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3 Dos and Don’ts in Emphasizing the Novelty of Your Research 

A research paper’s readers can be strategically drawn in by emphasizing the novelty and significance of the research itself, which sets it apart from findings in previously published papers. As a researcher, you constantly look for ways to make your research stand out from the rest. You want to provide novel insights that will make a difference in your field. To describe novelty in research, there are several methods people use. Knowing the right way to go about it, however, would require a good understanding of what “novelty” in research really is.

Defining research novelty

Research novelty refers to one or more of a study’s aspects that are “fresh,” such as new methods or observations from a different perspective that result in new knowledge discoveries. According to Imre Lakatos, a Hungarian-born philosopher of mathematics and science, an innovation may advance science. In his Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes (MSRP, 1995), as cited by Sfetcu (2019), he mentioned that:

“According to my methodology, the great scientific achievements are research programmes which can be evaluated in terms of progressive and degenerating problemshifts, and scientific revolutions consist of one research programme superseding (overtaking in progress) another. This methodology offers a pew rational reconstruction of science. It is best presented by contrasting it with falsificationism and conventionalism, from both of which it borrows essential elements.” (p. 110)

Lakatos

For Lakatos, it’s when theories and hypotheses are persistently questioned and falsified using empirical observations and facts that scientific advancement is achieved. This is supported by Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Paul Feyerabend, who are among the world’s most notable philosophers of science. For them, a topic is only “scientific” if it is empirically falsifiable and constant, without any borders (Musgrave & Pidgen, 2021; Bird, 2022; Feyerabend, 1975, p. 23).

Falsification is a way to open new avenues for criticism, get more people talking about it, and, in the process, highlight what makes your study worth debating further. In addition, a new research problem arises when a theory remains effective for an extended time before being refuted. This transition from one challenge to another exemplifies scientific progress. New hypotheses will be required as a result of the new challenge, and these will be examined again. Science evolves by consecutive attempts to explain concrete facts using specific ideas (Chalmers, 1993).

You can emphasize the novelty of your research by drawing attention on the originality of your analysis, which can be underlined with an in-depth examination of a well-known methodology. You may also try finding out if comparative research has been performed before and emphasize that if not. Describe how this analysis will benefit image processing and what it will contribute to the body of knowledge. Being novel includes questioning known truths, describing potential breakthroughs, and even disproving an established theory. Scientific writing is thesis-driven, and it’s a shame if your thesis doesn’t get well understood. Although there’s no one way to go about writing your paper and emphasizing its novelty, there are specific steps you can take to offer structure and ensure a systematic, organized way of getting your message across.

Don’t:

Focus too much on the background without identifying the problem you want to solve.

Do:

Highlight the research gaps and mention how they’ll be addressed in the Introduction section.

A good introduction contains the research’s background, research gaps and problems, objectives, and hypotheses. It is crucial that you cite studies relevant and related to your work and emphasize how they approach the problem because you cannot simply claim that your research is the “first” of its kind. In the scientific community, citing previous works allows us to acknowledge and credit the contributions of other scientists and academicians. Mention how they succeeded and where they fell short. Finally, conclude this part with a brief yet powerful statement about how you intend to handle the research issue.

Figure 1. Screenshot of the Introduction section of Jo et al. (2019)’s research published on PLOS ONE. The text with orange highlights introduces the research problem the research wants to address, while those in blue highlights mention the research problem. The research objectives are in green highlights.

Don’t:

Present your results as if what you’ve observed is absolute.

Do:

Compare your research’s results from the previous ones and specify the new observation or insights generated in the “Discussion” section.

Using the information you’ve collected through your literature review and experiment, discuss the previous studies’ findings and compare them to your research’s results. Mention the similarities and differences and how and why they are such. With your research’s results, specify your research’s new information, observation, or insight. Moreover, cite other research that will support your current research’s observations and insights. Doing so will help your readers determine how your research is unique from the previously published ones. Here, you may create a table showing all the research you’ve reviewed and their similarities and differences. Usually, review articles provide this kind of data visualization.

Figure 2. Screenshots of the Discussion section of Jo et al. (2019)’s research published on PLOS ONE. The current study’s results are in green highlights, while those in light purple, light orange, and light blue are the findings from the studies conducted by Kerber et al. (2016), Perloff et al. (2017), and Doijiri et al. (2016).

Don't

Simply saying that the study is novel without providing its significance, implications, and limitations.

Do:

Mention how your research advances the knowledge in the field in the “Conclusion” section. In other words, “actions speak louder than words.”

It is now the time to provide your research’s significance and how it adds to the knowledge in your field. Along with discussing how your research answered the research issue, you must also discuss where your research fell short. Briefly discuss the overall impact of your research, mention your research’s limitations, and provide potential future research directions.

Figure 3. Screenshots of Jo et al. (2019)’s research published on PLOS ONE specifying the research’s limitations and significance. The text highlighted in fuchsia is the study’s limitations, while those in mint green are the study’s conclusion.

To provide an example, let’s review this research conducted by Keunsook Park and Aeri Jang (2022) entitled “Factors Affecting the Resilience of New Nurses in Their Working Environment.”

  1. Research gaps were highlighted, and measures on how they’ll be addressed were mentioned.
Figure 4. Screenshot of the Introduction section of Park and Jang (2022)’s research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The text with orange highlights introduces the research problem the research wants to address, while those in blue highlights mention the research problem. The research objectives are in green highlights.

2. Their research results were compared to the previous ones and newly generated observations or insights were specified.

Figure 5. Screenshot of the Discussion section of Park and Jang (2022)’s research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The current study’s results are in green highlights, while those in light purple, light red, and light blue are the findings from the studies conducted by Jung and Park (2021), Ying et al. (2021), and Kim and Kim (2021).

3. Their research’s significance and how it advances knowledge in the field were mentioned.

Figure 6. Screenshot of the Conclusion section of Park and Jang (2022)’s research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The text highlighted in orange is the study’s significance, while those in fuchsia are its limitations. The recommendations are in blue.

After preparing your manuscript and highlighting its novelty, it is time to review it and ensure its readability to the public. Let Journal Lab help you through our General Editing or Scholar Editing services.

 

General Editing will focus on using standard English academic expressions and terms of your manuscript, assuring you that the process undergoes a critical inspection and meets the standard of English academic expression. If you need an editing service with an in-depth review of your manuscript, Scholar Editing is for you. Although it includes all the functions of General Editing, it is different because it provides content critique through an intensive and comprehensive review of the manuscript.

General Editing Scholar Editing
Service inclusions
Grammaticality
Grammaticality
Consistency
Consistency
Plagiarism check
Plagiarism check
Accuracy
Accuracy
Data presentation
Data presentation
Logical flow
Logical flow
Writing style
Writing style
Formatting
Formatting
In-depth content critique
Common File Types
Research abstracts
Full-length research papers
Sections of the manuscript
Manuscripts
Technical reports
Recommended for
Final assessment and checking
Research needing intensive review and correction
Research reviews affected by time and workload constraints

As we strive to advance knowledge in our respective fields, we aim for novelty and distinctness, whether in our methods, viewpoints, or approaches. The only way to present these advancements is by highlighting them in your research and sharing them with the public in an effective, easy-to-understand format. You’ll know you did well when the public applies this new information in one way or another. So, make sure to apply these suggested steps and contribute to the advancement of your field.

References:

Bird, A. (2022, March). Thomas Kuhn. In Zalta, E. N. (Ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. California: The Metaphysics Research Lab. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2022/entries/thomas-kuhn/

Chalmers, A. F. (1993). Teorias como Estruturas: Os paradigmas de Kuhn. In O que é ciência, afinal? (R. Fiker, trans, pp. 123–133). Editoria Brasiliense. https://www.nelsonreyes.com.br/A.F.Chalmers_-_O_que_e_ciencia_afinal.pdf

Doijiri, R., Uno, H., Miyashita, K., Ihara, M., & Nagatsuka, K. (2016). How commonly is stroke found in patients with isolated vertigo or dizziness attack. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 25(10), 2549–2552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2016.06.038

Feyerbend, P. (1975). Against Method. London: Verso.

Jo, S., Jeong, T., Lee, J. B., Jin, Y., Yoon, J., & Park, B. (2019). Incidence of acute cerebral infarction or space occupying lesion among patients with isolated dizziness and the role of D-dimer. PLoS ONE, 14(3), e0214661. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0214661

Kerber, K. A., Brown, D. L., Lisabeth, L. D., Smith, M. A., & Morgenstern, L. B. (2006). Stroke among patients with dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance in the emergency department: a population-based study. Stroke, 37(10), 2484–2487. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.STR.0000240329.48263.0d

Musgrave, A. & Pidgen, C. (2021, June). Imre Lakatos. In Zalta, E. N. (Ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. California: The Metaphysics Research Lab. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2021/entries/lakatos/

Mussi, F. B., Zembro, A. D., & Melo, A. A. (2018). Contributions of philosophy of science, in the perspective of popper and lakatos, for the study of innovation: an analysis of the neoclassical schumpeterian and neo-schumpeterian theories. Revista Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, 26(1), 9–25. https://doi.org/10.18359/rfce.2740

Park, K. & Jang, A. (2022). Factors affecting the resilience of new nurses in their working environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(9), 5158. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095158

Perloff, M. D., Patel, N. S., Kase, C. S., Oza, A. U., Voestch, B., & Romero, H. R. (2017). Erebellar stroke presenting with isolated dizziness: Brain MRI in 136 patients. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 35(11), 1724–1729. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2017.06.034

Sfetcu, N. (2019). Rational reconstruction of science through research programmes”. In Philosophical Essays. MultiMedia Publishing. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.24667.21288