Research institutes in California
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Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of
knowledge Knowledge can be defined as Descriptive knowledge, awareness of facts or as Procedural knowledge, practical skills, and may also refer to Knowledge by acquaintance, familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called pro ...
". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular attentiveness to controlling sources of bias and error. These activities are characterized by accounting and controlling for biases. 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 with the aim of improving scientific theory, theories for better understanding and prediction of natural or other phenomena. In contrast, applied ...
(as opposed to
applied research Applied science is the use of the scientific method and knowledge obtained via conclusions from the method to attain practical goals. It includes a broad range of disciplines such as engineering and medicine. Applied science is often contrasted ...
) 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. As a form of knowledge manageme ...
,
discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation), observing or finding something unknown * Discovery (fiction), a character's learning something unknown * Discovery (law), a process in courts of law relating to evidence Discovery, The Discovery ...
, interpretation, and the
research and development Research and development (R&D or R+D), known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, and improving existi ...
(R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research:
scientific Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
,
humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and referred to what is now called classi ...
,
artistic Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of wh ...
, economic,
social Social organisms, including human(s), live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary or not. Etymology The word "social" derives from ...
, business,
marketing Marketing is the process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market in terms of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to empha ...
,
practitioner research Practitioner research refers to research and/or workplace research such as evaluation performed by individuals who also work in a professional field as opposed to being full-time academic researchers. Practitioner research developed as a recognized ...
, life,
technological Technology is the application of knowledge to reach practical goals in a specifiable and reproducible way. The word ''technology'' may also mean the product of such an endeavor. The use of technology is widely prevalent in medicine Med ...
, etc. The scientific study of research practices is known as
meta-research Metascience (also known as meta-research) is the use of scientific methodology to study science itself. Metascience seeks to increase the quality of scientific research while reducing inefficiency. It is also known as "''research on research''" ...
.


Etymology

The word ''research'' is derived from the
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the 16th century. It is a period of transition during which: * the French language became clearly distinguished from t ...
"''recherche''", which means "to go about seeking", the term itself being derived from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Rather than a unified language, Old French was a linkage of Romance dialects, mutually intel ...
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. Research in simplest terms is searching for knowledge and searching for truth. In formal sense it is a systematic study of a problem attacked by a deliberately chosen strategy which starts with choosing an approach to preparing blue print (design) acting upon it in terms of designing research hypotheses, choosing methods and techniques, selecting or developing data collection tools, processing the data, interpretation and ends with presenting solution/s of the problem. 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 primary-source character. The purpose of the original research is to produce new
knowledge Knowledge can be defined as Descriptive knowledge, awareness of facts or as Procedural knowledge, practical skills, and may also refer to Knowledge by acquaintance, familiarity with objects or situations. Knowledge of facts, also called pro ...
, 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 In its most common sense, methodology is the study of research methods. However, the term can also refer to the methods themselves or to the philosophical discussion of associated background assumptions. A method is a structured procedure for bri ...
, 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 evidence to increase understanding of a topic, characterized by a particular attentiveness ...
. The degree of originality of the research is among major criteria for articles to be published in
academic journal An academic journal or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which Scholarly method, scholarship relating to a particular list of academic disciplines, academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transpar ...
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. Peer revie ...
.
Graduate student Postgraduate or graduate education refers to academic or professional degree A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession, practice, or i ...
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 '' cūriōsitās'', from ''cūriōsus'' "careful, diligent, curious", akin to ''cura'' "care") is a quality related to inquisitive thinking In their most common sense, the terms thought and thinking refer to consciousn ...
. This research provides
scientific Science is a systematic endeavor that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earli ...
information and theories for the explanation of the
nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physics, physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomenon, phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. ...
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 for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can testable, test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on prev ...
: 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." F ...
: 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 Research, scientific research, the null hypothesis (often denoted ''H''0) is the claim that no difference or relationship exists between two sets of data or variables being analyzed. The null hypothesis is that any experimentally observed diffe ...
). 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 Philosophy of science, philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book ''The Logic of Scientific Discovery'' (1934). He proposed it as t ...
). 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 of interpretation, especially the interpretation of Biblical hermeneutics, biblical texts, wisdom literature, and Philosophy, philosophical texts. Hermeneutics is more than interpretative principles ...
and
semiotics Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the systematic study of sign processes (semiosis) and meaning making. Semiosis is any activity, conduct, or process that involves Sign (semiotics), signs, where a sign is defined as anything that commun ...
. 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 Historical method is 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 continuous, methodical n ...
. Historians use
primary sources In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source (also called an original source) is an Artifact (archaeology), artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was cre ...
and other
evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evid ...
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 Philosophy, philosophical context has to do with a lack of objective reality. Subjectivity has been given various and ambiguous definitions by differing sources as it is not often the focal point of philosophical discourse.Byko ...
as opposed to the classical scientific methods. As such, it is similar to the
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
s in using
qualitative research Qualitative research is a type of research that aims to gather and analyse non-numerical (descriptive) data in order to gain an understanding of individuals' social reality, including understanding their attitudes, beliefs, and motivation. This ...
and
intersubjectivity In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or ...
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 city, capital and List of urban areas in Sweden by population, largest city of Sweden as well as the List of urban areas in the Nordic countries, largest urban area in Scandinavia. Approximately 980,000 people liv ...
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 Research The Society for Artistic Research (SAR) is an international nonprofit, artistic and scientific society devoted to developing, linking and disseminating internationally Research, artistic research as a specific practice of producing knowledge. SAR al ...
(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 "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization an ...
, and
peer-review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (:wiktionary:peer#Etymology 2, peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within th ...
ed
journal A journal, from the Old French ''journal'' (meaning "daily"), may refer to: *Bullet journal, a method of personal organization *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 la, communicare, meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is usually defined as the transmission of information. The ...
of artistic research and its methodologies, from all arts disciplines and it runs the ''Research Catalogue'' (RC), a searchable, documentary
database In computing, a database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while large databases are hosted on computer clusters or cloud storage. The Databas ...
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) represents some 300.000 students in all art disciplines. History ELIA emerged from a conference organized in Amsterdam in 1990, ''Imagination and Diversity'', aimed to pro ...
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 th ...
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,
CILECT The 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.SAR.


Historical research

The
historical method Historical method is 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 continuous, methodical n ...
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 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: *Identity document, any document used to verify a person's identity Arts, entertainment and media *Identify (album), ''Identify'' (album) by Got7, 2014 *Identify (song), "Identify" (song), by Natalie I ...
of origin date *
Evidence Evidence for a proposition is what supports this proposition. It is usually understood as an indication that the supported proposition is true. What role evidence plays and how it is conceived varies from field to field. In epistemology, evid ...
of localization *
Recognition Recognition may refer to: *Award, something given in recognition of an achievement Machine learning *Pattern recognition, a branch of machine learning which encompasses the meanings below Biometric *Recognition of human individuals, or biometr ...
of authorship *
Analysis Analysis (plural, : analyses) is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics a ...
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, integrity is regarded as the honesty and Honesty, truthfulness or accuracy of one's actio ...
* Attribution of
credibility Credibility comprises the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message. Credibility dates back to Aristotle theory of Rhetoric. Aristotle defines rhetoric as the ability to see what is possibly persuasive i ...


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 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 to provid ...
* 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 with several variations and contexts. It can be applied in different categories of work where an overall picture is needed. It is used to make conceptual distinctions and organize ideas. Strong concept ...
, 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 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 to provid ...
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 for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can testable, test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on prev ...
. 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 one ...
. The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the
null hypothesis In Research, scientific research, the null hypothesis (often denoted ''H''0) is the claim that no difference or relationship exists between two sets of data or variables being analyzed. The null hypothesis is that any experimentally observed diffe ...
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 an American 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 w ...
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, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
in
Meno ''Meno'' (; grc-gre, wikt:Μένων, Μένων, ''Ménōn'') is a Socratic dialogue by Plato. Meno (general), Meno begins the dialogue by asking Socrates whether virtue is taught, acquired by practice, or comes by nature. In order to determ ...
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, which helps to identify and define a problem or question. * Constructive research, 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 one ...
, which tests the feasibility of a solution using
empirical evidence 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 is of central importance to the sciences and ...
. 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 is a type of research that aims to gather and analyse non-numerical (descriptive) data in order to gain an understanding of individuals' social reality, including understanding their attitudes, beliefs, and motivation. This ...
Qualitative research refers to much more subjective non- quantitative, use different methods of collecting data, analyzing data, interpreting data for meanings, definitions, characteristics, symbols metaphors of things.Qualitative research further classified into following types: Ethnography: This research mainly focus on culture of group of people which includes share attributes, language, practices, structure, value, norms and material things, evaluate human lifestyle. Ethno: people, Grapho: to write, this disciple may include ethnic groups, ethno genesis, composition, resettlement and social welfare characteristics. Phenomenology: It is very powerful strategy for demonstrating methodology to health professions education as well as best suited for exploring challenging problems in health professions educations. ;
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, em ...
: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 (from German language, German: ''wikt:Statistik#German, Statistik'', "description of a State (polity), state, a country") is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of ...
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 an empiricist In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are of ...
. 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 Though used sometimes loosely partly because of a lack of formal definition, the interpretation that seems to best describe Big data is the one associated with large body of information that we could not comprehend when used only in smaller am ...
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 ;Non-empirical research Non-empirical (
theoretical A theory is a reason, rational type of abstraction, abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as observational study or resear ...
) 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 evidence, empirical method for acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century (with notable practitioners in previous centuries; see the article hist ...
. 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 is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
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 th ...
s about
mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantit ...
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 conduct of individual researchers, and the implications for research communities. Historically, scandals such as
Nazi human experimentation Nazi human experimentation was a series of medical experiments on large numbers of prisoners, including children, by Nazi Germany in its concentration camps in the early to mid 1940s, during World War II and the Holocaust. Chief target p ...
and the
Tuskegee syphilis experiment The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male (informally referred to as the Tuskegee Experiment or Tuskegee Syphilis Study) was a study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and the Cente ...
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 by scientific inquiry. 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. Research ethics committees (
Institutional review board An institutional review board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee (IEC), ethical review board (ERB), or research ethics board (REB), is a committee that applies research#Research ethics, research ethics by reviewing the methodolog ...
in the US) have emerged as one governance mechanism to ensure research is conducted responsibly. When making moral judgments, we may be guided by different
values In ethics and social sciences, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining which actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics in ethics), or to describe the significance of dif ...
. Philosophers commonly distinguish between approaches like
deontology In moral philosophy Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of morality, right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' ...
,
consequentialism In ethical philosophy, consequentialism is a class of normative ethics, normative, Teleology, teleological ethical theories that holds that the wikt:consequence, consequences of one's Action (philosophy), conduct are the ultimate basis for judgm ...
,
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism or Ru classicism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a Religious Confucianism, religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, ...
,
virtue ethics Virtue ethics (also aretaic ethics, from Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:ἀρετή, ἀρετή 'arete (moral virtue), aretḗ'' is an approach to ethics that treats the concept of virtue, moral virtue as central. Virtue ethics is usually contr ...
, and Ubuntu ethics, to list a few. Regardless of approach, the application of ethical theory to specific contexts is known as
applied ethics Applied ethics refers to the practical aspect of moral considerations. It is ethics with respect to real-world actions and their moral considerations in the areas of private and public life, the professions, health, technology, law, and leadersh ...
, and research ethics can be viewed as a subfield 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, product, or process. The verb ''to design'' ...
and implementation of research involving human experimentation 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 ...
. 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" (also called ''bench science'' or ''bench research''), – involving fundamental scienti ...
, with typically cited codes being the 1947
Nuremberg Code The Nuremberg Code (german: Nürnberger Kodex) is a set of research ethics, ethical research principles for human experimentation created by the court in ''Doctors' trial, U.S. v Brandt'', one of the Subsequent Nuremberg trials that were held aft ...
, 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 originally in 1964 for the medical community by the World Medical Association (WMA). ...
, and the 1978
Belmont Report The ''Belmont Report'' is a report created by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Its full title is the ''Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human ...
.
Informed consent Informed consent is a principle in medical ethics and medical law, that a patient must have sufficient information and understanding before making decisions about their medical care. Pertinent information may include risks and benefits of treatme ...
is a key concept in research ethics thanks to these codes. Research in other fields such as
social sciences Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
,
information technology Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, retrieve, and exchange all kinds of Data (computing), data . and information. IT forms part of information and communications technology (ICT). An information te ...
,
biotechnology Biotechnology is the integration of Natural science, natural sciences and Engineering Science, engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services. The te ...
, 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 specializ ...
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, whilst the US has legislated on how
institutional review board An institutional review board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee (IEC), ethical review board (ERB), or research ethics board (REB), is a committee that applies research#Research ethics, research ethics by reviewing the methodolog ...
s operate since the 1974
National Research Act The National Research Act was enacted by the 93rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Richard Nixon on July 12, 1974, after a series of congressional hearings on human-subjects research, directed by Senator Edward Kennedy. The ...
. Research ethics is commonly distinguished from the promotion of academic or
research integrity Scientific integrity deals with "best practices" or rules of professional practice of researchers. It stems from an OECD report of 2007, and is set in the context of the replication crisis and the fight against scientific misconduct. Initiatives ...
and 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 works in a specified professional activi ...
(e.g. fraud, fabrication of data or
plagiarism Plagiarism is the fraudulent representation of another person's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one's own original work.From the 1995 '' Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary'': use or close imitation of the language and though ...
). Note that because of the close interaction with integrity, increasingly research ethics is included as part of the broader field of responsible conduct of research (RCR in North America) or Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe, and with government agencies such as the United States Office of Research Integrity or the Canadian Interagency Advisory Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research promoting or requiring interdisciplinary training for researchers.


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. For the findings of a study to be reproducible means that results obtained by an experiment or an observational study or in a ...
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 the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to reproducibility, reproduce. Because ...
."


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 are culturally distinct ethnic groups whose members are directly descended from the earliest known inhabitants of a particular geographic region and, to some extent, maintain the language and culture of those original people ...
as researchers has brought increased attention to the scientific lacuna 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 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 Linguistic discrimination (also called glottophobia, linguicism and languagism) is unfair treatment of people which is based on their use of language and the characteristics of their speech, including their first language A first language ...
) 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 Oceania (, , ) is a region, geographical region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Western Hemisphere, Western hemispheres, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of ...
and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both 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 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. Peer revie ...
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 Scholarly peer review or academic peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of having a draft version of a researcher's methods and findings reviewed (usually anonymously) by expert An expert is somebody who has a broad and d ...
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.


Future perspectives

Even though Western dominance seems to be prominent in research, some scholars, such as
Simon Marginson Simon Marginson (born 1951)Marginson, Simon 1951–
WorldCat (accessed 17 December 2021)
, argue for "the need ora 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. Focused 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 Professionalization is a social process by which any tradesman, trade or occupation transforms itself into a true "profession of the highest integrity and competence." The definition of what constitutes a profession is often contested. Professional ...
of research has resulted in formal job titles.


In Russia

In present-day Russia, and some other countries of the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, the term ''researcher'' (russian: link=no, Научный сотрудник, ''nauchny sotrudnik'') has been used both as a generic term for a person who has been carrying out scientific research, and as a job position within the frameworks of the Academy of Sciences, 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 Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing which distributes academic research and scholarship. Most academic work is published in academic journal articles, books or thesis, theses. The part of academic written output that is not forma ...
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. Peer revie ...
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 academic fields have their own scientific journals and other outlets for publication, though many
academic journal An academic journal or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which Scholarly method, scholarship relating to a particular list of academic disciplines, academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transpar ...
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 model A business model describes how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value,''Business Model Generation'', Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Alan Smith, and 470 practitioners from 45 countries, self-published, 2010 in economic, soc ...
s 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 Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization an ...
. 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 Self-archiving is the act of (the author's) depositing a free copy of an electronic document World Wide Web, online in order to provide Open access (publishing), open access to it. The term usually refers to the self-archiving of peer review, pee ...
, 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:
corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
research and development Research and development (R&D or R+D), known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, and improving existi ...
departments;
private foundation A private foundation is a tax-exempt organization not relying on broad public support and generally claiming to serve humanitarian purposes. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the U.S. with over $38 billion ...
s; and government research councils such as the
National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health, commonly referred to as NIH (with each letter pronounced individually), is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. It was founded in the late 1 ...
in the USA and the 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 The Social Psychology Network (SPN) is an educational organization with more than 1,500 members worldwide. SPN was founded by psychology professor Scott Plous as a website in 1996. Development of SPN was supported by several grants from the Nationa ...
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 This is a list of countries by research and development Research and development (R&D or R+D), known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in ...
* List of words ending in ''ology'' *
Market research Market research is an organized effort to gather information about target markets and customers: know about them, starting with who they are. It is an important component of business strategy and a major factor in maintaining competitors, competit ...
*
Marketing research Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative data, qualitative and quantitative data, quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services. The goal is to identify and assess how chan ...
*
Open research Open research is research that is openly accessible and modifiable by others. The central theme of open research is to make clear accounts of research methods freely available via the internet, along with any data or results extracted or derived ...
*
Operations research Operations research ( en-GB, operational research) (U.S. Air Force Specialty Code: Operations Analysis), often shortened to the initialism OR, is a discipline that deals with the development and application of analytical methods to improve decis ...
* Participatory action research * Psychological research methods *
Research integrity Scientific integrity deals with "best practices" or rules of professional practice of researchers. It stems from an OECD report of 2007, and is set in the context of the replication crisis and the fight against scientific misconduct. Initiatives ...
* Research-intensive cluster * Research organization *
Research proposal A research proposal is a document proposing a research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of evidence to increase ...
*
Research university A research university or a research-intensive university is a university that is committed to research as a central part of its mission. They are the most important sites at which Knowledge production modes, knowledge production occurs, along ...
* Scholarly research * Secondary research *
Social research Social research is a research conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan. Social research methodologies can be classified as quantitative research, quantitative and qualitative research, qualitative. * Quantitative method, Quan ...
*
Society for Artistic Research The Society for Artistic Research (SAR) is an international nonprofit, artistic and scientific society devoted to developing, linking and disseminating internationally Research, artistic research as a specific practice of producing knowledge. SAR al ...
* Timeline of the history of the scientific method *
Undergraduate research Undergraduate research is often described as the exploration of a specific research topic by an undergraduate student that seeks to make an original contribution to the disciplinIt is a fairly recent concept in the academic community, with roots i ...


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 Methodology Scientific method