A Little Research
Research Consultant

Providing reliable evidence


A Little Research connects practitioners with academic research that provides reliable evidence to support decisions and solves technical problems. I have particular experience in software development, algorithms, information security and privacy, library technology and open data. I’m available to conduct research in any of these fields, and will consider projects in other areas of computing and engineering on a case-by-case basis.

For example, suppose you want to identify the species of a flower from a photograph. Researchers have published numerous algorithms for just this purpose but it takes some effort to find the right one. I can find the algorithms for you and prepare a summary of how well they work under various conditions, from which you can choose the algorithm that best suits your needs (or decide that the existing algorithms are not good enough and more research is required).


A Little Research provides

literature searches

literature reviews

Research Consultant
Research Consultant

new research

software development

Prices vary according to the scope of reviews and research. I recommend you start with a search for relevant literature to get an idea of what is available then consider a more detailed review or new research according to your needs. Note that I cannot usually provide copies of academic articles as the copyright for these is held by their publishers, but I can show you how to obtain a copy from the publisher (open access if possible or pay-per-article otherwise).

Literature Searches

$120 per topic

Aims to identify the 5-10 articles most relevant to a given topic. Where a large number of articles are available on a topic, articles chosen may be a representative sample of sub-topics (existing literature reviews where available). Links will be provided to open access versions of original articles where available, or to original publisher summaries otherwise.

Literature Reviews

$120 per article reviewed

Summarises the contents of articles as they relate to the topic of research, and synthesises their results into a coherent whole. Each summary is sufficient to convey the central results of each article as they relate to the topic of the review, but does not discuss detailed methodologies or research data, for which the reader should refer to the original article. Reviews do not in general contain any new knowledge.

Research Projects

contact for a quote

Small-scale research projects intended to generate new knowledge or technology in software engineering, information security, data management and related fields. Costs and outputs vary according to the scale and nature of the project, and the time and resources required.

Software Development

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I have extensive experience in implementing research and production software across a wide variety of programming frameworks and computing platforms, with particular experience in data management, information security, and scientific applications. Costs vary according to the scale and nature of the project.

I will not do your homework for you. A Little Research’s services are for genuine practitioners and organisations looking to solve problems and/or improve their practice using academic research. Students are expected to do their own research as part of learning their own practice.


Discover My Work

This small sample reviews approaches to measuring and reducing the power consumption of the Raspberry Pi:

This sample investigates algorithms for summarising documents. Several literature reviews already exist for this topic, as shown in the literature search, so there was no need to write a new review.

Research Samples


Who We Are
Research Consultant - Nicholas Paul Sheppard

Nicholas Paul Sheppard


A Little Research is owned and operated by Nicholas Paul Sheppard. I am an engineer, teacher and researcher with particular experience in software engineering, information security and privacy, library technology and open data. I hold degrees in computer systems engineering and mathematics from the University of Queensland and a PhD in computer science from the University of Sydney.

A Little Research is based in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. I can work in person anywhere in the Greater Wollongong area, and north to the Sydney CBD. Occasional visits to other east coast and ACT locations can also be negotiated. I can conduct remote work for clients anywhere in Australia.


Get in touch

Have a question or need more information. Please send a little research an email or fill out the contact form and we will be in touch ASAP.