You have just been hired by a company for your expert advice. Give answers to the questions which are put to you. You won’t be able to do so from the top of your head. You will need to study the questions carefully. They won’t be easy to answer, as a rule, it will require hard work on your part. You will also need a great deal of documentation.
Where should you look for information? What the client provides you with. Reports to stockholders from various companies. The Web. Newspapers and magazines. Books. Reports in libraries. Phone calls to people you know. This documentation stage is crucial, it can be great fun. Make sure to check that the information you obtain from various sources is consistent.
Once you have obtained the information, you will proceed to tease out the answers which were requested from you. In anticipation with the meeting with company scientists, prepare the report which you will be presenting, explaining and defending orally. It needs a table of contents, an introduction and a conclusion, a bibliography, diagrams and tables. Write it clearly and simply.
In which ways does it differ from a publication in the open literature? There will be no need for an abstract; no need to make explicit the models or the tools for thought used; no need for a discussion, aiming at detailing your interpretation and at attempting to immunize it from criticism.
Make sure to answer each question put to you to the best of your ability. When you are unable to come up with an answer, say so and give the reasons why. Brace yourself for possible frustration, you may not be given any indication as to whether your answers and the proposals you put are deemed insufficient, just