Research Applications to Consider
The value that science has brought to the world is undeniably immeasurable. But the information gleaned from research is only as reliable as the scientists who conduct the research. Attention to the scientific method and the applications of research has maintained the integrity of the scientific community and the following considerations can assist you in your research endeavors.
What is already known about your topic?
The first step to a successful research study is a clear understanding of what the current literature dictates as relevant knowledge. Following a comprehensive literature review, it is important to consider what gaps in knowledge remain. If a recent review is available on the project's topic, this is a wonderful starting point.
What experiments will answer your questions?
Now that you have determined how your hypothesis may bridge the gap of understanding in your field, you must decide which experiments will adequately answer your research question. No assay is identical; each assay has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, to directly address your question, if your assay of choice does not have the appropriate sensitivity to detect an analyte of interest, you cannot effectively determine whether the analyte is missing from your sample(s) or if the analyte is below the assay's limit of detection. If you would like to better understand how Biorbyt products can help you address your research question, contact email@example.com for your scientific or technical support needs.
How do you plan to display your results?
Written results, while effective, are often difficult to interpret without visual aid. Yet, sometimes less attention is paid to the graphs, charts, and diagrams included within results sections. Even worse, an improperly planned visual can lead to misinterpretation of data or unintentional bias. Ideally, carefully mapped templates prior to experimental testing can aid in reducing bias or potential misinterpretation. This practice is not specific to data visualization; similarly to data science, mapping out analysis plans prevents data-driven results and other biases.
How will you report your findings?
The goal of many research scientists is to publish results in a well-respected, internationally-recognized scientific journal. However, scientific conferences, funding applications, and presentations are all additional venues for reporting research results. Depending on your specific research area, these options may vary for you. Nevertheless, maintaining an understanding of your goals for the dissemination of your findings can prevent unnecessary waste of time and resources throughout the experimental process. This perspective will ensure experiments are conducted with the intention of distribution to the intended audience.
How does your research translate?
The question that plagues all scientists at least once in our careers is this: how will this research make a difference in the world? Different areas of research may have different possibilities for real-world implications but all possibilities that aim to bridge basic and applied research can be summarized using Pasteur's quadrant. The table, analyzing both considerations of use and the quest for fundamental understanding results in the following three classes of research:
Pure Basic Research
Pure Applied Research
Use-inspired Basic Research
Depending on the class your research falls within, the degree of separation from translational research may vary. Regardless of whether your research directly translates to humans and/or animals, or whether the question's sole purpose is to create knowledge, it is important to keep translation in mind when analyzing the significance of any results. As an example, levels of markers in vitro may not always be relevant in vivo.
All in all, careful consideration of the many facets of the scientific process maintains scientists' integrity while conducting research. While this list is not exhaustive, Biorbyt hopes these five research application considerations will help you achieve your individual research goals.