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Starting A Career In Research Can Be Daunting – Here’s A Step-By-Step Guide!

Research is the systematic study of knowledge or information on a specific topic of interest. The advancement of technology we see in our world today across the fields of engineering, medicine, architecture, agriculture and more is possible because of the contribution of researchers. If you have a natural curiosity for exploring new ideas, a career in research might be the perfect fit for you. However, getting started in this field can seem daunting, as there are various paths you can take.

In this blog, we will guide you through the measures you can take to launch a career in the ever-growing field of research; we discuss everything from identifying your research interests to obtaining the necessary qualifications and exploring different job opportunities. 

Educational Requirements to Have A Career in Research

A career in research is immensely beneficial for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. The beauty of having a career in research is all the different branches of subjects that are open to exploration; scientific research and a plethora of commercial and public sector research are great examples of the variety. To excel in research, the key quality is to have knowledge and dedication towards your chosen specialism; since research is a field heavily associated with academia and education, a strong educational background is also required, you must have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. 

A career in research can also be obtained with just a bachelor’s degree. As you progress within your education, you may also climb up the career ladder within research, most positions in the field of research require a master’s degree and experience with research coursework. 

Potential Jobs and Industries To Pursue

Launching a career in research opens doors across various industries like educational institutions, government institutions, industrial laboratories, corporate institutions, hospitals, insurance companies, private companies and industries. These fields can advance their policies, technology and progress because of the research conducted to find solutions and further improve practices. 

Listed below are the positions you can take on to build your career in research.

  • Research Psychologist: As a researcher in psychology, you will be working across studies and research projects specialising in the study of human and animal behaviour. This area of study is usually beneficial to the health sector and experiments are typically conducted under the supervision of universities and relevant health organisations. 
  • Medical Research Scientist: The field of medicine is always evolving. As a researcher in medicine, you will be tasked to develop medicinal cures for diseases; the responsibilities that come with this role are to plan, conduct, record & derive solutions from relevant experiments. This area of study is typically required in research institutions, hospitals, and government laboratories. 
  • Biological Science Researcher: The field of biology leads you to discoveries and explorations that are directly connected to organisms. The scope of research within this field is to closely study the life cycle of organisms and find effective solutions to issues they may face. This area of study is usually utilised in government agencies. 
  • Market Research Analyst: This role assesses consumer behaviour to analyse and predict the suitability of a product or service within the relevant market and demographic. This role also delves into the financial information of companies to analyse and derive profits and losses. 
  • Agriculture and food scientist: This role is dedicated to researching methods to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products. Agriculture and food scientists usually work in food manufacturing facilities, research & development in life sciences and universities and government entities. 
  • Physical scientist: Specialising in sciences dedicated to non-living objects, physical scientists are involved in physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology. The research involved in these disciplines focuses on physical properties and energies. Physical scientists usually work in academic settings and private industry or research organisations. 
  • Research mathematician: As a research mathematician, you would be involved in providing abstract theorems, and developing mathematical descriptions to interpret and predict real-life concepts. You would also be involved in the application of mathematical principles to identify key trends in data sets. This role presents the opportunity to pursue a particularly diverse range of pure and applied maths like algebra, combinatorics and numerical analysis to name a few. Research mathematicians usually work in research or commercial organisations. 
  • Economic research analyst: The role of an economic research analyst is to review and analyse economic data to prepare reports detailing the results of executed research. This role also requires you to conduct surveys to determine and analyse occupational employment statistics, wage information, labour supply and demand, tax revenues, agriculture production and insurance and utility rate structures. Being an economic research analyst is a well-rounded role that is in demand in an array of sectors. 

How can you conduct effective research within your discipline?

Conducting adequate research is a crucial skill for academics and professionals. The process of conducting research can be complex and time-consuming, requiring careful planning, attention to detail, and critical thinking skills. To execute effective research, you must be able to identify your research question or objective, locate and evaluate relevant sources, and synthesise information into a meaningful and coherent body of knowledge. However, to stay on top of the exchange of information and research within your area of study, you must implement the following practices and strategies: 

  • Work on important problems

To build a successful career in research, it’s imperative to develop an acute sense of importance to assess which problems are worth solving. As conducting research is not simply answering a question, it is a deep exploration of all aspects of a single issue; with limited resources, the most pressing issue is awarded a solution. Furthermore, the research you take on builds your portfolio as a researcher. Addressing and working on important and prevailing issues gives noteworthy results that can improve your leverage as a researcher within your field.

  • Be welcoming to new issues

While researching a specific topic, as a researcher, you may encounter another issue that does not have as much research on it. It’s important to look for new questions and aspects of research within problem areas in your respective field as these are usually motivated by current affairs within the discipline. You will need to acquire the skill to explore something entirely new within an area of study, not only will this bring your research more visibility as it will give new insight and perspective but it will also be a topic that you explored first. 

  • Know the literature

The best practice to stay informed within your discipline is to read the available academic literature. This will sharpen your ability to not only write your own research but also recognise which topics are emerging and what has been previously done. As a researcher, the best habit you can create for yourself is to read. Any research paper that is accessible to you will potentially provide not only new aspects of research to you but also become more knowledgeable of your discipline. 

In conclusion, starting a career in research can be daunting, however, with these key strategies and roles; you can map out which sector and position your abilities and qualifications are best suited for. Due to research being an ever-growing field, there are endless discoveries to be made and with the growth of the open access movement; the field of research is becoming more diverse and open to the contribution of all relevant demographics.

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Investigating Sci-Hub: An Exploration of the Strengths and Limitations

Valuable scientific research papers are usually stored behind paywalls. Sci-Hub is a platform that emerged in 2011 as a means to ‘remove all barriers in science’ while the initiative and establishment of Sci-Hub made strides within the open access movement, various questions and concerns have been raised about piracy and intellectual rights infringements as well is how the future of research will be impacted. From individual authors and researchers to publishing giants, this blog presents a comprehensive framework of the strengths and limitations of platforms like Sci-Hub. 

What is Sci-Hub? 

Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to scientific research papers and academic articles that are behind paywalls. It was founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011, with the goal of making scientific knowledge accessible to anyone, regardless of their financial resources or institutional affiliations. The site uses proxy servers to bypass the paywalls of major scientific publishers and provide users with free access to articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription. The use of Sci-Hub is controversial, as it is illegal in many countries and has been the subject of lawsuits by major publishers. However, it has also gained a large following among researchers and scholars who see it as a way to access scientific research.

Why so many are attracted to Sci-Hub?

An eminent argument is that Sci-Hub disseminates scientific research papers within emerging regions globally, this is done with no restrictions and in an effort to enhance the accessibility of research. As an open access platform, the establishment of Sci-Hub adds pressure on publishers, libraries and databases alike to provide open access alternatives to level the field within academia. 

Providing access to high-quality scientific research in emerging countries not only promotes equality within academia but also has the potential to increase the contribution from these countries and provide new perspectives and areas of study within research communities. Moreover, research papers are undoubtedly impacted positively by increased visibility and transparency.

Why is Sci-Hub controversial?

As Sci-Hub gains popularity, it is a controversial platform known to part-take in copyright infringement. The platform operates by providing free access to scientific research papers that are behind paywalls. By bypassing these restrictions, Sci-Hub has published and disseminated a vast collection of copyrighted material without the permission of publishers, making it a hub for copyright infringement. 

Due to Sci-Hub operating outside the traditional publishing model and obtaining its content illegally, this flags significant quality control issues; without the peer review process and editorial supervision provided by reputable journals, there is a concern about the research being disseminated by Sci-Hub.

While Sci-Hub has gained popularity; Sci-Hub also does not provide key metrics. This impacts the revenue streams of publishers and individual authors as the metrics to track and produce credibility are not taken into account. This lost data has the potential to negatively impact current and future research communities. Metrics like downloads and citations are significant to assessing a researcher’s credibility and career, Sci-Hub does not allow researchers or readers to access this information which creates a roadblock for research communities to operate on reliable metrics.

Furthermore, Sci-Hub undermines traditional publishing methods. Due to the platform not relying on article fees and subscriptions; the platform cannot fund the dissemination of quality scientific research. While Sci-Hub’s mission is to increase accessibility, this can be challenging as the platform has been banned in several countries because of Sci-Hub’s illegal methods of obtaining content, it is worth mentioning that the platform has been accused of using email phishing methods and gaining access to 42 university databases. In addition, the research available on Sci-Hub is not reviewed or updated making the research old and less relevant. 

What actions can the research industry take? 

Undoubtedly, platforms like Sci-Hub exist because of the gaps present in the research sector. To discourage the use of illegal platforms like Sci-Hub, the research industry can take several significant actions, such as making research papers more affordable and widely available, improving the quality and scope of open access research papers, negotiating better deals with publishers, and substantially increasing public funding for research. Additionally, researchers can publish their work in open access journals or deposit their manuscripts in institutional repositories, which can make their work more accessible. An increase in awareness about the implications on the research community of using pirated content can also help discourage the use of sites like Sci-Hub by readers and learners.

In conclusion, the principle that Sci-Hub was built on is to grant access to emerging regions, low-income students and researchers to the world of scientific research. While this is an admirable foundation, the dismissal of the established processes in the industry is harmful to the future of researchers. To significantly reduce the usage of pirated platforms, all stakeholders in the publishing spectrum must work together to create and promote affordable and accessible models of dissemination.

Discover millions of journal articles, e-books, proceedings and so much more now on Zendy.

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Assessing the Importance of Analytics in Academic Research

In the current data-driven era, the importance of analytics in academic research cannot be overstated. Analytics help determine editorial decisions and give publishers insight into how their publications are being consumed, making analytics an indispensable tool for researchers across both STEM and HSS fields. In this blog, we assess and explore how analytics enable researchers to extract insights and make evidence-based decisions while also considering the benefits and limitations of analytics within academic research.

Benefits of analytics

  • Analytics within academic research provides insight into how research papers are being utilised by readers, taking into account the platforms the research is being consumed on, the citations it receives and how it is being shared.
  • Analysing metrics relevant to academic research helps to identify author and reader behaviour. This results in informed editorial decisions, along with better 
  • Analytics also allow academic research publishers to streamline their workflow by calculating submission and acceptance timelines. This also has the potential to depict and analyse peer-review times and provides a thorough analysis of the data mentioned within a manuscript submission.
  • Identifying the most cited research within a specific discipline can benefit authors’ own academic research with accurate sources from well-reputed journals and/or authors.

Consuming academic research from legal platforms which respect copyright guidelines aid publishers in collecting accurate data to produce and publish new academic research papers. Furthermore, this collection of data and metrics aids researchers advance within their careers as it helps establish researcher credibility through H-index scores and other metrics. 

Drawbacks of analytics

  • The collection and analysis of reader data to depict usage and engagement can raise privacy concerns especially if personal details are also extracted.
  • The data collected within academic research can be biased or misinterpreted if not examined rigorously. For example, data on citations and downloads may not accurately convey the impact of research but rather the popularity of the author or journal.
  • The growth of analytics in academic research may create an overreliance on metrics. This can potentially shift the focus to trending topics and authors rather than original, relevant and impactful research.
  • Currently, there is no standard method for collecting and reporting analytical data within academic research. This lack of standardisation leaves room for misinterpretation, fabrication and biased numbers.

Platforms like Z-library, which provide free but illegal access to academic research and publications, pose a threat to the analytics used by publishers. Z Library bypasses traditional publishing by engaging in the unauthorised sharing of copyrighted content. It hosts digital copies of books without the explicit permission of the authors or publishers. This violates copyright laws and intellectual property rights. This can undermine the ability of publishers to make data-driven decisions about which articles to publish and promote, and can also affect the accuracy of analytics data. Which in turn affects the measurement of the true impact of academic research publications.

In conclusion, the growth of analytics within academic research is undeniable. While metrics allow publishers, authors and readers to depict how accurate their sources are and how well their research papers are performing, this comes at the cost of potential privacy concerns, fabrication of data and the lack of a standardised approach to collecting and reporting analytical data. However, investing time and resources to establish safe practices that produce accurate metrics can greatly benefit all parties involved in academic research; publishers can use this data to cater to readers by creating personalised lists and recommendations while also encouraging researchers to work within certain subject areas across different disciplines.

Discover millions of journal articles, e-books, proceedings and so much more now on Zendy.


Zendy Unveils New AI-Powered Features for Research Papers

Zendy announced today the launch of its new AI-powered features that help researchers streamline the literature discovery process. Unlike traditional tools that rely on simple statistical methods, Zendy’s AI-based summarisation and keyphrase highlighting tool comprehends the underlying meaning of research papers, resulting in more accurate information for the researcher.

With these new features, Zendy will continuously enhance its AI-based tool with new papers available in its platform. The new papers will be used to fine-tune the models to generate even more insightful information, providing researchers with the most up-to-date and relevant insights.

With the  depth of content available to researchers, reviewing literature is one of the most time consuming, yet critical, aspects of the research process. AI-based summarisation can significantly optimise literature review by automating the process of identifying the most relevant information in a large body of literature.

Keyphrase highlighting within academic texts spotlights critical concepts in the text, making it easier for researchers to quickly and efficiently identify the most important information related to their research question.

We’re pleased to offer researchers a more intelligent way to utilise and continue their discovery through research papers,” said Zendy Co-founder Kamran Kardan. “It’s critical that the industry leverage the best technologies to deliver value to the research discovery process and enable a more effective and equitable experience for students, researchers, and professionals. The correct use and implementation of AI and machine learning has the power to make a true difference in creating a more knowledgeable world.”

In addition, Zendy’s is building topic classification models that will deliver AI-based personalised search results to enable researchers to discover papers based on their interests and preferences. 

Zendy’s latest  AI-based summarisation and keyphrase highlighting features are now available in beta-mode to users, and the platform will continue to evolve with new papers and enhanced AI capabilities, providing researchers with the industry’s most advanced research tools available.

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Zendy Partners With IntechOpen to Boost Accessibility of Open Access Content for Developing Countries

Zendy is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with IntechOpen, a leading global publisher of Journals and Books within the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine. Zendy will host IntechOpen’s Book Series and open science journals, offering all the benefits of open access to authors, users, and readers.

Zendy a product of Knowledge E, provides seamless access to millions of articles, journals, e-books, and more. Comprehensive filters enable users to search effectively for content, making it easier for them to identify, read, cite, and save the content that they need.

As members of the SDG Publishers Compact, both Knowledge E and IntechOpen share the same commitment to increase awareness, publish and disseminate scientific research that supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is why we are thrilled that the Sustainable Development series will be featured on the Zendy platform, as this is how we can all work together to contribute and achieve the SDGs.

Zendy Co-founder Kamran Kardan said, “IntechOpen has been a driving force in the open access movement, and we are proud to partner with them to further our shared mission of democratising access to knowledge. With IntechOpen’s extensive portfolio of scholarly work and Zendy’s cutting-edge technology, we can make a significant impact on improving the accessibility of scientific research in developing regions, ultimately contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Viktorija Žgela, Head of Editorial Development at IntechOpen, commented: “The journey towards more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future starts with collaborative efforts. The scholarly communication landscape with all its stakeholders, including researchers, publishers, online libraries, and service providers that facilitate and enrich the publishing experience and the communication of the scientific output, is part of this journey. Therefore, it is a pleasure to partner with Zendy because we share the same vision, mission, and values: to make academic content accessible to everyone in the world.”

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See The Top 5 Reads of April 2023

April brings all semester deadlines closer, this past month’s trending research papers on Zendy were a diverse bunch. Discover and dive into everything from the United Nations universal period review, a study on bio emulsifiers derived from micro-organisms, a comprehensive analysis of the effects of social media within specific industries, the factors that cause academic stress among college students and finally, the issues that organic farming causes within the agriculture sector. From mental health studies to biological proposals and general information on the United Nations imperative initiatives; we’ve covered it all.

  1. Introduction to Universal Periodic Review

Introduced in 2006, the universal periodic review is an opportunity through which all UN member states are given the opportunity to objectively review and scrutinise the human rights records of all other member states. This was established in an effort to eliminate the self-regulatory mechanism and open conversation for accountability and detailed records of human rights policies and initiatives. 

Read more on Zendy: Introduction to Universal Periodic Review

  1. Bioemulsifiers Derived From Micro-organisms: Application in Food and Drug

Emulsifiers are known to reduce the speed of chemical reactions and enhance their stability. Bio emulsifiers have unique features like non-toxicity, biodegradability, biocompatibility, efficiency at low concentrations, and high selectivity in different pH balances, temperatures, and salinities. This research paper closely studies organisms with biosurfactant-producing abilities and how this can be utilised in environmental remediation and the petroleum industry. 

Read more on Zendy: Bioemulsifiers Derived From Micro-organisms: Application in Food and Drug

  1. An Integrated Analysis of the Impact of Social Media 

This journal article observes the impact of social media within the fields of business, education, society and youth by determining precisely what social media is utilised for and how these key features can benefit but also serve as drawbacks within each industry mentioned earlier. Published in 2016, this study takes place at a time when social media culture was shifting to the modernisation we are familiar with today. 

Read more on Zendy: An Integrated Analysis of the Impact of Social Media 

  1. The Factors That Cause Academic Stress on College Students

This case study identifies examination fear, fear of failure, the discriminating nature of teachers and peers, and poor classroom experience as academic stress triggers. Using this guideline, the study discovers the findings through a comprehensive survey to determine which remedial measures should be incorporated within curriculums and educational systems across the world. 

Read more on Zendy: Effect of Perceived Academic Stress on College Students

  1. Agricultural Science and Organic Farming

This research paper states that organic farming bans all uses of almost every synthetic fertilizer and pesticide. This ban does not take into account the range of differences in the materials from dangerous to benign components; it also neglects the scientific research depicting that synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can be the best solution for specific agricultural issues. 

Read more on Zendy: Agricultural Science and Organic Farming: Time to Change Our Trajectory

Discover millions of e-books, journal articles, proceedings and more on Zendy now.