Why We Need Checks And Balances In Academic Research

Why We Need Checks And Balances In Academic Research?

In today’s world, it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between what’s true and what is not. If we looked at the news cycle yet alone, interviews are often torn apart. Only passages that are more suitable for a certain narrative or story are used. At the same time, the meaning of an interview gets completely skewed. Whatever experts say, tends to be skewed as well. It’s certainly not a valuable approach in academic research, but it’s often used to make results fit with the desired result. To avoid misleading results, we need checks and balances in academic research.

Don’t Be A Fact Checker

Well, in academic research, you have to be a fact checker, but none of those are prominently around. Fact checkers, as you see them via various media platforms, only have one task: to tear apart what a person tries to inform about. Statements, interviews or even scientific data are taken completely out of context if it’s not desirable. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a similar approach with academic research. It’s not a secret anymore that a contracting party asks scientists to conduct research and to come to preferable results. We’ve seen it with Monsanto’s Roundup, for example. There are tons of studies proving their product does indeed cause cancer. However, when the company had to prove themselves their product was no health threat, they actually did pay scientists to hammer some favorable research together. Those scientists were well paid and their product remains on the shelves. A huge number of scientists came out to tell the public those favorable research results were seriously flawed. Certain important data points and existing studies were simply ignored.

Why We Need Checks And Balances In Academic Research

The Majority Of Academic Research Is No Academic Research Anymore

The publisher of a well-known scientific journal that used to publish well researched and peer-reviewed studies said it himself: research we publish these days has little to do with true academic research. It’s rather simple to understand the reason behind it since it’s very similar to the above mentioned problem. There are sponsors who offer lots of money to scientists to only end up with their given desirable outcome. Studies and research that would provide a closer look at any matter, are simply ignored. 

Make no mistake, the area of academic research is well funded by certain sponsors. A lot of people fall for the money pot. It’s surely understandable if they’ve spent years with research – but haven’t been able to further their career. Being left with only a few pennies to live on makes such offers rather attractive. But if you did agree to such an offer, you’d leave the academic status quo behind. And create fake news as well as fake research yourself. The world certainly doesn’t need more distorted findings than there already are. What we need is a return to proper academic research.

Check And Double Check

Checks and balances in academic research include making sure all data and findings are 100% correct. Once you start an academic research project you need to remain at an objective viewpoint. You will certainly come across research results and findings you don’t like. They may deviate you from your assumed direction, but that’s what academic research is all about. It’s not about finding a solution or results you’d prefer to see or someone else. Academic research is about taking all variables into consideration. And thus the everlasting academic discussion remains alive. Each academic research should provide food for thought and help problems as well as questions along to be solved. 

Moreover, if you ignored data sets that speak against a desirable result, your argumentation lacks sustenance. There always are expert opinions and other studies who speak either for or against a certain aspect. There hardly ever are experts and research results that’d be of the same opinion. If that was the case, academic research became rather bland with nothing new to discover. Not everything is set in stone even if it may have been believed as such. Only because a claim, as well as a result, has been around for decades or a century, doesn’t make it correct. As such, expert opinions or their research results may not stand the test of time either. There’s nothing wrong with it. Academic research only benefits from questioning and double-checking. Only if you check and double-check you can end up with new and correct results.

Make Checks And Balances Easier As You Research

Make Checks And Balances Easier As You Research

While you’re doing your own research, you would certainly benefit from an academic research platform. You could imagine it as a kind of social media network, even though that’s not quite the best comparison. The only difference is that such platforms are used only by other scholars. You can put your current research findings online on that platform. Other researchers are able to add notes and give hints for checks and balances right away. Thus, you end up with academic research that has been more or less peer-reviewed independently. If there are flaws in your research, you’d be noticed right away. Moreover, such platforms provide you with a databank that provides you with further relevant studies on your topic. You may have overseen other research results or not even known they existed in the first place.

At times, it’s easy to get lost in your research with that tunnel view. But then you don’t see the forest with all its trees in front of your own eyes. You’d require a second pair of eyes anyway to look at your research throughout the process or at the end of it. After all, academic research needs to prove if other researches are correct or not. And you want to make a point with your academic research.

Why We Need Checks And Balances In Academic Research At A Glance:

  • Explored studies and expert opinions are correct
  • Expert opinions are not taken out of context
  • To further the academic discussion across various topics
  • To keep learning
  • Find guaranteed correct results

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