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How To Excel As A Researcher – According To ChatGPT

How to excel as a researcher – according to ChatGPT

I’m continuing my conversations with AI in today’s post. I now asked ChatGPT how to excel as a researcher. You can find the reply of the AI in italic and my comments on this in regular.

To excel as a researcher, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose a research area that aligns with your interests and expertise. Yes indeed, otherwise you will be rather miserable.
  2. Stay current with the latest research and developments in your field. I think we need to be a bit more precise here: read recent publications, attend conferences, and review papers to get the scoop before it gets published.
  3. Develop a strong research question or hypothesis and design an effective study plan. This advice seems to be more geared towards students than researchers at later stages in their careers. Yes indeed, a research question is important, and you need a plan and methodology to tackle things, but often in later stages of our career, it is the funding and expected outcomes that are at the center of the research design.
  4. Utilize a variety of data collection methods and analyze your data rigorously. I’m not sure what ChatGPT has in mind when it comes to a variety of data collection methods. I test specimens that are instrumented with sensors – so most of my work is experimental. It can be extended with analytical and numerical work, but that is not always necessary (and at times takes the attention away from the findings of the experiments). Analyzing data rigorously is indeed important.
  5. Collaborate with other researchers, both within and outside your institution. Networking and building relations with others is important.
  6. Publish your findings in high-impact journals and present your research at conferences. Yes – but again, this requires a constant writing practice to make sure you can get to the ultimate product of a paper.
  7. Seek out funding opportunities and grants to support your research. In the order of the topics here, it feels that getting funding should be the first step.
  8. Maintain clear and organized research records, including laboratory notebooks, data sets, and code. I agree, and this topic is perhaps often overlooked.
  9. Mentor and guide junior researchers and students. Indeed, mentoring is important.
  10. Continuously seek out new research opportunities and challenges to expand your knowledge and skills. This sounds like a good idea, but it is also very vague.

What I’m missing here, are some of the following ideas:

  • Keep learning new skills to evolve as a researcher
  • Collaborate with industry partners to put your research to practice
  • If you work in technology, think about patenting an invention, or making it open to the public.
  • Learn the necessary skills to manage the process of your projects as well as the finances.

What do you think of the AI-generated answer? Which skills do you think are missing from this list?

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