What is Novelty? What is Research and How to Ask the Right Question
What is Research?
Questioning (investigation), effort (systematic) to addresses a specific question. The attributes of research question are specificity, novelty/originality, relevance. The structure are introduction, methods, result and discussion (IMRAD). (source)
What is New? (undergraduate research)
An old method applied to solve a new problem;
A new method applied to solve an old and a solved problem;
A comparison of different old or new methods to solve a problem and discuss their accuracy or efficiency in solving problems by comparing their results;
A review on different methods to solve problems. (source)
What is Contribution to Human Knowledge? (phd research)
Contribution could be defined as measurable contribution to a sum of human knowledge (source). Zero contribution is not accepted, however negative results is contribution. So the key is to develop a good question. (source). Methodological problem is unacceptable (e.g using inaccurate measurement device or sampling that does not represent), but negative results is acceptable. (source)
What is Novelty (scienfitic research)
Novelty is subjective to the field. Novelty can be defined as in terms of its relationship to previously published results. So its important to check related work and compare. (source). Novelty could be defined as “first to the best of their knowledge”, which to emphasis it by “Include a short discussion at the end of the introduction stating explicitly what the contributions of the paper are. Back this up with evidence in the body of the paper. A proper comparison with related work” (source). From research funding perspective, a definition of novelty is difficult, the answer is “It’s what the reviewers and the funding agency regard as “novel”.” (source)
Could negative results published? (scientific research)
It could, although the reality is not many and it hard to publish “This is tragic because the lack of published replication attempts is one of the biggest problems in science (see Ioannidis classic paper, “Why most published research findings are false”). Reforms are needed to create greater incentives for scientists to do and publish such studies” (source)
I start to realize that asking the right question is very important. Two years ago I asked a question on how to write research paper, and the result is general result with emphasis in majority concern, for example about structure and purpose. Along the time, the question is better asked and the beautiful thing is the answer is already there. The answer even appear long time before I asked. With the same google and scopus the result can be very different. So the key is to patiently improve ourself. This is summary of 14+ internet pages, mainly from stackexchange.