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Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research: Sharing Your Research

A resource for student researchers and their faculty mentors.

Sharing Your Research

Sharing Your Research

Exceptional work of undergraduate students, either done for class or for independent research,  often goes unnoticed, but in the professional academic world, research is not finished until its results are shared with others. An important aspect of research is sharing the results with your peers and the general public. There are many ways to share research including but not limited to - poster presentations, oral presentations, and publishing articles (webpage under construction).

Sharing Your Research | GradHacker

                                                                            Image by opensourceway used under a creative commons license

 

But why would you want to share your research?

  • First and foremost, be proud of your hard work and accomplishments and want to show off the results
  • Sharing your research and knowledge with others promotes discussion in the undergraduate community to which you belong
  • New opportunities for collaboration may arise as you come in contact with researchers like you
  • Feedback from others might help you improve the robustness of your results
  • By interacting with others you might see your research through the lens of other experts and non-experts and think of new answers to your research
  • Presenting the findings of your research and creative scholarship sharpens your communication skills and demonstrates that you have experience in public speaking.
  • Sharing your research through publication develops your writing skills and looks great on your academic and professional resume.
  • Gaining skills in both areas will help you advance academically and professionally.

 

Applying Your Research

Your research is of great value even if you do not wish to present it at formal conferences or by publishing it in peer-reviewed journals. Think about how the outcomes of your research can benefit the general public, a particular organization, or a community. Ask yourself how your research could support a local initiative, a public policy, or a commercial enterprise. 

Spend some time writing about how your research would benefit others as we as the skills and abilities you have gained through your extensive research experience.  Doing so will help you in being able to speak with potential employers and/or graduate schools about your qualifications.  

We recommend that you actively speak with your peers, faculty mentor, and academic counselors on various ways you would apply your research.  These conversations can often result in opportunities that you would never have even thought of. Get creative and be open to exploring many options.

Writing An Abstract

Whether you decide to share your research by doing a poster or oral presentation at a conference/research symposium or by publishing in a scholarly journal, you will be asked to submit an abstract. Below are some useful tips on writing an abstract.

What is an abstract?

An abstract:

  • is a self-contained, brief, comprehensive description (usually about 250 words, frequently <100 words for conferences).
  • highlights major points and findings and summarizes your interpretations and conclusions of the research you wish to share.
  • is NOT a review or critique of the work being abstracted.
  • does not include charts, tables, spreadsheets, figures, or additional supporting information.
  • is ideally written in a manner understandable to an interdisciplinary audience.
  • may have varying components depending on various disciplines.

Why is the function of an abstract?

The function of an abstract is to:

  • Convince others why they should learn more about your research.
  • Enable readers to quickly evaluate the relevance of your research to their own work.

What goes in an abstract?

  1. Motivation/problem statement: Why do we care about the problem? What practical, scientific, theoretical, or artistic gap is your research filling?
  2. Methods/procedure/approach: How did you get your results? (e.g. analyzed 3 novels, completed a series of 5 oil paintings, interviewed 17 students)
  3. Results/findings/product: As a result of completing the above procedure, what did you learn/invent/create?
  4. Conclusion/implications: What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem/gap identified in step 1?

                                    The Basics of Writing Research Abstracts (Infographic by Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference, 2018)

Useful Tips

  • Write the abstract after finishing the paper
  • Be accurate
  • Be concise, get right to the point, and use precise language. Include only 4 or 5 of the most important concepts, findings, or implications
  • Use active verbs whenever possible
  • Use complete sentences
  • Avoid jargon or colloquialisms
  • Use familiar terminology whenever you can (and always explain terms that may be unfamiliar to the average reader)