10 Steps of how to start your Research Project in Ophthalmology

1. Define the patients

When we know already what we are planning to present in our research project we define which exactly patients we will include in our study. For that we prepare the medical files of these patients by selecting them from the general database.

2. Define the parameters

Based on the purpose of our study we are targeting on specific parameters which we are planning to describe. For that we need to check if all of the patients who are included in the research project have passed through required examinations. If not, it is possible to make an appointment with the patients in order to complete the missed information.

3. Collect the data

Once all the parameters have been set you can start collecting the data. It is always convenient to prepare your data in an Excel file. Create a file and make a table with separated columns which includes all the necessary information (such as: name, age, gender, date of surgery, some specific measurements and etc.)

4. Form the data

As soon as the data is set in an Excel file, for me personally it is always easier to work with the data if I organize it properly. You can use different colors for letters or the columns as a separation of the information, or use different sheets in the same file (especially when you include in the study 2 or more than 2 groups, or when you show long follow up by describing 1,3, 6, 12 or more periods, etc.)

5. Analyze the data

After setting and organizing the data we are ready to perform a statistical analysis.  Simple calculations like the average, minimum, maximum and standard deviation values can be easily calculated in the Excel file itself under each column of the required measurement.

6. Prepare the graphs and figures

When you know the main purpose of your study, you already have a clear image how the study should look like. The graphical presentation of every study are tables and figures. It is always easier and more convenient to prepare the graphs of your data in an Excel file and display them in a separate sheet.

7. Prepare the tables

Preparing the tables usually comes after finishing your calculations.  It should presents the mean values as well as minimum, maximum, standard deviation parameters and all required statistical values.

8. Prepare the abstract

Once we have the tables and the statistically calculated outcomes of the study it enables you to start your abstract. In this we include the description, the purpose of the study, the methods, the results, and the conclusion.

9. Collect the references

There should be no research articles without referring to previously published literature. That’s why before starting to write your own research, first collect all the relevant articles which are related to your topic. It will be very helpful later to write your own manuscripts.

10. Begin writing now!
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