2: Serendipity

How do we do research? There are text book answers. Identify your research question. Look for data. Decide on which methods you are going to use. Then start with a literature survey. And so on. My intuition then tells me that what is produced is usually routine, even boring, measured by the small number of citations to any published paper. Can we do better? How can we aim to produce something that is original and significant? I have a jumble of ideas in my mind that I try to organise from time to time for seminars on such topics as ‘research methods’. This is a new attempt to structure the jumble. The motivation: to take the risk of offering advice to researchers – both less and more experienced – and in the process to challenge some of the canons of research ideologies. And also – another kind of risk – to see whether I can draw from my own experience. In this, luck has played a big part – a kind of serendipity. Is there such a thing as planned serendipity? (In my case, none of this was planned.) Maybe wide reading and talking – the breadth as well as the depth? Continue reading “2: Serendipity”