Auditing academic research

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Recurring demands in the academic context

When discussing the elements that permeate academic research, attention should be drawn to some essential aspects related to the theme. In order to understand how the audit is configured in the scope of research, it is thought that it is important to understand both scientific research and auditing.

The purpose of this post is to present some aspects that shape the most diverse scientific research, comprising the most diverse types of academic works, since several formats can be requested throughout an academic journey.

It is a common reality for researchers immersed in both undergraduate and graduate contexts. Because a number of activities can be requested by the teacher, it is common for many students not to know how to begin the study. Looking for advice is a good strategy.

The academic universe and its main characteristics

It is also important to know in depth the universe linked to academic consulting, which is the academic environment itself. The consultancy, although it often turns to the execution of scientific works, can expand its forms of contribution. This is due to the fact that the academic universe is loaded with a number of demands and it is natural not to know how to put them into practice.

There are also researchers who have relationship problems with their advisors and, thus, cannot develop their productions alone, thus resorting to consulting.

There are several activities that the researcher is in this universe, the most recurrent being the participation in scientific events common to the area, the publication of scientific articles, participation in study groups, and the development of the work itself.

Academic consulting and its relevance

Due to various reasons, including relationship problems with the advisor, the student who seeks advice can have a series of doubts that permeate both the engagement with research and the development of work.

With regard to the preparation of the works, the consultant will present the main characteristics about his work – TCC, monograph, dissertation, thesis and article – and, from this, other aspects of scientific research can be defined, such as the theme, the research problem, the objectives and methodology.

In addition, many ask for help in the process of collecting and selecting materials related to the theme that will be discussed, with the structural aspects of gender – structure of chapters, concepts to be explored, formatting and standardization, among others. Meetings can be held in order to know the theme.

Scientific works and their particularities

Each type of academic work has its own requirements, and they become more complex as the level of the researcher's plead increases, so that the rigor of a CBT/monograph will be lower than that of a dissertation or thesis. Although the level is different, all work, in order to be configured as scientific, needs to meet a series of criteria so that it has scientific and methodological rigor. At the graduation level, the most required works are tcc and monograph. These works are smaller than the dissertations and theses, however, still extensive.

Generally, the consultant presents the technique of literature review and how the concepts should be explored so that the reader has an overview of the subject by the researcher. The literature review is one of the elements that manifest itself in any type of scientific study.

Literature review and its relevance

Any and all scientific work, even those that are more practical, therefore, applied, need a theoretical chapter. Most of the time, the researcher looks for academic consulting sometimes because he does not know how to get to the materials necessary to explain the theme, so that the consultant will present techniques for the collection and selection of these data. It may also have difficulty organizing these contents in the form of chapters.

The theoretical framework is one of the mandatory elements, and thus the objective is, after this collection of materials, the creation of several chapters and subchapters, respecting the requirements at the level that is at stake – graduation, master's or doctorate – what should be clear to the reader are the main points that permeate the subject that is being discussed, so that , at the end of the reading, have a historical overview with the main aspects related to the theme.

The pillars of scientific research

In scientific research, there are some decisive elements that can boost or impede the development of the study. It is very common that the researcher who seeks the consultancy does not know how to define these points, which prevents the research from being started or consulted. Due to the complexity of such pillars, each must have its characteristics properly presented.

The first of these is precisely the topic to be debated. Theme should not be confused with the title, because the title, in to be created, needs to start from a theme.

The research theme cannot be chosen at random, since it takes into account a series of demands of the area itself and the social demands that permeate the student's line of research. Given this scenario, some variables are considered, such as social relevance, novelty, innovation and current affairs.

The search problem

It is the consultant's role, too, to help the researcher to come up with a research problem if he does not already have it. Without a research problem, there is no way to prove that the study in question is important for the current society in which one lives.

The consultant should make it clear to the researcher that the theme is born from a research problem, and, as such, also needs to be unprecedented, urgent, relevant and needs to exert a certain impact, whether in society or in a specific group. It does not necessarily have to be a problem: analyzing a phenomenon or something that is demanded by society, whether practical or reflective, is crucial.

It may be that the problem in question does not have a solution, which does not make the study invalid. Some objects of study propose to update the literature on a theme or, still, propose a new scientific view in relation to a context. Both problems are essential.

Research objectives

No study can be performed when there are no paths to be followed, that is, goals, objectives. Thus, in consulting, after defining the theme and the research problem, it is necessary to think about the strategies that will be considered in order for this problem to be solved (in case the research proposal is to solve the problem, common in more practical areas) or reflected. The research objectives are divided into two. On the one hand, the general proposal is represented by the general proposal of the research, by the problem adopted by the study.

Next, you have the specific objectives. They represent the strategies that will be taken into consideration for the study to gain a body. Each topic can be transformed into a chapter or subchapter. These objectives should also be linked to the methodology, because otherwise the study will not be feasible and thus will be stagnant.

The methodology in scientific research

It is also common for a researcher to arrive at the consultancy with all the elements above well defined, but, at the time of choice or application of scientific methodology, it has no tools, guidance. Scientific methodology alone is a very broad subject.

What is interesting to be emphasized is that each study is unique and calls for a type of methodology. More practical studies are better related to methodologies that act better in the work of this type, such as studies and case reports, clinical or not, action research, field research, among other possibilities.

On the other hand, there are studies that are more theoretical and that call for other methodologies, such as bibliographic research, descriptive and explanatory studies.

The consultant will present the characteristics related to the chosen method and how the techniques can be performed.

The process of collecting and selecting data

Another advantage in seeking scientific advice is that the professional knows the most advanced and modern techniques in the process of data collection, selection and analysis.

Today, we live in a highly globalized world, and thus, if before there was a lack of information, today, it is excessive, because the daily flow of publication of new productions is very intense, which makes it often difficult to deal with so much information.

Selecting the materials that will provide theoretical and methodological basis for the study at random can compromise the quality of the research. Given this scenario, there is a technique that has been widely used: systematized search and state of the art. The academy is still quite resistant when it comes to the state of the art, but it is a tool that can help the researcher justify the choice of certain materials.

The importance of systematized search

One of the main modern aspects of scientific research that the academic research consultant needs to take into account is the systematized search tool. Like the state of the art, it is not a research methodology, but it is a tool that can help the researcher choose the best methodology for the work, understand how the techniques are being put into practice, and also what are the concepts that cannot be left out of the debate of the delimited theme.

It is of paramount importance that the method and concepts to be chosen are linked to the pillars of scientific research. In general, systematized search will provide certain mechanisms to the researcher so that they do not choose their materials at random, just typing certain keywords in search engines and choosing by the first search results.

Systematized search techniques

In order for the materials not to be chosen at random, the consultant will help the researcher to adopt certain inclusion and exclusion criteria for certain materials. It will also guide you on where to look for these materials.

Each area of knowledge has databases. These databases are like libraries, but they work entirely online. All the materials that are there are of quality and have undergone a very rigorous analysis. However, there are several materials, of different types – articles, dissertations and theses – and the challenge is to know how to choose from so many possibilities. Hence the criteria arise.

The most recurrent are materials that are available in full, that is, that can be accessed and downloaded free of charge, materials in Portuguese, materials of a certain period and those that help to answer the problem.

The state of the art

The state of the art is a very modern tool, and thus is not accepted by all academics. It is necessary that the researcher share a little about the profile of the advisor who is assisting him, because more traditional teachers tend not to accept certain research strategies very well, especially those who are in the academy for the longest time. If the advisor is more flexible, the state of the art can optimize search.

It is a way to justify the choices made through systematized search. Thus, in the text, all the criteria that caused certain texts to be chosen by virtue of others are presented, such as the time frame, the chosen language, whether the text is available in full, common objectives, etc. It is mentioned how many articles were found with each keyword and on which data base(s) is found(m)-up.

Academic norms

Undoubtedly, one of the main elements that drive researchers to look for an academic consultancy is the difficulty in putting into practice the rules and norms of the institution or journal in which they wish to publish. Scientific standards are essential in any type of work, as they make reading more directed and clear to the reader.

In order for this read to be optimized, a number of rules need to be met. These rules cover both the structure of the chapters and the graphic aspects, such as the type and size of the font for the body of the text and quotations, the way of quoting, the spacing between lines, the configuration for the footnotes, illustrations, tables and the like, recommendations for the elaboration of bibliographic references, etc.

The consultant can also review whether the standards are appropriate and aspects of the Portuguese language.

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