Minor point on how you communicate the novelty point: I'm slightly worried about people misreading and thinking 'oh, I have to be super original', and then either neglecting important unoriginal things like reassessing existing work, or twisting themselves into knots to prove how original they are.
I agree with you that all else equal a new insight is more valuable than one others have already had, but as originality is often over-egged in academia, it might be worth paying attention to how you phrase the novelty criterion in particular.
I think a list like this might be useful for other purposes too:
Personally I'm a bit wary of things like this. A few reactions:
I think this is a really good summary of what historians might do, thanks Oscar.
One contextual point is that I think 1 and 2 are something like 'central examples of useful things historians might do', rather than something like 'the main things current historians actually do'.
In particular, my outdated impression from when I studied history is that a lot of historical work is very zoomed in source work that may not involve much integration or summarisation. Some of this work is necessary groundwork for 1 and 2; some of it I think comes from specialisation pressures within the field and doesn't produce much value.
I especially like your points on 2 Ramiro, and the distinction between studying history/what historians do. I'm interested in both of these things, and also agree that 'studying history' is vague and ambiguous.
I'm still confused about what contentful things I'm trying to think about, and so I'm using a kind of empty label, 'history', to point at the cloud of stuff I think might be relevant. My hope was that people would interpret 'history' differently, and I'd get a range of answers that might help me think about what I do and don't mean - and that I might get useful ideas that I wouldn't have received if I'd asked for something more narrow. But it's possible that the question is just too broad for people to generate responses to it.
Thanks for this Michael, I think that's a good point. I've changed those labels to 'US radical right (see definition)' and 'US radical left (see definition)'. Not perfect, but less misleading.
Yes, very happy to respond to messages on this :)
Yeah, I think that's a good point.
I expect there are things other than ability to take risks that it's worth tracking too - like skill acquisition, demonstrable achievements...
Thanks, I enjoyed that post (and it's quite short, for people considering whether to read).
This seems like a useful point, thanks!
It makes me want to give a clarification: the reflections above are just the most important things I happened to learn - not a list of generally most important points to consider when testing fit for research. I think I'd need more research experience to write a good version of the latter thing (though I think my list probably overlaps with it somewhat).
I also want to respond to "you should definitely try [...] before you write off research in general". I think I agree with this, conditional on it being a sensible idea for you to be testing your fit for research in general in the first place. Some thoughts: