Global surgery is an emerging academic discipline that is developing in tandem with numerous policy and advocacy initiatives. In this regard, academic global surgery will be crucial for measuring the progress toward improving surgical care worldwide. However, as a nascent academic discipline, there must be rigorous standards for the quality of work that emerges from this field. In this white paper, which reflects the opinion of the Global Academic Surgery Committee of the Society for University Surgeons, we discuss the importance of research in global surgery, the methodologies that can be used in such research, and the challenges and benefits associated with carrying out this research. In each of these topics, we draw on existing examples from the literature to demonstrate our points. We conclude with a call for continued, high-quality research that will strengthen the discipline's academic standing and help us move toward improved access to and quality of surgical care worldwide.