What Is Academic Research?

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The term “academic research” describes researchers’ systematic and creative work to advance knowledge. These projects usually involve the collection, organization, and analysis of information. Some projects are extensions of past works, while others are entirely new. Whether an academic assignment is a new topic, an expansion of an existing one, or an original one, its purpose and process are similar. The critical difference is that academic research is typically performed in universities. So this article will answer the question – what is academic research?

Considerations before doing academic research

If you are interested in doing academic research on a topic, you might want to conduct a preliminary search first. This initial search can help you establish the context of your research and determine if adequate information is already available. To do a preliminary investigation, try searching online for relevant keywords in the library catalog, periodical databases, and even on the internet. If you are still unsure of your subject, consider consulting lecture notes, textbooks, or reserve readings for background information. In case you cannot find enough information online, you can send reprints or drafts of those papers. Be sure to explain your research objectives and progress.

There are also citation styles that you may want to consider. Citing sources will give appropriate credit to the authors, and it will prevent readers from duplicating your research. The two most popular citation styles are MLA and APA. Citing sources in proper format helps you avoid plagiarism, and the final step is proofreading your paper to ensure that you have not overlooked anything important. You might even find a new source that you never even considered.

Criteria

When reviewing the quality of an article, there are several criteria for Academic Research. The paper aims to advance knowledge in a particular field or discipline. The work should be systematic, organized, and have a lasting impact on the profession, field, industry, or public. A well-written article is more than 800 words. If you find a poor article, change it or improve it. 

Many universities have developed their evaluation criteria for evaluating researchers. Typically, these criteria are based on peer-reviewed publications and other traditional metrics. Non-traditional criteria such as authorship order, journal impact factor, and national or international reputation are not used as frequently. Instead, universities should consider using these criteria as part of their evaluation process to promote better science. They can also influence the recruitment of new faculty or tenure and enable existing faculty.

Time commitment

Professors often have many responsibilities, including teaching, research, and university and industry services. Generally, professors spend very little time on their research. Instead, their time is taken up by education and other management tasks. Assistant and associate professors have better luck carving out time for their research, but their time is also limited. Fortunately, academic careers allow them to pursue intellectual interests outside the university. 

Typical class schedules for compulsory subjects are during the day and later in the evening. Full-time students may nominate the best time to attend classes. On the other hand, electives can be taken as intensives over two weeks in the summer and winter. Those who study part-time may choose their preferred class schedules based on their academic program. While full-time students typically have the option of selecting their classes, part-time students may choose to take them during the day.

Impact

A robust analytical approach is a prerequisite for maximizing returns from research investments. By defining impact metrics, researchers can identify and remedy dysfunctions in research programs and increase the value of research investments during planning and execution. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework sets out criteria to measure the impact of research in four domains: health, economy, society, and environment. In addition, the authors discuss how to measure the impact of research beyond the academic realm, including addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by different societal sectors.

To assess the impact of research, researchers must engage with different stakeholders. They must understand their needs and the level of expertise of the audience. Otherwise, their research findings may be ineffective for policymakers, beneficiaries, or stakeholders. In addition, it is essential to consider the change researchers want to bring about early in the research process. Some research scholars have observed that their insights can help solve societal problems and build new companies and products. Hence, academic researchers should focus on achieving this goal and assessing its impact.