You are here

Restarting Stalled Research

Restarting Stalled Research

May 2015 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written for researchers and graduate students writing dissertations, this unique book offers detailed advice and perspective on many issues that can stall a research project and reveals what can be done to successfully resume it. Using a direct yet conversational style, author Paul C. Rosenblatt draws on his decades of experience to cover many diverse topics. The text guides readers through challenges such as clarifying the end goal of a project; resolving common and not-so-common writing problems; dealing with rejection and revision decisions; handling difficulties involving dissertation advisers and committee members; coping with issues of researcher motivation or self-esteem; and much more.

About the Author
Chapter 1. Problems in Deciding What the Research Is About
When the Problem Is Conceptual

If You Do Not Know What You Are Doing in Your Research

When the Problem Is with the Model of How to Do Research

When the Project Seems Outdated

Chapter 2. Restarting Your Writing
Writer’s Block

Dealing with Editorial Rejection or a Revise-and-Resubmit Editorial Decision

Dealing with Unreasonable Demands for Dissertation Revision

General Guidelines and Resources for Moving Writing Forward

Chapter 3. Social Relationship Issues Connected to Research Being Stalled
Problems with Research Collaborators

Dealing with a Research Assistant’s Dishonesty, Poor Functioning, or Incompetence

Problems with Advisers or Committee Members

If You Have Lost Your Adviser

Who Owns the Data?

Dealing with Powerful, Possibly Dangerous Gatekeepers

Problems with People You Want to Study

Stalled Because You Do Not Have a Research Peer Group

Chapter 4. Self of Researcher
If You Do Not Know What to Do Next on Your Research

If You Have Lost Your Motivation

If You Do Not Feel Good Enough about Yourself to Do the Work

Getting Out of the Mental Rut You Are in About Being Stalled

Chapter 5. Stalled Because of a Shortage of Resources
If You Have No Research Funds

Research Assistant Troubles

If Your Records Are Not Good Enough

When the Problem Seems to Be with Quality or Amount of Data

Issues with Data Resources: Stalled When Working with Someone Else’s Data

Stalled Because of the Time, Focus, and Energy Demands of the Rest of Your Life

Chapter 6. When to Quit
Consider Consulting with Someone First

Liquidating a Project

Maybe Research Is Not for You

Appendix. Advice for Research Consultants, Mentors, and Dissertation Advisers Helping Others With Stalled Projects

“This book addresses common writing issues in a clear and matter-of-fact, but thoughtful and thorough manner. The author addresses issues often outside the control of the researcher—funding, ownership of data, collaborative relationships, student-chair and mentor relationships, and concerns about reputation after abandoning a research project. All need addressing and I applaud the author for doing so in a forthright manner.”

Roma B. Angel, Appalachian State University

“I believe this text could be a helpful tool to assist dissertation students who become bogged in the research mire.” 

William Figg, Dakota State University

Readers will find themselves in these pages, and find themselves attended to without judgment, without impatience, and without ridicule.”

Karin Lindstrom Bremer, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Helpful hands-on approach to scientific writing. Especially useful for students that have interrupted their writing.. recommend as useful to get things started again.

Ms Sharon du Plessis-Schneider
Department Sozial- und Organisationswissenschaften, University of Applied Science Vorarlberg
September 17, 2021
Key features


  • Diverse illustrations from the literature and from the author's extensive experience in consulting, advising, and mentoring to researchers give readers a clear idea of how to make sense of their own research issues.
  • Perspectives, suggestions, and possibilities (rather than simplistic solutions or formulas) are offered to help researchers deal with the complexities of their own situation so that they are able to solve the matter themselves.
  • The author normalizes stalled research throughout the text to affirm that stalled research is a normal part of the research process and not an individual problem.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.