Factors to consider when choosing a research topic in Information Technology

Factors to consider when choosing a research topic in Information Technology

1. Identifying a research problem is made easier if you stick to your area of study/specialization.
2. Shy away from topics that have been extensively studied (difficult to throw new light).
3. Eschew controversial areas unless you are experienced.
4. Try to identify unresolved problems (have long term plans in your choice of research topic. That which makes you an authority is preferable).
5. Avoid too narrow or vague a problem, and choose research topic bearing in mind the resources available at your disposal, time inclusive
Other factors include:
✓ Interest
✓ Resources
✓ Measurement of concepts
✓ Level of expertise
✓ Relevance
✓ Availability of data
✓ Ethical issues
Ways of identifying research problem
✓ Conducting literature review
✓ Discussion with experts
✓ Replication
✓ Previous research studies
✓ Media
✓ Personal experience
Defining a research problem can be seen to follow sequentially the following pattern:
(i) General statement of the problem ➔
(ii) Understanding the nature of the problem, e.g. through discussion with those knowledgeable ➔
(iii) Survey available literature ➔
(iv) Refine or rephrase the research problem (more specific formulation e.g., having objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART)

Topics that Computer Science Researchers Address
These fall the following major categories:
1. Problem-solving concepts (e.g., algorithms, AI, Mathematics/computational science)
2. Computer concepts (e.g., Computer/hardware principles/architecture, Inter-computer communication, Operating systems, etc)
3. Systems/software concepts (e.g., System architecture/engineering; Programming languages; Methods/techniques; Tools (including compilers, debuggers); Human–computer interaction; System security)
4. Data/information concepts (e.g., Data/file structures; Data base/warehouse/mart organization; Information retrieval; Data analysis; Data security)
1. Problem-domain-specific concepts (Computer graphics/pattern analysis; Information systems; Scientific/engineering (including bio-informatics))
2. Systems/software management concepts (Project/product management (including risk management))
3. Organizational concepts (Technology transfer (including innovation, acceptance, adoption, diffusion); Management of ‘‘computing’’ function)

Example of Research Topics:
A framework to support study group formation using Online Social media- the case of twitter
Application of Multi-agent Technology to Information Systems: An Agent-based Design Architecture for Decision Support Systems (haolan Zhang)
A Model-Driven Approach to Accessing Managerial Information: The Development of a Repository-Based Executive Information System (Minder Chen)

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