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Cryptography Research Papers: Materials and Methods

Cryptography is the study of writing and cracking codes. Unlike other social sciences like psychology or sociology, cryptography is not as widely practiced or recognized as a field, and so conducting research on the subject can pose a unique problem for undergraduate students. Locating materials and literature to inform research papers is quite difficult for cryptography students, as is selecting the proper research methods.

Below are a few sources, both online and at your university, that should help get you started when conducting research for your cryptography paper. Utilize these sources of information to the fullest and you will be able to draft an informed and unique paper with a variety of sources and investigative methods.

Online Course Sites

Cryptography is a field that captures a lot of lay interest. There may even be more amateur practicioners of cryptography than there are academics who study it! Looking for online course materials, then, is an excellent place to start when accumulating materials for your paper. Sites like Coursera and ITunes University offer literally thousands of hours of lecture and supplementary material on the study of cryptograms and cryptographs, and can help you accumulate research sources.

Online Journals and Databases

When conducting research in any social science or humanities field, places like JSTOR and Google Scholar are always an excellent start. Do a cursory search with the topic you are interested in, and remember to be as specific as possible. It may also be helpful to do a search for the author of your cryptography text, or the author of one of your academic sources on the topic. See if that author has published additional work. This should lead to more materials that will inform and improve your research paper.

Real Life Cryptographers

Check your university's history, English, philosophy, and anthropology departments in search of experts in cryptography. Individuals who specialize in ancient languages may be especially helpful to you. Ask if you can meet with them and discuss your research paper topic, and ask them for advice and additional materials as well as methodological advice. If your school has no cryptographers on staff, search local organizations. There are many hobbyists in the field, and you may even be able to locate them on sites like Meet Up or on an amateur cryptographer's forum.

Research Librarians

Many people with expertise in library science know a great deal about obscure topics such as cryptography, and also have a wealth of expertise in formal taxonomies and subsets of language. Ask your local research librarian for help finding the best materials and methods for your research paper. They will be happy to help, or at least point you to a better source of information on this topic!

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