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Table of Contents
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Glossary
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Next: Methods (m3) Up: Positioning (m2) Previous: Situation m2a

  
Central problem m2b

The modularisation process
Writing the modules Central problem required editing of the original text, because the relevant information was not isolated in the original version, but rather interwoven with the information that we have represented in the Situation. In the original texts, the central problem is implicit in the section Introduction and in the abstract. The central problem is hardly ever phrased as a problem, but rather formulated in terms of a programme, e.g.: ``Here we report relative differential cross sections of some alkali atom-halogen molecule charge-transfer collisions'' [A05, p.61] or a goal, e.g. ``to test the semi-classical calculation method and the suitability of the Landau-Zener theory for this type of collision process'' [A08, p.167]. In the microscopic modules Central problem, we have followed the original perspective and emphasised the goals of the measurement and calculation of particular variables in molecular collisions (in order to test a particular theory).

Following the ideal problem-solving process, we should have set out the central problem of the articles before addressing the methods used to solve it. However, in this domain of experimental research, the method is indicated in the module Central problem, because the method of scattering is interwoven so strongly with the problems of molecular dynamics that it more or less defines the research domain. Thus, the microscopic modules Central problem address the question as to what is to be done in each individual article. The higher level goals can be formulated in a related mesoscopic  module: the general study of the reaction kinetics.

The resulting module
In the Central problem it is announced what is to be done, which then is executed in the other modules. Therefore, a lot of modules overlap with it, in particular the module summaries of complex modules. The Central problem resembles the abstract of the article: the main issues and lines of the article are set out. The difference is that the abstract includes a summary of the main results, their interpretation and the final outcome of the research, whereas the Central problem only states what results are aimed for, and what theoretical models and techniques the authors plan to use to interpret them. The Central problem is mirrored in the module Findings m6a, which summarises what has been done and what has been found.

The module Central problem helps the modular article to fulfil the communication criteria : the goal of the research is a subject that is of interest to readers who try to locate relevant articles, as well as to readers who have obtained the article and wish to be informed, in an efficient way, of its central problem. Also, the article should have an explicit problem-solution pattern, according to the communication criteria, and therefore it has to state explicitly what is the problem to be solved.

The general goal of the research project as a whole has been summarised (in a new text) in a mesoscopic module Central problem. This module allows less informed readers to locate a research project of interest, after which they can either consult further background information in the mesoscopic Situation and in a detailed account of the established methods in the mesoscopic Methods modules, or retrieve new state-of-the-art findings issued from the same project that are presented in microscopic modules.  



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