extremely attentive to fine points and details
In research, you have to strike a balance: you must be punctilious, but at the same time you must keep things moving along, with an eye to completing the work and meeting deadlines.
pungere (to prick, stab) (Latin)
fastidious, meticulous, punctilious, scrupulous
It is very close to PUNCTUAL. And if you pay attention to a person who is even one second late, then it shows that you are attentive to the most minute of things. Punctilious is a person paying attention to small punctuation mistakes in an essay (or writings)