Philosophy of science and doctoral research design: the case of the Idea Puzzle software

Research output: Non-textual formSoftware


The Idea Puzzle software is a decision-making tool that helps PhD candidates improve the coherence of a research proposal, article, or thesis in the light of Philosophy of Science (Morais & Brailsford, 2019). It also helps review the strengths and weaknesses of a research project in any field of knowledge (Parente & Ferro, 2016). To date, it has helped design more than 7000 research projects worldwide.The Idea Puzzle software poses 21 questions, helps answer them, and allows the self-evaluation of each answer in terms of decision-making status. The help function of the Idea Puzzle software includes examples of research designs in different fields of knowledge that have won the Idea Puzzle Prize as well as definitions, introductions, tips, and bibliography. The output of the Idea Puzzle software is a research design with 21 answers, an overall score, and a coloured jigsaw puzzle of progress that can be shared in PDF or in Word.In 2023, the Idea Puzzle software was a finalist of the Sage 15K GBP Concept Grant from a total of 89 research software tools. The jury considered the theoretical framework of 21 decisions unique and praised the way the Idea Puzzle software helps PhD candidates design their research. In the same year, Sage Research Methods Community published an article on research design with the Idea Puzzle software (Morais, 2023).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThousand Oaks, CA, USA.
PublisherSAGE Research Methods Community
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2023


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