Regularly assess your research design progress and direction

Begin by asking yourself some important questions about your plans for the research itself (Table 1.2). Seek advice on these matters. If necessary, modify your plans accordingly.

At regular intervals, pause to check the direction your work is taking. Force yourself to sit down and describe your progress in writing. The discipline of marshaling words into formal sentences will compel you to think about it more clearly.


Although peer-reviewed formal research publication is the major emphasis of this book, it is only one of many ways scientific data can be shared. The way scientists transmit their work to one another has changed more in the past two decades than at any time since the first appearance of scholarly journals back in the late seventeenth century.

Publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal feels like such an important step that it can be tempting to rush to this phase - or to run from it in fear. How can one know when a study is actually ready to be shared through formal publication? Or whether it should be published at all? And if it isn't ready yet, what can be done with it in the meanwhile?

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