RESEARCH METHODOLOGYS. RajasekarSchool of Physics, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli – 620 024, Tamilnadu, IndiaP. PhilominathanDepartment of Physics, Sri AVVM Pushpam College,Poondi, Thanjavur – 613 503, Tamilnadu, IndiaV. ChinnathambiDepartment of Physics, AKGS Arts College, Srivaikundam – 628 619, Tamilnadu, IndiaIn this manuscript various components of research are listed and briefly discussed. The topicsconsidered in this write-up cover a part of the research methodology paper of Master of Philosophy(M.Phil.) course and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) course. The manuscript is intended for studentsand research scholars of science subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, biologyand computer science. Various stages of research are discussed in detail. Special care has been takento motivate the young researchers to take up challenging problems. Ten assignment works are given.For the benefit of young researchers a short interview with three eminent scientists is included atthe end of the manuscript.I. WHAT IS RESEARCH?Research is a logical and systematic search for newand useful information on a particular topic. It is aninvestigation of finding solutions to scientific and socialproblems through objective and systematic analysis. Itis a search for knowledge, that is, a discovery of hiddentruths. Here knowledge means information about matters.The information might be collected from differentsources like experience, human beings, books, journals,nature, etc. A research can lead to new contributions tothe existing knowledge. Only through research is it possibleto make progress in a field. Research is done with thehelp of study, experiment, observation, analysis, comparisonand reasoning. Research is in fact ubiquitous. Forexample, we know that cigarette smoking is injurious tohealth; heroine is addictive; cow dung is a useful sourceof biogas; malaria is due to the virus protozoan plasmodium;AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) isdue to the virus HIV (Human Immuno deficiency Virus).How did we know all these? We became aware of allthese information only through research. More precisely,it seeks predictions of events and explanations, relationshipsand theories for them.A. What are the Objectives ofResearch?The prime objectives of research are(1) to discover new facts(2) to verify and test important factsElectronic address: [email protected](3) to analyse an event or process or phenomenon toidentify the cause and effect relationship(4) to develop new scientific tools, concepts and theoriesto solve and understand scientific and nonscientificproblems(5) to find solutions to scientific, nonscientific and socialproblems and(6) to overcome or solve the problems occurring in ourevery day life.B. What Makes People do Research?This is a fundamentally important question. No personwould like to do research unless there are some motivatingfactors. Some of the motivations are the following:(1) to get a research degree (Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.)) along with its benefits like better employment,promotion, increment in salary, etc.(2) to get a research degree and then to get a teachingposition in a college or university or become ascientist in a research institution(3) to get a research position in countries like U.S.A.,Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc.and settle there(4) to solve the unsolved and challenging problems(5) to get joy of doing some creative work(6) to acquire respectability(7) to get recognition(8) curiosity to find out the unknown facts of an event2(9) curiosity to find new things(10) to serve the society by solving social problems.Some students undertake research without any aim possiblybecause of not being able to think of anything elseto do. Such students can also become good researchersby motivating themselves toward a respectable goal.In the words of Prof.P.Balaram [Current Science,87(2004)1319] Ph.D. degree is a passport to a research career.The Ph.D. period often influence a research scholarto make or to break in a scientific career.C. Importance of ResearchResearch is important both in scientific and nonscientificfields. In our life new problems, events, phenomenaand processes occur every day. Practically implementablesolutions and suggestions are required for tacklingnew problems that arise. Scientists have to undertakeresearch on them and find their causes, solutions,explanations and applications. Precisely, research assistsus to understand nature and natural phenomena.Some important avenues for research are:(1) A research problem refers to a difficulty which a researcheror a scientific community or an industry ora government organization or a society experiences.It may be a theoretical or a practical situation. Itcalls for a thorough understanding and possible solution.(2) Research on existing theories and concepts help usidentify the range and applications of them.(3) It is the fountain of knowledge and provide guidelinesfor solving problems.(4) Research provides basis for many government policies.For example, research on the needs and desiresof the people and on the availability of revenues tomeet the needs helps a government to prepare abudget.(5) It is important in industry and business for highergain and productivity and to improve the qualityof products.(6) Mathematical and logical research on business andindustry optimizes the problems in them.(7) It leads to the identification and characterizationof new materials, new living things, new stars, etc.(8) Only through research can inventions be made; forexample, new and novel phenomena and processessuch as superconductivity and cloning have beendiscovered only through research.(9) Social research helps find answers to social problems.They explain social phenomena and seek solutionto social problems.(10) Research leads to a new style of life and makes itdelightful and glorious .Emphasizing the importance of research Louis Pasteursaid “I beseech you to take interest in these sacred domainscalled laboratories. Ask that there be more andthat they be adorned for these are the temples of thefuture, wealth and well-being. It is here that humanitywill learn to read progress and individual harmonyin the works of nature, while humanity’s own works areall too often those of babarism, fanaticism and destruction.”(Louis Paster – article by S.Mahanti, Dream 2047,p.29–34 (May 2003)).In order to know what it means to do research one mayread scientific autobiographies like Richard Feynmann’s“Surely you are joking, Mr.Feynmann!”, Jim Watson’s“The double helix”, “Science as a way of life – A biographyof C.N.R. Rao” by Mohan Sundararajan, etc.II. RESEARCH METHODS AND RESEARCHMETHODOLOGYIs there any difference between research methods andresearch methodology?Research methods are the various procedures,schemes, algorithms, etc. used in research. All themethods used by a researcher during a research studyare termed as research methods. They are essentiallyplanned, scientific and value-neutral. They includetheoretical procedures, experimental studies, numericalschemes, statistical approaches, etc. Research methodshelp us collect samples, data and find a solution to aproblem. Particularly, scientific research methods callfor explanations based on collected facts, measurementsand observations and not on reasoning alone. They acceptonly those explanations which can be verified byexperiments.Research methodology is a systematic way to solvea problem. It is a science of studying how research isto be carried out. Essentially, the procedures by whichresearchers go about their work of describing, explainingand predicting phenomena are called research methodology.It is also defined as the study of methods by whichknowledge is gained. Its aim is to give the work plan ofresearch.A. Importance of Research Methodology3in Research StudyIt is necessary for a researcher to design a methodologyfor the problem chosen. One should note that evenif the method considered in two problems are same themethodology may be different. It is important for the researcherto know not only the researchmethods necessaryfor the research under taken but also the methodology.For example, a researcher not only needs to know how tocalculate mean, variance and distribution function for aset of data, how to find a solution of a physical systemdescribed by mathematical model, how to determine theroots of algebraic equations and how to apply a particularmethod but also need to know (i) which is a suitablemethod for the chosen problem?, (ii) what is the orderof accuracy of the result of a method?, (iii) what is theefficiency of the method? and so on. Consideration ofthese aspects constitute a research methodology.To understand the difference between research methodsand methodology let us consider the problem of findingthe roots of the quadratic equation#p#分页标题#e#ax2 + bx + c = 0. (1)The formulas often used for calculating the roots of eq.(1)arex+ = −b + pb2 − 4ac2a, (2)x− = −b − pb2 − 4ac2a · (3)These formulas are, however, p inaccurate when |b| b2 − 4ac. The equivalent formulas arex+ = −2cb + pb2 − 4ac, (4)x− = −2cb − pb2 − 4ac. (5)When |b| pb2 − 4ac one must proceed with caution toavoid loss of precision. If b > 0, then x+ should be computedwith the formula given by eq.(2) and x− should becomputed with the formula given by eq.(3). If b < 0 thenx+ should be evaluated using eq.(4) and x− should beevaluated using eq.(5). Here the two formulas constitutethe method of finding roots of the equation of the formgiven by eq.(1). If you use the formulas given by eqs.(4–5) instead of the formulas given by eqs.(2–3) (often usedand familiar to us) to compute the roots then you shouldclearly explain why the formulas in eqs.(4–5) were chosenand why the other formulas given by eqs.(2–3) were notconsidered. This is what we mean by a research methodology.That is, research methodology tells you whichmethod or formula or algorithm has to be used out ofthe various existing methods or formulas or algorithms.More precisely, research methods help us get a solutionto a problem. On the other hand, research methodologyis concerned with the explanation of the following:(1) Why is a particular research study undertaken?(2) How did one formulate a research problem?(3) What types of data were collected?(4) What particular method has been used?(5) Why was a particular technique of analysis of dataused?The study of research methods gives training to applythem to a problem. The study of research methodologyprovides us the necessary training in choosing methods,materials, scientific tools and training in techniques relevantfor the problem chosen.Assignment:(1) List out at least 10 methods which you have learnedin your UG and PG courses and write their purposeor application.(2) Distinguish between research methods and researchtechniques.(3) Distinguish between research methods and researchmethodology with an example of your own choice.III. TYPES OF RESEARCHResearch is broadly classified into two main classes:1. Fundamental or basic research2. Applied researchA. Basic ResearchBasic research is an investigation on basic principlesand reasons for occurrence of a particular event or processor phenomenon. It is also called theoretical research.Study or investigation of some natural phenomenon or relatingto pure science are termed as basic research. Basicresearches some times may not lead to immediate use orapplication. It is not concerned with solving any practicalproblems of immediate interest. But it is originalor basic in character. It provides a systematic and deepinsight into a problem and facilitates extraction of scientificand logical explanation and conclusion on it. It helpsbuild new frontiers of knowledge. The outcomes of basicresearch form the basis for many applied research. Researchersworking on applied research have to make useof the outcomes of basic research and explore the utilityof them.Research on improving a theory or a method is alsoreferred as fundamental research. For example, suppose4a theory is applicable to a system provided the systemsatisfies certain specific conditions. Modifying the theoryto apply it to a general situation is a basic research.Attempts to find answers to the following questions actuallyform basic research. Why are materials like that?What they are? How does a crystal melt? Why is soundproduced when water is heated? Why do we feel difficultwhen walking on seashore? Why are birds arrange themin ‘>’ shape when flying in a group?Fundamental research leads to a new theory or a newproperty of matter or even the existence of a new matter,the knowledge of which has not been known or reportedearlier. For example, fundamental research on(1) astronomy may lead to identification of new planetsor stars in our galaxy,(2) elementary particles results in identification of newparticles,(3) complex functions may leads to new patterns ornew properties associated with them,(4) differential equations results in new types of solutionsor new properties of solutions not known sofar.(5) chemical reactions leads to development of newcompounds, new properties of chemicals, mechanismof chemicals reactions, etc.(6) medicinal chemistry leads to an understanding ofphysiological action of various chemicals and drugs.(7) structure, contents and functioning of various partsof human body helps us identify the basis for certaindiseases.B. Applied ResearchIn an applied research one solves certain problems employingwell known and accepted theories and principles.Most of the experimental research, case studies and interdisciplinaryresearch are essentially applied research. Appliedresearch is helpful for basic research. A research,the outcome of which has immediate application is alsotermed as applied research. Such a research is of practicaluse to current activity. For example, research onsocial problems have immediate use. Applied research isconcerned with actual life research such as research onincreasing efficiency of a machine, increasing gain factorof production of a material, pollution control, preparingvaccination for a disease, etc. Obviously, they have immediatepotential applications.Some of the differences between basic and applied researchare summarized in table 1.1. Thus, the centralaim of applied research is to find a solution for a practicalproblem which warrants solution for immediate use,whereas basic research is directed towards finding informationthat has broad base of applications and thus addnew information to the already existing scientific knowledge.C. Quantitative and QualitativeMethodsThe basic and applied researches can be quantitative orqualitative or even both. Quantitative research is basedon the measurement of quantity or amount. Here a processis expressed or described in terms of one or morequantities. Qualitative research is concerned with qualitativephenomenon involving quality. It is non-numerical,descriptive, applies reasoning and uses words. Its aim isto get the meaning, feeling and describe the situation.We measure and weigh things in the study of substanceor structure. Can we measure or weigh patterns? Wecannot measure or weigh patterns. But to study patternswe must map a configuration of relationships. Thatis, structures involve quantities whereas patterns involvequalities. If one wishes to investigate why certain dataare random then it is a qualitative research. If the aimis to study how random the data is, what is the mean,variance and distribution function then it becomes quantitative.Explaining how digestion of food takes place inour body is a qualitative description. It does not involveany numbers or data and quantities.The detection of a particular compound is a qualitativeanalysis. This can be done by carrying out physical orchemical tests. Determination of exact amount of a par-TABLE I: Differences between basic and applied researches.Basic research Applied researchSeeks generalization Studies individual or specificcases without the objective togeneralizeAims at basic processes Aims at any variable whichmakes the desired differenceAttempts to explain whythings happenTries to say how things can bechangedTries to get all the facts Tries to correct the factswhich are problematicReports in technical languageof the topicReports in common language5ticular compound present in a volume is essentially quantitativeanalysis. This can be done by volumetric, gravimetricand calorimetric methods or instrumental methods.Experimental and simulation studies are generallyquantitative research.D. Other Types of ResearchOther types of research include action research (factfindings to improve the quality of action in the socialworld), explanatory research (searching explanations forevents and phenomena, for example finding answer tothe question why are the things like what they are?), exploratoryresearch (getting more information on a topic)and comparative research (obtaining similarities and differencesbetween events, methods, techniques, etc.). Fordiscussion on these types of research see refs.[1–3].Assignment:(4) List out at least 10 theoretical and applied methodswhich you have learned in your UG, PG courses andwrite their features in two or three sentences.(5) Write at least 20 questions in your subject the investigationof which forms basic research. Thenpoint out how many of them have already beensolved and how many were found in applications.#p#分页标题#e#(6) Distinguish between theory and experiment.(7) Write a note on importance of theory in basic andapplied researches.(8) Bring out the importance of inter-disciplinary research.IV. VARIOUS STAGES OF A RESEARCHWhenever a scientific problem is to be solved thereare several important steps to follow. The problem mustbe stated clearly, including any simplifying assumptions.Then develop a mathematical statement of the problem.This process may involve use of one or more mathematicalprocedures. Frequently, more advanced text booksor review articles will be needed to learn about the techniquesand procedures. Next, the results have to be interpretedto arrive at a decision. This will require experienceand an understanding of the situation in whichthe problem is embedded. A general set of sequentialcomponents of research is the following:1. Selection of a research topic2. Definition of a research problem3. Literature survey and reference collection4. Assessment of current status of the topic chosen5. Formulation of hypotheses6. Research design7. Actual investigation8. Data analysis9. Interpretation of result10. ReportIn the following sections the above mentioned variousstages of research are discussed in detail.V. SELECTION OF A RESEARCH TOPIC ANDPROBLEMThe starting point of a research is the selection of aresearch topic and problem. Identifying a suitable topicfor work is one of the most difficult parts of a research.Before choosing a research topic and a problem the youngresearchers should keep the following points in mind.• Topic should be suitable for research.• The researcher should have interest in it.• Topic should not be chosen by compulsion fromsome one else.Topic and problem can be fixed in consultation with theresearch supervisor. In our country often research supervisorssuggest a topic and state a problem in broadview. The researcher has to narrow it and define it inoperational form. One may ask: Is it necessary that thetopic of a Ph.D. should be different from M.Sc. projectand M.Phil dissertation? The answer is not necessary.If a student is able to get a supervisor working in hisM.Sc.project or M.Phil dissertation topic then it wouldsave about six months in the duration of his Ph.D. work.A. Can a Researcher Choose a Topicby himself?A youngster interested to start a research career wishesto know whether he/she has freedom to do research in thetopic of his/her own interest. The style of research in ourcountry and various other factors like the infrastructurefacility available in a research institute, time limit, ourcommitment to family and social set up hardly allow ayoung researcher to choose a topic by himself for his PGproject, M.Phil. dissertation and Ph.D. thesis. However,many research supervisors give complete freedomto choose a problem in the topic suggested by him for aPh.D. research work. Because the normal time durationof M.Phil dissertation is about 6-8 months, it is better towork on the problem suggested by the supervisor.6If a student wishes to do research (for Ph.D. degree)with fellowship then he cannot have freedom to choose atopic since he has to work on a project the goal of whichis already defined by the project investigator. On theother hand, after choosing a topic of his own interest hehas to find a supervisor who is working in that topic orinterested in guiding him. In this case one has severelimitation in our country for getting a fellowship and forregistering for a research degree. If a student is not verymuch particular about the fellowship he has a chance todo research in the topic of his own interest. A researcherin India after two years of research experience with few(two or more) publications can apply for a senior researchfellowship (SRF) to CSIR (Council for Scientific and IndustrialResearch) (for details see its and other relevantweb sites). He can prepare a project under the directionof his Ph.D. supervisor which can lead to a fellowship.For details see the book ‘How to get scholarships, Fellowsand Stipends’ by K.D.Kalaskar (Sultan Chand andSons, New Delhi))Considering the above, a researcher should make-uphis mind so as to work in a topic suggested by the supervisor.However, a research problem may be chosen by aresearcher himself. This has several advantages. In thiscase• the researcher can pursue his/her own interest tothe farthest limits,• there is an opportunity to spend a long time onsomething that is a continuous source of his pleasureand• the results would prove better in terms of thegrowth of the investigator and the quality of thework.If the researcher is not interested in the topic and problemassigned to him but is working on it because of supervisor’scompulsion, then he will not be able to faceand overcome the obstacles which come at every stage inresearch.B. Identification of a Research Topicand ProblemsSome sources of identification of a research topic andproblems are the following:(1) Theory of one’s own interest(2) Daily problems(3) Technological changes(4) Recent trends(5) Unexplored areas(6) Discussion with experts and research supervisorSuppose one is interested in the theory of nonlinear differentialequations or quasicrystals or fullerenes. Then hecan find a research guide who is working in this field orinterested to work in this field and then choose a problemfor research.Our daily experiences and day to affairs have rich openingson various aspects such as the daunting tasks ofAIDS, air pollution, afforestation and deforestation, childlabor, problems of aged citizens, etc.Technology in various branches of science, business andmarketing changes rapidly. For example, in the earlyyears, computers were built in larger size with vacuumtubes. Then evolution in electronic technology replacedthem by integrated circuits. Recently, scientists have developedquantum dots. Now the interest is in developingefficient, super-fast and miniaturized computing machinemade up of material whose particle size of the order ofnano (10−9) meter or even smaller. Similarly, anotherfascinating topic namely, thin film has multiple fields ofapplications. Recent research on fullerenes resulted inmany practical applications.Choosing a topic of current interest or recent trendsprovides bright and promising opportunities for youngresearchers to get post-doctoral fellowship, position inleading institutions in our nation and abroad.In each subject there are several topics which are notexplored in detail even though the topic was consideredby scientists long time ago. For example, string theory,quantum computing, nano particles, quantum cloningand quantum cryptography and gene immunology arefascinating topics and are in preliminary stages.The supervisors and experts are working on one or fewfields over a long time and they are the specialists in thefield considered and well versed with the developmentand current status of the field. Therefore, a young researchercan make use of their expertise in knowing variouspossible problems in the topic the solving of whichprovide better opportunities in all aspects.Don’t choose a topic simply because it is fascinating.In choosing a topic one should take care of the possibilityof data collection, quantity of gain, breadth of thetopic and so on. The topic should not be too narrow.For example, the study of social status and sexual lifeof married couples of same sex (man-man marriage andwoman-woman marriage) is interesting and of social relevance.But the intricate problem here is that we donot find enough number of such couples to study. Thisis a very narrow topic at the same time we will not getenough data to analyze. On the other hand, the changesin the social life of aravanis in recent times is a valuablesocial problem and one can collect enough data.7Further, one has to study advanced level text booksand latest research articles to identify problems. Is itnecessary to know all the methods, techniques, conceptsin a research topic before identifying a problem for investigation?This is not necessary. After learning somefundamental concepts, recent developments and currenttrends of a topic, one can identify a problem for research.Then he can learn the tools necessary to solve it.C. Definition and Formulation of aProblemAfter identifying a problem, in order to solve it, it hasto be defined and formulated properly. For this purpose,one can execute the following.• State the problem in questionnaire form or in anequivalent form• Specify the problem in detail and in precise terms• List the assumptions made• Remove the ambiguities, if any, in the statement ofthe problem• Examine the feasibility of a particular solutionDefining the problem is more important than its solution.#p#分页标题#e#It is a crucial part of the research study and should notbe defined in hurry.D. How do you Asses Whether theDefined Problem as a Good Problem?A problem in its first definition may not be appealing.It may require redefinition in order to make it a goodproblem. That is, by suitably rewording or reformulatingthe chosen problem, it can be made to meet the criteriaof a good problem. This is also important to solve theproblem successfully. To this end a researcher can ask aseries of questions on the problem. Some are:(1) Is the problem really interesting to him and to thescientific community?(2) Is the problem significant to the present status ofthe topic?(3) Is there sufficient supervision/guidance?(4) Can the problem be solved in the required timeframe?(5) Are the necessary equipment, adequate library andcomputational facilities, etc. available?If the answers to these questions are satisfactory, then theresearcher can initiate work on the chosen problem. Inaddition, discuss the problem with the current doctoralstudents and obtain the scope of the problem and otherrelated aspects.E. How are these Questions Importantand Relevant to a Researcher?The researcher should be interested on the problem forthe reasons mentioned earlier at the end of the Sec.(VA).The problem should also be interesting to the supervisorso that the researcher can get the necessary guidancefrom him. Otherwise sometimes the researcher may findit very difficult to convince the supervisor on the importanceand significance of the results obtained. Moreimportantly, the problem must be of interest to scientificcommunity and society. If not then the researcherwill find great difficulty to publish his findings in reputedjournals and convince the funding agency.Next, the status of the problem, particularly the importanceof finding its solution should match with thecurrent status of the field. But, if the problem investigatedis of not much interest to science and society thenpublications will become useless to him in his research career.Specifically, they cannot help earn a post-doctoralfellowship, respectability and a permanent job in an institution.A researcher needs proper guidance and encouragementfrom the supervisor regularly. This is importantfor keeping the research in right track, to overcome thedifficulties which come at various states of research andalso to have moral support. A researcher should avoidworking under the guidance of a supervisor having serioushealth problems or family problems, committed hislarge time to administrative work and strong involvementin nonacademic matters.Another important point is that before initiating researchwork on a problem, a rough estimate on costs andtime required to complete the work must be made. Aproblem suitable for Ph.D. degree should not be takenfor M.Phil. degree. A problem suitable for M.Phil. degreeis not appropriate for Master’s degree. If the collectionof data or resources or related information takesmany years, then the topic is obviously inappropriate forPh.D. degree. Controversial subjects should not be chosen.Problems that are too narrow or too vague shouldbe avoided.Finally, the researcher must make sure that the necessaryexperimental setup and materials to perform the actualresearch work are available in the department whereresearch work is to be carried out. Without these, ifthe researcher initiated the work and has gone throughcertain stages of work or spent one or two years in theproblem then in order to complete the task he wouldbe forced to buy the materials and instruments from hispersonal savings.8VI. LITERATURE SURVEYAfter defining a problem, the researcher has to do literaturesurvey connected with the problem. Literaturesurvey is a collection of research publications, books andother documents related to the defined problem. It is veryessential to know whether the defined problem has alreadybeen solved, status of the problem, techniques thatare useful to investigate the problem and other relateddetails. One can survey(1) the journals which publish abstracts of papers publishedin various journals,(2) review articles related to the topic chosen,(3) journals which publish research articles,(4) advanced level books on the chosen topic,(5) proceedings of conferences, workshops, etc.,(6) reprint/preprint collections available with the supervisorand nearby experts working on the topicchosen and(7) Internet.A free e-print service provider for physics, mathematics,nonlinear science, computer science and biology ishttp://www.arXiv.orgNo research shall be complete unless we make use ofthe knowledge available in books, journals and internet.Review of the literature in the area of research is a preliminarystep before attempting to plan the study.Literature survey helps us(1) sharpen the problem, reformulate it or even leadsto defining other closely related problems,(2) get proper understanding of the problem chosen,(3) acquire proper theoretical and practical knowledgeto investigate the problem,(4) show how the problem under study relates to theprevious research studies and(5) know whether the proposed problem had alreadybeen solved.Through survey one can collect relevant informationabout the problem. Clarity of ideas can be acquiredthrough study of literature.Apart from literature directly connected with the problem,the literature that is connected with similar problemsis also useful. It helps formulate the problem in aclear-cut way. A review on past work helps us know theoutcome of those investigations where similar problemswere solved. It can help us design methodology for thepresent work. We can also explore the vital links with thevarious trends and phases in the chosen topic and familiarizewith characteristic precepts, concepts and interpretations.Further, it can help us formulate a satisfactorystructure of the research proposal.Because a Ph.D. thesis or M.Phil. dissertation is astudy in depth aiming contribution to knowledge, a carefulcheck should be made to ensure that the proposedstudy has not previously been performed and reported.The earlier studies which are relevant to the problem chosenshould be carefully studied. Ignorance of prior studiesmay lead to a researcher duplicating a work alreadycarried out by another researcher. A good library will beof great help to a researcher at this stage. One can visitnearby research institutions and avail the library facility.Review the latest research papers and Ph.D. theses toacquire recent trends.VII. REFERENCE COLLECTIONAs soon as the survey of available source begins, thepreparation and collection of references preferably withannotations should be undertaken. The important sourceof reference collection is the journal called Current Contents.This comes once in a week. It is available in hardcopy and also in floppy diskette. Almost all the universitiesand institutions buy this document. It contains thetable of content of research journals and magazines invarious subjects. It provides title of articles, names ofthe authors, date of publication, volume number, startingpage number of the articles and address of the authorfrom whom one can get the reprint of the article. If thetitle of the article indicates that the paper is in the topicof one’s interest then he can take a copy of the article ifthe journal is available in the local library. Otherwise,he can get it from a document delivery service centre.For example, in India INFLIBNET provides this servicethrough six institutions. For details visit the followingweb sites:http://web.inflibnet.ac.in/index.isphttp://www.iisc.ernet.in/http://www.jnu.ac.in/One can obtain a research article on paying the chargefixed by the INFLIBNET provided the particular journalis available in it. Articles can also be purchased from thepublishers on payment. Alternatively, reprint of the articlecan be had from the author by sending a letter/cardto the author. A format of reprint request card is shownbelow.9————————————————————————-Front SidePlace :Date :Dear Dr./Prof.I would appreciate in receiving a reprint of your followingarticle and other related preprints/reprints, if any.Title :Journal name :Volume number : Page(s) : Year :With kind regards,Yours sincerely,————————————————————————-————————————————————————-Reverse SideSender’s AddressTo————————————————————————-#p#分页标题#e#The references from current contents or from journalscan be noted on a separate card or sheet with the namesof authors and the title of the paper/book, etc. For aresearch paper, its title, journal name, volume number,starting and ending pages of it and year of publicationshould be noted. For a book, publisher’s name, placeof publication and year of publication must be writtendown. Instead of cards, nowadays one can store the detailsof the references in computers and have a copy intwo or three floppy diskette. The references can be classified.For example, sources dealing with theory, dealingwith experimental techniques, concerned with numericalmethods, etc. can be grouped separately. The copies ofthe research articles can also be classified and bounded.Cross references (that is research articles or books referredor cited in a research report) should also be collectedand classified. These also provide useful information.VIII. ASSESSING THE CURRENT STATUSGenerally, it is not difficult to know the current statusof research work in a specific topic. The current statusof the chosen topic can be identified by reading therelevant journals and the recent papers, discussions inconferences, seminars and workshops. One can performinquiries at several important places known for researchon proposed topic.A study of the current literature in the chosen topic exploresthe current status of it. More importantly, reviewarticles point out not only to the basic aspects and featuresof the topic concerned but also give a brief accountof its present status. For this purpose, one can survey thejournals (for a topic in physics) such as Physics Reports,Reviews ofModern Physics, Physical Review Letters, Reviewsection of American Journal of Physics, Pramana,Current Science and Proceedings of recently conductedseminars and conferences, etc.Rapid communication and Letter sections of internationaljournals publish articles which are very importantand fall in recent trends category. There are several areasin internet where the papers just submitted to journalsare placed. One can download such articles free of cost.These articles indicate the recent trends in a particulartopic. Some relevant web sites are listed below.http://arxiv.org/http://www.ams.org/global-preprints/http://front.math.ucdavis.edu/math.AG/http://www.ma.utexas.edu/mp−arc/http://www.clifford.org/anonftp/clf-alg/IX. HYPOTHESISResearchers do not carry out work without any aimor expectation. Research is not of doing something andpresenting what is done. Every research problem is undertakenaiming at certain outcomes. That is, beforestarting actual work such as performing an experimentor theoretical calculation or numerical analysis, we expectcertain outcomes from the study. The expectationsform the hypothesis. Hypotheses are scientifically reasonablepredictions. They are often stated in terms of if-thensentences in certain logical forms. A hypothesis shouldprovide what we expect to find in the chosen researchproblem. In other words, the expected or proposed solutionsbased on available data and tentative explanationsconstitute the hypothesis.Hypothesizing is done only after survey of relevant literatureand learning the present status of the field ofresearch. It can be formulated based on previous researchand observation. To formulate a hypothesis theresearcher should acquire enough knowledge in the topicof research and a reasonably deep insight about the problem.In formulating a hypothesis construct operationaldefinitions of variables in the research problem. Hypothesisis due to an intelligent guess or for inspiration whichis to be tested in the research work rigorously throughappropriate methodology. Testing of hypothesis leads toexplanation of the associated phenomenon or event.What are the criteria of a good hypothesis? An hy10pothesis should have conceptual clarity and a theoreticalorientation. Further, it should be testable. It shouldbe stated in a suitable way so that it can be tested byinvestigation. A hypothesis made initially may becomeincorrect when the data obtained are analyzed. In thiscase it has to be revised. It is important to state thehypothesis of a research problem in a research report.We note that if a hypothesis withstands the experimentsand provides the required facts to make it acceptable, notonly to the researchers performing the experiments butto others doing other experiments then when sufficientlyreinforced by continual verification the hypothesis maybecome a theory .X. MODE OF APPROACHMode of approach means the manner in which researchis to be carried out. It should keep the researcher on theright track and make him complete the planned work successfully.One should sharpen the thinking and focusattention on the more important aspects of the study.The scientific thinking must be more formal, strict, empiricaland specific and more over goal oriented. In orderto make steady progress in research and to asses theprogress of the research work, a research design is veryhelpful.A. Research DesignFor a scientific research one has to prepare a researchdesign. It should indicate the various approaches to beused in solving the research problem, sources and informationrelated to the problem and, time frame and thecost budget. Essentially, the research design creates thefoundation of the entire research work. The design willhelp perform the chosen task easily and in a systematicway. Once the research design is completed the actualwork can be initiated. The first step in the actual work isto learn the facts pertaining to the problem. Particularly,theoretical methods, numerical techniques, experimentaltechniques and other relevant data and tools necessaryfor the present study have to be collected and learnt.It is not necessary that every theory, technique andinformation in the topic of research is useful for a particularproblem. A researcher has to identify and selectmaterials which are useful to the present work. Further,the validity and utility of the information gatheredshould be tested before using them. Scientific researchis based on certain mathematical, numerical and experimentalmethods. These sources have to be properly studiedand judged before applying them to the problem ofinterest.B. What are the Possible Approachesto be Followed by a Researcher?A researcher can exercise the following aspects regularlythroughout the research carrier. These will keephim in right track and tightly bind him to the researchactivity.(1) Discussion with the supervisor, experts and colleaguesabout the research work, particularly, theproblem and its origin, objectives and difficultiesfaced in the execution of the problem.(2) Reading of the latest research papers, relevant theoriesand possible application to the present problemand to overcome the difficulties faced.(3) Review of the work reported on the similar problems.(4) Theoretical calculations, setting-up of an experimentalsetup, numerical calculations, computerprograms, preparation of graphs, tables and otherrelevant work related to the research should be doneby a new researcher by himself without assistancefrom others.(5) Have a practice of periodically writing the workdone, results obtained and steps followed in a work.This is important because sometime we may thinkthat a particular aspect will be a center piece of theproblem under investigation. But once we make awrite-up of it, this aspect or part of it may turn outto be only of marginal importance. In fact, writingof the progress of the work will help us betterunderstand our work and forms a solid basis forfurther progress. It also points out to the gaps inour work.(6) Participation and presentation of research findingsin national and international meetings.These regular practices provide useful information likenew ideas and can help the researcher(1) sharpen and focus attention,(2) confining to the formulation and(3) in the interpretation of the solution obtained.Each and every bit of task related to the research workhas to be done by the researcher. A young researchershould not do the entire work in collaboration with others.The researcher is advised to perform all the worksstarting from identification of the problem to reportpreparation by himself under the guidance of supervisor.Particularly, collaboration work with experts and seniorresearcher may be avoided. (However, he can discuss hisproblems with them). This is important to acquire(1) enough knowledge,11(2) confidence and(3) trainingto carry out research independently after getting Ph.D.degree. Part of the dissertation should demonstrate theresearcher’s originality. The dissertation should reflectthe efforts of a single researcher. Keeping this in mindone should avoid collaboration as far as possible in theyoung stage.#p#分页标题#e#Prof.Balaram wrote “There are guides who have nointerest in their discipline and leave their wards to theirown devices. Surprisingly, it is these guides who producesome of the most resilient scientists, self-taught men andwomen, who develop great confidence in their abilities”[Current Science 87(2004)1319].A researcher should provide new information to thesupervisor and avoid getting information from the supervisor.He should learn and collect many informationrelated to his work. He should definitely avoid embarrassingthe supervisor and senior researchers by askingdoubts often. A good supervisor or a senior researcherdoes not provide answers to your questions but gives appropriatedirections to clarify your doubts.During the course of research, one should focus themind mainly on the research work. Don’t allow thepersonal life to interfere with research. Diversions toother activities should be avoided. Further, after workingabout say three years and when the time has cameto consolidate the work done so far a researcher shouldnot start to work on an entirely new topic. He can completehis thesis work and then work on new topic of hisinterest. The woman Nobel Laureaute Maria GoeppertMayer said,“If you love science, all you really want is tokeep on working.”A researcher must be clear in his thoughts. He shouldknow what he has to find out. In order to perform thework successfully the researcher should acquire propertraining in the techniques of research. The trainingequips the researcher with the requirements of the task.Further, he should be clear about his task and possessintellectual insight. Then only he is able to find out thefacts that would help him in his task. Make your researcha part of your every day life. Think about your researchwork in background mode, ideas will come out even whenyou are seeing a movie, traveling to a place, sight-seeingand shopping. Ted Gottfried the author of biography ofFermi said, “Scientific research is like sports. To score,the focus of the scientist must be narrow and intense tothe exclusion of everything else around him. The batternever takes his eye off the ball, the hoopster shutsout everything but the court, the golfer always followsthrough–and the scientist focuses his complete attentionon the task at hand and nothing else.”A young researcher should also have persistence, toleranceand self-control over the unpleasant outcomes suchas not getting an expected result, not recognized by thesupervisor and rejection of a research article from a journal.“Don’t get dejected when your paper is rejected”–Prof.P.R. Subramanian. Some times one may complete apiece of work within a week which he might have expectedto finish it in a month time. On the other hand, at sometimes one may get stuck with a particular part of thework and unable to make a substantial progress, say, inthree months. Avoid feeling remorseful at these circumstancesand maintain a high tolerance for poor results.Remember that failure and wasted works are also partof the research career. Young researchers should creategood relationship with their seniors and colleagues.C. Getting Joy in Doing ResearchTo get a deep insight on the topic or the research problema suggestion from Dr K.P.N. Murthy is that oneshould enjoy doing research and approach it as an entertainmentand a mode of getting happiness. In the researchcareer one should treat doing research as a way oflife and not just a job. In order to achieve a goal in theresearch one has to work harder. The harder one worksthe happier one feels. One need not try to conquer theworld of science. One has to come in order to work andto find his way. Initially one must work hard. Gettinginsise a research topic or a research career is like a pushinga door. It is hard to push the door open. But whenone understand it it is ver interesting and joyful.Chandrasekhar pointed out that in the arts and literaturequality of work improves with age and experiencewhile in science generally it does not. He felt that it isbecause of doing science in isolation, very narrow focuson immediate goals and insufficient broad in interests andpursuits. In order to continue research even at old ageone should develop the spirit of experiencing the beautyof science. The spirit of experiencing it is not restrictedto only the great scientists. Chandrasekhar said, “This isno more than the joys of creativity are restricted to a fortunatefew. They are instead accessible to each one of usprovided we are attuned to the perspective of strangenessin the proportion and conformity of the parts of one anotherand to the whole. And there is satisfaction also begained from harmoniously organizing the domain of thescience with order, pattern and coherence.”Professor G.Baskaran stressed that group discussion isindeed an important component of doing research particularlyin small and isolated institutions. He said, “Onecannot explain the power and usefulness of group discussions– it has to be experienced. When I was a studentat the Indian Institute of Science (I.I.Sc.), Bangalore, afew of us students of physics from I.I.Sc. and NationalAeronautic Laboratory were introduced to this joyous12experience by S.K.Rangarajan, formerly a Professor ofchemistry, in whose house we assembled virtually everyevening to discuss such grave issues as amorphous solidsand renormalization group. Each one of the discussantshas made a mark” (Current Science, 75(1998)pp.1262).For a discussion on emotional factors see, for example,ref..D. Crucial Stage of Ph.DThe crucial period for a research scholar doing full-timePh.D. is the last year of the programme. During this periodone should concentrate on completing the final workfor his thesis and writing of various chapters. Generally,a research fellowship is for fixed period of time, it mighthave ended before the final year of the Ph.D. programme.We have noticed many scholars converted the full-timeprogramme into part-time and joined in a job. If the jobis a permanent one then one can join in the job and continuethe research. But joining in a temporary positionmay highly change his research career. This would delaythe submission of his Ph.D. thesis and he may loose theinterest in research. There are examples with studentscapable of getting a post doctoral fellowship but failedto even continuing the research. Therefore, a researchscholar should have a clear plan of what he has to do inthe next few years or so. Even if the fellowship is notavailable at the finishing stage of Ph.D. thesis we havefriends and our well wishers to give financial support tosome extend.XI. ACTUAL INVESTIGATIONOne should aim at doing good research. What is goodresearch? Which universities and research institutions inyour country do the best research? How do you distinguishthe great from a good, a black hole from an ordinaryhole, a superconductor from a normal conductor,supernova from mere stars, poles from ordinary points,linear differential equations from nonlinear ones?To distinguish one from another we can use variousquantities. Like wise, to identify the best from among theavailable, one can use various quantities to measure thequality of them. For example, to identify a best researchthe quality of the one’s research publications, number ofcitations of his publications, projects completed, bookspublished, contribution made to the science and society,etc. can be considered.Research work(1) published in reputed international journals,(2) cited by other researchers working in the same orsimilar topic and(3) which added new information to the existing knowledgeon a topicare generally considered as good.At the beginning of research career a young researchershould aim to produce a good research, particularly, hisresearch findings should distinguish him from other researchersand keep him one among the top young researchersin the nation. In order to encourage youngresearchers and motivate them to produce high qualityof research work awards are given yearly by certain academicand research bodies in each country. For example,in India, Indian President Award, Indian NationalScience Academy (INSA) Young Scientist Award andmany other awards are given every year. Some Conference/Seminar organizers also provide best papers awardto young scientists.A. What are the Points to be Kept inMind in Order to do a Good Research?Actual investigation should lead to original contributionand not involve objectionable duplication. Originalityis the basic credit point of any research. Therefore,actual investigation must be directed towards obtainingnovel results. A researcher should develop new ideas andobtain deep insight into the problem in order to get noveland new results which are the characteristics of a goodresearch.Trivial analysis should not be performed. Recently introduced#p#分页标题#e#theories, experimental techniques and numericalalgorithms have to be used instead of outdated methods.Before applying any method, the researcher shouldfamiliarize with the features of the method. It it notworthwhile to continue in a particular direction if the resultsare trivial and less informative. If similar problemshave already been done, for instance about ten years ago,then a researcher should not consider it as important butcould treat it as a useful exercise.We do research by conceiving information and openingsfrom important research papers published by otherresearchers in the topic of interest and continue in ourown directions. The work of some other researchersmight have formed the basis of our research. Similarly,our research outcomes should help other researchers.That is, the work should be such that it should inviteothers to read and more importantly use it and cite it intheir research work. Our work should lead to recognitionand respect. It should fetch joy and benefits others andas well as us.As pointed out by ProfessorM.Lakshmanan, generally,each and every work of us may not produce novelty, butif we work towards novelty then definitely in the course13of research there would come a fascinating and excitingbreakthrough.The researcher must remember that ideally in thecourse of a research study, there should be constant interactionbetween initial hypothesis, observation and theoreticalconcepts. It is exactly in this area of interactionbetween theoretical orientation and observation that opportunitiesfor originality and creativity lie.Actual work finally leads to results and conclusions ofthe research undertaken. For proper results it is necessarythat various steps of the work should be scientificallytaken and should not have any flaw. Developed computeralgorithms must be tested for the problems for which resultsare already available. The work should be free frommistakes. Important analysis must be repeated in orderto make sure that they are free from human mistakes.Professor Devanathan suggests that a researcher shouldcheck, recheck, cross check, … all the results before submittinga research paper to a journal . Before beginningto write a part of the work done and the results obtainedcheck and recheck the data and the results by repeatingthe experiment, rerunning the programs and goingthrough the theoretical derivations and arguments.When analysing the data, appropriate statistical toolshave to be employed. The number of data used, unitsof the data, error bars and other necessary details mustbe noted in the graphs. As many statistical tools as possibleshould be used. Appropriate curve fitting can bedone. Necessary interpretations on the results of statisticalanalysis have to be made.In the case of development or modification of a theoryand proposal of a new method the assumptions made,basic idea, and calculations should be clearly stated andanalyzed. Various special cases of the theory or methodmust be identified. The validity, efficiency and applicabilityof it must be demonstrated with examples. Meritsand demerits have to be identified. Comparison of theproposed method with the already existing and widelyused similar methods should be performed.In any experimental work, mere measurement of certainquantities is not enough. The interpretation of thekind of data observed and explanation for the particularpattern must be made. On the basis of interpretationgeneral principles underlying the process can be formulated.One has to check whether the generalizations areuniversal and true under different conditions.Some common errors made in research are (1) Selective observation(2) Inaccurate observation(3) Over-generalization(4) Made-up information(5) Ex post facto hypothesizing(6) Illogical reasoning(7) Ego involvement in understanding(8) Premature closure of inquiry(9) MystificationFor a very interesting discussion on the above aspectswith examples refer to the ref.XII. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONThe next step after performing the actual researchwork on the chosen problem is preparation of results andconclusion of the performed work. Predictions, resultsand conclusion are ultimate goals of the research performed.There are two indispensable rules of modern research.The freedom of creative imagination necessarily subjectedto rigorous experimentation. In the beginning anyexperimental research on a specific subject, imaginationshould give wings to the thought. At the time of concludingand interpreting the facts that were collected observation,the imagination should be dominated and prevailedover by concrete results of experiments.Proper interpretations of the results must be made. Interpretationrefers to the task of drawing inferences fromthe actual research work. It also means drawing of conclusion.Conclusion is based on the study performed.It would bring out relations and processes that underliethe findings. The utility of the outcome of the researchgreatly lie on proper interpretations and is the hardestpart of solving a scientific problem. Interpretation of resultsis important because it(1) links the present work to the previous,(2) leads to identification of future problems,(3) opens new avenues of intellectual adventure andstimulates the quest for more knowledge,(4) makes others understand the significance of the researchfindings and(5) often suggests a possible experimental verification.The basic rule in preparing results and conclusion is togive all the evidences relevant to the research problemand its solution. A bare statement of the findings are notenough. Their implications must be pointed out. Discussyour answers to the following questions with experts:(1) Are the supporting evidences sufficient?, and if not,What to do?14(2) How many pieces of evidence are required? Insteadof producing all, is it possible to restrict to one ortwo pieces of evidence? If so, what are they? and(3) Why are they sufficient?and so on. Such directions can help us minimize work andthe quantity of presentation of the report. Do not relyon a bogus evidence which would increase the chances oferrors. The investigator has to give suggestions. Theseshould be practical and based on logic, reasoning andfact. The suggestions should be such that they can beactually implemented.The researcher should not be in hurry while preparingthe results and conclusion. After preparing them theresearcher may ask the following questions:(1) Are the quantitative and qualitative analysis performedadequate for the conclusion drawn?(2) Are the results and conclusion general?(3) Are the results and conclusion valid only for theparticular situation considered in the present work?(4) Is the conclusion too broad considering the analysisperformed?(5) Is any evidence which weaken the conclusion omitted?The results and conclusion prepared can be revised basedon the answers to the above questions.Each and every statement made in the results and conclusionsections must be based on evidence obtained fromtheoretical or experimental analysis. Baseless statementsshould never be made.Assignment:(9) For each of the following topics write at least twoquestions, the answers to which must be availablein the respective topics. For example, for the topic,“introduction”, a relevant question is ‘why am Idoing it?’.(i) Introduction, (ii) Review of a research topic,(iii) Methodology, (iv) Research design, (v) Results,(vi) Discussion and (vii) Conclusion.XIII. PRESENTING A SCIENTIFICSEMINAR-ORAL REPORTA. What is an Oral Report?What are the Importance of an OralReport?Presentation of one’s research work in a scientific meetingis an oral report . Scientific meetings include conference,seminar, symposium, workshop, departmentalweekly seminar, etc.Researchers in certain research institutions not onlydiscuss their own work but also have discussions on veryrecently reported work of other scientists.An oral report provides a bridge between the researcherand audience and offers greater scope to the researcherfor explaining the actual work performed, its outcomeand significance. It also leads to a better understandingof the findings and their implications. In an oralreport, the researcher can present the results and interpretationswhich are not clearly understood by him andmay request the experts in the audience to give theiropinions and suggestions. Oral reporting at a conferenceor a seminar requires more elaborate preparation thanthe written report.A Nobel prize winner Paul Dirac said, “A person firstgets a new idea and he wonders very much whether thisidea will be right or wrong. He is very anxious about it,and any feature in the new idea which differs from the oldestablished ideas is a source of anxiety to him. Whereassome one else who hears about this work and talks it up#p#分页标题#e#doesn’t have this anxiety, an anxiety to preserve the correctnessof the basic idea at all costs, and without havingthis anxiety he is not so disturbed by the contradictionand is able to face up to it and see what it really means.”B. Points to be Remembered inPreparing an Oral ReportBefore starting the preparation of an oral report, anoutline can be drawn based on the time duration of thereport and the quality of the audience. Departmentalseminar is usually 45 minutes duration. In other meetingstime duration is fixed by the organizer based on thenumber of days of the meeting, number of speakers andthe status of a speaker.For a long time report, that is, 45–60 minute presentation,one may have enough time to(1) introduce the topic,(2) discuss the definition of the problem,(3) describe the method and technique employed,(4) give technical details, and(5) present results and conclusion.Consequently, these aspects can be prepared in detail.For a 15–30 minute, oral presentation one cannot findenough time to discuss complete details of the work.In this case less informative material must be dropped.Methods and techniques used can be presented verybriefly without going into technical details. Much timeshould be reserved for results, conclusion and further directions.15Prepare a write-up of the oral presentation. It is agood and very helpful practice to write the talk beforepresenting it orally. Then evaluate the written material.Ask:(1) Why should the audience listen to your presentation?(2) Is the presentation match with the standard of theaudience?Revise the presentation until you get convincing answerto the above two questions.Oral presentation can be made effective and attractiveby using modern visual devises, power-points, slides andtransparency sheets. Title of the report, author’s name,plan of the presentation, very important content of it andconclusion can be printed in the slides or sheets possiblypoint by point with bold and sufficiently large size letters.Important formulas, equations, tables, figures andphotographs can be prepared using transparency sheetsor slides. Slides and transparency sheets should not containrunning matters. Researcher should not simply readthe content in the sheets. That is, the descriptive portionof the report should not be prepared on the sheets.An abstract or a short write-up of the presentation maybe circulated to the participants of the meeting. Sophisticatedsoftwares developed for preparing the text ontransparency sheets/slides are available in internet andcan be freely downloaded. In order to make the presentation,more lively, the researcher could use multimedia.Nowadays, the use of power-point of Microsoft Windowsis common. It is an easy and compact utility software especiallyfor preparing classroom presentations. The followingare the web sites from which one could downloadthe software at free of cost:http://www.office.microsoft.com/downloadshttp://www.lb.com/download-free-power-pointpresentation.orgOne could use the audio aspects also to facilitate hispresentation in a better way. While presenting the topic,the researcher should strictly follow the class room teachingmethodology. For example, one should allow interaction;don’t restrict the vision of the audience of a particularsection, don’t forget to modulate the voice as andwhen required and don’t violate the time frame.One or two rehearsals of the report in the presence ofcolleagues, supervisor and collaborators can be exercisedin order to(1) complete the presentation within the allotted time,(2) improve the quality of presentation and(3) maintain the fluency of the presentation.During a long presentation, the speaker can stop the presentationat various stages, seek comments and questionsfrom the audience and then proceed. This will make thepresentation attractive, interesting and also allow the audienceto clarify their doubts so that they can follow thework.XIV. ART OF WRITING A RESEARCH PAPERAND THESISA. What is a Research Report?Research reporting is an oral or a written presentationof important and useful aspects of the research workdone. Scientific writing, a thesis or a paper, is intendedto present clearly the purpose and outcome of a specificresearch investigation. It is the last but a major partof the research study. A report helps the researcher getfeedback from other researchers and experts working inthe same field. It also evaluates the success and originalityof the researcher’s work. Without a report, a researchstudy is incomplete and of no use. A report essentiallyconveys the outcome of a research work to interested persons.Brilliant work and most striking findings are oflittle value if they are not effectively communicated tothe scientific world. As pointed out by Eli Maor, in academicmatters the iron rule is publish or perish. Sometimes delaying a publication of a result one would losehis claim.B. What are Research Paper or Articleand Ph.D Thesis or Dissertation?A research paper is a report published in a journalor magazine or conference proceedings, etc. Whereas aPh.D. dissertation is a report of the entire work doneby a researcher to a university or an institution for theaward of the degree of doctor of philosophy. A Ph.D.dissertation is a lengthy, original and substantial document.It should contain original contributions. Essentially,the role of a Ph.D. dissertation is to demonstratethe research person’s original thinking and contributionto the topic of research. It should also clearly point outthe research competence of the researcher in his researchfield. M.Phil. dissertation is designed as a practice forPh.D. thesis. It will help the researcher learn and understandthe present status of the topic and make himcapable of working at the Ph.D. level. The work donefor an M.Phil. dissertation need not be publishable injournals.C. Why Should a Researcher Reporthis Findings?Every research investigation is carried out with certainobjectives. The outcome of a research work may16add new information to a theory or may have technologicalapplications. Sometimes the researcher may not beaware of the theoretical development on practical applications.His research results may be useful to anotherresearch problem. Some other researchers may be workingor planning to work on the same or similar type ofresearch work. Several researchers doing same researchwork is a waste of time unless the solution of the problemis needed very urgently and is of great use. Repetition ofa work should be avoided by the research community asmuch as possible. Unless a researcher reports his workto the world, the correctness, validity and originality ofthe work is under a question mark. The outcome of aresearch work will become known to the scientific communityonly through publications. In view of these, itis important to report a work in an appropriate journalor magazine and in scientific meetings like conferences,seminars and symposia. Identify possible publicationsof your research findings after making a considerableprogress on a research problem. Don’t be confinedwith a mere Ph.D. degree.D. Characteristics of a Good ReportA good report results from slow, pain taking and accurateinductive work. To attract a reader, the readingmatter of a report should be clear and interesting. Itshould not be obscure and dull. The write-up should belogical, clear and concise. The basic quality or characteristicsof a good scientific report/paper and thesis arethe following:(1) good presentation(2) good organization of various chapters/sections(3) accuracy(4) clarity(5) free from contradictions and confusion.Further, a Ph.D. dissertation should be a formal andshould have high level of scholarship.XV. OUTLINE OF A REPORTWhat are the considerations to be kept inmind while preparing a report?(1) First, an outline of a report has to be prepared.(2) A sketch of what information to be conveyed mustbe made.(3) Then, one can write down various topics, subtopicsto be considered and what material to be presentedin them.(4) The sentences which are to be expanded, rewordedand verified for its validity can be marked.The outline of the report helps us concentrate on(i) what is to be presented,(ii) logical relationships between different parts of thereport,(iii) smooth flow of the content and(iv) continuity in the presentation.The outline can be discussed with the guide, collaborators,colleagues and experts in local area. Based on theircomments the structure of the report can be modified.A three stage preparation of a report is generally doneby researchers. They are(1) First draft – Rough draft .(2) Second draft – Rewriting and polishing of the roughdraft .(3) Third draft – Writing the final draft .#p#分页标题#e#A. First DraftIn this stage a researcher can write(1) what has been done in the research study,(2) procedure, method, theory and technique applied,(3) technical difficulties faced and how they are overcome,(4) broad findings and(5) concluding remarks.Tables and charts can be typeset using computer andkept separately in order to avoid rewriting them. Conclusionshould be precise, clear and objective. Furtherdirections may be pointed out.Since a research paper is identified by its title it shouldbe brief and not more than above 10-15 words. A subjectindex of a paper is primarily based on the words inthe title. Therefore, few key words which are helpful toclassify the paper can be included appropriately in thetitle.How does a reader decide whether to read the contentof a paper or not? Abstract serves the purpose. Byreading the abstract a reader would decide whether thecontent of the paper is useful to him. Therefore, theabstract should have positive information about the contentof the paper and summary of the work reported init. Further, if the abstract has final results and mainconclusion of the paper then a reader who has a generalinterest in the subject can know the outcome of the paperwithout reading the entire text by referring the abstractitself.17B. Second DraftThis is the most important and difficult part of thewriting. Extreme care must be taken in writing thisdraft. Unclear points, jargons, weakness of the reporthave to be identified and revised. Over-generalizationof outcomes should be avoided. For example, Hermitianoperators have real eigenvalues. Generalizing it aseigenvalues of operators are real or concluding that tohave real eigenvalues, operators should be Hermitian areincorrect. Similarly, complex analytic functions satisfyCauchy–Riemann conditions. It doest not mean thatfunctions satisfying Cauchy–Riemann conditions shouldbe analytic. How do you avoid over-generalization? Forsome details see, for example, ref..Attention must be paid to the arguments made, logicalflow of work presented, the quality of supporting evidencesand conclusion drawn. Do these in each chapter.Don’t do the entire second stage at a single stretch. Givesufficient time between revisions of two consecutive chapters.During the break time think over the revision madein the previous chapter or section.More importantly, grammar must be checked. A carefulspell check must be made. Use simple words as faras possible. Indecisive words such as perhaps, somewhat,rather, etc. should be avoided. Usage of some particularwords repeatedly, for example, ‘very’, ‘extraordinary’,‘invariably’ should be avoided. Expressions such as ‘itseems’, ‘there may be’, ‘since’, ‘putting’, etc. should bereplaced by appropriate equivalent words.Style, presentation and grammar can be improved byasking your friends, colleagues to read and give their criticalcomments, suggestions and correct English grammar.In some universities the report is first read by an Englishteacher. He corrects the grammar and give suggestions.After this only a researcher can submit the thesis.Complicated and lengthy sentences have to be rewrittenand broken. Similar sentences or sentences conveyingsame information must be eliminated. Check whether thewords used clearly convey exactly the meaning intended.S. Chandrasekhar said, “I always sought to present myfindings in as elegant, even literary, a form as possible. Iselect some writers in order to learn. For example, I readHenry James or Virginia Woolf, and I don’t simply readthe text as a novel; I see how they construct sentences,how they construct paragraphs, how one paragraph goesinto another and so on.” (J. Horgan, Current Science,67 (1994) pp.500-01).Proper references of related work should be included.Trivial matters and obvious conclusion should not be includedand if there are such sentences then they shouldbe dropped.C. Third DraftThis is the last stage. In this stage, one can concentrateon final touches and finishing. This should be inthe direction of making the report weighty, authoritative,attractive and convincing. Similar words and formatshould be avoided in successive sentences. Make surethat the script clearly shows the originality of the authorand importance of the outcome of the study performed.In all the three stages of report preparation one shouldfollow a proper style of writing. Use clear and unadornedEnglish appropriate for the readers. One has to be awareof to whom the research report is intended. The reportis not for the supervisor. It is better to avoid the use ofpersonal pronoun. Use of “I” and “the author” should beavoided. Some supervisors like to use “we”. For an interestingfun about the usage of “I” and “we” see p.106 of“Why are things the way they are?” by G. Venkataraman(University Press, Hyderabad, 1992).Both active and passive voice should be used wherevernecessary or appropriate. However, when using them oneshould check whether the meaning is strictly correct. Forexample, when writing “The experimental results agreewith the theory” we must check whether we are strengtheningthe experimental result or the theory. Care mustbe taken in using present and past tenses. Use past tenseto describe the data collection and work done by othersand you. For interpretation, assessments and discussionspresent tense is appropriate.Between various stages it is advisable to give gap offew days so that one can leisurely think of the manuscriptand record how to revise it. This will avoid unnecessarytension and half-hearted write up.XVI. LAYOUT OF A RESEARCH REPORT /PH.D. THESIS / M.PHIL. DISSERTATIONThe layout of a research report is the list of variousparts of the report/thesis. Generally, a research reportshould consist of the following three components:(1) Preliminary pages(2) Main text(3) End mattersA. Preliminary PagesPreliminary pages include title of the report, acknowledgement,certificate page, list of publications and table ofcontents. Acknowledgements are written to thank thosewho have helped the researcher during their course of investigation.For a book it is in the form of preface or forward.Acknowledgement should be brief, simple, modest18and given only to substantial assistance provided by theguide, head of the department, staff of the department,agencies which provided financial support, collaboratorsand institutions where part of the work has been carriedout. Acknowledgements made for routine participationby members of the researcher’s family, librarian, friends,clerical helpers and god are normally considered superfluous.Acknowledgement should be made at the time ofpublic viva-voce also. There is a chance for a researcherto forget to say acknowledgement at the end of the presentation.To avoid this he may do it at the beginning ofthe presentation. An important point is to consider thetone to adopt so that you sound genuine.Every research report should have an abstract . It is anecessary part of any scientific and nonscientific researchreport. In a research article it appears next to the author’sname and affiliation. In the case of Ph.D. thesis,before its submission an elaborated abstract of the thesiscalled synopsis has to be submitted to the institutionwhere registration for Ph.D. degree is made. Abstractand synopsis convey the essence and brief details aboutthe report. It should contain a very short statement ofthe problem, methodology and procedures adapted in thework and results of the study in a very condensed form.The abstract can act as a tool to control the flow of ideasin the thesis. It can help you link in a logical way thereasons for the research and aims of the work. It shouldcontain answers to the questions: What was done in theproject? Why is it of interest? How was it done? Whatwere the outcomes of the work done? What is the significanceof the results? One should emphasize the originalcontribution in the abstract. The abstract of a Ph.D.thesis will be about three or four pages.Table of contents gives title of the chapters, sectionheadings, title of appendices and their page numbers. Inthe certificate page the researcher should undertake thatthe work reported has not been reported earlier by himor by any one else for the award of any degree. It shouldalso mention that the work is done by the researcher andnot copied from any other source.All the preliminary pages should be numbered withlower-case roman numbers.B. Main TextThe main text presents the details of the research workand results. This part of the thesis should provide thefollowing, about the research work:(1) Introduction(2) Actual research work performed and the findings(3) Summary and conclusion.#p#分页标题#e#1. IntroductionThe purpose of the introduction is to give a brief outlineof the field of research. In this part one can bringclearly the importance of the field and the current statusof it. It should contain an overview of the problem, itsimportance, statements about the hypothesis or specificquestions to be explored. This is followed by a previewof the scheme of the following chapters, that is an outlineof plan of the work. Here, aim of each of the chaptersand their contents can be briefly stated. Relatedand relevant work done by others must be pointed out.Various concepts and definitions of scientific and technicalterms necessary for understanding the research workundertaken are to be defined and explained. Details ofstatistical tools or quantities used in the study can begiven in a separate chapter.Irrelevant and less informative materials need not bepresented. For example, regular and irregular behaviourof solution of a system or differential equation can becharacterized by calculating the statistical tools such asLyapunov exponents, correlation function, correlation dimension,power spectrum, periodicity of the solution andprobability distribution. If the power spectrum is notused in a research work then there is no need to discussin detail the systematic way of calculating it. Similarly,suppose the effect of noise in a theoretical model equationis studied by including, say, Gaussian random numbersin the simulation. There are many methods available togenerate Gaussian random numbers. If the Box–Mullermethod is used then it can be described. In this case describingother methods, for example, rejection techniqueis redundant to the present thesis report. The theoryand experimental set up used should be clearly describedwith proper references. Define the technical terms usedin the dissertation either by a reference to a previouslypublished definition or by a precise definition. Such adefinition should be given only once in the report.The introductory chapter(s) should be prepared insuch a way that it should interest the reader in the subjectmatter of research. It should not be aimless, confusedand laking in precision. Introductory part may containone or two chapters.To be precise, the introductory part should cover thefollowing aspects:(1) Features of the topic(2) Present status of the field(3) Some unsolved problems(4) Statement of the problem undertaken(5) Importance and justification of the present problem19(6) Preview of the scheme of the following chapters andtheir interrelationship Definition of various scientificterms used, and(7) Methodology used.2. Actual Research WorkThis is the heart of the research report/thesis. Theactual research work undertaken, difficulties faced, technicaldetails, results, conclusion and future direction formthe main part of this portion. This part can be presentedin a few chapters. Each chapter should contain introduction,research work, results and conclusion. Materialsshould be organized systematically and presented underappropriate headings and subheadings. First, write thechapters that describe your actual research work. Afterthis, prepare the conclusion and introduction parts.When writing the actual work collect the terms and notedown the matter which are to be defined and describedin the introduction.As Professor P.R. Subramanian points out, for preparingthe Ph.D. thesis report one should not simply copyword by word from his research articles. Even if the contentof the thesis is the work reported in his research publications,the student should reword the material withoutchanging the meaning, give much more details, explanations,suggestions and possibly a better reorganization ofthe content.Wherever possible, the results should be presented inthe form of figures, illustrations and tables. They canmake the report quite attractive. Tables should be asprecise as possible. All the figures should clearly specifythe variables of the axes, units used and other necessaryinformation. Figure caption should not be a reproductionof sentences of the text. It must clearly state what itis. Figures should be clearly explained in the text. Datashould be fitted to an appropriate mathematical expression.Nowadays, sophisticated softwares are available forcurve fitting. After making a curve fit or plotting a setof data, proper explanation for observed variation of thedata should be given. A set of data measurement withoutany analysis and discussion is of no use.Extreme care must be taken in type setting mathematicalequations, variables and parameters involved in thestudy. Italic or Greek letters or mathematical symbolscan be used for variables and parameters. For example,x or X should not be used as a variable name. The correctusage is x or X (or typeset in italics). All the equationsshould be centered and numbered. Vectors should beclearly specified by an arrow over the name or by boldface name. Equations should not be repeated.Jokes or puns should not find a place in the report.Use “correct” or “incorrect” to refer to the resultsof others. Don’t use the words “bad”, “terrible” and“stupid”. Avoid use of “today”, “modern times”, “soon”,“seems”, “in terms of”, “based on”, “lots of”, “type of”,“something like”, “just about”, “number of”, “probably”,“obviously”, “along with”, “you”, “I”, “hopefully”and “may”. There is no need to mention the circumstancesin which the results are obtained.Assignment:(10) Reword/rephrase the following and give the reasonfor the change:(a) Dinesh and Geethan  reported that …(b) The following algorithm represents a majorbreakthrough ….(c) Even though the above method is not earthshaking….(d) Geethan and I obtained ….(e) There is a method to calculate ….(f) The program will use the data after it storedthem to a CD …(g) The method is started by calculating the valueof ….3. ConclusionAt the end of each of chapter, one can place a briefsummary of the outcome of the work presented in thatchapter under the heading conclusion. They should beclear and precise.The relevant questions which are still not answered andnew questions raised by the work of the present chapterhave to be mentioned. Whether the answers to the questionsare obtained or not, if obtained in which chapter(s)they are presented should be specified. Mention possiblefuture research. It is important to make a connection betweentwo consecutive chapters either at the end of thefirst or at the beginning of the second.Chapters should not look like reports of isolated work.There should be a link between consecutive chapters andthe link should be clearly brought out.C. End MattersThe end part of the report generally consists of references,appendices, computer programs (if they are noteasy to develop) and copies of research publications thatcame out from the research work done.201. AppendicesAppendices are supplementary contents which are notplaced in the main report in order to keep the continuityof the discussion; however, they are relevant for understandingthe particular part of the report. An appendixmay present(1) a brief summary of a theory or a numerical methodused which can be found elsewhere,(2) a lengthy mathematical derivation or a large set ofequations,(3) technical details and(4) a list of values of constants and parameters used inthe work.Appendices can be placed at the end of report after references.They should be numbered by capital alphabets.2. References/BibliographyReferences or bibliographies are sources consulted.Each reference should contain name(s) of author(s), titleof the paper, journal name, volume number of the issuein which the article appeared, starting page number, endpage number and year of publication. In the case of abook source its author(s), title, publishers’s name, placeof publication, year of publication and edition should begiven. Some examples are given below.(1) Suppose the reference is the paper of K. Murali,Sudeshna Sinha and W.L. Ditto with title “Implementationof NOR gate by a chaotic Chua’s circuit”appeared in the journal called ‘International Journalof Bifurcations and Chaos’ in the year 2003, thevolume number of corresponding issue is 13 and thestarting and ending page numbers of the article are2669 and 2672 respectively. The above article canbe specified as (without mentioning the title of thearticle)K. Murali, Sudeshna Sinha and W.L. Ditto, Int. JBifur. and Chaos 13 (2003) 2669–2672.(2) For an article which appeared in a conference proceedings#p#分页标题#e#a typical format is given below:R. Harish and K.P.N. Murthy, “Intermittencyand multifractality in iterated function systems”.In: Nonlinear Systems. Eds. R. Sahadevanand M. Lakshmanan (Narosa, New Delhi, 2002)pp. 361–371.In the above “Intermittency….” is the title of thereport of R. Harish and K.P.N. Murthy. “NonlinearSystems” is the title of the conference proceedingsedited by R. Sahadevan and M. Lakshmanan.The proceeding was published in the year 2002 byNarosa Publishing House, New Delhi. In the proceedingsthe article appears from the page 361 topage 371.(3) A book can be noted down as, for exampleT. Kapitaniak, “Controlling Chaos” (AcademicPress, San Diego, 1996).(4) A Ph.D. thesis can be referred as shown below:S. Parthasarathy, “On the analytic structure andchaotic dynamics of certain damped driven nonlinearoscillators”. Ph.D. thesis. (BharathidasanUniversity, 1993, Unpublished).(5) For an unpublished manuscript downloaded frominternet one can note down the web site where it isavailable (see for example the references 5 and 6 ofthe references section of this manuscript).References can be either in alphabetical order accordingto author’s name or the order in which they are referredin the report. Make sure that each reference cited inthe text is correctly entered into the list of references.Repetition of references in the list should be avoided.D. Typing the ReportTyping should conform to the set of requirements ofthe institution. The thesis should be double line spacedand not more than 25 lines per page. It may be typedon both sides. Chapter heading must be in large sizewith bold face. Each paragraph should be right marginaligned. Important terms when used first time can bein italic letters and bold face. First word of a sentenceshould not be an abbreviation. Latest softwares such asLATEX or WORD can be used for thesis, dissertationand report preparation. One could download the softwareLATEX a free of cost from the web sites:1) http://www.ctan.org2) http://www.miktex.orgIf a report is prepared keeping all the above precautionsin mind, there is every likelihood of it becominguseful for proper study. Such report enables the readerto comprehend the data and to determine for himself thevalidity of the conclusion.Before or immediately after submitting hard copies ofthe Ph.D. dissertation to a university, show it to yourcolleagues, teachers, scientists of your department, yourparents and friends.XVII. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTWe acknowledge valuable discussion with ProfessorM. Sivasankaran Nair, Dr K. Balasubramanian and21Dr E. Subramanian. We are very grateful to ProfessorP.R. Subramanian and Dr K.P.N. Murthy for a criticalreading of the manuscript and their suggestions whichgreatly improved the presentation of the manuscript. Weare thankful to Prof.V.Devanathan, Dr.K.P.N.Murthyand Dr.Sudeshna Sinha for their suggestions to youngresearchers.REFERENCES:1. C. R. Kothari, Research Methodology: Methods andTechniques (Wiley Eastern, New Delhi, 1985).2. P. Saravanavel, Research Methodology (Kitab Mahal,Allahabad, 1987).3. E. M. Phillips and D. S. Pugh, How to get a Ph.D.?(UBSPD, New Delhi, 1993).4. R. Spangenburg and D. K. Moser, The Historyof Science in the Eighteenth Century (UniversityPress, Hyderabad, 1999)5. http://www.cs.indiana.edu/mit.research.how.to/section3.12.html6. http://www.camden.rutgers.edu/camden/TEC/index.html“It seems to me that scientific research should be regardedas a painter regards his art, a poet his poems,and a composer his music.” – Albert A. Michelson.“The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but transferenceof bones from one graveyard to another.” – Frank J. Dobie.When I got by B.S., I would be able to “bullshit”…When I got by M.S. I would have “more shit”, and thatfinally, upon reaching my Ph.D., it would be “piled higherand deeper.” – S. Baker.“Works are of value only if they give rise to betterones.” – Alexander von Humboldt.A Short interview with three eminent scientists.1. Interview with Professor V. DevanathanWhat are the requirements for a successful research career?Prof. V. Devanathan : Motivation and innate interest inthe topic of his research pursuit are the requirements for asuccessful research career. If a person takes the researchnot by compulsion but by his own choice, then he willnot feel it as a burden but pursue it as a hobby. “Scienceis at its best when it is a part of a way of life” – thisis the inscription that is found on the foundation stoneof Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai and trulydescribes the correct aptitude for a successful researchcareer.Is it possible for an average student to come up with novelresults in a research problem? If so, what kind of approachhe should follow?Prof. V. Devanathan : Usually, the assessment of a studentas good, average or bad is based on his performancein the examinations. There are some who are good inexaminations with a good memory for reproduction butlack in deeper understanding of the subject and originalityin approach. There are some who are not so good inexaminations but show originality in thinking and followunconventional or novel approach to the subject. Thereare a few who are good both in examinations and research.So, an average student with an ability of averageperformance in the examinations, need not feel differentif he has originality in thinking and self-confidence.During a research career, a young researcher may comeacross disappointing moments like not getting expectedresults, rejection of a research article from a journal, etc.What kind of mode of approach a researcher should haveto face such situations?Prof. V. Devanathan : “Success begets success and failurebegets failure.” Success and failure are like two sidesof a coin and one is bound to face them alternatively inthe course of one’s research career. Elation at the time ofsuccess and depression at the time of failure are usuallymitigated if one works in collaboration with others. Atthe time of depression, the co-workers come to the rescueand prop up the sagging spirit.In our manuscript we have mentioned the following:Each and every bit of work has to be done by the researcher.A young researcher should not do the entirework in collaboration with others. The researcher is advisedto perform all the work starting from identificationof the problem to report preparation by himself under theguidance of supervisor.Please give your views on this point.Prof. V. Devanathan : At the initial stages, the researchergets the support of the research group in whichhe is working and he acquires the knowledge of the groupeffortlessly. The weekly informal seminars, if conductedwithin the group, will increase the pace of learning andhelp to clarify and crystallize the problems. This processof learning is made easier if the young researcher works incollaboration with others. This is true both for theoreticaland experimental work. At present, the experimentalwork is almost a team work and successful research group22is one in which the group leader allots the specified workto individuals taking into account his ability and expertise.2. Interview with Dr K.P.N. MurthyThe common belief is that research is laborious andpainful. Many times you have mentioned: “Doing researchis an entertainment.” Please, elaborate on thisstatement of yours.Dr K.P.N. Murthy : Research not only constitute a discoveryor creating a new paradise but also consist of obtaininga personalized understanding of a phenomenon.The struggle that you go through for obtaining an insightinto a phenomenon or getting a hold of a nuance and theextessy that you get when you get an understanding ofa phenomenon or obtaining a new way of explaining ofthat phenomenon may be unmatched. This ecstasy isnothing to do with what yours creative have impact onscience and society. However, it is the ecstasy of whatEinstein got when he created special theory of relativityor Feynman when he created quantum electrodynamicsor Raman when he found the so-called Raman lines. Itis this makes the research an enterprise of joy. It is thatmakes a research an entertainment.Is it necessary for a beginner of research to learn all theaspects of theoretical, experimental and numerical techniquesinvolved in a topic before he take-up an actualresearch problem?Dr K.P.N. Murthy : A certain basic knowledge aboutphysics and mathematics is must for starting research.That is it. Several things you learn doing research. Ignoranceof even some of the basic elements is no hindrancefor creativity. What is required for doing good researchis an enthusiasm, a commitment and willingness to go#p#分页标题#e#back to basics and learn them right.Before preparing the final write-up of your research work,you have the practice of discussing the salient features ofyour findings with a few other researchers. How are youbenefited from this?Dr K.P.N. Murthy : After you have completed a pieceof work I find it is a good practice to discuss with yourcolleagues the important findings that you have made. Ihave always realized that I got a better understanding ofwhat I have done when I tried to explain to my colleaguesabout my work in a convincing way. The very act ofspeaking of what you have done removes the cob-webs inyour understandings. I always make it to give a seminaron my work to a larger audience before submitting it toa journal for publication. I feel this is a very good andhelpful practice.“Enjoy doing research and approach it as an entertainmentand a mode of getting happiness.” This is your suggestionto young researchers. Please, brief it for the benefitof youngsters. In what way will this be helpful to aresearcher?Dr K.P.N. Murthy : In any human enterprise it is importantthat one likes what one does. The hard work thatyou have put in a problem does not tired you and rest beassured if you approach a research problem with joy andyou will get a good result. Publication of that result andthe acceptance that you get from your colleagues becomesecondary. The satisfaction that you obtained by doing ajob well is a reward by itself. I would say that youngstersshould have this attitude towards whatever they do.3. Interview with Dr Sudeshna SinhaDespite unavoidable tasks a woman of our country has,you have become one of the leading scientists in theoreticalphysics. What are your advice and suggestionsto young researchers particularly to young women researchers?Dhttp://www.ukassignment.org/yjfflw/2012/0331/19387.htmlr Sudeshna Sinha : It is indeed somewhat harder forwomen to concentrate on career planning – especiallywhen their children are young. One will have to acceptthat household tasks will always be there. The hardestthing is not really the number of hours of work onecan put in – but the quality of concentration one canachieve. Here discipline comes in. Since women willprobably manage to get fewer hours of academic workdone every day – they need to really plan the academicwork they hope to achieve every single day. So it is mostbeneficial to discipline oneself into shutting off all dailychores from one’s mind for some hours every day. Thepoint is to learn efficiency – and to appreciate that onedoes not have the benefit of unlimited time (as others willmake justifiable demands on your time – like children).Also women may find it hard to pursue academic workat certain points in their life – but they must preserve theself-confidence and will to return to academic after suchtimes are over. They must realize that in 3–4 decades ofworking life – a few years is not a big deal. They shouldnot think that a break in career is irreversible.Publishing in reputed journals (like Physical Review Letters)is a dream or prestige for many physicists. Whatare the secret of yours for regular publications in reputedjournals? What type of problems one has to take up forgetting published in top-level journals?Dr Sudeshna Sinha : With journals like Physical ReviewLetters one must remember two things: First, always tryand make a case of the general interest of your results.The commonest grounds for rejection is lack of broad interest. This is very subjective of course, and being Indiandoes not help. But still, at the outset, one shouldmake an attractive statement of the general scope of one’swork (that is, try to answer this hypothetical question:Why should someone not doing research in this exactnarrow sub-field be interested in reading my paper). Secondpoint is persistence. Take all criticisms of the paper23seriously (and don’t reply needlessly aggressively to thereferees) and try to answer all the criticisms. Then resubmit,and don’t give up till the last round!How could a beginner of research come up with novel results?Dr Sudeshna Sinha : Well, I think coming up with novelresults is not entirely in one’s hand. There is an elementof good fortune here! If the guide of the young researchercan identify a problem that is technically easy to tackle –but whose results can be of considerable potential interest– then there is a good chance for the young researcherto get a novel result. But this is not in the hands of theyoung researcher, and most often not in the hands of theguide either (as it depends on the subject, timing etc.).In this matter I always tell my students:whether you get a novel result tomorrow is amatter of luck, but in a career spanning severaldecades, if you work steadily and think deeplyabout the subject, it is almost assured that atsome point or the other, you will get a good ideawhich will lead to a novel result!To get a deep insight into the topic or problem of research,what are the ways a young researcher can follow?Dr Sudeshna Sinha : One should not just passively readpapers or books! One should try to work it all out insome detail. While reading passively one feels one hasunderstood – but only when one is trying to solve somethingdoes one gain any real understanding. In fact it isa great idea to look at the title and abstract of a paper,and then ask oneself how one would have attempted towork on such a problem and only then look at what theauthors have done.