Research is a scientific and systematic search for various information about a specific topic. It is just like a search for truth and knowledge. The English Dictionary meaning of Research is “a careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.” information about a subject can be collected by deliberate effort and it is presented in a new form after analyzing thoroughly in research work.
Research is an academic activity. It is a movement from the known to the unknown, which may be called a discovery. Different definitions of research are given by the experts.
According to Redman and Mory, “Research is a systematized effort to gain new knowledge.”
- Slesinger and M Stephenson define research as, “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend correct or verify knowledge whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art ”
According to P.M. Cook, “Research is an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings or implications with reference to a given problem.”
J.M. Francis Rumel defines, “Research is an endeavour to discover, develop and verify knowledge.”
Clifford Woody, defines “Research is a careful enquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles a diligent investigation to ascertain something.”
The main purpose of research is to discover answers to the meaningful questions through scientific procedures and systematic attempt. The hidden truths which are not discovered yet can easily come to light by research.
The main objectives of Research are
- To gain familiarity or to achieve new insights into a phenomenon. This is known as Exploratory or Formularize Research studies.
- To describe the accurate characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group. This is known as Descriptive Research studies.
- To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with other things. This is known as Diagnostic Research studies.
- To test a hypothesis of a casual relationship between variables. Such studies are known as Hypothesis-testing Research studies.
Characteristics of Research
- Research is directed towards the solution of a problem.
- Research gathers new knowledge or data from primary sources.
- Research is based upon observable experience or experimental evidence.
- Research is logical and objective, applying every possible test to verify the data collected and the procedures employed.
- Research is expert, systematic and accurate investigation.
- Research demands accurate observation and description.
- Research requires patience and courage. The researcher should courageously face the unpleasant consequences of his finding if any.
- Research is highly purposive. It deals with a significant problem which must be solved.
- Research is carefully recorded and reported. Everything must be carefully defined and described in detail.
- Research activity is characterized by carefully designed procedures which are to be analyzed thoroughly.
All those methods which are used by the researcher during the course of studying his research problems are called as Research Methods. Methods of research may be classified from different points of view.
- The fields to which applied-Education, Philosophy, Psychology.
- Purpose-Description, Prediction. Determination of status and causes.
- Place where it is to be conducted-in the field or in the laboratory.
- Application-Pure research or applied research
- Data gathering devices employed-Testing, rating scales, questionnaires etc.
- Character of the data collected-Objective, Subjective, Quantitative, and Qualitative.
- Forms of thinking-Deductive and Inductive.
- Control of factors-Controlled and Uncontrolled.