Unseen PhD Effort, “Failures,” and the Research Iceberg Analogy

The Research Process and the Iceberg. Above water: The published work. Below water: The unseen effort. The unseen effort consists of an iterative cycle of: (1) identifying potential projects, (2) selecting which problems to work on, (3) working on those problems, (4) refining the work for publication, and (5) dealing with setbacks along the way.
The Research Process and the Iceberg. Photo of iceberg copyright Andreas Weith under CC BY-SA 4.0; obtained from Wikipedia. Changes include cropping, adding text, and adding a spiral.
Perspectives on Research. In the middle of a project: working on the base of an iceberg. After project completion: can see the entire iceberg, including the above-surface published component.
Perspectives on research: In the middle of a project vs after project completion. Photo of iceberg copyright Andreas Weith under CC BY-SA 4.0; obtained from Wikipedia. Changes include cropping and adding text.
Perspectives on Research. In the middle of a project: working on the base of an iceberg. After project completion: can see the entire iceberg, including the above-surface published component. Years later: may not remember all of iceberg base.
Perspectives on research: In the middle of a project vs after project completion vs years later. Photo of iceberg copyright Andreas Weith under CC BY-SA 4.0; obtained from Wikipedia. Changes include cropping and adding text.

My philosophy is that the addition of new knowledge is a byproduct of the PhD process. To me, the most important part of a PhD is experiencing the PhD process — learning how to….

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