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Top tips: actually starting your research

Watch this video montage of university researchers giving top tips on what to think about to actually get started on your research & what tools to use
RUTH BARTLETT: I think my main piece of advice for someone who’s starting out with a research project is to look at what’s happening around them.
WILL JENNINGS: So you want it to be interesting, something that’s going to motivate you.
DAVID READ: So make sure it hasn’t been asked before.
JON COPLEY: Spend quite a bit of time defining the question.
WILL JENNINGS: I think you need to ask a question that’s actually falsifiable.
LIZ CLUETT: Because they’re going to know what their experience is. They’re going to know what’s important to them.
DRAGANA MLADENOVIC: So you need to be a bit honest as well.
DAVID READ: If possible, ask an expert for advice. If you’re not working in the sensitive area of research, that might be a useful way to get some tips.
LIZ CLUETT: So talk to the participants or potential participants, talk to staff, read the literature and go from there.
JON COPLEY: Because that will help you focus all of your efforts when you actually get into doing the research.
LIZ CLUETT: I don’t think there is one research tool that I use.
RUTH BARTLETT: It’s not just about asking someone to write in a diary, in a notebook.
WILL JENNINGS: I like to compile lots of data.
FILIPPO FAZI: Very often, we don’t have to look outside of us to try and find the best research tool.
LIZ CLUETT: I think it depends on what the topic is.
JON COPLEY: There are so many possible research tools out there now. Of course, the internet is a major source of information but we have to be very careful.
DRAGANA MLADENOVIC: I find mind mapping exceptionally useful.
FILIPPO FAZI: The best research tool is always the brain.
LIZ CLUETT: What would work with academics and staff in health care wouldn’t already work with patients. So it very much depends on what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, how you’re doing it and that’s about seeking lots of advice before you start.
RUTH BARTLETT: So it’s a really flexible, versatile research tool.

Our university researchers give their top tips of things to think about to actually get you started. They also talk about their favourite research tool.

What are your thoughts after watching the video? Do you find anything surprising about the way in which each researcher describes their favourite research tool?
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Developing Your Research Project

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