In every field, research is the process having the utmost importance. Be it engineering, medical sciences, commerce, arts etc. Research has played a crucial role in upliftment of the particular sector as well as added glory to them. Students nowadays a very keen to know how the research work or project is carried out. This blog highlights the basic meaning of research with respect to various researchers or organizations as well as enlightens the reader with basic steps in research process. We have also added do’s and don’ts at various crucial steps.
DEFINATION OF RESEARCH
- According to C.A. Moser – Research is a systematic investigation to gain knowledge about phenomenon and problems.
- According to P.V. Young – Research is scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systemized methods, aims to discover the new facts or to verify old facts and to analyze their sequences, inter-relation, casual explanations and neutral terms which are given to them.
- According to W.H.O (World Health Organization) – Research is quest for knowledge through diligent search or investigation or experimentation aimed at discovery and inter-relation of new knowledge.
Selection of Topic
First step in research process is to identify or to select or to develop a research problem or a question. Research problem is the one which require a researcher to find out the best solution for given problem. Generally it refers to some difficulty that is either theoretical or practical solution of that problem and researcher wants to be obtaining the solution.
The two basic things that are required for selection of problem.
1. That particular research must be adding something in knowledge already available.
2. Research work must be useful and priority to public health.
Avoid – Controversial subjects and too narrow or vague problems.
Requirements – Subjects must be familiar and feasible.
Researcher must understand cost, time factor, qualification, training for his research.
Research problem statement – Topic of research must convey in specific terms, that what researcher is studying.
Researcher should be defined and clear on his understandings.
The statement of problem should not tell the whole purpose but must give rough idea.
Example – Dashmool – Trivrutta siddha tail’s matrabasti in Yoni Vyapad
Review of Literature
Research study is never conducted in vacuum so the efforts should be made to find out what has already been done and what is still to be done. The gap should be marked and attempt should be made to bridge the gap. It is the important step among other steps in research process.
If this step is not followed properly, duplication of the work is quite possible. A review of literature gives both theoretical as well as methodological directions to the research. For Ayurvedic research, student should review and it is better to have look on various periodicals and journals.
Formulation of Hypothesis
It means mere assumption or some suppositions to be proved or disproved, but for researcher it is a formal question that he intends to resolve. It is a suggested solution to a problem. Hypothesis is a proposed explanation based on limited evidence used as starting point for further investigation. In short it is foundation of future study.
State a Hypothesis – After making a problem and purpose clear and literature on previous work is reviewed. You have to precisely start with an assumption either positive or negative.
Example – Iron by intra muscular route is not more effective than by orally. So test this Hypothesis by doing an experiment and accept or reject the Hypothesis.
1.It must be clear and precise.
2. It should be capable of being tested.
3. It should be limited in scope, must be specific.
4. It should start with simple fact or terms without changing its significance and should complete with time.
5. It must explain the facts that give rise to need for explanation.
Good Hypothesis Qualities –
(1) Must be adequate answer to specific problem.
(2) Should be logical and simple.
(3) Should be expressed in quantified from.
(4) Must be variable.
(5) Must be started in way to allows it to be refused.
Aims and Objectives
Formulating aims and objectives for your Research studies helps sculpt and guide your work after you’ve decided on a topic. While your aims give your research thematic and theoretic direction, objectives give concrete steps on how to manifest those concepts and theories. A strong topic begins with an area you re interested in researching, then focuses on a need, problem or unexplored issue in that area, usually from a particular perspective or approach.
Aims – A research proposal’s aims are statements that broadly point out what you hope to accomplish and your desired outcomes from the research. Aims focus on long-term intended outcomes – your aspirations in reference to the research. They re typically not numbered in a research proposal. Strong research proposals set out only two to three aims. Each aim may have several objectives associated with it.
Objectives – Objectives lay out how you plan to accomplish your aims. While aims are broad in nature, objectives are focused and practical. They tend to pinpoint your research’s more immediate effects. They include a list of practical steps and tasks you’re going to take to meet your aims. Objectives are typically numbered, so each one stands alone. Each objective must have a concrete method set our. If you’re having trouble developing this, writing out a research time-line before defining your objectives may help.
What They Should Do – Both aims and objectives should be brief and concise. They must be interrelated. Each aim should have one or more objectives describing how that aim should be met. Aims and objectives should both be realistic goals and methods with respect to what resources you have available and the scope of research. Don’t choose something too broad, for instance, or that would take much more research time than you have. Aims and objectives also let your advisers know how you intend to approach a given subject and how you plan to get access to subjects, goods and services, samplings and other resources. They also provide plans for dealing with ethical or practical problems you may encounter.
Things to Avoid – When you’re writing your aims and objectives, don’t make them too broad or vague. Aims are more general than objectives, they shouldn’t be over-optimistic or unrealistic about what you want to achieve. They shouldn’t repeat each other or be simple lists of items related to your research. Stay away from focusing content on your research site or job. Stick to the specific aims and objectives of your actual research study. Check that your aims and objectives contain methods that can sustain what you hope to find. If they don’t match, rethink the methods or aims and objectives of your research.
Materials and Methods
The methods and methodology section of the research proposal provides an overall plan of how the research objectives will be achieved. It includes a description of the methods and the methodology. Methods are the techniques or procedures used to gather and analyze data or to make a piece of art. Methodology refers to the the strategy, plan of action, process or design lying behind the choice and use of particular methods, and linking the choice and use of methods to the desired outcomes (Crotty, 1998:3). Methodology includes not only the practical aspects of the research such as method and action plan, but also the philosophical and theoretical perspectives of the research.
Methods – Before going on to consider how to write these sections in more detail, it might be useful to clarity what is meant by the terms methods and methodological rationale, and why theory or philosophy becomes important in social and human research.
Methods are the physical activities that researchers undertake to gather data. Some common research methods included in steps of research process are:
- Document analysis
- Textual analysis
- Policy analysis
- Statistical analysis of public records
- Art making practice
- Documentary or film making
Observation and Results
Each observation measures one or more properties (weight, location, etc.) of an observable entity enumerated to distinguish objects or individuals. Survey weights often need to be applied to the data to adjust for the sample design. Results from probability theory and statistical theory are employed to guide practice. It is the last step amongst other steps in research process.
In business, sampling is widely used for gathering information about a population. Once the instrumentation plan is completed, the actual study begins with the collection of data. The collection of data is a critical step in providing the information needed to answer the research question. Every study includes the collection of some type of data – whether it is from the literature or from subjects – to answer the research question. Data can be collected in the form of words on a survey, with a questionnaire, through observations, or from the literature. In the obesity study, the programmers will be collecting data on the defined variables: weight, percentage of body fat, cholesterol levels, and the number of days the person walked a total of 10,000 steps during the class.
The researcher collects these data at the first session and at the last session of the program. These two sets of data are necessary to determine the effect of the walking program on weight, body fat, and cholesterol level. Once the data is collected on the variables, the researcher is ready to move to the final step of the process, which is the data analysis.
Analyze the Data – All the time, effort, and resources dedicated to steps I through 7 of the research process culminate in this final step. The researcher finally have data to analyze so that the research question can be answered. In the instrumentation plan, the researcher specified how the data will be analyzed. The researcher now analyzes the data according to the plan. The results of this analysis are then reviewed and summarized in a manner directly related to the research questions. In the obesity study, the researcher compares the measurements of weight, percentage of body fat, and cholesterol that were taken at the first meeting of the subjects to the measurements of the same variables at the final program session.
These two sets of data will be analyzed to determine if there was a difference between the first measurement and the second measurement for each individual in the program. Then, the data will be analyzed to determine if the differences are statistically significant. If the differences are statistically significant, the study validates the theory that was the focus of the study. The results of the study also provide valuable information about one strategy to combat childhood obesity in the community.
As you have probably concluded, conducting studies using the eight steps in research process requires you to dedicate time and efforts to the planning process. You cannot conduct a study using the scientific research process when time is limited or the study is done at the last minute. Researchers who do this conduct studies that result in either false conclusions or conclusions that are not of any value to the organization