Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to increase your knowledge of research methods and your research competence?

PhD studies have been increasing my knowledge of research methods. I have been benefiting from taking the class on research methods, and the discussion and the assignments that takes place around methods. Further, I have benefited from the courses, which forces me to read and evaluate research papers each week.

My ideas for improving one's research competence is now being shaped by my own experiences here in the UWO LIS PhD program(me).

  1. Have an academic mentor who selects and helps you to choose quality academic research journals and papers to read each week
  2. Read a research paper with a different research method each week, while evaluating its strengths and weaknesses
  3. Discuss the research paper (in 2), with your academic mentor after you have read and evaluated it. 
  4. In conjunction, read books on research methods to help you evaluate how well each research paper function in carrying out the research. however recognise that research method textbooks are still primarily the perspectives and opinions of the authors.
The main issue though is to read research critically each week and have discussions about such research. In addition, one needs to read on all research methods that are practiced in one's discipline as well as available for application to one's field, so that one can be thoroughly appreciative of the many ways that one can approach research in the discipline/field of study. Research methods are mainly a matter of applying the right technique to investigate the right question.

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