Friday, May 26, 2006

Simple rules for research

Here are some great simple rules for research from Brad De Long's weblog (economics professor at U.C. Berkeley):

David Romer's Rules for Making It Through Graduate School and Finishing Your Dissertation: "Out in Five"

1. Don't clutter up your life with other activities; just write.

2. Don't carry out a thorough and comprehensive search of the literature; just write.

3. Don't attempt to make sure that every page you write shows the full extent of your professional skills; just write.

4. Don't write a well-organized, well-integrated, unified dissertation; just write.

5. Don't think profound thoughts that shake the intellectual foundations of the discipline; just write.

6. If you don't have a paper started by the spring of your third year, be alarmed.

7. If you don't have a paper largely drafted by the fall of your fourth year, panic.

8. Have three new ideas a week while you are getting started.

9. Don't try to game the profession, work on what interests you.

10. Good papers in economics have three characteristics:
i. A viewpoint.
ii. lever.
iii. result.