Presentation on theme: "TOOLS AND TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR RESEARCH"— Presentation transcript:
1 TOOLS AND TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR RESEARCH Prepared by Debra Umberson Department of Sociology and Population Research Center University of Texas, Austin
2 TOOLS AND TIPSAGENDAS. I always keep an “agenda” that keeps track of my professional and research goals for the year. You can use any variety of formats for an agenda and I’ve included two examples here. You may not meet all of the goals on your agenda each semester/year but having an agenda will help to keep you focused and organized. I update my agenda every few months (this might mean just changing the dates for more realistic deadlines).FLOWCHART—THE EDITORIAL PROCESS. I’ve included a flowchart that shows the decision points that editors follow when reviewing manuscripts. This flowchart shows the process that we follow at Journal of Health and Social Behavior. But most academic journals follow a similar model.QUESTIONS THAT REVIEWERS WILL ASK THEMSELVES WHEN THEY REVIEW YOUR MANSUCRIPT. Before submitting a manuscript for review, you should consider how reviewers are likely to answer these questions. If you see problems ahead, fix them before you submit your manuscript for review.HOW TO STRUCTURE THE INTRODUCTION TO A PAPER. There is a basic recipe that you can follow when you write the introduction to your paper. You can save yourself a lot of time and headaches if you follow the recipe. I’m not saying this is the only recipe that works—but this one is simple and straightforward.
3 RESEARCH AGENDA-EXAMPLE Articles to Complete & SubmitDissertation chapter on gender and health (JMF by June 30)Dissertation chapter on widowhood and health (AJPH by Dec 30)Research Project TasksRecruit subjects by Feb 1Complete interviews by March 30Analyze interviews by Nov 30Job Search TasksPrepare research & teaching statement by August 30Send letters of interest through the fallPrepare job talk by Sept 30Go on interviews late fall and early spring
4 RESEARCH AGENDA-EXAMPLE Manuscripts to complete and submitRelationships and Health (submit to JHSB by July 30)Stress and BMI (submit to SSM by October 30)Widowhood and Depression (Submit to J GER by December 30)Grant proposal-NIACompile material for lit review by Jan 1Draft of proposal by Feb 5Request comments from colleagues and revise through MarchSubmit to NIA June 5Conferences & presentationsASA (August)RWJF annual meeting (October)APHA (November)
5 Flow Chart—The Review Process RejectWithout Review Send Out For Review Conditional Accept Reject Revise and Resubmit ACCEPTREJECT: MER ROLE AND EIC. 2nd opinion. What we’re looking for (RQ, angle, relevance, etc.). Mission statement.Send out for review. Usually to 3. Tell how we choose reviewers.Reject Revise and Resubmit Again Conditional Accept ACCEPTPopulation Research CenterThe University of Texas at Austin
6 QUESTIONS REVIEWERS WILL ASK What is the unique contribution to the literature? What does this article tell us that we didn’t know before and why is that important. Is the contribution to knowledge substantial, modest, limited, or negligible?Is the method of analysis commendable and appropriate or does it have problems or serious flaws?Will this article stimulate additional research (substantially, modestly, a limited extent, negligibly)?
7 Fatal Flaws—The Reviewers’ Perspective The most common problems identified by reviewers:Poor theoretical framing, underdeveloped theory/argumentInadequate dataUnderdeveloped or flawed analysisWeak link between theory/framing and analysisThe “so what” factorThey are busy.They are good at what they do. They are experts.Population Research CenterThe University of Texas at Austin
8 Basic Format for Writing the Introduction to a Paper (usually no more than 2 pages, double-spaced) Paragraph 1: the big picture, the hook.Focus on the public problem/issue: For example, “the most important debate in sociology is…” This is where you think about why your Congressman should care; why your mom should care.The last sentence of this paragraph should raise the SPECIFIC TOPIC of your paper.Paragraph 2: Specifically, what you are going to do.“Therefore, I will….” OR “In this spirit, this study will…”Don’t talk about the data/method as special or important UNLESS that’s part of your contribution (e.g., you are applying a particular technique to the data in order to provide new insights…).Your research question(s) here.Paragraph 3: This study is important because…