Who would’ve thought that a single world could be capable of striking fear into the hearts of physicians and scientists alike.
From the researching to drafting to the review to redrafting to submission and peer review, the road to publication is a long, arduous process, that can make or break a physician’s research career.
So I decided to get a head start and begin learning the art of writing a research paper. And although it’s been a difficult process, I feel as though I have learnt a lot and become a better scientist.
I decided to base my research inquiry on the theory of endosymbiosis and do some research to determine whether this now widely accepted theory of chemical evolution could be stimulated artificially, speeding up the evolution of human bodily cells and thus opening a new avenue of treatment for several diseases. Needless to say, this was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO DO.
So here are some things I’ve learnt and discovered along the way.
1. It is okay to use the regular Google search engine sometimes
I remember trying to use the more academic Google scholar several times for my research inquiry only to start reading a journal and feel completely and utterly out of my depth. This achieved nothing and just left me feeling frustrated that I lacked the knowledge to fully comprehend these articles. Only on returning to the regular search engine was I able to conduct meaningful research and proceed further in answering my question. I was even able to access snippets of journals from websites such as www.sciendirect.com and extract the information required. I was significantly more productive.
2. Do the work
As I progressed further in my research, I began to put a draft together. Then I hit a roadblock. I realised that i had not fully immersed myself in my research and so lacked the understanding and knowledge to even go about proposing an answer to my research inquiry. I had to go back and do the work.
3. Accepting the outcome
Too often as scientists we are much too focused on reaching the desired outcome in our research, that we dismiss what we have learnt along the way and how this could be applicable or beneficial to other research projects. I realised as I began finishing my draft, that my research question was unlikely to have a conclusive answer as this was not an experimental research project and I’m still very in-advanced with regards to scientific knowledge, however I refused to dismiss the fact that I had broadened and deepened my knowledge during the course of this project. That in itself was remarkable.
By Tolu Fabunmi xx
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