How To Come Up With A Research Idea

Today, I’m going to write about the ways to come up with a suitable and scientifically valid research idea.

Many studies started with ideas that were considered naive or impossible. And that’s why some good ideas emerge from beginners in research or students, that’s because of them having little experience in the field and having wild ideas while experts, usually are busy with current ideas being discussed in the literature and don’t have time to look up for ideas in other fields.

For you to come up with a good research idea:

  • Be curious in science.
  • Have a time during the day or the week to only think about ideas without engaging in other thoughts.
  • Look for ideas in different fields yet related to your field. Try to connect with experts in other fields to find ideas that can be implemented in your field e.g. contact software developers to find ideas that can be used in your field.

Developing a research idea:

  • Contact your teachers or instructors to show them your ideas.
  • Try to specify the time and location where you are going to conduct your study because uncertainty can make your job difficult.
  • Review topics related to your study. This would widen your horizon and guide you in the right way.
  • Specifying keywords for your study can make the process of literature review easier. Failing to find the right keywords, will prevent you from reaching important studies in your topic.

How to find a good research idea:

  • Reading current journals and periodicals.
  • Personal observation in your studies or practice. For example, let’s assume that a doctor is used to prescribe a specific drug for headaches, when patients came for follow ups, he noticed that some of them had stomachaches after taking the prescribed drug. So this doctor, decided to study the effect of this specific drug on the stomach. So, observation lead this doctor to study this effect which is a good research idea.
  • A good source for finding interesting ideas is attending scientific meetings in your specialty. Many new ideas are presented in these meetings. Usually, these meetings are accompanied with specialized exhibitions where you can find new technologies that can be good topics for research where you can study the uses and effects of these new technologies. You can also meet with experts in the field where you can get to know them and discuss with them ideas for research.

You can also use specialized search engines, where you can search or even have access for full text research articles. Among the most known search engines are:

  3. Saudi Digital Library
  4. A good website to connect with researcher from allover the world is

Write your ideas in a notebook or a notes application on your smartphone. You can read the Arabic version of this article by clicking here.

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