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 Rules of Research
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Posted on 05-05-06 12:00 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Rules of Research Rule of Theory: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is a great deal of difference. Rule of Practice: If it happens, it must be possible. Law of Invisible Phenomena: The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Rule of Error: In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake. Rule of Truth: Science is Truth; don't be misled by facts. Law of Finance: On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are only six months in a year. Law of Replication: Never replicate a successful experiment. Law of Replication: Experiments must be reproduceable, they should fail the same way each time. Rule of Presentation: First draw your curves, then plot your data. Rule of Order: To study a subject best, understand it thoroughly before you start. Rule of Accuracy: When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer. Rule of Accuracy: A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. Rule of Reason: If nobody uses it, there's a reason. Rule of Failure: If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you have tried. Rule of Statistical Inference: Thou shalt not make statistical inference in the absence of a model. Rule of Citations: There are no answers, only cross references. Rule of Discovery: A couple of months in the laboratory can frequently save a couple of hours in the library. Rule of Proofreading: No one you ask for help will see the mistakes either. Rule of Success: An experiment is successful if no more than half the data must be discarded to agree with the theory. Rule of Experience: No experiment is ever a complete failure. It can serve as a bad example. Law of Persistence: Enough research will tend to support you theory. Rule of Thumb: When in doubt, fit a curve. Rule of Soft Science: Never take more than three data points. There will always be some kind of graph paper on which they fall in a straight line. Corollary: If you have only one kind of graph paper, never take more than two data points. Rule of Progress: "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong." (Voltaire) Rule of Refereeing: That which is true is not new and that which is new is not true. Rule of Inference: 43% of all statistics are worthless. Rule of Research Copying an idea from an author is plagiarism. Copying many ideas from many authors is research.

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