Category: Doing research

Blog posts that talk about various aspects of conducting research studies, including research methods.

What goes wrong when students reflect on their research methods

In 2017 Elena and I ran the IT3010 course at NTNU on the topic of qualitative research methods in computer science. This was the first time we had the course run as a realistic run-up to a research conference with papers presented by students. The last deliverable in the course was a reflection report where each student was asked to reflect on the who process. Here I want to summarize some tips to students after having graded this last deliverable.

Six management ideas applied to research leadership

Researchers can be regarded as extreme knowledge workers. A fresh research manager will no doubt face some challenges: How do you lead people who know more than you, who are more intelligent than you, who can think more strategically than you? Management ideas that work for Walmart or for Microsoft will not work for research organizations. But what will work then?

The Discovery of Grounded Theory

I have now, after three months, finished reading this seminal work on qualitative methods by Corbin and Strauss. I have heard this is the book that defined rigor in qualitative research once and for all. I am not surprised at all.

Using documents in social research

Most qualitative research is concerned with oral data. But documents can be equally important in improving our understanding of phenomena. And when it comes to documents, it is not only their content that counts.

Empathic innovation

Are you an innovator? Did you ever make a solution that no one wanted to use? Did you ever reflect on the reason why it happened? If you did, I bet one of the reasons was you lost contact with your users.

Technology as intervention: How to best evaluate technology

Evaluate your new technology like doctors evaluate the effect of a new medicine or a new treatment on patients. In this way you will put your users’ problems into focus instead of being guided and biased by your passion for technology.

How not to measure scientific productivity

Ever since funding agencies started demanding some way to measure a return on their investment, administrators have been coming up with ways to measure scientists’ performance. And scientists have been coming up with ways to maximize their value under any…

PLoS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio…

The management side of your project

Apart from the scientific and methodological aspects of your research, it is often very wise to consider yourself as the project manager for your research project. As a project manager you will sometimes need to take distance from your project’s…