Ten Common Research Pitfalls
By Philip M. Hahn, MSc
1. Not establishing a focused, answerable question.
2. Enlisting a research supervisor who doesn't make sufficient time to advise and help you throughout the stages of the project.
3. Picking a topic about which you have little interest.
4. Planning a small, compicated study that attempts to answer many questions, rather than an appropriately sized simple study focussed on one primary objective/question.
5. Not taking the tme to draft a research outline to keep your research team coordinated and on schedule.
6. Not being realistic about how much time and effort your project requires.
7. Basing a prospective study on outcomes that are rare or take a long time to occur.
8. Entering data into a spreadsheet using formats that are not compatible with analytical software.The only thing worse than entering data is having to enter it twice!
9. Not meeting with a statistician to talk about the analysis before you begin collecting the data.
10. Waiting too long to begin.