Publications are the published work of researchers. It is the published results of researchers who have gained new knowledge in their discipline through the use of scientific theories and methods.
Researchers like Epicentre go into the field (community areas) and collect physical and intellectual information. This can be done through the use of surveys, questionnaires, blood tests, etc. This information is then stored and analysed either by researchers like Epicentre or by a second set of research partners.
This information or data is then analysed and examined against scientific questions and/or scientific theories. The researcher’s analysis of this data is then used to explain and interpret researchers questions.
The way that researchers present and explain how they reached a particular answer to their questions, is through the use of research publications.
These research publications, are then looked at by other independent scientists who question and discuss the way they answered their questions. This is called being ‘peer reviewed’, and it helps to make sure that researchers are not being ‘biased’ or unscientific. This is why sometimes researchers take back their publications, as sometimes the answers scientists come too may be too emotional or just badly researched.
Research publications often have a set formula that they follow:
- They will have a brief overview in the beginning known as an ‘abstract’.
- They will then introduce the research under the introduction. Under this heading they will explain where, why, and how the research took place.
- Under the literature review researchers will look at other similar publications and use other scientists’ work to help explain their question.
- The methodology or ‘research design’ section is where researchers explain exactly how they gathered their data and analysed their results.
- There will then be a discussion of their findings, where different interpretations of the research results are looked at and considered. Under this section the use of graphs and tables are often used to make research results easier to follow.
- Finally, the research paper often contains a conclusion, where the researcher gives their final opinion on what they think the answer to the research question truly is.
If you are looking for a brief understanding of any research publication, my advice is to look at the abstract and the conclusion. This will give you a reasonable understanding of any well presented publication.