A REVIEW ON: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY – I

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About Authors:
Chaudhari Rahul B.
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology,
University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT),
North Maharashtra University,
Jalgaon - 425 001 (M.S.) India
rahul88chaudhari@gmail.com

Abstract:
Research is a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. Research is a process of manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of theory or in the practice of an art. Research Methodology comprises types of research, criteria, objective, and significance of research. The research process various steps, at times, the first step determines the nature of the last step to be undertaken. Here we only discuss about first to three steps they are defining the research problem, review of literature, formulation of hypothesis. This various steps of research process are discussed in brief here.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1989

Defining Research:
Research refers to a search for knowledge. A scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. “A careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.” The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English “Systematized effort to gain new knowledge” Redman and Mory.[1, 2]

Research is a process of manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of theory or in the practice of an art” Slesinger and Stephenson in Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. The search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is “research”.[1, 6]

Research comprises the following:
Defining and redefining the problem Formulating hypothesis collecting, organizing and evaluating data Making deductions and reaching conclusions. Carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the hypothesis

Types of Research:

  • Descriptive
  • Analytical
  • Applied
  • Fundamental
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
  • Conceptual
  • Empirical
  • Other [1]

Defining Research Methodology:

Research methods:
All those methods/techniques that are used for conduction of research. Research methods or techniques, thus, refer to the methods the researchers use in performing research operations.

Research methodology:
It is a way to systematically solve the research problem. It may be understood as a science of studying how research is done scientifically.[1]

Objectives of Research:
1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it (studies with this object in view are termed as exploratory or formulative research studies).

2. To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group (studies with this object in view are known as descriptive research studies).

3. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else (studies with this object in view are known as diagnostic researchstudies).

4. To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (such studies are known as hypothesis testing research studies).[1, 2]

Research Process:
The research process comprises of
1. Formulating the research problem
2. Extensive literature survey
3. Developing the hypothesis
4. Preparing the research design
5. Determining sample design
6. Collecting the data
7. Execution of the project
8. Analysis of data
9. Hypothesis testing;
10. Generalizations and interpretation
11. Preparation of the report or presentation of the results, i.e. formal write-up of conclusions reached.[1, 5]

Significance / Relevance of Research:
“All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention” Hudson Increased amounts of research make progress possible. Research inculcates scientific and inductive thinking and it promotes the development of logical habits of thinking and organization. To students who are to write a master’s or Ph.D. thesis, research may mean a careerism or a way to attain a high position in the social structure; To professionals in research methodology, research may mean a source of livelihood; To philosophers and thinkers, research may mean the outlet for new ideas and insights; To literary men and women, research may mean the development of new styles and creative work; To analysts and intellectuals, research may mean the generalizations of new theories.[1, 2]

Criteria of Good Research:

1. Purpose should be clearly defined.

2. Research Process (source of data etc.) should be described in sufficient detail (except when secrecy is required).

3. There is a clear statement of research aims, which defines the research question.[5]

4. Design (Sampling, questionnaire, observation etc) should be thoroughly planned so as to yield objective results.

5. High ethical standards.

6. Limitations should be frankly revealed (e.g. flaws in design) so that the decision maker is made aware.

7. Analysis of data should be adequate and methods of analysis appropriate. Should check for reliabilityand validity, and probability of error

8. Unambiguous presentation

9. Conclusions should be confined to those justified by the data of the research.

A good research is,

  • Systematic
  • Logical
  • Empirical
  • Replicable

Research process:


Fig. 1. Research Process

The chart indicates that the research process consists of a number of closely related activities, as shown through I to VII. But such activities overlap continuously rather than following a strictly prescribed sequence. At times, the first step determines the nature of the last step to be undertaken. If subsequent procedures have not been taken into account in the early stages, serious difficulties may arise which may even prevent the completion of the study. One should remember that the various steps involved in a research process are not mutually exclusive; nor are they separate and distinct.

STEP-1

Defining the research problem:

What is a research problem?

The term ‘problem’ means a question or issue to be examined.

Research Problem refers to some difficulty /need which a researcher experiences in the context of either theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same.

The first step in the research process – definition of the problem involves two activities:

  • Identification / Selection of the Problem
  • Formulation of the Problem[1, 2, 4]

How do we know we have a research problem?

  • Customer complaints
  • Conversation with company employees
  • Observation of inappropriate behaviour or conditions in the firm
  • Deviation from the business plan
  • Success of the firm’s competitor’s
  • Relevant reading of published material (trends, regulations)
  • Company records and reports.

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