Monday, December 01, 2008

Who is research for, anyway?

Now that The Dissertation is finished I want to ask the question that always seemed to annoy faculty: Who is research for, anyway?

I feel it should ultimately be geared toward helping the practitioner. But most research is written in that stilted academic style (believe me, mine's closer to comprehensible English than most, and it was still like writing in a second language), often full of numbers incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't taken Graduate Statistics, published in journals that cost $200/year, and presented at conferences attended only by other academics. Then the researchers complain that research doesn't transfer into practice!

Any response to this?


Anonymous said...

I do read academic research for my commercial publications at Brandon Hall Research. I try to make the 'lit review' conversational, mini- meta analysis so that it doesn't bore people too much. So, I'll go looking for dissertations.

I think the value is primarily for the writer of the research and future researchers. That's how I see the research I'm doing now as a Ph.D. student.

IMHO though, it's all just a big game - verification that you can play by the rules. (journals, academic presentations, etc.)

Jane Bozarth said...

I agree about it being a big game; as I said in my post "So I'm finally a doctor!" I felt that jumping through so many hoops could've at least also provided some aerobic exercise.

A friend of mine -- someone you've heard of -- actually hired a writer to "academic up" her dissertation.

I have a lot of contact with workplace trainers and do feel it would be beneficial for them to have more, or easier, access to current research.