• Taylor Hickem

Superior research and engineering

What does it mean to say that a particular piece of prose is scientifically meaningful?

What kinds of qualities of research predict impact?

While those in academics may have developed a rich and deep understanding of these questions, for the moment I have found the following list of qualities as an ambitious standard to strive for. Although not every piece of work that is published by helva satisfies every criteria, this standard is a representation of the ideal that we strive for and a benchmark of accountability to be judged on.

  1. Value-add

  2. Unambiguous

  3. Error free

  4. Comprehensive

  5. Solid argument

  6. Verifiable

  7. Systematic

  8. Novel

  9. Insight

  10. Perspective

  11. Open-ended


Solves or provides key information required to solve a problem


Well defined and scoped, concise and relevant to problem statements.

Error free

Factual, accurate


Information and details which are directly related to or likely to influence or change the problem outcomes are addressed

Solid argument

Evidence provided for claims, assumptions and conclusions use scientific method, established theory and qualified technical references


results can be traced, verified, and reproduced


Procedures, guidelines, derivations, principles and assumptions are valid and transparent


Original, not a duplicate or summary of established experience and knowledge within the organisational scope.


Contains new information, observations, deductions and conclusions. Identifies relevant causes and mechanisms which may not be directly observed


Adapts the conceptual frameworks, scope, and perspectives most appropriate to derive and communicate the product results


Acknowledges areas of less certainty and multiple possible interpretations and conclusions. Provides a roadmap for further product improvement

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