How you can help other researchers to expand their thinking

Five reasons why it is worth taking the extra step of publishing work about your methodology or research methods

Picture shows a woman using a computer and writing in a notebook.  Liz Halcomb, editor of Nurse Researcher, lists five reasons why it is worth taking the extra step of publishing work about your methodology or research methods.
Picture: iStock

Early career researchers or research students often ask: ‘Why should I bother to publish work about methodology or research methods?’ Completing the research and publishing findings can be so overwhelming that the methodology, research methods or research capacity building aspects are left unexplored. This is a lost opportunity for the researcher and the broader profession, so here are five reasons why it is worth taking this extra step:

1. Writing is good for you

Seeing your work in print is satisfying and worth the hard work it takes to get it published. It is also tangible evidence of your professional engagement, continuing professional development and ability to communicate in a professional way. This evidence can form part of your professional portfolio.

2. Extending research knowledge

The climate of clinical and academic nursing research has changed dramatically in the past decade. As new pathways for clinical research training and capacity building emerge, it is important for the nursing profession that research nurses engage in scholarly debate and information sharing around methodological debates, practical research strategies, capacity building programmes and innovation. This exchange of ideas helps build the quality, rigour, innovation and creativity of research within the nursing profession.

3. Organisational benefits

There is increasing pressure for universities and healthcare organisations to demonstrate their engagement in impactful research. Publishing work on methodological issues, research methods, education and training shows commitment to high-quality research.

4. Connecting with others

Research can be a lonely journey unless you connect with others to share ideas and build collaborations. Publishing your work can help you connect with others as it showcases your interests, ideas, ways of thinking and research to people across the globe. Reading work that resonates with your own perspectives can be the stimulus for making these new connections.

5. Another dimension of impact

Research can be impactful in various ways. Clearly, it is most important that the research findings contribute in some way to practice and/or policy change. However, impact can also be achieved by sharing methodological thinking, challenges in research methods or strategies that have been attempted. Disseminating these types of issues can assist other researchers to expand their own thinking, understand new ways of conceptualising options and consider strategies that have been used elsewhere.

  • At Nurse Researcher we strive to provide supportive critical feedback to novice and early career authors through the peer-review process. We also welcome papers written by experienced authors and research leaders to share their wealth of experience, challenge our readers and develop the scholarship of nursing research. Read through our article guidelines, and if you have a submission idea please don’t hesitate to email me at ehalcomb@uow.edu.au

Picture of Liz Halcomb, editor of Nurse Researcher. In this editorial she lists five reasons why it is worth taking the extra step of publishing work about your methodology or research methods.Elizabeth Halcomb, @LizHalcomb, is professor of primary healthcare nursing, School of Nursing, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia and editor of Nurse Researcher