How to be a successful researcher?

I am delighted to have been one of the scientists included in the Stanford University’s list of the World’s Top 2% Scientists (2019)*.  I would like to congratulate my UM fellow colleagues as well as the other Malaysian scientists who are included in this list.  

I am privileged to work at the University of Malaya that provides very strong support in research.  I feel honoured to have worked with so many great colleagues and research candidates over the years.  Without them, I would not be where I am now.

How to be a successful researcher?  

Well, there is no perfect answer.  I think the most important point is we must enjoy our work: although the end is important, the journey must be fun.  If we are passionate about our work, then we will be successful because it is very difficult to perform poorly at work that we enjoy. 

Never stop trying …  

We should be willing to work hard and able to embrace failure.  Failure to obtain a grant, carry out the research as planned, or get manuscripts accepted by journals are common obstacles faced by researchers.  Never stop trying to write and submit grants, the more you write, the better you will be and chances of getting grants get better.  Do not hesitate to get advice from senior researchers, they have gone through the same path and will be happy to assist.  Do not leave your research data unpublished, if the manuscript gets rejected, review and edit accordingly and submit again. Be willing to work hard and all these involve hard work.

Networking is important. 

Network at meetings, online and within your professional organization.  Network online is extremely important in this era, upload your skills and achievement in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  In addition, improve your research visibility by creating profiles in Publon, Scorpus, Orcid, etc to communicate your research to a wider audience, increase the impact of your work and increase citation. 

Finally, do not over commit and allocate time for yourself.  Take time to embark on your hobbies or spend time with your families.  There are many paths to success, you just need to find the right way for yourself that you are passionate about and keep you motivated to pursue your goals. 

*The list was developed using Scopus data to compile a database of the 100,000 most-cited authors across all scientific fields based on their ranking of a composite indicator that considers six citation metrics (total citations; Hirsch h-index; co-authorship-adjusted Schreiber hm-index; number of citations to papers as single author; number of citations to papers as single or first author; and number of citations to papers as single, first, or last author)

Article writen by Prof Dr Moy Foong Ming, she is also alumni from the Department, where she completed her Master of Medical Science in Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy.

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