research basics: ethics and philosophy.

If one wants to be a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) two things must be present in the basic foundations of this path, according to my actual perspective.  Both of this elements I am learning them in a very hard way, as I was clueless about them and no-one guide me about them.  Those two essentials research basics are: Research philosophy and Publication-Ethics. Both are equally important.

First element: Research Philosophy

Seldom one  hears/reads researchers’ awareness about this. Actually, even I wonder how many PhD students have re-read at least partially some of the research classics lectures (Plato, Socrates, etc.). In this University, where several PhD students are enroll. It is not only if one reads classics or not, the whole research should be anchor in some philosophy, why are we doing what we are doing? and/or so what? This is as important as clear and focus research questions, which by the way are related.

Location of the philosophical classics at our University. A VERY hidden and secure place in some corner at the library.

(Photo: Location of the philosophical classics at our University. A VERY hidden and secure place in some corner at the library)

Second element: Publication-Ethics

My ignorance in this topic and the lack of guidance I have and had, made me done ethical mistakes. I am learning slowly and in a hard-painful way not only for me, but also for people that I respect and I work with.

One should be very clear of one’s research, one’s responsibilities and obligations as researcher and of the well establish ethics of the research community. Each publication that one does it is not a superficial outcome to add in a CV, as sometimes a system wants us to believe, or as I though it was.

Each paper involves much work, reflection, knowledge, time, values, that it is a concrete outcome of how we are growing as researchers within a research community. Each publication must be in harmony with several dimensions (personal, team, university, community, etc.). Authorship, contributions, ideas, how the paper is written, the integrity of the document, etc. all these has a weight.

From my perspective, any researcher should understand these two basic elements and promote them to truly support the grow of knowledge of everybody.  I am learning this, as other things. I am not an expert yet but today I want to make public that I know the relevance of this facts, and I subscribe to improve this practice.

Photos: old articles, old books, old thoughs… maybe we should reflect that what is old is actually our basics before we forget them completely….

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