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Monday, August 09, 2004

What makes for good research?

Claim 1: Any strong paper should possess at least some of the following characteristics:
  • Solve a significant/important problem (such as being of practical relevance, having a broad impact, solving a long-standing problem)
  • Come up with a significant conjecture (whose solution would be important)
  • Use a sophisticated/surprising solution method
  • Say something non-obvious/counter-intuitive
  • Correct a popular misconception
  • Shed new light/initiate a new line of research
  • Demonstrate significant improvement over state of the art
  • Make a valuable contribution to further research (e.g. present new metrics/models, provide new experimental data, present observations that clearly merit further study)
  • Present convincing results (e.g. by validating simplified analysis with realistic experiments)

Claim 2: the following features are must-haves in a good paper:

  • Demonstrate thoroughness and effort
  • Be technically rigorous
  • Present material in a clear, compelling manner
It would be nice to have some kind of a checklist like the above when writing a paper, to gauge its quality for oneself before submitting it for external review...

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