Learn the ‘Seven Research Mantras’ for success in the academic world

Dr Sanjay Kumar Shukla is hopeful that these mantras will be implemented in universities to save young researchers valuable time and help in their mental wellbeing.

Dr Sanjay Kumar Shukla, the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Geosynthetics and Ground Engineering, is well-known for sharing academic tips with young researchers, especially on how to plan and improve their research journey, resulting in high-quality publications.

Dr Shukla has authored more than 300 research papers and technical articles, 25 books, including 7 textbooks, and 24 book chapters. He collaborates regularly with several world-class universities, research institutions, industries and individuals on academic and field projects.

Dr Sanjay Shukla (Image: supplied)

In 2019, Dr Shukla presented the following “Seven Research Mantras” that took him more than 25 years to accomplish:

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  1. Mantra #1: Define a new problem for its possible solution, or work on a known problem for its new or improved solution.
  2. Mantra #2: Do your experimental and/or mathematical works with great accuracy and precision.
  3. Mantra #3: Prepare the list of assumptions and/or limitations of your completed research work as applicable with a suitable discussion in the article.
  4. Mantra #4: Try to explain the mechanism(s) of your research observations and findings, as possible, and attempt to develop scientific theory, equation/expression, design chart or design table for field applications.
  5. Mantra #5: Compare your new/improved research findings and solutions with currently available ones, if any, with a critical discussion. 
  6. Mantra #6: Describe your research work in the article using short and clear sentences in simple and plain English, and avoid any kind of errors, including grammatical and presentation errors.
  7. Mantra #7: At any stage of research process, there should not be any rush that can cause errors in your research outcomes and their publications.

Dr Shukla says that researchers have appreciated the ‘Seven success mantras’. He adds

“Because they may easily and quickly understand how research and innovation should be carried out even without doing a full one-semester course on ‘Research methodology’ as many universities/organisations offer.”

Dr Shukla observes that these mantras are going to give the right direction to research and innovation. He says:

“We all will keep creating so many problems, including plagiarism, digital wastes, unnecessarily large number of publications on the same problem with no real practical value, unusual stress for the researchers, irrational world rankings of institutions and individual researchers, unethical authorships, and so on.”

Dr Shukla is hopeful that these mantras will save young researchers valuable time for effective research. He adds:

“Practising engineers/companies may also learn a lot as they can easily know how they need to solve a problem by a new technique/method so that they can have their IPs/patents/publications. This article can also be shared with high school students who often work on new/innovative projects.”

Additionally, he says, these mantras may make their research and innovation journey successful and enjoyable.

Listen to Dr Sanjay Kumar Shukla’s exclusive conversation with Dr Amit Sarwal where he shares his experience as a researcher, an author, and a journal editor to talk more about his ‘Seven Research Mantras’.