Attempting my first research project

Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:29 pm

I have been doing some research in my basement for a few years, just very casual experimentation. I would love to hear your thoughts on a common hobbyist producing any valid and acceptable research? If I had a theory, experimented with it, and it worked. how could I show others? I love to read research thesis by college students and experts in our hobby. Would it be possible for a plain ol' hobbyist to find something of value and publish it somewhere?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Waldend » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:50 pm

I would say go for it. Not sure what level of detail you are looking to go into but lots of people experiment and post results, methods,etc. Really that's what we are all doing here. I would say if you do a good job documenting procedures, protocols, and results you could even get them published in hobbyist magazines. Now if you are looking for scientific expert level you are over my head but I think credentials would matter a lot.
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aantreklik_jared » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:32 pm

Hi Suzy,

I would say if you want to be able to publish anything of merit, come up with a research proposal and contact an academic who has an interest in that area of research with a thorough proposal, and ask if they will assist with the direction and statistical analysis in order to make it of publishable quality, and they can then be a co-author in getting the first few experiments published, once you have 2 or 3 articles to your name, its much easier getting published... (much easier... not at all easy)
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Amie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 pm

This is a question I've had as well. Do you have to be associated with a University to publish results from an experiment you have done?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:23 pm

i do not know any academics. I know a guy who tells people he is! Close enough?

And, my only credentials are in human medicine...

Oh, well....
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aantreklik_jared » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:31 pm

No you don't have to be associated witha university... but if you are associated with someone who has published before it makes it easier... however, in theory, if your materials, methods and discussion are up to scratch, you should be able to publish regardless of background (again...this is only in theory... its alot easier if there is a name on your paper they have seen before)


YOu don't have to know the academics... you only have to make contact with one studying something similar to what you're researching... maybe people on here can point you in the right direction? I know lots of academics in australia that can help, and a couple in the US, i'm sure others know more!

Doesn't matter what your credentials are.
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby "Umm, fish?" » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Do you have to be associated with a University to publish results from an experiment you have done?


No, but your paper has to (a) impress an acquisitions editor enough so that they want to use it and then (b) pass through a peer-review process (if you want to publish in a peer-reviewed journal). If you want to publish in the hobby literature you only have to find an editor who is willing to use your article. It's significantly easier to get something into a hobby publication, and likely quite a bit faster to get it in front of people. For example, I had a paper appear in Advanced Aquarist. They used it the very next month after I submitted it.
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby JimWelsh » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:25 pm

aantreklik_jared wrote:Doesn't matter what your credentials are.


Even no credentials at all, as long as you have good, sound science?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aantreklik_jared » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:29 pm

yeah... I can think of several people that i've met who have never completed uni courses that have published peer reviewed journal articles
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aantreklik_jared » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:30 pm

i must add here that you need a very good introduction and discussion that compiles alot of other peoples work into your paper for anyone to get published.
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:39 pm

Well, I did get something published in Advanced Aquarist but it was not that great and not good enough to make the print book. And, I do have credentials! Suzy Applegarth, ADN, CCRN, CRRN!

Could/would you guys help me, if I have good, sound science? But, that is kind of where I need the help. I have a sweet theory, that has worked for me 3 times so far, but making it science is a bit daunting. If you did help me, you could say you knew me before I became a famous aquatic scientist!
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby JimWelsh » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:40 pm

aantreklik_jared wrote:yeah... I can think of several people that i've met who have never completed uni courses that have published peer reviewed journal articles


8)
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:45 pm

aantreklik_jared wrote:i must add here that you need a very good introduction and discussion that compiles alot of other peoples work into your paper for anyone to get published.


Crap. I was hoping to use my own experiments. But, there would be a lot of others links to show data. Does that count?

Would you help me?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:45 pm

JimWelsh wrote:
aantreklik_jared wrote:yeah... I can think of several people that i've met who have never completed uni courses that have published peer reviewed journal articles


8)

You? Link me?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aantreklik_jared » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:52 pm

i'd be more then happy to help with the science...

You do use your own experiments... but you have to relate your findings to what other people have found- ie show that it is relevant in the current field of science and that it has more meat to the observations then just your little project... they are not going to publish something that has only been proven once... they want evidence that it is hypothetically correct based on other peoples findings
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:07 am

Sweet! Thank you so much!
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby spawner » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:39 am

Suzy,

To be honest, you need to look at who is the audience. If its hobbyist, then you should be targeting them and writing in hobby mags. If its scientist then you need to make sure you work is replicated and your methods are repeatable. If its both, I'd suggest publishing something in Advanced Aquarium or some other online mag that hobbyist can read and Scientist might find interesting. CORAL might work as well. Google works wonders nowadays so its a lot easier to find information if you put it out there.

I'd even go as far as to say just because something is published in the peer-reviewed literature doesn't mean its better than a well written hobby article that conveys important information to its target audience.
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby BaboonScience » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:36 am

spawner wrote:Suzy,

To be honest, you need to look at who is the audience. If its hobbyist, then you should be targeting them and writing in hobby mags. If its scientist then you need to make sure you work is replicated and your methods are repeatable. If its both, I'd suggest publishing something in Advanced Aquarium or some other online mag that hobbyist can read and Scientist might find interesting. CORAL might work as well. Google works wonders nowadays so its a lot easier to find information if you put it out there.

I'd even go as far as to say just because something is published in the peer-reviewed literature doesn't mean its better than a well written hobby article that conveys important information to its target audience.

Amen!
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby KathyL » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:16 am

Can you tell us something about the project? One thing you do have to do in order to publish, is find out if the project has been attempted before, and if so, what the results were. If not, then you go girl!
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:30 am

It has been used before for fw, but I can find little in the sw world. Can I just muse a little here, then use this thread to pull all the info together?

Based on the Redfield ratio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redfield_ratio), fw aquarists add nitrogen compounds to rid their systems of algae. They manipulate levels of nitrogen compounds to make the conditions good for vascular plants and hard for algae to grow. Could we use this principle in sw, to encourage the algae to grow? http://www.xs4all.nl/~buddendo/aquarium/redfield_eng.htm

The ratiionale behind this: By manipulating the nitrate levels in our tanks, we can drive down the level of phosphate.

Has anyone heard this already? I have experimented with it a lot over the past few years, and it has worked every time. I can let the PO4 level go up, then add nitrate and the po4 comes down. PO4 absorbers are expensive, difficult (and stinky) to recharge, and can cause drastic shifts in the PO4 levels. By manipulating the nitrate levels, we can keep the level of po4 low with just a routine addition of a nitrogen compound.

Only works with tanks with algae, of course. Algae scrubbers, refugiums or symbiotic algae in corals.

Anyone seen anything published around lately, dealing with this theory?
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:31 am

Oh, thanks for the replies!
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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby aomont » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:40 pm

Well, I already found it very interesting and worth a reading ! When it is out there, let me know !
Do you have this paper ?
S. T. Larned. Nitrogen- versus phosphorus-limited growth and sources of nutrient for coral reef macroalgae.
Marine Biology (1998) 132: 409-421
It's an Interesting reading too.
Anderson

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Re: Attempting my first research project

Postby Suzy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:49 pm

I do now! Thanks!
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