What is research, its types and how is it done?
What is research? Well, research is defined as: “A combination of creative and systemic work, undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge.” Though an encompassing definition does not exist, this definition will be sufficient to introduce readers to the idea of it.
There are several forms of research:
Scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, business, marketing, technology, etc.
Steps of conducting research include:
- Identification of research problem
- Literature review
- Specifying the purpose of research
- Determining specific research questions
- Specification of a conceptual framework, 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
Purpose and Power:
Research serves its purpose to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm previous work, solve new or existing problems, support previous work, support previous theories or establish new ones. Research is used to develop further knowledge in any field and topic.
The purpose of research is exceptionally important. It helps you in your own personal growth and also that of the community.
The steps mentioned above, generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps. This is just a brief view of the overall process of research. It would vary according to your field and area of interest. One must conform to current guidelines, mentors, and supervisors for their respective work.
Research helps you polish your knowledge & skills. You learn and teach at the same time.
Research is beyond gaining credentials; which it serves a purpose too. Research helps you polish your knowledge & skills. You learn and teach at the same time. It’s an opportunity to explore and become part of cutting edge development in your respective field and area of research. It’s an opportunity to delve into areas that might have been overlooked before.
Research must come from inspiration rather than a mere need. The first person to benefit is yourself, as it plays a significant part in the professional and personal development and growth, and consequently helps in the development of that field in particular and community in general.
When conducting a study, one must comply with research ethics. Publishing your research is the method by which you share it with people in that field and in journals and academic publishing.
Research in Medical Sciences:
One of the most developed fields of research is medical research. Research in any field in general and medicine, in particular, contributes to produce evidence. Evidence in simple words provides with the guideline in that area and practice. Research is the building block of evidence.
In medical sciences evidence is specified as; Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research. EBM goes further, classifying evidence by its epistemological strength and requiring that only the strongest types (coming from meta-analyses, systemic reviews, and randomized controlled trials) can yield strong recommendations; weaker types (such as from case-control studies) can yield only weak recommendations.
Take away message:
Research can be at the institutional level or at the individual level.
So next time when “research” comes to your mind try to look from a bigger perspective and not just as a term that is sometimes mistaken for merely looking for something on a search engine.
I’ll leave my readers with this message that whatever field you’re in, try to explore the area of research at whatever level you can, not just for yourself but for the field, community, and people. Especially I’d encourage youth to take on to research for their personal and professional development. Research in you respective field takes you to a whole new level and makes you an early and high achiever.
About the author: Dr. Imbesat is a clinician, researcher, reviewer, author , writer and inspirational speaker; with intention to reach out to youth in particular specially young women and people in general on topics of health, science, art and life in an easy way.