Fundamentals of Research
Dr. M. Ratnaraju 1*, Dr. D. B. R. K. Murthy1, Dr. G. V. S. Jayapala Rao1, S. Padmavathi1, Dr. B. Gowri Sankara Rao 1 and K. Suryanarayana.11 Department of Physics, M. R. College (Autonomous), Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh-535003.* Corresponding Author: Email: [email protected]
The paper presents fundamentals of research. Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In other words, research is an art of scientific investigation. This article describes the objective of research, types of research (basic and applied), research approaches and steps involved in the research process.
Progress in almost every field of science depends on the contributions made by systematic research; thus research is often viewed as the cornerstone of scientific progress. Broadly defined, the purpose of research is to answer questions and acquire new knowledge. Research is the primary tool used in virtually all areas of science to expand the frontiers of knowledge.
Objectives of Research:
The major aim of any type of research is to find out the reality and facts which is unknown and which has not been exposed. Although each research activity has its own particular reason, the objectives of research can be grouped into the following categories.
- To achieve skillfulness with a trend or to get novel opinions into it.
- To find out the characteristics of a particular character, condition or a grouping.
- To establish the relationship with which something occur or with which it is related with something else.
- To test a hypothesis of a reasonable association between different variables.
Types of Research:
The research is broadly categorized into two main classes. One is fundamental or basic research and second one is applied research. The main aim of applied research is to find out a solution for some critical practical problem, whereas basic research is handling towards finding information that has a wide sense of applications to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.
The description of the types of research brings to light the fact that there are two basic approaches to research, viz., quantitative approach and the qualitative approach. The former involves the generation of data in quantitative form which can be subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis in a formal and rigid fashion. This approach can be further sub-classified into inferential, experimental and simulation approaches to research.
Qualitative approach to research is concerned with subjective assessment of attitudes, opinions and behaviour. Research in such a situation is a function of researcher’s insights and impressions. Such an approach to research generates results either in non-quantitative form or in the form which are not subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis.
Research Methods versus Methodology:
Research methods may be understood as all those methods/techniques that are used for conduction of research. Research methods or techniques, thus, refer to the methods the researchers. Here, a distinction is also made between research techniques and research methods. Research techniques refer to the behaviour and instruments we use in performing research operations such as making observations, recording data, techniques of processing data and the like. Research methods refer to the behaviour and instruments used in selecting and constructing research technique. From what has been stated, we can say that methods are more general. It is the methods that generate techniques. However, in practice, the two terms are taken as interchangeable and when we talk of research methods we do, by implication, include research techniques within their compass.
Research process consists of series of actions or steps necessary to effectively carry out research and the desired sequencing of these steps. The following are the various steps that provide useful procedural guideline regarding the conduct research.
- Formulating the research problem.
- Extensive literature survey.
- Developing hypothesis.
- Preparing the research design.
- Determining sample design.
- Collecting data.
- Execution of the project.
- Analysis of data.
- Hypothesis testing.
(10) Generalization and interpretation, and
(11) Preparation of the report or presentation of the results.
At the end of the report, appendices should be enlisted in respect of all technical data. Bibliography, i.e., list of books, journals, reports, etc., consulted, should also be given in the end. Index should also be given specially in a published research report.
- R. Kothari, Research Methodology, Methods & Techniques, New Age International Publishers-1985, New Delhi.
- Marczyk, D. DeMatteo, D. Festinger, Essential of Research Design and Methodology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2005.