On successful research

James A. Ohlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses what I believe a researcher ought to keep in mind when he/she tries to find a research topic and assesses the probability of success. In this context I think of success as a paper that becomes known over time and, generally, extensively cited. My discussion will lay out some useful 'pointers'. I will also try to provide something resembling a 'proof in the pudding' by listing a number of specific research topics, each of which can be spelled out in a few sentences. My aim is to persuade the reader that research topics can rely on straightforward ideas as opposed to a specific set of antecedent papers. In this respect, I argue that the best research questions derive from an acute sense of how the world works as opposed to more or less stylized 'theories' originating in academia. © 2011 European Accounting Association,.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-26
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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