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Research is "
creative
creative
and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an expansion on past work in the field. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of
basic research Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science sinc ...
(as opposed to
applied research Applied science is the use of the scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves caref ...
) are
documentation Documentation is any communicable material that is used to describe, explain or instruct regarding some attributes of an object, system or procedure, such as its parts, assembly, installation, maintenance and use. Documentation can be provided on ...

documentation
,
discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to sciences and academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic fi ...
,
interpretation Interpretation may refer to: Culture * Aesthetic interpretation, an explanation of the meaning of a work of art * Allegorical interpretation, an approach that assumes a text should not be interpreted literally * Dramatic Interpretation, an event i ...
, and the
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...
(R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
. Approaches to research depend on
epistemologies
epistemologies
, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research:
scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

scientific
,
humanities Humanities are academic disciplines An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

humanities
,
artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
, economic,
social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The word "Social" derives fr ...

social
, business,
marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adv ...
,
practitioner research Practitioner research refers to research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, and analysis of information to increase understanding o ...
, life,
technological Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techniques and materials, techniques, skills, Scientific method, methods, and Business proc ...
, etc. The scientific study of research practices is known as
meta-research Metascience (also known as meta-research) is the use of scientific methodology Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was or ...
.


Etymology

The word ''research'' is derived from the
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from ...

Middle French
"''recherche''", which means "to go about seeking", the term itself being derived from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
term "''recerchier''" a compound word from "re-" + "cerchier", or "sercher", meaning 'search'. The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1577.


Definitions

Research has been defined in a number of different ways, and while there are similarities, there does not appear to be a single, all-encompassing definition that is embraced by all who engage in it. One definition of research is used by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
, "Any creative systematic activity undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications." Another definition of research is given by John W. Creswell, who states that "research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "studious inquiry or examination; ''especially'' : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws"


Forms of research


Original research

Original research, also called primary research, is research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review, or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research. This material is of a character. The purpose of the original research is to produce new
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
, rather than to present the existing knowledge in a new form (e.g., summarized or classified). Original research can be in various forms, depending on the discipline it pertains to. In experimental work, it typically involves direct or indirect observation of the researched subject(s), e.g., in the laboratory or in the field, documents the
methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers
r other users R, or r, is the eighteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that ...
make". It compris ...
, results, and conclusions of an experiment or set of experiments, or offers a novel interpretation of previous results. In analytical work, there are typically some new (for example) mathematical results produced, or a new way of approaching an existing problem. In some subjects which do not typically carry out experimentation or analysis of this kind, the originality is in the particular way existing understanding is changed or re-interpreted based on the outcome of the work of the
researcher Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an exp ...
. The degree of originality of the research is among major criteria for articles to be published in
academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of w ...
s and usually established by means of
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
.
Graduate student Student receives degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, 2013 A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad school) is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (e.g., master's degree, master's ...
s are commonly required to perform original research as part of a dissertation.


Scientific research

Scientific research is a systematic way of gathering data and harnessing
curiosity Curiosity (from Latin ''wikt:curiositas#Latin, cūriōsitās'', from ''cūriōsus'' "careful, diligent, curious", akin to ''cura'' "care") is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by ...

curiosity
. This research provides
scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...

scientific
information and theories for the explanation of the
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter an ...

nature
and the properties of the world. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is funded by public authorities, by charitable organizations and by private groups, including many companies. Scientific research can be subdivided into different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines. Scientific research is a widely used criterion for judging the standing of an academic institution, but some argue that such is an inaccurate assessment of the institution, because the quality of research does not tell about the quality of teaching (these do not necessarily correlate). Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural
process A process is a series or set of activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process A business process, business method ...
. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied: # Observations and formation of the topic: Consists of the subject area of one's interest and following that subject area to conduct subject-related research. The subject area should not be randomly chosen since it requires reading a vast amount of literature on the topic to determine the gap in the literature the researcher intends to narrow. A keen interest in the chosen subject area is advisable. The research will have to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge about the topic. #
Hypothesis A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation An explanation is a set of statements usually constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the rel ...
: A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables. # Conceptual definition: Description of a concept by relating it to other concepts. #
Operational definition An operational definition specifies concrete, replicable procedures designed to represent a construct. In the words of American psychologist S.S. Stevens (1935), "An operation is the performance which we execute in order to make known a concept." ...
: Details in regards to defining the variables and how they will be measured/assessed in the study. # Gathering of data: Consists of identifying a population and selecting samples, gathering information from or about these samples by using specific research instruments. The instruments used for data collection must be valid and reliable. # Analysis of data: Involves breaking down the individual pieces of data to draw conclusions about it. # Data Interpretation: This can be represented through tables, figures, and pictures, and then described in words. # Test, revising of hypothesis # Conclusion, reiteration if necessary A common misconception is that a hypothesis will be proven (see, rather,
null hypothesis In inferential statistics, the null hypothesis (often denoted ''H''0) is that there is no difference between two possibilities. The null hypothesis is that the observed difference is due to chance alone. Using statistical tests it is possible to ...
). Generally, a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected (see
falsifiability Falsifiability is a standard of evaluation of scientific theories and hypotheses that was introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book The Logic of Scientific Discovery, ''Logik der Forschung'' (1934). He proposed it as the ...
). However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case, a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it. Researchers can also use a null hypothesis, which states no relationship or difference between the independent or dependent variables.


Research in the humanities

Research in the humanities involves different methods such as for example
hermeneutics Hermeneutics () is the theory and methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choi ...
and
semiotics Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis Semiosis (, ), or sign process, is any form of activity Activity may refer to: * Action (philosophy), in general * Human activity: human behavior, in sociology ...

semiotics
. Humanities scholars usually do not search for the ultimate correct answer to a question, but instead, explore the issues and details that surround it. Context is always important, and context can be social, historical, political, cultural, or ethnic. An example of research in the humanities is historical research, which is embodied in
historical method The term historical method refers to the collection of techniques and guidelines that historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuou ...
. Historians use
primary sources In the study of history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing systems are considered prehistory. "History" is ...
and other
evidence Evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by a ...

evidence
to systematically investigate a topic, and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. Other studies aim to merely examine the occurrence of behaviours in societies and communities, without particularly looking for reasons or motivations to explain these. These studies may be qualitative or quantitative, and can use a variety of approaches, such as queer theory or feminist theory.


Artistic research

Artistic research, also seen as 'practice-based research', can take form when creative works are considered both the research and the object of research itself. It is the debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in research in its search for knowledge and truth. The controversial trend of artistic teaching becoming more academics-oriented is leading to artistic research being accepted as the primary mode of enquiry in art as in the case of other disciplines. One of the characteristics of artistic research is that it must accept
subjectivity Subjectivity in a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the sum ...
as opposed to the classical scientific methods. As such, it is similar to the
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s in using
qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, docum ...
and
intersubjectivity In philosophy, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, intersubjectivity is the Relations (philosophy), relation or intersection between people's Perspective (cognitive), cognitive perspectives. Definition is a term coined by social scientists a ...
as tools to apply measurement and critical analysis. Artistic research has been defined by the School of Dance and Circus (Dans och Cirkushögskolan, DOCH),
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
in the following manner – "Artistic research is to investigate and test with the purpose of gaining knowledge within and for our artistic disciplines. It is based on artistic practices, methods, and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context." Artistic research aims to enhance knowledge and understanding with presentation of the arts. A simpler understanding by Julian Klein defines artistic research as any kind of research employing the artistic mode of perception. For a survey of the central problematics of today's artistic research, see Giaco Schiesser. According to artist Hakan Topal, in artistic research, "perhaps more so than other disciplines, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of new and unexpected productive modalities". Most writers, whether of fiction or non-fiction books, also have to do research to support their creative work. This may be factual, historical, or background research. Background research could include, for example, geographical or procedural research. The
Society for Artistic ResearchThe Society for Artistic Research (SAR) is an international nonprofit, artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ...
(SAR) publishes the triannual ''Journal for Artistic Research'' (''JAR''), an international, online,
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis o ...

open access
, and
peer-review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
ed
journal A journal, from the Old French ''journal'' (meaning "daily"), may refer to: *Bullet journal, a method of personal organizations *Diary, a record of what happened over the course of a day or other period *Daybook, also known as a general journal, a ...
for the identification, publication, and
dissemination To disseminate (from lat. ''disseminare'' "scattering seeds"), in the field of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Org ...
of artistic research and its methodologies, from all arts disciplines and it runs the ''Research Catalogue'' (RC), a searchable, documentary
database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and sof ...

database
of artistic research, to which anyone can contribute. Patricia Leavy addresses eight arts-based research (ABR) genres: narrative inquiry, fiction-based research, poetry, music, dance, theatre, film, and visual art. In 2016, the
European League of Institutes of the Arts ELIA (formerly known as The European League of Institutes of the Arts) is a globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for professional exchange and development in higher arts education. With over 250 members in 47 countri ...
launched ''The Florence Principles' on the Doctorate in the Arts''. The Florence Principles relating to the Salzburg Principles and the Salzburg Recommendations of the
European University Association The European University Association (EUA) represents more than 800 institutions of higher education in 48 countries, providing them with a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies. Members of the ...
name seven points of attention to specify the Doctorate / PhD in the Arts compared to a scientific doctorate / PhD. The Florence Principles have been endorsed and are supported also by AEC,
CILECTThe International Association of Film and Television Schools (French: ''Centre international de liaison des écoles de cinéma et de télévision'', CILECT) is the association of the world's major film and television schools.
, CUMULUS and SAR.


Historical research

The
historical method The term historical method refers to the collection of techniques and guidelines that historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuou ...
comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use historical sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. There are various history guidelines that are commonly used by historians in their work, under the headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis. This includes
lower criticism , Manuscript C, folio 436v, 11th century Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarshipTextual scholarship (or textual studies) is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompas ...
and sensual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following concepts are part of most formal historical research: *
Identification Identification or identify may refer to: Art and entertainment *Identify (album), ''Identify'' (album) by Got7 *''Kill Command'', 2016 film, also known as ''Identify'' *Identify (song), "Identify" (song) *Identification (album), by Benjamin Ingr ...
of origin date *
Evidence Evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is shared by a ...

Evidence
of localization *
Recognition Recognition may refer to: *Award, something given in recognition of an achievement In science and technology In computer science *Pattern recognition, a branch of machine learning which encompasses the meanings below Biometric *Recognition of h ...
of authorship *
Analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composit ...

Analysis
of data * Identification of
integrity Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the ...

integrity
* Attribution of
credibility Credibility comprises the objective Objective may refer to: * Objective (optics), an element in a camera or microscope * ''The Objective'', a 2008 science fiction horror film * Objective pronoun, a personal pronoun that is used as a grammatical ...


Documentary research


Steps in conducting research

Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research. The hourglass model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required information through the method of the project (like the neck of the hourglass), then expands the research in the form of discussion and results. The major steps in conducting research are: * Identification of research problem *
Literature review A literature review is an overview of the previously published works on a specific topic. The term can refer to a full scholarly paper or a section of a scholarly work such as a book, or an article. Either way, a literature review is supposed t ...
* Specifying the purpose of research * Determining specific
research question A research question is 'a question that a research project sets out to answer'. Choosing a research question is an essential element of both Quantitative research, quantitative and qualitative research. Investigation will require data collection a ...
s * Specification of a
conceptual framework A conceptual framework is an analytical tool Analytical chemistry studies and uses instruments and methods used to separate, identify, and quantify matter. In practice, separation, identification or quantification may constitute the entire anal ...
, sometimes including a set of hypotheses * Choice of a methodology (for data collection) * Data collection * Verifying data * Analyzing and interpreting the data * Reporting and evaluating research * Communicating the research findings and, possibly, recommendations The steps generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps. Most research begins with a general statement of the problem, or rather, the purpose for engaging in the study. The literature review identifies flaws or holes in previous research which provides justification for the study. Often, a
literature review A literature review is an overview of the previously published works on a specific topic. The term can refer to a full scholarly paper or a section of a scholarly work such as a book, or an article. Either way, a literature review is supposed t ...
is conducted in a given subject area before a
research question A research question is 'a question that a research project sets out to answer'. Choosing a research question is an essential element of both Quantitative research, quantitative and qualitative research. Investigation will require data collection a ...
is identified. A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question. The research question may be parallel to the
hypothesis A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation An explanation is a set of statements usually constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the rel ...
. The hypothesis is the supposition to be tested. The researcher(s) collects data to test the hypothesis. The researcher(s) then analyzes and interprets the data via a variety of statistical methods, engaging in what is known as
empirical research Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is also a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empiricism values some research more than other kinds. Empirical evidence (the record of ...
. The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the
null hypothesis In inferential statistics, the null hypothesis (often denoted ''H''0) is that there is no difference between two possibilities. The null hypothesis is that the observed difference is due to chance alone. Using statistical tests it is possible to ...
are then reported and evaluated. At the end, the researcher may discuss avenues for further research. However, some researchers advocate for the reverse approach: starting with articulating findings and discussion of them, moving "up" to identification of a research problem that emerges in the findings and literature review. The reverse approach is justified by the transactional nature of the research endeavor where research inquiry, research questions, research method, relevant research literature, and so on are not fully known until the findings have fully emerged and been interpreted.
Rudolph Rummel Rudolph Joseph Rummel (October 21, 1932 – March 2, 2014) was a political scientist and professor at the Indiana University, Yale University, and University of Hawaiʻi. He spent his career studying data on collective violence and war with a view ...
says, "... no researcher should accept any one or two tests as definitive. It is only when a range of tests are consistent over many kinds of data, researchers, and methods can one have confidence in the results."
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
in
Meno ''Meno'' (; grc-gre, wikt:Μένων, Μένων, ''Ménōn'') is a Socratic dialogue by Plato. Meno begins the dialogue by asking Socrates whether virtue is taught, acquired by practice, or comes by nature. In order to determine whether virt ...

Meno
talks about an inherent difficulty, if not a paradox, of doing research that can be paraphrased in the following way, "If you know what you're searching for, why do you search for it?! .e., you have already found itIf you don't know what you're searching for, what are you searching for?!"


Research methods

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. This process takes three main forms (although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be obscure): *
Exploratory research Exploratory research is "the preliminary research to clarify the exact nature of the problem to be solved." It is used to ensure additional research is taken into consideration during an experiment as well as determining research priorities, collect ...
, which helps to identify and define a problem or question. *
Constructive researchDesign science is an outcome based information technology research methodology, which offers specific guidelines A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according t ...
, which tests theories and proposes solutions to a problem or question. *
Empirical research Empirical research is research using empirical evidence. It is also a way of gaining knowledge by means of direct and indirect observation or experience. Empiricism values some research more than other kinds. Empirical evidence (the record of ...
, which tests the feasibility of a solution using
empirical evidence Empirical evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is s ...
. There are two major types of empirical research design: qualitative research and quantitative research. Researchers choose qualitative or quantitative methods according to the nature of the research topic they want to investigate and the research questions they aim to answer: ;
Qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, docum ...
:This involves understanding human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior, by asking a broad question, collecting data in the form of words, images, video etc. that is analyzed, and searching for themes. This type of research aims to investigate a question without attempting to quantifiably measure variables or look to potential relationships between variables. It is viewed as more restrictive in testing hypotheses because it can be expensive and time-consuming and typically limited to a single set of research subjects. Qualitative research is often used as a method of exploratory research as a basis for later quantitative research hypotheses. Qualitative research is linked with the philosophical and theoretical stance of
social constructionism Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge Epistemology (; ) is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Episte ...
.
Social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

Social media
posts are used for qualitative research. ;
Quantitative research Quantitative research is a research strategy that focuses on quantifying the collection and analysis of data. It is formed from a Deductive reasoning, deductive approach where emphasis is placed on the testing of theory, shaped by Empiricism, e ...

Quantitative research
:This involves systematic empirical investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships, by asking a narrow question and collecting numerical data to analyze it utilizing
statistical Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers th ...
methods. The quantitative research designs are experimental, correlational, and survey (or descriptive). Statistics derived from quantitative research can be used to establish the existence of associative or causal relationships between variables. Quantitative research is linked with the philosophical and theoretical stance of
positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory A philosophical theory or philosophical position''Dictionary of Theories'', Jennifer Bothamley is a view that attempts to explain or account for a particular problem in philosophy Philosophy (from ...
. The quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories. These methods produce results that can be summarized, compared, and generalized to larger populations if the data are collected using proper sampling and data collection strategies. Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. If the research question is about people, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments (this is the only way that a quantitative study can be considered a true experiment). If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. In either qualitative or quantitative research, the researcher(s) may collect primary or secondary data. Primary data is data collected specifically for the research, such as through interviews or questionnaires. Secondary data is data that already exists, such as census data, which can be re-used for the research. It is good ethical research practice to use secondary data wherever possible. Mixed-method research, i.e. research that includes qualitative and quantitative elements, using both primary and secondary data, is becoming more common. This method has benefits that using one method alone cannot offer. For example, a researcher may choose to conduct a qualitative study and follow it up with a quantitative study to gain additional insights.
Big data Big data is a field that treats ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data set A data set (or dataset) is a collection of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of informati ...

Big data
has brought big impacts on research methods so that now many researchers do not put much effort into data collection; furthermore, methods to analyze easily available huge amounts of data have also been developed. Types of Research Method 1. Observatory Research Method 2. Correlation Research Method ;Switching topics There have been indications that during the last decades scientists have switched between scientific topics more frequently. ;Non-empirical research Non-empirical (
theoretical A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, G ...

theoretical
) research is an approach that involves the development of theory as opposed to using observation and experimentation. As such, non-empirical research seeks solutions to problems using existing knowledge as its source. This, however, does not mean that new ideas and innovations cannot be found within the pool of existing and established knowledge. Non-empirical research is not an absolute alternative to empirical research because they may be used together to strengthen a research approach. Neither one is less effective than the other since they have their particular purpose in science. Typically empirical research produces observations that need to be explained; then theoretical research tries to explain them, and in so doing generates empirically testable hypotheses; these hypotheses are then tested empirically, giving more observations that may need further explanation; and so on. See
Scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

Scientific method
. A simple example of a non-empirical task is the prototyping of a new drug using a differentiated application of existing knowledge; another is the development of a business process in the form of a flow chart and texts where all the ingredients are from established knowledge. Much of cosmological research is theoretical in nature.
Mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
research does not rely on externally available data; rather, it seeks to prove
theorem In mathematics, a theorem is a statement (logic), statement that has been Mathematical proof, proved, or can be proved. The ''proof'' of a theorem is a logical argument that uses the inference rules of a deductive system to establish that the the ...
s about
mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deductive reasoning and mathematical proofs ...
s.


Research ethics

Research ethics is concerned with the moral issues that arise during or as a result of research activities, as well as the ethical conduct of researchers. Historically, the revelation of scandals such as
Nazi human experimentation Nazi human experimentation was a series of human experimentation, medical experiments on large numbers of prisoners, including children, by Nazi Germany in its Nazi concentration camps, concentration camps in the early to mid 1940s, during Worl ...
and the Tuskegee syphilis experiment led to the realisation that clear measures are needed for the ethical governance of research to ensure that people, animals and environments are not unduly harmed in research. The management of research ethics is inconsistent across countries and there is no universally accepted approach to how it should be addressed.Israel, M. G., & Thomson, A. C. (27–29 November 2013). ''The rise and much-sought demise of the adversarial culture in Australian research ethics.'' Paper presented at the 2013 Australasian Ethics Network Conference, Perth, Australia.Israel, M. (2016). ''Research ethics and integrity for social scientists: Beyond regulatory compliance'' (Second ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Informed consent Informed consent is a principle in medical ethics Medical ethics is an applied branch of ethics which analyzes the practice of clinical medicine and related scientific research. Medical ethics is based on a set of values that professionals can refe ...
is a key concept in research ethics. When making ethical decisions, we may be guided by different things and philosophers commonly distinguish between approaches like
deontology In moral philosophy, deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek language, Greek: + ) is the normative ethics, normative ethical theory that the morality of an action should be based on whether that action itself is right or wrong under a s ...
,
consequentialism Consequentialism is a class of normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad ...
,
virtue ethics Virtue ethics (also aretaic ethics, from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. ...
and
value (ethics) In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field o ...
. Regardless of approach, the application of ethical theory to specific controversial topics is known as
applied ethics Applied ethics refers to the practical application of moral considerations. It is ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about M ...
and research ethics can be viewed as a form of applied ethics because ethical theory is applied in real-world research scenarios. Ethical issues may arise in the
design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype A prototype is an early sample, mode ...
and implementation of research involving
human experimentation Human subject research is systematic, scientific investigation that can be either interventional (a "trial") or observational (no "test article") and involves human beings as research subjects, commonly known as test subjects. Human subject resear ...
or
animal experimentation Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research and ''in vivo'' testing, is the use of non-human animals in experiments that seek to control the variables that affect the behavior or biological system under study. This appr ...
. There may also be consequences for the environment, for society or for future generations that need to be considered. Research ethics is most developed as a concept in
medical research Medical research (or biomedical research), also known as experimental medicine, encompasses a wide array of research, extending from "basic research Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific r ...
, the most notable Code being the 1964
Declaration of Helsinki The Declaration of Helsinki (DoH, fi, Helsingin julistus, sv, Helsingforsdeklarationen) is a set of ethical principles regarding human experimentation developed for the medical community by the World Medical Association (WMA). It is widely rega ...
. Research in other fields such as
social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
, information technology,
biotechnology Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientific fields. In the late 20th and early 21st c ...

biotechnology
, or
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...

engineering
may generate different types of ethical concerns to those in medical research. In countries such as Canada, mandatory research ethics training is required for students, professors and others who work in research. Nowadays, research ethics is commonly distinguished from matters of research integrity that includes issues such as
scientific misconduct Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in the publication of professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified profess ...
(e.g. fraud, fabrication of data or
plagiarism Plagiarism is the representation of another author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existe ...

plagiarism
).


Problems in research


Meta-research

Meta-research is the study of research through the use of research methods. Also known as "research on research", it aims to reduce waste and increase the quality of research in all fields. Meta-research concerns itself with the detection of bias, methodological flaws, and other errors and inefficiencies. Among the finding of meta-research is a low rates of
reproducibility Reproducibility, also known as replicability and repeatability, is a major principle underpinning the scientific method The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the develop ...
across a large number of fields. This widespread difficulty in reproducing research has been termed the "
replication crisis The replication crisis (also called the replicability crisis and the reproducibility crisis) is an ongoing methodological crisis in which it has been found that the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproducibility ...
."


Methods of research

In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant. Researchers are overwhelmingly taught Western methods of data collection and study. The increasing participation of
indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
as researchers has brought increased attention to the
scientific lacunaScientific lacuna describes an area of science that has not been studied but has the potential to be studied scientifically. Often, this may be the case because it falls between different areas of sciences, such that it doesn't fall into a single spe ...
in culturally-sensitive methods of data collection. Western methods of data collection may not be the most accurate or relevant for research on non-Western societies. For example, "Hua Oranga" was created as a criterion for psychological evaluation in Māori people, Māori populations, and is based on dimensions of mental health important to the Māori people – "taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha hinengaro (the mental dimension), taha tinana (the physical dimension), and taha whanau (the family dimension)".


Bias

Research is often biased in the languages that are preferred (linguicism) and the geographic locations where research occurs. Periphery scholars face the challenges of exclusion and linguicism in research and academic publication. As the great majority of mainstream academic journals are written in English, multilingual periphery scholars often must translate their work to be accepted to elite Western-dominated journals. Multilingual scholars' influences from their native communicative styles can be assumed to be incompetence instead of difference. For comparative politics, Western countries are over-represented in single-country studies, with heavy emphasis on Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Since 2000, Latin American countries have become more popular in single-country studies. In contrast, countries in Oceania and the Caribbean are the focus of very few studies. Patterns of geographic bias also show a relationship with linguicism: countries whose official languages are French or Arabic are far less likely to be the focus of single-country studies than countries with different official languages. Within Africa, English-speaking countries are more represented than other countries.


Generalizability

Generalization is the process of more broadly applying the valid results of one study. Studies with a narrow scope can result in a lack of generalizability, meaning that the results may not be applicable to other populations or regions. In comparative politics, this can result from using a single-country study, rather than a study design that uses data from multiple countries. Despite the issue of generalizability, single-country studies have risen in prevalence since the late 2000s.


Publication peer review

Peer review is a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Usually, the peer review process involves experts in the same field who are consulted by editors to give a review of the scholarly works produced by a colleague of theirs from an unbiased and impartial point of view, and this is usually done free of charge. The tradition of peer reviews being done for free has however brought many pitfalls which are also indicative of why most peer reviewers decline many invitations to review. It was observed that publications from periphery countries rarely rise to the same elite status as those of North America and Europe, because limitations on the availability of resources including high-quality paper and sophisticated image-rendering software and printing tools render these publications less able to satisfy standards currently carrying formal or informal authority in the publishing industry. These limitations in turn result in the under-representation of scholars from periphery nations among the set of publications holding prestige status relative to the quantity and quality of those scholars' research efforts, and this under-representation in turn results in disproportionately reduced acceptance of the results of their efforts as contributions to the body of knowledge available worldwide.


Influence of the open-access movement

The open access movement assumes that all information generally deemed useful should be free and belongs to a "public domain", that of "humanity". This idea gained prevalence as a result of Western colonial history and ignores alternative conceptions of knowledge circulation. For instance, most indigenous communities consider that access to certain information proper to the group should be determined by relationships. There is alleged to be a double standard in the Western knowledge system. On the one hand, "digital right management" used to restrict access to personal information on social networking platforms is celebrated as a protection of privacy, while simultaneously when similar functions are used by cultural groups (i.e. indigenous communities) this is denounced as "access control" and reprehended as censorship.


Research teams

Indications that fresh (new) teams are associated with more original and more multidisciplinary scientific studies has been found by An Zeng et al.


Future perspectives

Even though Western dominance seems to be prominent in research, some scholars, such as Simon Marginson, argue for "the need [for] a plural university world". Marginson argues that the East Asian Confucian model could take over the Western model. This could be due to changes in funding for research both in the East and the West. Focussed on emphasizing educational achievement, East Asian cultures, mainly in China and South Korea, have encouraged the increase of funding for research expansion. In contrast, in the Western academic world, notably in the United Kingdom as well as in some state governments in the United States, funding cuts for university research have occurred, which some say may lead to the future decline of Western dominance in research.


Neo-colonial approaches


Professionalisation

In several national and private academic systems, the professionalisation of research has resulted in formal job titles.


In Russia

In present-day Russia, the former Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet states the term ''researcher'' (russian: link=no, Научный сотрудник, ''nauchny sotrudnik'') is both a generic term for a person who carried out scientific research, as well as a job position within the frameworks of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Soviet universities, and in other research-oriented establishments. The following ranks are known: *Junior Researcher (Junior Research Associate) *Researcher (Research Associate) *Senior Researcher (Senior Research Associate) *Leading Researcher (Leading Research Associate) *Chief Researcher (Chief Research Associate)


Publishing

Academic publishing is a system that is necessary for academic scholars to
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
the work and make it available for a wider audience. The system varies widely by field and is also always changing, if often slowly. Most academic work is published in journal article or book form. There is also a large body of research that exists in either a thesis or dissertation form. These forms of research can be found in databases explicitly for theses and dissertations. In publishing, STM publishing is an abbreviation for academic publications in science, technology, and medicine. Most established List of academic disciplines, academic fields have their own scientific journals and other outlets for publication, though many
academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of w ...
s are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. The kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions of knowledge or research vary greatly between fields, from the print to the electronic format. A study suggests that researchers should not give great consideration to findings that are not replicated frequently. It has also been suggested that all published studies should be subjected to some measure for assessing the validity or reliability of its procedures to prevent the publication of unproven findings. Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since about the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. Presently, a major trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is Open access (publishing), open access. There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which the articles or the whole journal is freely available from the time of publication, and self-archiving, where the author makes a copy of their own work freely available on the web.


Research funding

Most funding for scientific research comes from three major sources: Corporation, corporate
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...
departments; private foundations, for example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and government research councils such as the National Institutes of Health in the USA and the Medical Research Council (UK), Medical Research Council in the UK. These are managed primarily through universities and in some cases through military contractors. Many senior researchers (such as group leaders) spend a significant amount of their time applying for grants for research funds. These grants are necessary not only for researchers to carry out their research but also as a source of merit. The Social Psychology Network provides a comprehensive list of U.S. Government and private foundation funding sources.


See also

* Advertising research * European Charter for Researchers * Funding bias * Internet research * List of countries by research and development spending * List of words ending in ology, List of words ending in ''ology'' * Market research * Marketing research * Open research * Operations research * Participatory action research * Psychological research methods * Research integrity * Research-intensive cluster * Research proposal * Research university * Scholarly research * Secondary research * Social research *
Society for Artistic ResearchThe Society for Artistic Research (SAR) is an international nonprofit, artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ...
* Timeline of the history of the scientific method * Undergraduate research


References


Further reading

* * * Soeters, Joseph; Shields, Patricia and Rietjens, Sebastiaan. 2014
Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies
New York: Routledge. * Talja, Sanna and Pamela J. Mckenzie (2007). Editor's Introduction: Special Issue on Discursive Approaches to Information Seeking in Context, The University of Chicago Press.


External links

{{Authority control Research, Methodology Scientific method