5 Major Problems in Scientific Research And Development
- Jan 13, 2017
- Sudipto Das
The pace of scientific growth is quickening with the passage of time. But of course, you must know this yourself by now. Unfortunately, a host of problems plague science and its development. Some of them are highlighted below.
1. Funding problems
Most researchers face a fair bit of struggle in securing their funding. This isn’t a new problem by any means. In fact, this is an age old one but it’s still continuing with gusto.
The main problem that researchers are facing these days is that project fundings are mainly depending on the projected duration of the project. This is a problem especially when complex projects are concerned. Complex projects usually don’t come with a definite and limited time line. Such projects face a whole lot of problem especially when fundings are concerned.
This, in turn creates a problem for the academia. Most researchers tend to choose simple projects favored by the grant to maintain a steady flow of research funds. Thus, more complex researches are not getting the priority they deserve.
2. Poor design in published papers
Poor design framed in studies has become a major source of concern in published papers. One of the main reasons behind such sort of study is the presence of statistical flaws. Such statistical flaws often go undetected.
Breakthrough results are usually valued the most. In such cases, it is often found that the researchers hype up the results to gain more importance; thereby getting them published quickly and effectively.
A simple example can be found here where studies show that certain biomedical studies misuse p-values to gain more scientific importance than necessary causing a wastage of time, money and resources.
3. “No replication” studies create a problem
Most scientific studies come up with a clause like “no replication” or something similar. This is mainly done to prevent plagiarism but on the other hand, it does create a few problems.
Most research journals prefer original ideas; original content which is definitely good on one hand but on the hindsight, this “no replication” clause prevents additional result verification and testing. So, if the original experiment had a fair share of mistakes, it cannot be curbed easily because of the lack of verification and testing.
4. Peer review problems
Peer review is usually considered the backbone of research publication. It’s mainly done to keep faulty or plagiarized research at bay; thereby, ensuring the fact that a specific manuscript is devoid of flaws.
But this peer review is not free of problems. Sometimes, it is seen that many of these reviewers come up with unnecessary delay in work and also comes up with poor and unhelpful reviews. Reviewers bullying authors are also a part and parcel of research publications. These things cannot be tolerated and need to be curbed as soon as possible.
5. Research accessibility problems
Nowadays, academia’s moving toward open access to all its members. However, many major publishers offer their content on a subscription-based model. And these subscription fees aren’t that cheap that you probably think it should be. Researchers who are trying hard to make both ends meet to maintain the continuance of their very own project consider this restricted access a major problem because of the involvement of these subscription fees.
The problems highlighted above are a definite cause of stagnation in scientific development. Proper steps need to be taken to avoid them as much as possible. Apart from such problems, various issues like gender inequality, harassment etc. plague such scientific developments. Proper steps need to be taken to bring such problems under control. With that, we would like to sign off for now. Hope you had a good read.
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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