How to research on a field and publish an article

6 minute read

If you ask me if it is really necessary to publish a paper, I will say- yes regardless of whatever you choose as a profession. If you choose to stay in academic arena, this is a must. Otherwise you can not just march ahead to develop your career. If you choose to work in industries, still I will suggest you to publish articles at least once or twice.

Having published resaerch articles not only earns reputations in a particular arena, but also introduces yourself in professional sectors as having better analytical and documentation skills. And you know, information is useless if it is not well documented.

In this article, I described the steps from how to start researching to publishing a related manuscript.

1. Choose a particular research topic

First of all, choose a particular topic that you will like to work on later. There are so many hot topics to work on in computer science and technology. This sector is always growing at a tremendous rate and new piece of information is being born every single day.

Some current hot research topics are- cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), fog & rdge computing, network & information security, big data, data mining, data science, machine learning, Artificial intelligence, image processing, embedded system, wireless networks etc and many more. Every single field is so interesting and awaits your contribution.

To contribute in something, at first you have to read a lot. Because maybe still you don’t know what are the research gaps and how much progress on that field have already been achieved. So, you have to read books, articles conference papers and web contents. Web contents are always available for free, but all the articles or manuscripts are not free. So how to collect them without any cost?

There are a few ways you can collect the necessary manuscripts. Frst you need to know if your university network has access to particular digital libraries. For example, most of the universities allow students to access and download articles from certain digital libraries such as IEEE Xplore or ACM digital library etc.

Whether or not your university provide that, you need to have an account in [Researchgate][rs] or [Academia][academia]. These are two popular social networks for researchers. If you need a manuscript of particular authors, you can find his manuscripts here if shared publicly. Or you can request them for the paper. In some countries, many students use the sci-hub network as well to download the papers although it’s not a legal way. But, whatever, you need contents, right? :)

3. Organize the papers and share with collaborators

You need to study a lot of manuscripts before finding a research gap or problem. Also you need to be sure, the solution you have identified or about to work on has not been already addressed. Therefore, you have to collect a lot of papers and organize thereby. If you are collaborating or brainstorming with someone, then you both have to share the papers as well.

The easiest way you can do is- share the files via Google drive or Dropbox. There you can create directories and subdirectories to organize which manuscripts are useful and which are not; which one’s already summarized etc. Also there are some particular web tools which are excellent to keep track on. One of the most preferable tools is Mendeley. You can also download it’s desktop version from their official site.

4. Read the survey papers and find research gaps

Don’t know where to start at..? Read the survey papers first. The survey papers are generally discuss on almost every possible applications and research directions over a particular field. So, after choosing the field, you definitely need to read the survey papers first. Read the discussion section carefully and find the research gaps. If you find one, now you can collect the related manuscripts.

5. Identify the problem

The very first thing of any research methodology is to identify the problem. No one just comes with a novel idea; one needs to find out the problem first. If there’s no problem what’s the need of a solution!

So, think what is the problem and how important it is to find an efficient solution. Then jot down the problem statement. Later it will be easier to find the objectives and motivation for the work you are going to do from this statement.

6. Brainstorm ideas and write an abstract

After an elaborate literature review of a particular problem you identified, you will find the limitations or scopes of other’s work. Now it’s time to think of different or extended approaches to remove the barriers or limitations. You can propose a new architecture or develop an existing algorithm to do that.

Whatever ideas you get, write down the abstract. It’s obvious that it will be changed later, but you can keep track of your work and be able strict with the objectives you have proposed.

7. Find a suitable article template to write

While preparing the manuscript, you should prefer an article template instead of plain doc files. In this case, you will find many Latex or word template to write on. I prefer latex for it’s flexibility and better organizing options. You will find a lot of articles templates in Overleaf or ShareLatex - two popular cloud based platform.

8. Use a proper referencing tool

To record all the sources and organize the references, you should use any of the referencing tools. I prefer bibtex or Mendeley desktop tool as referencing tool. EndNote is an another popular referencing tool as it has versatile options to manage the references, but it is not free.

Some researcher prefer to do it earlier. Earlier or at this step, you have to find related conferences or journals according to your research field. Conference papers are not assumed as a complete article; generally a hypothesis or idea or simple methodologies are discuused on these papers. Journals publish complete articles with real life implications. Many researchers submit his initial work/ideas in conferences and then publish as an article by extending the work.

For CS/CSE/IT/EEE students, it is better to check whether or not the conference/journal is indexed by Scopus, ISI or SCIE before submitting your manuscript. Scopus is generally managed by Elsevier and SCIE by Thomson Reuters.

10. Submit your manuscripts

Read author instructions carefully and submit your paper accordingly. Almost all conferences or journals prefer their own templates. So, download the template and organize the sections, figures, tables etc as given instructions. Conferences usually use an online management tool through which one can submit his paper. In case of journals, usually author needs to send manuscripts through email.

11. Modify as per reviewer’s comments

After a certain period, the notifications come- accept/reject. If accepted, voila..! :)

It’s not done yet although. You need to find the reviewers comments and read them carefully. Modify your manuscript according to their reviews. And after final proofreading, submit the modified manuscript along with answers to reviewers comments.

And the rest…

Complete the registration process and wait. In case of conference papers, you will have to present the paper either through oral or poster presentation. Then it will take up to a few months to have the paper available in corresponding digital libraries. In case of journals, no presentation is required. You just have to wait till the manuscript is published.

Good luck!!! :)

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