A Common Single-Person Research Design That Does Not Work (Well)

I’ve had some success in grant proposals with research designs for human-centered software engineering that follow the following (common) pattern. It is a three-step of

  1. Structured literature review (to create an initial theory),
  2. Action research (to build out the quickly evolving theory), and
  3. Case study research (to conclude by evaluating the theory)
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Have You Seen This Review?

We recently submitted a structured literature review to a well-ranked journal, and got a review back complaining about how badly our controlled experiment had been carried out. We inquired with the editor about this, but got no answer back. The review (by reviewer 2, no less) is so generic, I suspect it has been used many times before. I’d be curious to hear from you if you received this (same) review in the past.

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Dear Ministry, Are You Serious?

Translated from the (German) instructions on the final step of submitting a project plan for funding:

Please specify exactly how many and which publications you will publish over the next three years.

Yeah, right.

Best Practices for Page Numbers in Article Submissions

Should you add page numbers to articles you submit for review? Absolutely. Why? Because it will make it easier for reviewers to comment.

Should you have page numbers in an article you are preparing for submission? Absolutely. Why? Because your coauthors will find it easier to comment. (Not everyone will always be online; I still comment a lot on paper thanks to Deutsche Bahn and Vodafone.)

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Open Sourcing Research Software

In this 15min. video I’ll take you through the basic steps of open sourcing your research software. It covers purpose of open sourcing, the rights situation, license choice, and the actual step of open sourcing.

The slides are also available. Please note that the slides and video contain some simplifications so make sure you resp. your lawyers know what they are doing.

The Role of a Literature Review in Grant Proposals

Christmas is coming up, so what’s a professor got to do? Hide from the family and work on grant proposals, naturally. Right now I’m upset about the misunderstanding of the role that literature reviews play in grant proposals (by way of reviewer comments).

Reviewing literature is just a general activity, but one that can serve many purposes. Depending on the purpose, different review techniques are more or less suited to help achieve that purpose. I’ll focus on the two main purposes, related work and theory building.

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