so as to work in a topic suggested by the supervisor. The topic should not be too narrow. computers were built in larger size with vacuum tubes. The supervisors and experts are working on one or few elds over a long time and they are the specialists in the eld considered an d well versed with the development and current status of the eld. a orest ation and deforestation. R ecently. (6) Discussion with ex perts and research supervisor Suppose one is interested in the theory of nonline ar differential equations or quasicrystals or fullerenes.D. air pollution. This has severa l advantages. Choosing a topic of current interest or recent trends provides bright and promising opportunities for young researchers to get post doctoral fellowship. Therefore.6 If a student wishes to do research (for Ph. B. quantum computing. ano ther fascinating topic namely. after choosing a topic of his own interest he has to nd a supervisor who is working in that topic or interested in guiding him. position in leading inst itutions in our nation and abroad. scientists have developed quantum dots. If the resear cher is not interested in the topic and problem assigned to him but is working o n it because of supervisor’s compulsion. the changes in the social life of aravanis in recent times is a valuable social problem and one can collect enough data. super-fast and miniaturized computing machine made up of material whos e particle size of the order of nano (10−9 ) meter or even smaller.D. This is a very narrow topic at the same time we will not get enough data to analyze. the s tudy of social status and sexual life of married couples of same sex (man man ma rriage and woman woman marriage) is interesting and of social relevance. a research problem may be chosen by a researcher himself. In choosing a topic one should take care of the possibility of data collection. If a student is not very much particular about the fellowship he has a chance to do research in the topic of his own interest.K alaskar (Sultan Chand and Sons. In each subject there are several topics whic h are not explored in detail even though the topic was considered by scientists long time ago. He can prepare a p roject under the direction of his Ph. Technology in various branches of science. quantity of gain. Similarly. In this case one has severe limitation in our country for getting a fellowship and for registering for a research degre e.

Identi cation of a Research Topic and Problems Some sources of identi cation of a research topic and problems are the following: (1) Theory of one’s own interest (2) Daily problems (3) Technological changes (4) Recent trends (5) Unexplored areas .

Is it necessary to know all the methods. More importantly. if the problem investigated is of not much interest to science and society then public ations will become useless to him in his research career. But. a rough estim ate on costs and time required to complete the work must be made. it has to be de ned and formula ted properly.(V A). one can identify a problem for research. in the statement of the problem De ning the problem is more important than its soluti on. in order to solve it. they cannot help earn a post-doctoral fellowship. committed his large time t o administrative work and strong involvement in nonacademic matters.D. Then he can learn the tools necessary to solve it. After learning some fundamental concepts. Speci cally. How do you Asses Whether the De ned Problem as a Good Problem? The researcher should be interested on the problem for the reasons mentioned ear lier at the end of the Sec. recent developments and current trends of a topic. D. • Examine the feasibility of a particular solution A problem in its rst de nition may not be appealing. A researcher needs proper guidance and encouragement from the super visor regularly. the res earcher must make sure that the necessary experimental setup and materials to pe rform the actual research work are available in the department where research wo rk is to be carried out. E.Phil. If not then the resear cher will nd great di culty to publish his ndings in reputed journals and convince t he funding agency. To this end a researcher can ask a series of questions on the problem. by suitably rewording or reformulating t he chosen problem.7 Further. if the researcher initiated the work and has gone through certain stages of work or spent one or two years in the proble m then in order to complete the task he would be forced to buy the materials and instruments from his personal savings. the prob lem must be of interest to scienti c community and society. Controversial subjects should not be chose n. degree. techniques. C. Without these. it can be made to meet the criteria of a good problem. co ncepts in a research topic before identifying a problem for investigation? This is not necessary. Next. The problem should also be interesting to the supervisor so that the researcher can get the necessary guidance from him. For this purpose. respectability and a permanent job in an institution. one has to study advanced level text books and latest research articl es to identify problems. It is a crucial part of the research study and should not be de ned in hurry. How are these Questions Important and Relevant to a Researcher? De nition and Formulation of a Problem After identifying a problem. if any. the status of the problem. one can execute the following. degree should not be taken for M. A problem suitable for M. Problems that are too narrow or too vague should be avoided. particularly the importance of nding its solution should match with the current status of the eld. degree is not appropriate for Master’s degree. It may require rede nition in or der to make it a good problem. If the collection of d ata or resources or related information takes many years. Another imp ortant point is that before initiating research work on a problem. Other wise sometimes the researcher may nd it very di cult to convince the supervisor on the importance and signi cance of the results obtained.Phil. This i s also important to solve the problem successfully. A researcher should avoid working under the guidance of a supervis or having serious health problems or family problems. to o vercome the di culties which come at various states of research and also to have m oral support. • State the problem in questionnaire form or in an equivalent form • Specify the problem in detail an d in precise terms • List the assumptions made • Remove the ambiguities. degree. A problem suit able for Ph. This is important for keeping the research in right track. then the topic is obvi ously inappropriate for Ph. Some are: (1) Is the problem really i nteresting to him and to the scienti c community? (2) Is the problem signi cant to t .D. Finally. That is.

he present status of the topic? (3) Is there su cient supervision/guidance? (4) Ca n the problem be solved in the required time frame? (5) Are the necessary equipm ent. then the researcher can initiate work on the chosen problem. adequate library and computational facilities. . etc. In addition. discuss the problem with the current doctoral students and obtain the scope of the problem and other related aspects. available? If the answe rs to these questions are satisfactory.

(5) procee dings of conferences. the literatu re that is connected with similar problems is also workshops. it can help us formulate a sa tisfactory structure of the research proposal. For example. date of publication.Phil.iisc. volume number. nonlinear scien (4) show how the problem unde r study relates to the previous research studies and (5) know whether the propos ed problem had already been solved. It is available in hard copy and also in oppy diskette. reprint of the article can be had from the .. a careful ch eck should be made to ensure that the proposed study has not previously been per formed and reported. It is very essential to know wh ether the de ned problem has already been solved. Review of the literature in the area of research is a preliminary step bef ore attempting to plan the study. Clarity of ideas can be acquired through study of lit erature. The earlier studies which are relevant to the problem chose n should be carefully Because a Ph. REFERENCE COLLECTION As soon as the survey of available source begins. Articles can also be purchased from the p ublishers on payment. the preparation and collection of references preferably with annotations should be undertaken. theses to acquire recent trends. VII. Otherwise. If the title of the article indicates that the paper is in the topic of one’s interest then he can take a copy of the article if the jo urnal is available in the local library. This comes once in a week. dissertation is a study in depth aiming contribution to knowledge.jnu. (3) acquire proper theoretical a nd practical knowledge to investigate the problem.D.ernet. he can get it from a documen t delivery service ibnet. (4) advanced level books on the chosen topic. For details visit the following web sites: http://web . Review the latest research paper s and Ph. in India INFLIBNET provides this service through six institutions. etc. Alternatively. the researcher has to do literature survey connected with the problem. It provides tit le of articles. names of the authors.arXiv. It helps formulate th e problem in a clear-cut One can obtain a research article on paying the charge xed by the INFLIBNET provided the particular journal is available in No research shall be co mplete unless we make use of the knowledge available in books. thesis or M. books and other documents related to the de ned problem. Through survey one can collect relevant info rmation about the problem.8 VI. It contains the table of content of research journals and magazines in various subjects. (6) reprint/preprint collections availabl e with the supervisor and nearby experts working on the topic chosen and (7) Int ernet. One can survey (1) the journals which publish abstracts of papers published in various j ournals. mathematics. A free e-print service provider for physics. (2) review articles related to the topic chosen. Ignorance of prior studies may lead to a research er duplicating a work already carried out by another researcher. starti ng page number of the articles and address of the author from whom one can get t he reprint of the article. A good library will be of great help to a researcher at this stage. status of the problem. A review on past work helps us know the outcome of those investigations where similar problems were solved. LITERATURE SURVEY After de ning a problem. Literature survey is a collection of research publications. concepts and interpretations.D. Almost a ll the universities and institutions buy this document. It can help us design methodology for the present work. Further. Apart from literature directly connected with the problem. reformulate it or even leads to de ning other closely related problems.isp http://www. journals and inte rnet. We can also explore the vital links with the various trends and phases in the chosen topic and familiarize with characteristi c precepts. (3) journals which pub lish research articles. (2) get proper understanding of the problem chosen. Literature survey helps us (1) sharpen the pro blem. The important s ource of reference collection is the journal called Current Contents. One can visit nearby resear ch institutions and avail the library facility. technique s that are useful to investigate the problem and other related details. computer science and biology is http://www.

author by sending a letter/card to the author. . A format of reprint request card is shown below.

edu/mp− arc/ http://www. Review section of American Journ al of Physics. For example. can be grouped separately. etc. Research is no t of doing something and presenting what is done. The references can be classi ed. The current status of the chosen topic can be identi ed by reading the re levant journals and the recent papers.cli ord. discussions in conferences./Prof. To formulate a hypothesis the researcher sh ould acquire enough knowledge in the topic of research and a reasonably deep ins ight about the problem. The expectations form the hypothesis. Rapid communication and Letter sections of internat ional journals publish articles which are very important and fall in recent tren ds category. volume number. etc. publisher’s name.math. They are often stated in terms of if then sentences in certain logical forms. nowadays one can store the details of the references in computers and have a copy in two or three oppy diskette. the expected or pro posed solutions based on available data and tentative explanations constitute th e hypothesis. There are several areas in internet where the papers just submitted to journals are placed. p lace of publication and year of publication must be written down.ams. Hypothesizing is done only after survey of relevant literature and learning the present status of the eld of research. Current Science and Proceedings of recently conducted se minars and conferences. sources dealing with theory. Title : Journal name : Volu me number : Page(s) : Year : With kind regards. What are the criteria of a good hypothesis? An hy VIII. The copies of the research articles can also be classi ed and bounded. Yours sincerely. it is not di cult to know the current status of research work in a spec i c topic. These arti cles indicate the recent trends in a particular topic. That is. seminars and       . we ex pect certain outcomes from the study. Pramana. etc. Hypothesis is due to an intelligent gue ss or for inspiration which is to be tested in the research work rigorously thro ugh appropriate methodology. Some relevant web sites a re listed below. In formulating a hypothesis construct operational de nitio ns of variables in the research problem. Cross references (that is research art icles or books referred or cited in a research report) should also be collected and classi ed. http://arxiv. I would appreciate in re rticle and other related preprints/reprints.ucdavis. In other words.AG/ http://www. org/anonftp/clf alg/ ————————————————————————The references from current contents or from j rd or sheet with the names of authors and the title of the paper/book. before starting actual work such as performing an experiment or theoretical calculation or numerical analysis. Instead of car journal For a book. Every research problem is unde rtaken aiming at certain outcomes. Revi ews of Modern Physics. IX. if any. HYPOTHESIS Researchers do not carry out work without any aim or expectation. For this purpose. revie w articles point out not only to the basic aspects and features of the topic con cerned but also give a brief account of its present status. Testing of hypothesis leads to explanation of the a ssociated phenomenon or event. Hypo theses are scienti cally reasonable predictions. concerned wit h numerical methods. These also provide useful information. ASSESSING THE CURRENT STATUS Generally. One can download such articles free of cost. starting and ending pa ges of it and year of publication should be noted. More importantly. on e can survey the journals (for a topic in physics) such as Physics Reports. dealing with experimental techniques. A hypothesis should provide what we expect to nd in the chosen research problem. —————————————————————————— e in the chosen topic explores the current status of http://f ront.utexas. Physical Review Letters. It can be formulated based o n previous research and observation. For a research paper.9 ————————————————————————Front Side Place : Date : Dear Dr. its title.

One can perform inquiries at several important places known for resea rch on proposed topic.workshops. .

Essential ly. Research Design For a scienti c research one has to prepare a research design. the research design creates the foundation of the entire research work. Once th e research design is completed the actual work can be initiated. It should be stated in a suitable way so that it can b e tested by investigation. Particularly. We note that if a hypothesis withstands the experiments and provides the required facts to make it acceptable. In order to make steady progr ess in research and to asses the progress of the research work. tables and other releva nt work related to the research should be done by a new researcher by himself wi thout assistance from others. computer programs. numerical calculations.10 pothesis should have conceptual clarity and a theoretical orientation. (1) Discussion with the supervisor. empirical and speci c and more over goal oriented. But once we make a write up of it. (4) Theoretical calculations. particularly. The rst step in the actual work is to learn the facts pertaining to the problem. A young rese archer should not do the entire work in collaboration with others. A. These will keep him in right track and tightly bind him to the resear ch activity. (2) con ning to the formulatio n and (3) in the interpretation of the solution obtained. (6) Part icipation and presentation of research ndings in national and international meeti ngs. This is important to acquire (1) enough knowledge. he can discuss his problems with them). It sho uld keep the researcher on the right track and make him complete the planned wor k successfully. relevant theories and possible application to the present problem and to ov ercome the di culties faced. not only to the researchers performing the experiments bu t to others doing other experiments then when su ciently reinforced by continual v eri cation the hypothesis may become a theory [4]. time frame and the cost budget. (5) Have a practice of periodically writing the wo rk done. (3) Review of the work reported on the similar proble ms. setting up of an experimental setup. the problem and its origin. writing of the progress of the work will help us better understand our work and forms a solid basis for further progress. In fact. These regular practices provide useful information like new ideas and can h elp the researcher (1) sharpen and focus attention. strict . MODE OF APPROACH to be Followed by a Researcher? A researcher can exercise the following aspects regularly throughout the researc h carrier. sources and i nformation related to the problem and. Furthe r. X. A hypothesis made initially may become incorrect when the data obtained are analyzed. preparation of graphs. The design will help perform the chosen task easily and in a systematic way. Mode of approach means the manner in which research is to be carried out. The researche r is advised to perform all the works starting from identi cation of the problem t o report preparation by himself under the guidance of supervisor. This is important becaus e sometime we may think that a particular aspect will be a center piece of the p roblem under investigation. this aspect or pa rt of it may turn out to be only of marginal importance. it should be testable. One should sharpen the thinking and focus attention on the more important aspects of the study. experts and colleagues about th e research work. The scienti c thinking must be more formal. t heoretical methods. results obtained and steps followed in a work. experimental techniques and other rele     . collaboration work with experts and senior researcher may be avoided. Each and every bit of task related to the research work has to be done by the researcher. numerical techniques. It should indicate the various approaches to be used in solving the research problem. It also points out to the gaps in our work. (However. a research desig n is very helpful. It is import ant to state the hypothesis of a research problem in a research report. objectives and di culti es faced in the execution of the problem. In this case it has to be revised. Particularly. (2) Reading of the latest research pap ers.

the validity and utility of the information gathered should be tested before using them. Sci enti c research is based on certain mathematical. These sources have to be properly studied and judged before applying them to the problem of interest. numerical and experimental metho ds. A researcher has to identify and select materials which are useful to the present work.vant data and tools necessary for the present study have to be collected and lea rnt. B. Further. What are the Possible Approaches . technique and information in the top ic of research is useful for a particular problem. It is not necessary that every theory.

A good supervisor or a senior researcher does not prov ide answers to your questions but gives appropriate directions to clarify your d oubts. Initially one must work hard. He should de nitely avoid embarrassing the supervisor and senior researcher s by asking doubts often. not recognized by the su pervisor and rejection of a research article from a journal. Murthy is that one should enjoy doing research and approach it as an ente rtainment and a mode of getting happiness. He should learn and collect many information related to his work. He can complete his thesis wo rk and then work on new topic of his interest. “Don’t get dejected whe n your paper is rejected ”– Prof. Young researchers should create good relationship with their seniors and co lleagues. Further. Prof. In the research career one should tre at doing research as a way of life and not just a job. the focus of the scientist must be narrow and intense to the exclusion of everyt hing else around him. it is these guides who pr oduce some of the most resilient scientists.R. One need not try to conquer the world of science. Think abo ut your research work in background mode. traveling to a place. the golfer always follows through–and the scienti st focuses his complete attention on the task at hand and nothing else. say. He felt that it is bec       . “Scienti c research is like sports. after working about say three ye ars and when the time has came to consolidate the work done so far a researcher should not start to work on an entirely new topic. Keeping th is in mind one should avoid collaboration as far as possible in the young stage. The woman Nobel Laureaute Maria G oeppert Mayer said.“If you love science. A researcher should provide new information to the supervisor and avoid getting information from the supervisor.11 (2) con dence and (3) training to carry out research independently after gettin g Ph. During the course of research. ideas will come out even when you are seeing a movie. Don’t allow the personal life to interfere with research.” A researcher must be clear in his thoughts.N.D. in three months. Part of the dissertation should demonstrate the researcher’s origi nality. Then only he is able to nd out the facts that would h elp him in his task. Diversions to other activities should be avoided. Getting Joy in Doing Research To get a deep insight on the topic or the research problem a suggestion from Dr K. On the other hand. Further. C.P. one should focus the mind mainly on the re search work. all you really want is to keep on working . The training equips the researcher with the requirements of the task. To score. One has to come in order to work and to nd his way.” A young r esearcher should also have persistence. the hoopster shu ts out everything but the court. It is hard to push the d oor open. Getting insise a resear ch topic or a research career is like a pushing a door. self taught men and women. at some times one may get stuck with a particular part of th e work and unable to make a substantial progress. In order to perform the work successfully the researcher should acquire proper training in the techniques of research. degree.P. tolerance and self control over the unpl easant outcomes such as not getting an expected result. He should know what he has to nd out . But when one understand it it is ver interesting and joyful. Surprisingly. The batter never takes his eye o the ball. who deve lop great con dence in their abilities” [Current Science 87(2004)1319]. The harder one works the happier one f eels. Remember that failure and wasted works are also part of the research car eer. Subramanian. Some times one may complete a pie ce of work within a week which he might have expected to nish it in a month time. Chandrase khar pointed out that in the arts and literature quality of work improves with a ge and experience while in science generally it does not. Make your research a part of your every day life. In order to achieve a goa l in the research one has to work harder. The dissertation should re ect the e orts of a single researcher. Ted Gottfried t he author of biography of Fermi said.Balaram wrote “There are guides who have no interest in their discipline and leave their wards to their own devices. he should be clear about his task and po ssess intellectual insight. Avoid fe eling remorseful at these circumstances and maintain a high tolerance for poor r esults. sight seeing and shopping.

very narrow focus on immediate goals and ins u cient broad in interests and pursuits. pattern and coheren ce.ause of doing science in isolation. They are instead accessible to each one of us provided we are attuned to the perspective of strangeness in the proportion and conformity of the parts of one another and to the whole.Baskaran stressed that group discussion is indeed an important co mponent of doing research particularly in small and isolated institutions. When I was a student at the Indian Institute of Science (I. And there is satisfaction also be gained from h armoniously organizing the domain of the science with order.I. Bangalore.I.). Chandras ekhar said.Sc. and National Aeronautic Laboratory were introduced to this joyous .” Professor G. a few of us students of physics from I.Sc. “One cannot explain the power and usefulness of group discussions – it has to be experienced. He sa id. The sp irit of experiencing it is not restricted to only the great scientists. “This is no more than the joys of creativity are restricted to a fortu nate few. In order to continue research even at old age one should develop the spirit of experiencing the beauty of science.

12 experience by S. For example. it might have ended before the nal year of the Ph. Generally. The work of some other researchers might have formed the basis of our resear ch. his rese arch ndings should distinguish him from other researchers and keep him one among the top young researchers in the nation. If similar problems have a lready been done. actual investigation must be directed towards obtaining novel results. ACTUAL INVESTIGATION Actual investigation should lead to original contribution and not involve object ionable duplication. in Ind ia. generally. thesis we have friends and our well wishers to giv e nancial support to some extend. Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Young Scienti st Award and many other awards are given every year. a research scholar should have a clear plan of what h e has to do in the next few years or so. What are the Points to be Kept in Mind in Order to do a Good Research? D. in whose hou se we assembled virtually every evening to discuss such grave issues as amorphou s solids and renormalization group. Some Conference/Seminar org anizers also provide best papers award to young scientists.D. 75(1998)pp.D The crucial period for a research scholar doing full time Ph.D.K. During this period one should concentrate on completing the na l work for his thesis and writing of various chapters. This would delay the submission of his Ph. But joining in a temporary position m ay highly change his research career. D.1262). XI. For a discussion on emotional factors see. our research outcomes should help other researchers. each and every work of us may not produc e novelty. Each one of the discussants has made a mark” ( Current Science. Crucial Stage of Ph. What is good research? Which universities and research institutions in your country do the best research? How do you dist       . Similarly. the work should be such that it should invite others to read and more importantly u se it and cite it in their research work. As pointed ou t by Professor M. exp erimental techniques and numerical algorithms have to be used instead of outdate d methods. That is.D. Ther efore. Indian President Award.Lakshmanan. We do researc h by conceiving information and openings from important research papers publishe d by other researchers in the topic of interest and continue in our own directio ns. Originality is the basic credit point of any research. ref. but if we work towards novelty then de nitely in the course One should aim at doing good research. There are examples with stu dents capable of getting a post doctoral fellowship but failed to even continuin g the research. formerly a Professor of chemistry. fo r example. At the beginning of research career a young researcher should aim to produce a good research. Trivial analysis should not be performed. It it not worthwhile to continue in a particular direc tion if the results are trivial and less informative. In order to encourage young researchers and motivate them to produce high quality of research work awards are given yea rly by certain academic and research bodies in each country. A. thesis and he may loose the interest in research. is the last year of the programme. It should fetch joy and bene ts others and as well as us. programme. the researcher should familiarize with th e features of the method. (3) which added new information to the existing knowledge on a topic are generally considered as good . Even if the fellowship is not available at the nishing stage of Ph. A researcher should develop new ideas and obtain deep insight into the problem in order to get novel and new results which are the characteristics of a good resea rch.Rangarajan. Recently introduced theories. particularly. Before applying any method. If the job is a permanent one then one can join in the job and continue the research. Therefore. Our work should lead to recognition an d respect. We have noticed many scholars converted the full time programme into part time and joined in a job. for instance about ten years ago.[5]. a research fel lowship is for xed period of time. then a researcher should not consider it as important but could treat it as a useful exercise.

contribution made to the science and society. to identify the best from among th e available. supernova from mere stars. Research work (1) published in reputed international journals. books published. a black hole from an ordinary hole. projects completed. number of citations of his publications. poles from ordinary poin ts. a superconduc tor from a normal conductor. one can use various quantities to measure the quality of them. etc. linear di erential equations from nonlinear ones? To distinguish one from anot her we can use various quantities. Like wise. to identify a best research the quality of the one’s research publication s.inguish the great from a good. For example. (2) cited by other researc hers working in the same or similar topic and . can be considered.

Discuss your answers to the follow ing questions with experts: (1) Are the supporting evidences su cient?. resul ts and conclusion are ultimate goals of the research performed. Ac tual work nally leads to results and conclusions of the research undertaken. recheck. On th e basis of interpretation general principles underlying the process can be formu lated. Necessary interpreta tions on the results of statistical analysis have to be made. basic idea. Interpretation of results is important becaus e it (1) links the present work to the previous. At the time of concluding and interpreting the facts that were collected observation. and if not . RESULTS AND CONCLUSION The next step after performing the actual research work on the chosen problem is preparation of results and conclusion of the performed work.. Comparison of the proposed method with the already existing and widely used similar methods should be performed. (2) leads to identi cation of fut ure problems. The work should be f ree from mistakes. What to do?     . Various special cases of the theory or method must be identi ed. The utility of the o utcome of the research greatly lie on proper interpretations and is the hardest part of solving a scienti c problem. cross check.. The basic r ule in preparing results and conclusion is to give all the evidences relevant to the research problem and its solution. The freedom of creative imagination necess arily subjected to rigorous experimentation.[6] XII. The number of data used. Developed computer algorithms must be teste d for the problems for which results are already available. mere measurement of certain quantities is not enough. error bars and oth er necessary details must be noted in the graphs. For proper results it is necessary that various steps of the work should be scienti ca lly taken and should not have any aw. imagination should give wings to the thought. In the beginning any experimental r esearch on a speci c subject. Some common errors made in research are [6] (1) Selective ob servation (2) Inaccurate observation (3) Over generalization (4) Made up informa tion (5) Ex post facto hypothesizing (6) Illogical reasoning (7) Ego involvement in understanding (8) Premature closure of inquiry (9) Mysti cation For a very int eresting discussion on the above aspects with examples refer to the ref. Proper interpretations of the results must be made. It also m eans drawing of conclusion. The validity. there shou ld be constant interaction between initial hypothesis. (3) opens new avenues of intellectual adventure and stimulates the quest for more knowledge. appropriate statistical tools hav e to be employed. Conclusion is based on the study performed. The res earcher must remember that ideally in the course of a research study. In the case of dev elopment or modi cation of a theory and proposal of a new method the assumptions m ade. There are two in dispensable rules of modern research. As many statistical tools as p ossible should be used. It is exactly in this area of interaction between theoretical orien tation and observation that opportunities for originality and creativity lie. rerunning the programs and going through the theoretical deriv ations and arguments. . When analysing the data. observation and theoretic al concepts. (4) makes others understand the signi cance of the rese arch ndings and (5) often suggests a possible experimental veri cation. Before beginning to write a part of the work done and the results obtained check and recheck the data and the results by repeatin g the experiment. A bare statement of the ndings are not en ough. Merits and demerits hav e to be identi ed. the imagination should be dominated and prevailed over by concrete results of ex periments. all the results before submitting a research paper to a journal . e ciency and applicability of it must be demonstrated with examples. and calculations should be clearly stated and analyzed. Interpretation re fers to the task of drawing inferences from the actual research work . Appropriate curve tting can be done. Their implications must be pointed out. Professor Devanathan suggests that a resear cher should check. In any experimental work. Predictions. It would bring out relations and processes that underlie the ndings. units of the data. The interpretation of the kind of data observed and explanation for the particular pattern must be made. One has to check whether the generalizations are universal and true under di erent conditions. Important analysis must be repeated in order to make sure tha t they are free from human mistakes.13 of research there would come a fascinating and exciting breakthrough.


These should be practical and based on logic. An oral report provides a bridge between the re searcher and audience and o ers greater scope to the researcher for explaining the actual work performed. Oral reporting at a conference or a seminar requires more elaborate pr eparation than the written report. reasoning and fact. conclusion and further directions. (iv) Research design. For a long time report. Assignment : (9) For each of the following topics write at least two questions. Methods and techniques used can be pres ented very brie y without going into technical details. Each and every statement made in the re sults and conclusion sections must be based on evidence obtained from theoretica l or experimental analysis. In this case le ss informative material must be dropped. (ii) Re view of a research topic. For a 15–30 minute. the researche r can present the results and interpretations which are not clearly understood b y him and may request the experts in the audience to give their opinions and sug gestions. The researcher sho uld not be in hurry while preparing the results and conclusion. is it possible to restrict to one or two pieces of evidence? If so. (vi) Discussion and (vii) Conclusion. an anxiety to preserve the correctness of the basic idea at all costs. the answers to which must be available in the respective topics. these aspects can be prepared in detail. a relevant question is ‘why am I doing it?’. After preparing them the researcher may ask the following questions: (1) Are the quantitative an d qualitative analysis performed adequate for the conclusion drawn? (2) Are the results and conclusion general ? (3) Are the results and conclusion valid only f or the particular situation considered in the present work? (4) Is the conclusio n too broad considering the analysis performed? (5) Is any evidence which weaken the conclusion omitted? The results and conclusion prepared can be revised base d on the answers to the above questions. “A person rst gets a new idea and he wonders very much whether this idea will be right or wrong. Consequently . 45–60 minute present ation. and any feature in the new idea which di ers f rom the old established ideas is a source of anxiety to him. its outcome and signi cance. and (5) present results and conclusion. (3) describe the method and technique employed. In other meetings time duration is xed by the organizer based on the number of days of the meeting. Whereas some one el se who hears about this work and talks it up doesn’t have this anxiety. Much time should be reserv ed for results. (iii) Methodology. for the topic . (2) discuss the de nit ion of the problem. what are they? an d (3) Why are they su cient? and so on. In an oral report. For example. The sugg estions should be such that they can be actually implemented. It also leads to a better und erstanding of the ndings and their implications. (v) Results. Departmenta l seminar is usually 45 minutes duration.14 (2) How many pieces of evidence are required? Instead of producing all. number of speakers and the status of a speaker. and without having this anxiety he is not so disturbed by the contradiction and is able to face up to it and see what it really means. A Nobel prize winner Paul Dirac said.   . Researchers in certain research institutio ns not only discuss their own work but also have discussions on very recently re ported work of other scientists. Such directions can help us minimize work and the quantity of presentation of the report. He is very anxious about it. one may have enough time to (1) introduce the topic. that is. PRESENTING A SCIENTIFIC SEMINAR ORAL REPORT (4) give technical details. The investigator has to give suggest ions. oral presentation o ne cannot nd enough time to discuss complete details of the work. XIII. (i) Introduction. “introduction”. Points to be Remembered in Preparing an Oral Report Before starting the preparation of an oral report.” B. Do not rely on a bogus evidence which would increase the chances of errors. an outline can be drawn based on the time duration of the report and the quality of the audience. Baseless statements should never be made.

etc. symposium. seminar. departmental weekl y seminar. Scien ti c meetings include conference. . workshop.What is an Oral Report? What are the Importance of an Oral Report? A. Presentation of one’s research work in a scienti c meeting is an oral report .

Researcher should not simply read the content in the sheets . Some times delaying a publication of a result one would lose his free power pointpresentation. lb. Then evaluate the written material. very important content of it and conclusion can be printed in the sli des or sheets possibly point by point with bold and su ciently large size letters. gures and photographs can be prepared usi ng transparency sheets or slides. The following are the web sites from which one could download the software at free of cost: http://www. Oral presentation c an be made e ective and attractive by using modern visual devises. equations. the researcher c ould use multimedia. the speaker can stop the presentation at various stages.15 Prepare a write up of the oral presentation. What is a Research Report? Research reporting is an oral or a written presentation of important and useful aspects of the research work done. As pointed out by Eli Maor. It also evaluates the success and originality of the researcher’s work. Important formulas. Title of the report. a research study is incomplete and of no use. This will make the presentation attractive. During a long present ation. ART OF WRITING A RESEARCH PAPER AND THESIS A. interesting and also allow the audience to clarify their doubts so that they can follow the work. Sophisticated softwares developed for preparing the text on transparency sheets/slides are available in internet and can be fre ely downloaded.D Thesis or Dissertation?               . In order to make the presentation. Slides and transparency sheets should not cont ain running matters. Ask: (1) Why should the audience listen to your presentation? (2) Is t he presentation match with the standard of the audience? Revise the presentation until you get convincing answer to the above two questions. (2) improve the quality of p resentation and (3) maintain the uency of the presentation. s lides and transparency sheets. Nowadays. plan of the pre sentation. the use of power point of Microsoft Windows is co mmon. It is an easy and compact utility software especially for preparing classr oom presentations. is inte nded to present clearly the purpose and outcome of a speci c research investigatio n. XIV. seek comments an d questions C. Scienti c writing. from the audience and then proceed. supervisor and collaborators can be exercised in order to (1) complete the presentation within the allotted time. in academic matters the iron rule is publish or perish. It is a good and very helpful pr actice to write the talk before presenting it orally. An abstract or a short write up of the presentation may be circulated to the participants of the meeting. A report helps the res earcher get feedback from other researchers and experts working in the same eld. a thesis or a paper. author’s http://www. don’t restrict the vision of the audience of a particular section. Brilliant work and most striking ndings are of little value if they are not e ectively communicated to the scienti c world. Without a report. One or two rehearsals of the report in the presen ce of colleagues. tables. one should allow One could use the audio aspects also to facilitate his presentation in a better way. That is. For example. don’t forget to modulate the voice as and when required a nd don’t violate the time frame. It is the last but a major part of the research study. While presenting the topic . power points. the descriptive portion of the report should not be prepared on the s heets. more lively.o ce. the researcher should strictly follow the class room teaching methodology. What are Research Paper or Article and Ph. A report essentially conve ys the outcome of a research work to interested persons.

D. The outcome of a research work may . Essentially.D. dissertation is a lengthy.D. Whereas a Ph.Phil.Phil. M.D. original and substant ial document.A research paper is a report published in a journal or magazine or conference pr oceedings. thesis. the role of a Ph. It should also clearly point out the re search competence of the researcher in his research eld. level. dissertation is a report of the entire work done by a researcher to a university or an institution for the award of the degree o f doctor of philosophy. dissertation need not be publishable in journals. etc. Why Should a Researcher Report his Findings? Every research investigation is carried out with certain objectives. A Ph. It should contain original contributions. The work done for an M. dissertation is designed as a practice for Ph.D. It will help the researcher learn and u nderstand the present status of the topic and make him capable of working at the Ph. dissertation is to demonstrate the research person’s original thinking an d contribution to the topic of research.

The outline of the report helps us concentrate on (i) what is to be prese nted. if the abstract has nal results and main conclusion of the paper then a r eader who has a general interest in the subject can know the outcome of the pape r without reading the entire text by referring the abstract itself. By reading the abstract a reader would decide whether the content of the paper is useful to him. The basic quality or characteristics of a good scienti c report/paper and the sis are the following: (1) good presentation (2) good organization of various ch apters/sections (3) accuracy (4) clarity (5) free from contradictions and confus ion. a Ph.D. Tabl es and charts can be typeset using computer and kept separately in order to avoi d rewriting them.D. (iii) smoot h ow of the content and (iv) continuity in the presentation. How doe s a reader decide whether to read the content of a paper or not? Abstract serves the purpose. The write up should be logical. (2) Second draft – Rewriting and polishing of the rough draft . Don’t be con ned with a mere Ph. Several researchers doing same research work is a waste o f time unless the solution of the problem is needed very urgently and is of grea t use. First Draft A good report results from slow. method. (4) broad ndings and (5) concluding remarks. seminars and symposia. To att ract a reader. The outcome of a research work will become known to the scienti c community only through publicati ons. clear and objective. Therefore. Ba sed on their comments the structure of the report can be modi ed. A subject index of a paper is primarily based on the words in the title. the reading matter of a report should be clear and interesting. S ome other researchers may be working or planning to work on the same or similar type of research work. pain taking and accurate inductive work. In this stage a researcher can write (1) what has been done in the research stud y. the abstract should have positive info rmation about the content of the paper and summary of the work reported in it. Repetition of a work should be avoided by the research community as much as possible. The outline can be d iscussed with the guide. I dentify possible publications of your research ndings after making a considerable progress on a research problem. Somet imes the researcher may not be aware of the theoretical development on practical applications. F urther. Therefore. In view of these. D. clear and conc ise. Since a research paper is identi ed by its title it sh ould be brief and not more than above 10 15 words. Further dir ections may be pointed out. the correctness. reworded and veri ed for its validity can be m arked. validity and originality of the work is under a question mark. I t should not be obscure and dull. His research results may be useful to another research problem. dissertation should be a formal and should have high level of scholarship. They are (1) First draft – Rough draft . degree. Unless a researcher reports his work to the world. colleagues and experts in local area. (4) The sentences which are to be expanded. OUTLINE OF A REPORT     . (2) procedure. few key words which are h elpful to classify the paper can be included appropriately in the title. Further. Characteristics of a Good Report A. XV. Conclusion should be precise. A three stage pr eparation of a report is generally done by researchers. (3) technical di culties f aced and how they are overcome. theory and technique applied.16 add new information to a theory or may have technological applications. it is important to report a work in an appropriate journa l or magazine and in scienti c meetings like conferences. (3) Third draft – Writing the nal draft . (ii) logical relationships between di erent parts of the report. collaborators.

(3) Then. one can write down various topics. subtopics to be considered and what material to be presented in them. (2) A sketch of what infor mation to be conveyed must be made. an outline of a report has to be prepared.What are the considerations to be kept in mind while preparing a report? (1) First. .

Similarly. complex analytic functions sati sfy Cauchy–Riemann conditions. One has to be aware of to w hom the research report is intended. In some universities the report is rst read by an English teacher. Hyderabad. attractive and convincing. even literary. Ch eck whether the words used clearly convey exactly the meaning intended. for example. I read Henry James or Virginia Woolf. Don’t do the entire second stage at a single stretch. Use clea r and unadorned English appropriate for the readers.106 of “Why are things the way they are?” by G. For example. For example. F or example. when using them one should check whether the mea ning is strictly correct. presentation and grammar can be improved by asking your friends. Make sure that the script clearly shows the originality of the author and importance of the outcome of the study performed. It doest not mean that functions satisfying Cauchy–Ri emann conditions should be analytic. Style. How do you avoid over generalization? For s ome details see. Third Draft This is the most important and di cult part of the writing. For an interesting fun about the usage of “I” an d “we” see p. ‘there may be’. P roper references of related work should be included. how one paragraph goes into another and so on. Care must be taken in using present and past tenses. Expressions such as ‘it s s’. I select some writers in order to learn. For inte       . A careful spell check must be made. ‘invariably’ should be avoided. Attention must be paid to the arguments m ade. It is better to avoid the use of personal pronoun. Use simple words as far as possible. This should be in the direction of making the report weighty. Give su cient time between revisions of two consecutive chapters. how they construct paragraphs. jargons. Current Science. ‘putting’.[5]. etc. Use past tense to describe the data collection and work done by others and you. for example. After this only a researcher can submit the thesis. Trivial matters and obvious conclusion should not be included and if there are such sentences then they sho uld be dropped. Use of “I” and “the author” should be avoi ded. S. and I don’t simply read the text as a novel. somewhat. grammar must be checked. Some supervisors like to use “we”. ‘since’. operato rs should be Hermitian are incorrect. I see how they construct sentences. Similar words and format should be avoided in succe ssive sentences. Indecisive words such as perhaps. etc. Similar sentences or sentences conveying same information must be eliminated. In this stage. 1992). Second Draft C. Chand rasekhar said. the quality of supporting evidences and conclu sion drawn. when writing “The experimental results agre e with the theory” we must check whether we are strengthening the experimental res ult or the theory. Usage of some particular words repeatedly. suggestions and correct English grammar. ‘extraordinary’. “I always sought to present my ndings in as elegant. Hermitian operators have real eigenvalues. Extreme care must be t aken in writing this draft. a form as possible. Both active and passive voice should be used wherever nec essary or appropriate. Over generalization of outcomes should be avoided. Complicated and lengthy sentences have to be rewritten and broken. Venkataraman (University Pr ess. He co rrects the grammar and give suggestions. logical ow of work presented.500 01). Horgan. This is the last stage.17 B. ‘very’. However. 67 (1994) pp. rather. In all the three st ages of report preparation one should follow a proper style of writing. During the break time think over the revision made in the previous chapter or section. The report is not for the supervisor. More importantly. should be replaced by appropriate equivalent w s. Unclear points. Do these in each chapter. Generalizing it as eigenv alues of operators are real or concluding that to have real eigenvalues. one can concentrate on nal touches and nish ing.” (J. authoritative . colle agues to read and give their critical comments. weakness of the report have to be identi ed and revised. ref. should be avoided.

D. assessments and discussions present rious stages it is advisable to give gap of few hink of the manuscript and record how to revise tension and half hearted write up. modest   . simple. certi cate page. a research report should consist of the following three components : (1) Preliminary pages (2) Main text (3) End matters A. This will avoid unnecessary / M. Generally. Preliminary Pages Preliminary pages include title of the report. Acknowledgement should be brief. Acknowledgements are written to thank those who have helped the researcher during their course of investigation.rpretation. l ist of publications and table of contents. acknowledgement. Between va days so that one can leisurely t it. For a book it is in the form of preface or forward. XVI. LAYOUT OF A RESEARCH REPORT / PH. DISSERTATION The layout of a research report is the list of various parts of the report/thesi s. THESIS tense is appropriate.PHIL.

It should contain answers to the questions: W hat was done in the project? Why is it of interest? How was it done? What were t he outcomes of the work done? What is the significance of the results? One shoul d emphasize the original contribution in the abstract. that is an outline of plan o f the work. confused and laking in precision. statem ents about the hypothesis or speci c questions to be explored. friends. rejection technique is redundant to the present thesis report. For example. The abstract of a Ph. Similarly. title of appendices and their page numbers. It is a necessary part of any scienti c and nons cienti c research report. Gaussian random numbers in the simulation. An important point is to consider the tone to adopt so that you sound genuine. Every research report should have an abstract . power spectrum. In the case of Ph. correlation dimension. 1. The theory and experimental set up used should be clearly described with proper references . Abstract and synopsis convey the essen ce and brief details about the report. thesis. Such a de nition should be giv en only once in the report. before its submission an elaborated a bstract of the thesis called synopsis has to be submitted to the institution whe re registration for Ph. regular an d irregular behaviour of solution of a system or di erential equation can be chara cterized by calculating the statistical tools such as Lyapunov exponents. In this part one can bring clearly the importance of the eld and the current st atus of it. for ex ample. say. If the Box–Muller method is used then it can be described. Introduction The purpose of the introduction is to give a brief outline of the eld of research . periodicity of the soluti on and probability distribution.18 and given only to substantial assistance provided by the guide. clerical helpers and god are normally considered super uous. It should contain a very short statement of the problem. correl ation function. section headings. agencies which provided nancial support.D. methodology and procedures adapted in the work and results of th e study in a very condensed form. The abstract can act as a tool to control the o w of ideas in the thesis. All the preliminary pages should be numbered with lower case roman n umbers. There are ma ny methods available to generate Gaussian random numbers.D. In this case describing other methods. It should also mention that the work is done by the researcher and not copied from any ot her source. It should contain an overview of the problem. its importance. sta of the department. Table of contents gives title of the ch apters. degree is made.D. Irreleva nt and less informative materials need not be presented. suppose the e ect of noise in a theoretical model equation is st udied by including. t hesis will be about three or four pages. To avoid this he may do it at the beginning of the presentation. The introductory chapter(s) should be prepared in su ch a way that it should interest the reader in the subject matter of research. I t should not be aimless. It can help you link in a logical way the reasons for the research and aims of the work. Various conce pts and de nitions of scienti c and technical terms necessary for understanding the research work undertaken are to be de ned and explained. There is a chance for a researcher to forget to say acknowledgement at the end of the presentation . Details of statistical to ols or quantities used in the study can be given in a separate chapter. De ne the technical terms used in the dissertation either by a reference to a pr eviously published de nition or by a precise de nition. In a research article it appears next to the author’s name and a liation. Related and relevant work done by others must be pointed out. collabo rators and institutions where part of the work has been carried out. aim of each of the chapters and their contents can be brie y sta ted. Here. Introductory part may     . Acknowl edgement should be made at the time of public viva voce also. librar ian. head of the d epartment. If the power spectrum is not used in a research work then there is no need to discuss in detail the systematic way of calculati ng it. This is followed by a preview of the scheme of the following chapters. Acknowledge ments made for routine participation by members of the researcher’s family. In the cer ti cate page the researcher should undertake that the work reported has not been r eported earlier by him or by any one else for the award of any degree.

the introductory part should cover the following aspects: (1) Features of the topic (2) Present status of the eld (3 ) Some unsolved problems (4) Statement of the problem undertaken (5) Importance and justi cation of the present problem B.contain one or two chapters. . about the research work: (1) Introduc tion (2) Actual research work performed and the ndings (3) Summary and conclusion . This part o f the thesis should provide the following. To be precise. Main Text The main text presents the details of the research work and results.

sophisticated softwares are available for curve tting. one can place a brief summary of the outcome of t he work presente in that chapter un er the hea ing conclusion. units used and other necessary information. the results should be presented in the form of gures. if obtaine in which chapter(s ) they are presente shoul be speci e . explanations... and (7) Methodology used. For example. (b) The following algorithm represents a major breakth rough . variables and parameters involved in the study. (e) There is a method to calculate . “lots of”. Figure caption should n ot be a reproduction of sentences of the text. “just about”. Even if t he content of the thesis is the work reported in his research publications. The correct usage is x or X (or typeset in italics).. Whether the answers to the questions are obtaine or not. The actual research work undertaken.. the student should reword the material without changing the meaning.. Tables shou ld be as precise as possible. “type of”. “pr ong with”. They can make the report quite attractive.R. proper explanat ion for observed variation of the data should be given. x or X should not be used as a variable name.. “modern times”. A set of data measuremen t without any analysis and discussion is of no use. Materials should be organized syst ematically and presented under appropriate headings and subheadings. Equations should not be repeated. (g) The method is started by cal culating the value of δ . technical details . (f) The program wil l use the data after it stored them to a CD . “you”. “s rms of”. give much more details. suggestions and possibly a better reorganization of the c ontent. T his part can be presented in a few chapters. Assignment: This is the heart of the research repor t/thesis. Avoid use of “today”.. prepare the conclusion and introduction parts. research work. They shoul be c lear an precise. Each chapter should contain introdu ction. Jokes or puns should not n d a place in the report. “something like”. “I”. Actual Research Work 3. “number of”. Italic or Greek letters or mathematical symbols can be used for variables and parameters. 2...19 (6) Preview of the scheme of the following chapters and their interrelationsh ip De nition of various scienti c terms used. It is i mportant to make a connection between two consecutive chapters either at the en of the rst or at the beginning of the secon .. writ e the chapters that describe your actual research work. results and conclusion. After this. Mention possible future research. Subramanian points out. Use “correct” or “incorrect” to refer to the results (10) Rewor d/rephrase the following and give the reason for the change: (a) Dinesh and Geet han [1] reported that . thesis repo rt one should not simply copy word by word from his research articles.. Data should be tted to an appro priate mathematical expression. Nowadays. As Professor P. Figures should be clearly explained in the text. conclusion and future direction form the main part of this portion. The relevant questions which are still not answere an new qu estions raise by the work of the present chapter have to be mentione .. Chapters shoul not look like repo rts of isolate work. After making a curve t or plotting a set of data. Wherever possible. When writing the actual work collect the term s and note down the matter which are to be de ned and described in the introductio n. di culties faced. results. (d) Geethan and I obtained . for preparing the Ph. D on’t use the words “bad”. of others.. Extreme care must be taken i n type setting mathematical equations. It must clearly state what it is... (c) Even though the above method is not earthshaking . “terrible” and “stupid”.. There shoul be a link between consecutive chapters an th ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ... Vectors should be clearly speci ed by an arrow over the name o r by bold face name. Conclusion At the en of each of chapter.D. There is no need to mention the circumstances ch the results are obtained. “hopefully” and “may”. All the gures should clearly specify the variables of the axes. illustrations and tables. “based on”. First.. All the equations should be cen tered and numbered.

compute r programs (if they are not easy to evelop) an copies of research publications that came out from the research work one. C. appen ices. En Matters The en part of the report generally consists of references. ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ .e link shoul be clearly brought out.

2002) pp.ctan. issertat ion an report preparation. Chapter hea ing must be in large size with bol face. Saha evan an M. Appen ices Appen ices are supplementary contents which are not place in the main report in or er to keep the continuity of the iscussion.D. . “Controlling Chaos” (Aca emic Press. Ditto with title “Implementation of NOR gate by a chaoti c Chua’s circuit” appeare in the journal calle ‘International Journal of Bifurcation s an Chaos’ in the year 2003.P.L. Murthy. 361–371.. for example T. (3) technic al etails an (4) a list of values of constants an parameters use in the work .L.” is the title of the report of R. Ph. “Nonlinear Systems” is t he title of the conference procee ings e ite by R. Parthasarathy.. “On the analytic structure an chaotic ynamics of certain ampe riven nonlinear oscillators”. References/Bibliography References or bibliographies are sources consulte .20 1. title. In: Nonlinear Systems.miktex. New De lhi. One coul ownloa the software LATEX a free of cost from the web sites: 1) http://www. Saha evan an 2) http://www. In the case of a book source its author(s). an Chaos 13 (2003) 2669–2672.D. 1993. J Bifur. Su eshna Sinha an W. Unpub lishe ). the volume number of correspon ing issue is 13 an the starting an en ing page numbers of the article are 2669 an 2672 respective ly. In the above “Intermittency. Typing the Report 2. title of the paper. Harish an K. First wor of a sentence shoul not be an abbrev If a report ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ . Repetition of references in the list shoul be avoi e . The procee ing was publishe in the year 2002 by Narosa Publishing House. thesis can be referre as shown below: S. New Delhi. (2) For an article which appeare in a conference procee ings a typica l format is given below: R. starting page number. Lakshmanan. D. place of publication. (2) a lengthy mathematical erivation or a large set of equations. (4) A Ph. Su eshna Sinha an W. (Bharathi asan University. Int. Murthy. Typing shoul conform to the set of requirements of the institution. Murali.P. They shoul be numbere by capital alphabets.N. volume number of the i ssue in which the article appeare . Each reference shoul contai n name(s) of author(s). References can be either in alph abetical or er accor ing to author’s name or the or er in which they are referre in the report. Latest softwares such as LATEX or WORD can be use for thesis. Lakshmanan (Narosa. (5) For an unpublishe manuscript ownloa e from internet one can note own the web site where it is available (see for example the references 5 an 6 of the references section of this manuscript). 1996). It may be type on both si es. Important terms when use rst time can be i n italic letters an bol face. Kapitaniak. they are relevant for un erstan ing the particular part of the report. (3) A book can be note own as. Murali . en page number an ye ar of publication. In the procee ings the article appears from the page 361 to page 371. Appen ices can be place at the en of report after references. “Intermittency an multifrac tality in iterate function systems”. thesis. Ditto. The thesis shoul be ouble line space an not more than 25 lines per page. year of publication an e ition shoul be given. (1) Suppose the reference is the paper of K. The above article can be speci e as (without mentioning the title of the arti cle) K. however. Each para graph shoul be right margin aligne . Harish an K. publishers’s name.N. E s. R. An appen ix may present (1) a b rief summary of a theory or a numerical metho use which can be foun elsewhere . So me examples are given below. journal name. San Diego. Make sure that each reference cite in the text is correctly ente re into the list of references.

Bef ore or imme iately after submitting har copies of the Ph.D. there is every likelihoo of it becoming useful for proper stu y. issertation to a u niversity. XVII. scientists of your epartment. show it to your prepare keeping all the above precautions in min . ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We acknowle ge valuable iscussion with Professor M. Ba lasubramanian an ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ . teachers. Dr K. Sivasankaran Nair. your parents an frien s. Such report enables the rea er to comp rehen the ata an to etermine for himself the vali ity of the conclusion.

R. This is true both f or theoretical an experimental work.D. “The average Ph.Devanathan. “Works are of value only if they give rise to better ones. rejection of a research articl e from a journal. How to get a Ph. “Science is at its best when it is a part of a way of life” . the experimental work is almos t a team work an successful research group REFERENCES: 1. There are some who are goo i n examinations with a goo memory for repro uction but lack in eeper un erstan ing of the subject an originality in approach.thi s is the inscription that is foun on the foun ation stone of Institute of Mathe matical Sciences. will increase the pace of learning an help to clarify an crystallize the problems. When I got by M . an average stu ent with an ability of average performance in the examinations. Please give your views on this point. Saravanavel. Dr. an that nally. A young researcher shoul not o the entire work in collaboration with other section3. Devanathan : At the initial stag es. This process of learning is ma e easier if the young researcher works in collaboration with others. In our manuscript we have me ntione the following: Each an every bit of work has to be one by the research er.. M. then he will not feel it as a bur en but pur sue it as a hobby. New Delhi. E. it woul be “pile higher an eeper.N. Prof.e u /cam en/TEC/ in en. thesis is nothing but transference of bones from one graveyar to another. an a composer his music. Subramanian. upon reaching my Ph. When I got by B.research. At the time of epression. S. During a research career. 1999) 5. We are very grateful to Professor P.. average or ba is base on his performance in the examinations. A Short interview with three eminent scientists. What kin of mo e of approach a researcher shoul have to face such situations? Prof. 4. The researcher is a vise to perform all the work starting from i enti cation o f the problem to report preparation by himself un er the gui ance of supervisor. If a person takes the research not b y compulsion but by his own choice.S.e u/mit. C. P. K.R. Interview with Professor V.rutgers. the co-workers come to the rescue an prop up the sagging spirit.” – Alexan er von Humbol t. 2. 1..N.D.S. http://www. Michelson.Su eshna Sinha for their suggestions to you ng researchers. Allahaba . Murthy for a critical rea ing of the manuscript an their suggestions whi ch greatly improve the presentation of the manuscript. Devanathan : Motivation an innate interest in th ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ . if con ucte within the group. I woul be able to “bullshit”. 1993). V. Pugh.” Success an failure are like two si es of a coin an one is boun to face them alternatively in the course of one’s research career.html 6. V. nee not feel i erent if he has originality in thinking an se lf-con ence. Subramanian an Dr K. Dobie. I woul have “more shit”. the assessment of a stu ent as goo . Elation at the time of success an epression at the time of failure are usually mitigate if o ne works in collaboration with The weekly informal semin ars. We are thankful to Prof.” – Albert A. etc. There are a few who are goo both in examination s an research. 1985). what kin of approach he shoul follow? P rof. a young researcher may come across isappo inting moments like not getting expecte results. Baker. Phillips an D.cs. iana.. Spangenburg an D. http://www.? (UBSP D.12. At present. Devanathan : Usually.21 Dr E. Devanathan : “Success begets success an failure b egets failure. Moser.” – S. Devanathan What are the requirements for a succes sful research career? Prof.D.P.” – Frank J.Murthy an Dr. V. successful research career. Kothari. So. There are some who are not so go o in examinations but show originality in thinking an follow unconventional or novel approach to the subject. the researcher gets the support of the research group in which he is working an he acquires the knowle ge of the group e ortlessly. 3.K. New Delhi.html “It seems to me that scienti c research shoul be regar e as a painter regar s his art. Chennai an truly escribes the correct aptitu e for a success ful research career. Research Metho ology (Kitab Maha l. V.P. a poet his poems. Is it possible for an average stu ent to come up with novel results in a research problem? If so. Research Metho ology: Metho s an Techniques (Wile y Eastern. The History of Science i n the Eighteenth Century (University Press. V. Hy eraba . 1987).

e topic of his research pursuit are the requirements for a .

Interview with Dr Su e shna Sinha Despite unavoi able tasks a woman of our country has.especially when their chil ren are young.P. The struggle that you go through for obtaining an insight into a phen omenon or getting a hol of a nuance an the extessy that you get when you get a n un erstan ing of a phenomenon or obtaining a new way of explaining of that phe nomenon may be unmatche . elaborate on this statement of yours. The very act of speaking of what you have one removes the cob-webs in your un erstan ings. How are you bene te from this? Dr K. What is require for oing goo research is an enthusiasm.” This is your suggestion to youn g researchers. The har est thing is not really the number of hours of work one can put in . I always make it to give a seminar on my work to a larger au ience before submitting it to a journal for publication. They shoul not think that a break in career is irreversi ble. What are your a vice an suggestions to young researchers particularly to young women researchers? Dr Su eshna Sinha : It is in ee somewhat har er for women to concentrate on career pl anning . Many times you have men tione : “Doing research is an entertainment. Murthy : A certain basic knowle g e about physics an mathematics is must for starting research. A lso women may n it har to pursue aca emic work at certain points in their life . Please. I feel t his is a very goo an helpful practice.they nee to really plan the aca emic work they hope to achieve every single ay.P. In what way will thi s be helpful to a researcher? Dr K. brief it for the bene t of youngsters. Publication of that result an the accept ance that you get from your colleagues become secon ary. Dr K.” Please. Here iscipline comes in.N.but they must preserve the self-con ence an will to return to aca emic after s uch times are over. They must realize that in 3–4 eca es of working life – a few ye ars is not a big eal. Since women will probably manage to get fewer hou rs of aca emic work one every ay . This ecstasy is nothing to o with what yours creative have impact on science an society.but the quality of concentration one can achi eve. I woul say that youngste rs shoul have this attitu e towar s whatever they o. you have the practic e of iscussing the salient features of your n ings with a few other researchers. you have become one of the lea ing scientists in theoretical physics. It is thi s makes the research an enterprise of joy.P. The p oint is to learn e ciency – an to appreciate that one oes not have the bene t of unl imite time (as others will make justi able eman s on your time – like chil ren). Is it necessary for a beginner of research to learn all the aspects of theoretical. The har work that you have put in a prob lem oes not tire you an rest be assure if you approach a research problem wi th joy an you will get a goo result.N. Murthy The common belief is that research is laborious an painful. Before preparing the nal write-up of your research work.22 is one in which the group lea er allots the speci e work to in ivi uals taking into account his ability an expertise. Interview with Dr K. Publishing in repute journals (like Physical Review Letters) is a ream or prestige for many physicists.P. Murthy : After you have complete a pie ce of work I n it is a goo practice to iscuss with your colleagues the importa nt n ings that you have ma e. it is the ecstasy of what Einstein got when he create special theory of relativity or Feynman when he create qua ntum electro ynamics or Raman when he foun the so-calle Raman lines. I have always realize that I got a better un ersta n ing of what I have one when I trie to explain to my colleagues about my work in a convincing way. That is it. 3.N. However. experimental an numerical techniques involve in a topic before he take-up an actual research problem? Dr K. Murthy : Research not only constitute a iscovery or creating a new para ise but also consist of obtaining a personalize un erstan ing of a p henomenon. One will have to accept that househol tasks will always be there. It is that makes a research an entert ainment. So it is most bene cial to iscipline onese lf into shutting o all aily chores from one’s min for some hours every ay. Ignorance of even some of the basic elements is no hin rance for creativity. a commitment an willingness to go back to basics an learn them rig ht. Sever al things you learn oing research. “Enjoy oing research an approach it as an entertainment an a mo e of getting happiness. What are the secret of yours for regular publicat ions in repute journals? What type of problems one has to take up for getting p ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ . Murthy : In any human enterprise it is i mportant that one likes what one oes.N. The satisfaction that y ou obtaine by oing a job well is a rewar by itself. 2.P.N.

The commonest groun s for rejection is l ack of broa interest . Secon point is persistence. This is very subjective of course. always try an make a case o f the general interest of your results. at the outset. Take all criticisms of the paper ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ .ublishe in top-level journals? Dr Su eshna Sinha : With journals like Physical Review Letters one must remember two things: First. one shoul make an attractive statement of the general scope of one’s work (that is.el be intereste in rea ing my paper). an being In ian oes not help. But still. try to answer this hypothetical question : Why shoul someone not oing research in this exact narrow sub.

what ar e the ways a young researcher can follow? Dr Su eshna Sinha : One shoul not jus t passively rea papers or books! One shoul try to work it all out in some eta il.).23 seriously (an on’t reply nee lessly aggressively to the referees) an try to answer all the criticisms. it is almost assure t hat at some point or the other. an on’t give up till the last roun ! H ow coul a beginner of research come up with novel results? Dr Su eshna Sinha : Well. There is an element of goo fortune here! If the gui e of the young researcher can i ent ify a problem that is technically easy to tackle – but whose results can be of con si erable potential interest – then there is a goo chance for the young researche r to get a novel result. ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ . But this is not in the han s of the young researcher. I think coming up with novel results is not entirely in one’s han . In this matter I always tell my stu ents: whether you get a nove l result tomorrow is a matter of luck. timing etc. but in a career spanning several eca es. if you work stea ily an think eeply about the subject. you will get a goo i ea which will lea to a no vel result! To get a eep insight into the topic or problem of research. While rea ing passively one feels one has un erstoo – but only when one is tr ying to solve something oes one gain any real un erstan ing. Then resubmit. an then ask oneself how one woul have attempte to work on such a problem an only then look at what th e authors have one. a n most often not in the han s of the gui e either (as it epen s on the subject . In fact it is a gr eat i ea to look at the title an abstract of a paper.

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