Understanding Research

We created these videos to help students get started in scientific research. We are Anthony Carpi, Dean of Research and an environmental chemist at John Jay College in Manhattan, NY, and Anne Egger, Associate Professor in Geological Sciences and Science Education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. In each short video, we describe one aspect of conducting research, with examples from different disciplines—including our own work.

These videos are meant to:

  • Explore the dynamic process of scientific research using examples that span disciplines and time,
  • Promote students’ sense of themselves as scientists by highlighting the culture of science, including the nature of the scientific community and the diversity of its members,
  • Empower students to participate in scientific research.


Episode 1a: Introduction

Episode 1b: Introduction (for instructors)

Episode 2: What is Research?

Episode 3: Thinking like a Scientist

Episode 4: Joining the Scientific Community

Episode 5: Finding a Mentor

Episode 6a: Navigating the Scientific Literature

Episode 6b: Reading Scientific Articles

Episode 7: The Diversity of Research Methods

Episode 8: Collecting Data from the Natural World

Episode 9: Conducting Experiments

Episode 10: Collecting Data from People

Episode 11: Modeling

Episode 12: Collecting Data

Episode 13: Analyzing Data

Episode 14: Interpreting Data

Episode 15: Responsible Conduct in Research

Episode 16: Presenting and Publishing Research

Episode 17: Collaboration and Diverse Perspectives in Science

Episode 18: The Impact of Science

Episode 19: Conclusions