Ten Qualities of A Good Researcher: Research entails the gathering of bits and pieces of information and compiling same for the purpose of increasing the stock in knowledge and solving problems. It is an art; a practice done to increase knowledge and render solutions to problems. This is because a research raises questions, which when answered, bridges the gap in knowledge in any field it was undertaken.
The task of researcing is no small work. This is due mainly to the fact that the information contained in a research work is usually for public consumption. There is no gainsaying the fact that anything made for the public must be above par. Hence, a research work which is geared towards adding value to knowledge as well as proffering solutions to problems must be rich in content and accurate.
Having known that a piece of research work is of great importance, the quality of such piece cannot be overlooked. Thus, for a research to be adjudged as being above standard, and also capable of serving its core purpose, the one undertaking the research must possess certain qualities. These qualities will enable him produce a work that will stand the test of time.
Qualities of A Researcher
These qualities which he must possess are outlined below:
1. Accuracy: A researcher must ensure that his research work is accurate. He should ensure that the facts and figures which he is presenting are true and verifiable. There should be no room for conjecture or guesses.
He should exhibit due diligence in presenting his work so as not to present a false and misleading research as the accuracy of the research determines the credibility to be attached to the researcher.
2. Open mindedness: To explain how powerful the mind is, Albert Einstein once said that the measure of intelligence is the ability to change the mind. It is one of the most important characteristics of a good researcher because researching has to do with finding new fact which may sometimes require that the researchers alter previously valid facts.
The crux is that, a researcher must not be someone who hardly gives up on his beliefs, custom or knowledge. He has to be someone who is able to see things in different lights. He must understand that nothing is actually static and things change over time.
Researching may sometimes lead you to find out that even some of the things you consider fundamental knowledge are not actually fundamental; or maybe there are more to it. Thus, a researcher who is not open minded during researching is limited to alot of knowledge.
3. Motivation: A researcher must have the ability to motivate himself to work. He should not be easily discouraged. In the course of his research, he might come across some hostile respondents. This should not deter him from carrying on his research work.
Again, he might be met with opposition from his colleagues. Such oppositions should not serve as a source of discouragement to him. A researcher therefore, must have the ability to encourage and motivate himself to push on until he actualizes his aim.
4. Patience: One of the sterling attributes of a good researcher is patience. This quality is a follow-up attribute to being motivated. A researcher must exhibit a high degree of patience, both with his respondents and in the course of his research when the much needed result is not forthcoming, in addition to his being consistent with the effort he puts in.
5. Prudence: The quality of being prudent has to do with his ability to manage the resources at his disposal. Research is a capital intensive project and there are possibilities that one might not be well funded to carry out such project. The managerial skill and ability of the researcher becomes handy for a successful execution of the project.
Also, even if the resources are in abundance, he must be able to manage same so as to avoid waste and extravagant spendings. Therefore, a researcher must be able to effectively manage the resources at his disposal for optimum output.
6. Expertise: Though the aim of research is to add knowledge to already existing knowledge (as one ventures into new areas not yet explored), the researcher must have reasonable amount of knowledge in the field he intends carrying out his research.
It will amount to a ruse if an archaeologist embarks on a research in medicine. A researcher must therefore be an expert in the field of his research or must possess at least, reasonable amount of knowledge in the field he professes to carry out his research.
7. Unbiased in his Research: At the beginning of his research, a researcher must not have a preconceived notion or idea about the subject of his research. This is because the research may likely not be accurate as his leanings will mostly be towards his bias. If there exists such bias, the researcher should be liberal enough to accept findings that are against his held beliefs. This will aid him to present an accurate and unbiased research work.
8. Interest: A researcher must show sufficient interest in the work he is doing. He should not be distracted. His interest should be focused on the work. This is quite different from being motivated. This is because it is the interest one has in a task that keeps him motivated.
If one is not interested in a research work, he cannot be motivated, even if all necessary things are in place to drive the project. A researcher has to build interest from within, in the field of his research to see him through the research work.
9. Amiable Personality: A researcher must have a friendly disposition. He should be easily approachable and should also have the ability to communicate with people in a friendly and coherent manner. A researcher that is unfriendly, gloomy and unapproachable may find it difficult extracting information from his respondents.
A researcher should also exhibit friendliness to whoever works with him (if he is in a team with other researchers). This act of friendliness reduces friction within the team and the team is most likely to finish up their task in record time.
10. The Ability to Work Under Pressure: A researcher must be able to work under pressure and unfavorable situations. The ability to carry out a task within little time frame and also work in conditions that are less favorable (for example, under a hostile boss) is a quality which the researcher should have to enable him carry out his task.
Limited time may be allocated to accomplish a research project such that if the researcher is unable to manage his time, the work will not be done. It is therefore a needed quality of the researcher to be able to persevere and work in unfriendly situations if he must accomplish his task on time.
11. Analytical in his research: A researcher should be analytical and should also be able to exhibit sound judgment. Proper analysis of issues is key to having a good research work. His ability to reason rationally and give sound judgment affects the quality of the research work.
Where the ability to give sound judgment is missing, there may be a misapplication of principles and rules. This might be fatal if such misapplication happens in a research work of great importance to health. Therefore, a researcher must have the natural ability to discern what is right between two factors brought before him.
Conclusively, whether a research work is an academic or organizational work, the researcher must be able to consistently gather information that are needed for the task. Research has to do with the discovery of new information and only a well planned method of information gathering can aid in the actualizing of this aim.
The quality of a research work, its success and its usefulness is dependent on the level of diligence exhibited by the researcher. It is imperative that the researcher is one with good attributes to enable him scale the litmus test of acceptability of his work in the society.