How to identify knowledge gaps in research

It is not uncommon to find novice researchers confronted by gaps in their knowledge. If you are one novice researcher who knows the technique to locate, identify, define and address these gaps in an efficient manner then your research process can be streamlined and your learning process can be accelerated.

I am sure that most you must have experienced when started some new assignment, a feeling of inadequacy. This is nothing but a discovery of knowledge gap. It is a possibility that you lack the understanding of m the concept beyond the basics or you lack the skill to explain the concept more in detail because of your limited knowledge.

The best way to know where your knowledge gap rests, is to try and communicate your ideas in your own words by speaking or even better, by writing. It is an extra effort but surely a useful and helpful effort. Whatever new concept your learn, write the summaries of them and observe and evaluate those aspects that you don’t understand fully. To know how much you understand, try explaining the concept to a friend, when you go in the detail, the fuzzy aspects would come out in the light.

After having identified the nature of the gap, it is required to devise the strategy to address the gap so that you hit the target which is required. We can bring out some options/alternatives here that you could use to fill up the gaps:
1. The text books and reading prescribed
2. Suggested reading additionally offered for your course
3. Searching on Google scholar
4. Library of your university or the catalogues of other universities
5. Getting linked up with an online discussion board so that questions could be posted and answer could be sought for your queries
6. Raising queries in tutorials at an appropriate time and also talking to peer group with your concerns from time to time.

Remember that do not ignore your knowledge gaps, if you actively search for answers and speed up your learning process you researching skills would also be enriched. The primary job ids to phrase your identified knowledge gaps so that you only search for necessary information in a more focussed manner. Become an active participant in your own learning process so that you aren’t doing anything but setting yourself up for success not just in the academic field but also beyond.

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