FOR SOME TIME, I have been interested in reading papers in neighboring scholarly fields, like engineering education research and science education research. My interest is in identifying similarities and differences in how research is carried out, and how articles are written, with the end result to improve research quality and promote research training in my own field, computing education research. A very interesting overview of these areas can be found in . My main focus of interest here has been the research process and how the research is reported and I offer some interesting observations. When reading many science education papers, I have noted that it has been generally easy to find the research questions the paper addresses. Often they are highlighted as bullet points or with emphasis. This is not so common in computing education research including many of my own papers, as well as in engineering education research papers. And I wonder why this is so. The same issue has been raised in multiple discussions with my own PhD students. Just recently one of them was preparing the summary part of his thesis, which was compiled from a number of his published papers and the summary. The thesis project had had an initial goal and it had grown organically by addressing several emerging issues to achieve the goal, though no strict plan had been followed. We had earlier discussed work in each individual paper separately and also sketched the bigger picture until we had concluded that these papers are sufficient for a whole thesis. Now, we had long discussions on how to formulate the overarching research questions in the summary so that they would clearly bring together all he had done. The differences in the subject of his work created challenges.
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