Necessary qualities for good research skills:
1. Curiosity – ask your own questions, trust that your questions are the ones worth asking.
2. Attentiveness – attentiveness to detail, the quirky result, the faint emerging pattern from a variety of data.
3. Patience – a tolerance of confusion, ‘hanging out in the fog’, allowing questions to become difficult and complex before they begin to give up a result.
4. Hands-on construction – playing with possibilities, creating drafts, building maquettes, and then constantly tinkering with and improving them.
5. Scepticism – asking how do you know, what’s your warrant for that statement, why should I believe this?
How do you know whether through ‘search’ you have hit the top of a subject, the middle, or the end? And how do you know how much there might be in between? It may all be there, but the structured lines of approach are not.
Research is deeply sceptical – unless one can replicate a result, there is no result. ‘Search’ is a sighting shot. Assuming that the sighting shot has hit the bull’s eye is rash. If you know what you are looking for, ‘search’ is a good place to begin, and from which to start to ask questions. Reliance on ‘search’ can lead to a passive, misplaced acceptance of the most looked-up result as the ‘right’ answer.